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THERE'S A TREND AFOOT ... CLEAN SNEAKERS!

 DOUGLASSVILLE, Pa., April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Men, women and children want to start from the ground up when in comes to looking good, and that includes their sneakers.
 According to a recent survey by Kiwi Brands, the days when your friends helped make your sneakers a grimy fashion statement by grinding their heels on your toes are past.
 "Our consumer surveys over the past three years have shown that professional people recognize the importance of maintaining a good image, including keeping their footwear looking good," said Kiwi Brands Product Manager Tom Wiersum, 31, who admits to being a product of the Baby Boom's "Dirty Sneakers" generation.
 "Even considering how many people are wearing athletic shoes for commuting and social occasions, it's still a surprise that attitudes have changed so much that 50 percent of the people we surveyed said having clean sneakers is more important now than it was just a few years ago," he said.
 In addition to looking at adults' sneaker habits, the survey found that almost half of the respondents' children were also taking better care of their sneakers.
 "We didn't expect that result, since kids are notorious for having dirty sneakers," said Wiersum.
 The survey also identified the primary reason for the trend toward clean sneakers as being a good grooming phenomenon.
 When asked their reasons for taking care of their sneakers, the respondents cited increased concern about personal appearance most often (54 percent of the time), followed by the high cost of sneakers (32 percent), wearing sneakers for social occasions (29 percent) and wearing sneakers to work (28 percent).
 The study was conducted among 252 professional men and women for Kiwi Brands by New York-based Audits & Surveys as part of a continuing look at the shoe care and grooming habits of the American public.
 /delval/
 -0- 4/28/93
 /CONTACT: John Shiffert of Shaeffer & Associates, 215-546-1660, for Kiwi Brands/


CO: Kiwi Brands ST: Pennsylvania SU: IN:

CC-MJ -- PHFNS1 -- 1678 04/28/93 07:36 EDT
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Date:Apr 28, 1993
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