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Collage of Superga Marketing over the decades.

The Superga Story

More than a hundred years ago, in a factory located at the foot of the famous Basilica, the idea of Superga® began to take root in the mind of the young engineer Walter Martiny.

For the first time in Italy, Martiny launched the production of items in vulcanized rubber - a technology invented by Charles Goodyear. He would go on to invent one of the earliest tennis shoes, inspired by his wife, who was an avid tennis player.

During that era, tennis was played using rope-soled shoes, which provided superb grip on clay courts but were susceptible to damage. Martiny ingeniously replicated this rope sole in natural vulcanized rubber, rendering it slip-resistant and durable. The iconic, irregular "orange peel" sole is a hallmark of the 2750 Cotu model, the classic Supergas we know today. 

The People’s Shoe of Italy

Superga® shoes remain an exemplar of Italian design, and have garnered global acclaim. During the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the reunification of Italy, Superga® was acknowledged as "one of the 50 objects that made Italy," confirming its status as the "People's Shoe of Italy." 

For over a century, the iconic white canvas—infinitely customizable—has facilitated numerous artists and designers in expressing their creative visions. The Superga® brand is currently distributed in over 55 countries worldwide with a global network of single-brand stores and multi-brand resellers. 


1911. Torino, Italy. Swiss engineer and founder Walter Martiny discovered a revolutionary technology pioneered by Charles Goodyear – the vulcanization of natural rubber. He introduced this innovation to Italy when he founded the Walter Martiny Rubber Industry, which later came to be known as "Superga®," named after its proximity to the famed Basilica. 

1913. Superga® manufactured a fully waterproof rubber boot that effectively alleviated the issue of diseases and infections commonly associated with environments such as rice fields and marshlands.

1925. The birth of the 2750 Cotu Classic model marked a pivotal moment. Walter Martiny's wife, an avid tennis player, sparked the idea. During that era, tennis was played using rope-soled shoes, which provided superb grip on clay courts but were susceptible to damage. Walter Martiny ingeniously crafted a mold with a blend of latex and sulfur, resulting in a novel sole made of vulcanized rubber – a virtually indestructible innovation.

1960’s. A period of economic prosperity emerged in the early Sixties. The Turin factory employed a workforce of 1,380 individuals, predominantly women. In 1962, the Italian graphic designer Albe Steiner designed the new Superga® logo, characterized by simple and clean lines and still in use today.

1970’s. The 70s marked Superga®’s resolute presence in the realm of sports, solidifying its position with a specialized range. All the brand's sports shoes proudly showcased the distinctive "swallow tail" logo. Products were developed for different disciplines, including tennis, which continues to stand out in the history of the brand.

2007. After three years as a brand licensee, BasicNet acquired the Superga® brand for 23 million Euros. They rebranded through high-impact advertising campaigns and collaborations with prestigious fashion brands like Fendi and Swarovski.

Superga® sneakers have been around for a century, so you don't need to worry about them going out of style any time soon. They have garnered a devoted following of athletes, celebrities, and artists all over the world. They’ve diversified the lineup with new designs like platforms and high tops, but the minimalist simplicity and versatile design remains the same. Superga® is and will always be a classic because, right from the start, it has always maintained its timeless charm, no matter how you wear it.


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