Style & Tales

“Run for your love, JOAN” – The nature of running and the quality of endurance

The nature of running and the quality of endurance

We as humans are designed to run.


While many other mammals can sprint faster than humans, when it comes to long distances, our species can outrun almost any animal. Because we cool by sweating rather than panting, we can stay cool at speeds and distances that would overheat other animals.

Early humans most likely developed into endurance runners from the practice of persistence hunting of animals, the activity of following and chasing until a prey is too exhausted to flee.


Competitive running grew out of religious festivals in numerous areas in all the four continents starting from at least 3000 years ago.

The first Olympic games took place in ancient Greece in 776 BCE and running race was one of the main events. The Marathon running also originated in Greece in 490 BCE when the Greek soldier Philippides ran from the city of Marathon, where the homonymous battle against the Persians was taking place, to the 42km distant Athens, to claim the Greek victory.


During the Middle Ages and the first centuries of the Modern era running obviously has remained a major part in children playing, while adults used it only occasionally for practical purposes.

In the late Eighteenth century when the sport as we know it started to spread among English higher classes, the running naturally took back its place as a major activity. And while our first human ancestors obviously used to run barefoot, and in modern times someone still prefers to do so (see the epic barefoot Abebe Bikila’s victory during the 1960 Olympics), the modern sportsmen started to look for footwear that could serve them better than the everyday leather shoes during the races. In 1832 a new patented process allowed to attach rubber soles to leather shoes, making them lighter and water resistant. 20 years later running spikes were added to the soils, allowing more grips. During the last decade of the century another technical innovation revolutionized shoe manufacturing: the vulcanization, which is the process of melting rubber and fabric together. Instead of heavy leather, from then on shoes could be made of canvas, becoming lightweight, quiet, and flexible: the perfect combination for running.

Joan Navy SS21

Starting from the 1920s and throughout the 1950s and the 1960s different companies from Europe, USA and Japan started to create their own running shoes, always aiming at evolving and making them more and more scientifically based and sophisticated.


At the same time the demand for leisure footwear grew accordingly, until the Seventies demand for the specialized shoe showed that consumers were ready for further innovation in footwear. That’s when waffle sole saw the light, soon followed by air cushioned athletic shoes made using the brand new material ethylene vinyl acetate. They were actually based on a NASA technology and provided runners with extra cushion and shock absorption when they ran.

Joan Navy SS21

For the first time companies started producing athletic shoes specifically designed for women. Another innovation was sneakers suitable for the different running styles the runners had.

During the same decade the greatest Olympic athletes begun to wear sponsored shoes, so that in the popular culture those pieces came to be part of the most epic victory moments in the sports and therefore became iconic. That’s when running shoes, originally designed for elite athletes, started being the everyday sneaker of choice for the fashion crowd.

Joan Navy SS21

Our new Spring version of the Joan sneakers are strongly inspired by the emblematic 70’s “wedge” running shoes. Joan uses a bi-material and two tone coloured sole with an added spoiler for stability.


Though the sportiest shoe of our offering, Joan has been designed with the classical details typical from RUBIROSA and our distinguished Made in Italy craftsmanship production, which assures extreme comfort and durability. A reinvention of the traditional broguing has been mixed with the athletic features that such a shoe requires.


For Summer, we detailed the new uppers either with a soft padded nylon with suede trim or with a corduroy stamped suede on suedes.


The linings are thinner for the hot season made out of a distinctive vegetable tanned calf leather for ultimate comfort and refined look.


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