Pioneer of C-class running shoes: Osaga KT-26 Retro jogging shoes
by Tài Dương on Jun 30, 2022
When it comes to the "Bad Boys Army" and their grudges against the Bulls, John Salley is an unavoidable figure. Firstly, the Pistons led by Salley were a bandit-level interior line that always undertook the task of being the last "iron gate" of the Jordan rule. Whether it was Jordan or Pippen, they were the real players who broke through the inside. From the video data of the game at that time, no matter what happened after the referee's whistle, whether it was the result of the two teams' players' exchanging "greetings" to the other team's family, pulling off fights, or the situation getting completely out of control, the executors of the "last strike" before the whistle were often the relatively fixed people. And John Salley was definitely the best.
In addition, as an athlete with a height of 2.11 meters, a smiling face, acting talent, and experience, Salley's image outside the stadium is often quite different from some other members of the "Bad Boys" team.
As we all know, Salley has been involved in movies several times since his playing days. The most famous is his guest starring role in the first two parts of the "Bad Boys" film franchise, "Bad Boys" and "Bad Boys II", starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in 1995 and 2003, respectively.
Salley has won four championships in his career, the last being with the Lakers in 2000. He has become one of the few NBA players who have been teammates with both Jordan and Kobe.
The big man, nicknamed "Spider", also endorsed a relatively unknown quasi-signature shoe, the Osaga KT-26. Like Nike, Osaga was also a brand that rose in Oregon in the 1970s, but now it has disappeared. Before that, its product focus was running shoes.
Osaga's name comes from the Osage Indians in Oklahoma and uses the label "for the human race". About three months after the Blue Ribbon movement, or Nike as we know it today, Bill Combs, a family shoe retailer in Eugene, Oregon, founded the Osaga company. Although the Osaga company has been sold now, the sneaker store is still there, known as "Burch's Fine Shoes".
The original idea of the company was that the shoes would be world-class running and athletic shoes but would not be sold in sporting goods stores and would be made available only to family shoe stores. As you might guess, this took away the opportunity to have athletes as spokespersons. Alberto Salazar was the only "major" runner to have worn the shoes, and that only happened for a very short time. Nearly all of the shoes had names beginning with the letter “C” (as research found that those words were the easiest to remember), names like Capra, Cortina, Columbia, and the Cochise (which was meant to compete with the Adidas Country and was green and white), and the logo colors were green and yellow (not because of Oregon but because marketing research said those were the most pleasing colors). Osaga was the first company to put emphasis on matching warm-ups, bags, hats, shirts, etc., to the shoe colors.
Runner’s World magazine rated the Osaga KT-26 as the second-best running shoe in the world in 1979, although the Osaga KT-26 shoes could then be found in some Athletes Foot stores; there was no base of well-known runners sponsored by Osaga to really maximize.
Nearly all of the shoes had names beginning with the letter “C” (as research found that those words were the easiest to remember), names like Capra, Cortina, Columbia, and the Cochise (which was meant to compete with the Adidas Country and was green and white). The logo colors were green and yellow (not because of Oregon, but because marketing research said those were the most pleasing colors).
Osaga was the first company to put emphasis on matching warm-ups, bags, hats, shirts, etc. to the shoe colors.
Runner’s World magazine rated the Osaga KT-26 as the 2nd best running shoe in the world in 1979. Although the Osaga KT-26 shoes could then be found in some Athletes Foot stores, there was no base of well-known runners sponsored by OSAGA to really maximize the potential for expansion.
Oddly enough, the best shoe Osaga ever produced was called the OSAGA 2000, which, at the time, was the lightest-weight tennis shoe ever produced. It used lightweight materials that are commonplace today but were revolutionary at that time.
The story is over, but not completely.
The story is over, but not completely.
A senior manager of Hector Maden, an Austrian shoemaking brand, once owned a pair of Osaga KT-26 when he was young. In his memory, Osaga KT-26 is a pair of jogging shoes with excellent support and comfort. Once, he accidentally found a relatively well-preserved second-hand Osaga KT-26 in a retro shoe store in Japan and spent nearly $800 to take it home. In order to pay tribute to this pair of classic jogging shoes that once crossed the sky like a meteor, he began to organize to take this pair of shoes as the prototype and remake them with modern technology to commemorate his high school life. The UncleHector KT-26 was born. Replica Vintage 1979 OSAGA KT-26 Running Shoes.
The upper is made of suede, Oxford mesh, and ice silk, and the sole is made using Japanese foaming rubber technology.
This pair of sneakers ensures sufficient foot support and comfort. At the same time, the addition of Oxford mesh also makes this pair of shoes have enough air permeability. In terms of color, this shoe offers Osaga's traditional blue, orange, and grey.
Currently, Uncle Hector sells this KT-26 shoe in its own online shop. Those interested in the KT-26 shoe can purchase it directly from Uncle Hector's official website.