Who Made Bubble Slides? The Story Behind the Bubble Slides

Have you ever imagined Aero chocolate transformed into shoe form? Look no further than Bubble Slides. Who made the first Bubble Slides? The talented Steven Smith crafted them.

Over the past five decades, Smith has been a standout in the shoe world, collaborating with big names like Peter Moore and Tinker Hatfield. Most recently, Kanye West appointed him Head of Donda Industrial Design.

Who Invented Bubble Slides

Let’s talk about slides–Just like flip-flops, they’re perfect for laid-back situations and are worn by both men and women. Enter Bubble Slides or Golf Ball Slides, a unique creation by Steven Smith that takes footwear evolution to a new level. But what exactly are Bubble Slides?

At their core, Bubble Slides are made of EVA foam or other “cushy” materials and come with a distinctive bubbly appearance. 

Let us unravel Bubble Slides’ history, design, and cultural impact. Steven Smith, a well-known name in the shoe industry, has turned these slides into a fashion sensation. Read further to explore how these functional sports shoes evolved into coveted fashion statements: 

History of Original Bubble Slides

Inventor of Bubble Slides

Meet the Mind Behind Bubble Slides or Golf Ball Slides–Steven Smith. He’s a big name in the shoe world and has worked with giants like Adidas and Reebok. Lately, he’s been teaming up with Kanye West for Yeezys. And if you check out the Adidas Yeezy 451, you’ll see the wild footwear ideas he’s always had. Also, check the Bubble Slides With Fur.

Born in California in 1954, Smith’s been into sneakers forever. After learning industrial design, he started his career at New Balance and LA Gear before making waves with his killer designs at Reebok and Adidas. People even call him the “godfather of dad shoes” because he’s behind those iconic styles.

History of Original Bubble Slides

How Bubble Slides Came to Be?

Back in the mid-1990s, when Reebok was trying out new materials, Smith had an idea for bubble slides. If you look closely at Classic Leather Hexalite Shoes, you’ll see the vision he incorporated. 

Steven introduced the Hexalite hexagonal cushioning to make little air-filled bubbles. That’s how the first-ever bubble sole was born in the Reebok Hexalite Blaze running shoe. People loved it, and soon, bubble technology made its way into all kinds of shoes, even our favorite bubble slides. 

That’s all about the history of bubble slides. Now, let’s get into what’s the hype all about! 

What Are Bubble Slides?

Bubble slides are a kind of sandal or slipper featuring a unique sole made of foam or other “Cushy” materials. The said features give it that distinctive “bubble” or raised appearance. They’re also known as “Golf Ball Shoes.”

These trendy slides have gained recent popularity as a comfortable and stylish option for casual footwear, perfect for strolls on the beach, chilling by the pool, or just lounging around the house.

According to the experts, the secret lies in the specially designed “bubbles” that create a soothing foot massage sensation when pressure is applied–like when you’re on your feet.

What Are Bubble Slides?

Early Designs Development

In the 1970s, bubble slides were simple, with a basic slide sandal structure and a sole made of cozy air-filled bubbles. Athletes initially embraced it, and as time passed, this revolutionary technology soon found its way into various shoe types. That includes the laid-back sandals and slides we know today. 

Then, designers got creative, experimenting with colors and materials. Today, we have diverse stylish options and even charms to attach for a more fashionable look. 

What Are Bubble Slides Made Of?

The early bubble slides were made while experimenting with materials like silicone and polyurethane. As the popularity of bubble slides skyrocketed, designers didn’t stop at the basics. Today, Bubble slides are made from lightweight and durable materials like EVA foam. 

In short, Bubble slides typically combine foam, rubber, and plastic. The “bubbles” are made from flexible and durable polyurethane molded into various shapes.

Design Details

Features like arch support and adjustable straps were added to them for details. That’s why they’re comfortable. It’s not just about looks; these shoes offer substantial support. The star feature of bubble slides is undoubtedly their bubble-filled sole.

You get both cushioning and support while allowing the foot to move naturally. Additional details, such as textured treads for traction and branded logos, contribute to the distinct style of these comfortable slides. 

Designer Bubble Slides

Brands like Xigeorin, ASONGMAKE, Mukinrch, and even Yeezy have jumped on the bubble slide trend. Celebrities like Bella Hadid, Hailey Bieber, Rihanna, and Kendall Jenner have been spotted rocking bubble slides.

Designer Bubble Slides

The Impact of Bubble Slides: The Love-Hate Dynamics

Bubble slides started as sports shoes in the 1990s, loved by runners and athletes for their comfy feel. Over time, they became a fashion statement worn by stars like Rihanna and Kanye West. They have what we call “Modern Appeal”.

We love/hate these shoes because they’re part of the “ugly shoe” trend. People just dig the quirky and chunky shoe scene from time to time, and bubble slides are right in the mix!

The Impact of Bubble Slides The Love-Hate Dynamics

Contemporary Appeal–Timeless Trend

The trend started in the early 2010s, appeared on runways in 2012, and got big in 2017 when celebs and influencers shared bubble slides on social media. Since then, the trend has only gotten bigger, making bubble slides a hot choice for both guys and girls, especially in the summer.

These slides haven’t just made a mark in fashion but have inspired designers worldwide to try new materials and technologies. Bubble slides have changed how we see athletic wear by blending function with style.

Final words

All in all, Bubble Slides have evolved from their simple start to become a timeless trend in today’s fashion. Originally designed by Steven Smith and adapted by brands like Yeezy, these slides have made a lasting impact.

The love-hate dynamics surrounding Bubble Slides add to their allure, symbolizing the ever-changing fashion landscape. Whether you’re into the “ugly shoe” trend or seeking comfy summer footwear, Bubble Slides offers a compelling choice.


People buy bubble slides because they are comfortable with a cushioned sole. Also, they can be an affordable option for casual summer footwear.

Some people may dislike bubble slides due to concerns about their durability, as they may not be as long-lasting as other types of shoes. Fashion trends also play a role, as some worry that bubble slides may fall out of style in the future.

You can pair bubble slides with casual outfits like shorts and a t-shirt to style bubble slides like an influencer. They also work well with beachwear, dresses, and statement pieces like graphic t-shirts or bold accessories.

Suppose you’re looking for comfortable and trendy summer footwear for casual occasions and are willing to accept potential durability issues and limited versatility. In that case, bubble slides may be a good choice.

Bubble Slides became a fashion hit around 2010 and made a comeback on TikTok in 2020, thanks to their vibrant and bubbly aesthetic.

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