Year: 1982
Sneaker: Reebok Workout/Freestyle

The leather was a mistake. Reebok's aerobics shoes weren't meant to be made from soft, garment leather-but they were. With no choice other than destroying a whole production run, they put them on shelves and waited to see what would happen. What happened was their largest success to date. Reebok even briefly overtook Nike as the number one sneaker company, that is, until Air Jordan.