Shoes: Sneakers

Sneakers can be found in a rainbow of colours. Which kids did they come with and how can you tell?

Other relevant posts: CPK Shoe Summary, Lacing CPK Shoes

CPK Sneakers were manufactured by Coleco throughout the entirety of their production. However, the characteristics of the shoes varied by factory and over time.

Hong Kong Shoes

For a definition of ‘Hong Kong Kids’, jump to the Glossary.

In the beginning, when production took place in Hong Kong [HK], the shoes had a very distinctive look. In general, they can have a number of these features but do not need to have them all.

  • The stitching is VERY prominent.
  • They have a thicker feel to the vinyl. In some cases, the vinyl did not mould well and may have a runny look on the inside.
  • Some are extremely hard vinyl. VERY hard.
  • Not all HK shoes have black text in the heel, but if it is black, it’s likely an HK shoe.
  • They tend to look less finished than other shoes. The edges look more like they’ve been cut out, or the vinyl around the edges has been trimmed.
  • HK shoes are more likely to discolour and get pox than later shoes.
  • The bottoms are ‘bumpy/textured’.
  • The body is bumpy (see below).
Comparison picture of an Hong Kong sneaker with a regular later sneaker. They both have pink stripes.
Hong Kong shoe vs. later shoe

OK HK Shoes
– very hard & very malleable
– very prominent stitching
– The tongue is not cut out (or is partially cut). It is formed as part of the shoe.
– textured body and bottom
– laces are thick and not very long

P HK Shoes  
– The text runs vertically, not horizontally, in the heel.
– I have not found any P with black text.
– The vinyl is very malleable.

KT  HK Shoes
– I am unable to comment on specifics. I don’t have any in my collection.
Photo courtesy of Christy Gann.

Post HK Shoes – 1986ish shoes

After the ‘experimental’ Hong Kong period, the shoes became more uniform but still had many characteristics that varied by factory. It can be very difficult to ‘match’ shoes. You THINK they should match, but when you put them side by side, they are nothing alike! They aren’t the same shape, colour, texture, etc.

Most of the shoes have the factory indicator and the words HONG KONG stamped on the inside by the heel, on the bottom. The factory indicator can be inside a circle or not.

After production moved to China, the shoes became more uniform in appearance but continued to vary by the factory. Indeed, as more factories began production, the amount of variation increased.


Although there are quite a few colours available, many did not show up until 1988 and 1989 (Transitional period). They came on later kids and wearing outfits 800 – 815 and as separately packaged accessories.

It seems that Hasbro did not continue to produce or use sneakers.

25th Anniversary Sneakers (separate post)

Stripe Patterns

The sneakers come in three different stripe patterns.

#1 – the most vertical
#2 – slightly more angled
#3 – the most angled

Picture of three sneakers, each one with a different stripe pattern. One at the top, three at the bottom.

Some factories, like P, appear to have produced all three patterns. Others did not. For example, all the OK sneakers I have use pattern #1.

Stripe Colours

The first sneakers came in only two colours, blue and pink.

In 1985 they started producing additional colours.  For example, the stripes on the All-Stars Kids sneakers often matched the colour of the uniform, so colours like red, green, black, and navy blue show up. I believe that most of these shoes were produced by the FD and IC factories. At the same time, both coloured and white striped shoes were produced for Sports Collection outfits (CY and FD) and by the UT factory. Do you have UT shoes with coloured stripes? I have only seen white.

Some colours were produced in varying shades. I believe this was caused by factory variation and changes over time. For example, the PMI factory seems to have very distinct pink and blue colours.

Three sneakers, each one with blue stripes, but all of various shades of blue. The top is lighter, the bottom is navy blue.

In some cases, the same factory produced different shades of colour. For example, these two P shoes are varying shades of pink.

The Rainbow

Here are all the colours, and their variations, that I have owned. I know that I am missing yellow and hot pink.

Update: Brown stripes came with the Padre’s baseball outfit. Special thanks to Margaret Granato and Jennifer Pelfrey.

Picture that shows all the colours I am currently aware of. Black, purple, red, green, pink, blue and white.


Some of the shoes have numbers near the factory code. I think these numbers are related to moulds, but I really don’t know. What I do know, is that there are lots of numbers and a matching pair does not have to have matching numbers. One shoe can be 1 and the other 4. Numbers are most often found in shoes produced by the Taiwanese and P factories.

Which outfits came with Sneakers?

Sneaker Descriptions by Factory

Disclaimer: The following observations have been made based on my collection. I welcome any information and will not hesitate to make revisions as needed.

OK Shoes
– They are thin and flexible with a tongue that is the same size as the opening.
– The text is raised, comes in two font sizes, and is sometimes blurred.
– They tend to discolour and become sticky more than others.
– They only appear to use stripe pattern 1.

P Shoes
– They tend to stay very white, and the stitching is very prominent.
– The tongue is smaller than the opening.
– The text is raised and very clear. It is generally vertical along the length of the shoe.
Numbers used: 1, 2, 3, 4
Stripe Patterns used: 1, 2, 3

KT Shoes
– They feel like OK shoes but with a very thin top edge. Some are extremely malleable.
– The tongue looks to have been formed as part of the shoe and then cut out.
– Some material is missing, making the tongue smaller than the hole.
– The text is raised.
– The bottom and inside are VERY smooth.
– Some of them have the ‘Jesmar’ shape inside.
Stripe pattern: 1

PMI Shoes (small sample size)
– The feel and stitching are similar to OK shoes, but they tend to say while like P shoes.
– The text is a large, well-spaced PMI that is generally very legible.

