The history of Dunlop Green Flash is a rich one – befitting of their iconic status. The Liverpool Rubber Company, founded by John Boyd Dunlop, can lay claim to developing the earliest incarnation of sports shoes, in the 1830s, when they first discovered how to bond canvas to rubber. First called “sand shoes” and later dubbed “plimsolls”, these pioneering trainers paved the way for the Green Flash trainers that we know and love.
However, Liverpool Rubber Company and Dunlop faced a problem; plimsolls were the de-facto, all-purpose gym shoe and became a relatively cheap street trainer worn by the masses throughout the early 1900’s – not exactly high-fashion. Fast forward a couple of decades, though, and in the calm that settled on the nation after the Great War, fashion and style slowly crept back into the public domain. With this new found focus on fashion, the “Flash” range was released by Dunlop in 1933 – a range with quality, style and grip at it’s core.
This feature of Dunlop Green Flash; ‘grip’ is why they became the trainer of choice for iconic British tennis player, Fred Perry. Perry wore Dunlop Green Flash (the Dunlop Green Flash Lace 1555) on his way to the Wimbledon Centre Court where he was victorious in 1934, 1935 and 1936, granting the Flash iconic status along with him.
Since that fateful day in the Summer of ’36, Dunlop Green Flash has been one of the most popular trainers on the market, with more than twenty five million pairs sold worldwide. Every year the Flash seems to herald in yet another retro-revival, with their velcro and laced versions proving to be equally popular.
Four out of five Wimbledon players wear them. – Green Flash ad, 1957