IC Shoes
– They are rather hard, with little flexibility.
– Moderately prominent stitching
– The tongue is similar to P shoes.
– The text is raised and very clear. They say MADE IN TAIWAN and have numbers underneath.
Stripe patterns: 2, 3
Numbers: 2, 3, 5

UT Shoes (small sample size)
– They feel and look like IC shoes.
– Text is clear, in a small font.
Numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
Stripes: 2

FD & CY Shoes
– They feel and look like IC shoes.
– Text can be VERY large or rather small.
FD Numbers: 1, 4,3, 6,9, 12
CY Numbers: 3, 4
Stripe Pattern: 2,3

SS factory: They did not produce sneakers.

PRC Sneakers?

Recently, a collector showed me a pair of shoes with writing on the inside that they had never seen, and honestly, neither had I!

Inside each shoe is PRC enclosed in a rectangle. The IC and Taiwan that would normally be there are only faintly visible like they’ve been rubbed out. For some reason, they changed the shoe mould. Why?

Picture of the inside of a Cabbage Patch sneaker. It has a large rectangle with the letters PRC inside.
Picture courtesy of Dixie McLaughlin.

There have been two theories put forward.

  1. It stands for Professional Regulation Committee. They believe that this label was put on the first 50 to 100 examples of the product to denote that they are samples. (FB Conversation, Feb. 9, 2021)

This may be what PNC stands for, but I’m really not sure. I could only find references to this body in relation to legal areas in Ontario, the US, and the Philippines. None of the legal areas they deal with specifically relate to physical product samples themselves. Also, no other CPK product has this label on it that I am aware of, even though MANY different ‘specialty dolls’ were produced by Coleco. Finally, these sneakers had been out for years before these shoes came out. The only difference might be the colour of the stripe.

2. The PNC stands for the Peoples Republic of China.

The history of Taiwan is long and complex. During the 1980s, Taiwan was being held under Martial Law by the KMT government. However, in 1987, martial law was lifted, and governance started moving toward democracy. However, there was a segment of the population who wanted to unify with China, both before and after martial law was lifted. (Source) I’m not sure this is a reasonable theory either. Unless someone with these political leanings got control of one of the clothing factories for a time, I have no idea why they would change the shoe moulds like this.

Based on the scarcity of these shoes, I theorize that they were only produced at one of the Taiwanese factories, likely for a short time. As they appear to have come primarily on All-Stars Kids, that would mean they were produced sometime from mid-1984 to 1985. All-Star Kids were primarily produced by IC factories.

Picture of a Cabbage Patch doll dressed in a Phillies Baseball uniform with a flag in hand,inside a CPK box. The box says CPK Stadium at the top and is from the All Stars line.
Photo source unknown.

Do you have a theory? Or maybe some evidence to put toward one of the current theories? I’d love to hear about it!

Special thanks to Dixie McLaughlin, Patty-Fisher Sheahan, and Christie Mounce Racine for their assistance with this topic.

For more information on CPK Sneakers jump to Shoes: Sneakers

Fascinating Facts & the last 6 weeks

A look at my ‘finds’ over the last 6 weeks and some fascinating facts about my research so far.

During my ‘time off’ I continued to gather information on CPK clothes; however, I didn’t have time to process it. Today I did. I thought you might find it interesting to get a glimpse of what came in.

This list shows the number of each type of outfit I was able to identify from the pictures I saved in the last 6 weeks. They were provided by a variety of people from all over the world!

  •  4 1983 outfits
  •  2 Preemie outfits
  •  6 BBB outfits
  •  1 500s series outfit
  •  1 720s outfit
  •  1 Talker Outfit
  •  1 Sippin’ Kids outfits
  •  2 Transitional packaged outfits
  •  1 Designer Line outfits
  •  5 Furskin Outfits
  •  3 Hasbro Outfits
  •  5 Play Along outfits
  • Lots of aftermarket samples

I also found a lot of outfits that I now have pictures for, but for which I still need tag information. So, it continues!

Fascinating Research Facts (so far)

(Well, at least I find them interesting.)

  • My research currently takes up 7.71 GB on my computer.
  • I have 9331 files and 915 folders of research.
  • I have 163 files and 31 folders on aftermarket doll clothes.
  • I have 1335 files and 132 folders on foreign outfits.
  • The 1983 Series consists of 438 outfits so far . . . I’m thinking it will be closer to 600 or more once they are all discovered.
  • We know of 25 Coleco factory codes and 4 foreign factories.
  • Coleco Pets and 14″ Furskin outfits are on the matrix. 600’s and 400’s.
  • Koosa outfits have their own matrix.
  • There are only 4 outfits with numbers in the 200s so far.
  • There are only 6 outfits with numbers in the 400s so far.
  • Although there are upwards of eight IC factories that produced dolls, the clothing isn’t numbered in the same way.
  • Casual Wear outfits were based on SS. Happiness Crew and Snoopy Peanuts outfits.