The "Gat" was included for the first time in the Maison Margiela's 1999 Artisanal line.
Where did the shoe come from in the first place? Wall Street Journal decided to do some research.
Much of the shoe's history is indisputable — it was originally known as the BW-Sport and issued to German army members prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. From there, it began popping up throughout European surplus stores, becoming available to the public. and eventually to the Margiela design table for a luxury upgrade.
Many people point to the GAT being an adidas creation. Upon reaching out to adidas, Wall Street Journal was able to confirm that the BW-Sport was in fact designed by adidas for the Federal German Army.
However, a spokesperson for a German military history museum argued otherwise, claiming that it was actually a creation of adidas' once-rival Puma. When WSJ reached out to confirm, Puma said that it had no records of any government-issued sneaker design. Go figure.
Eventually, the design rose to prominence when founder Martin Margiela decided to clad his runway models in refurbished pairs of BW-Sports. Shortly thereafter, Margeila began producing its own version known as the 22 Replica Sneaker. The latest rework includes unique materials and special touches such as painted finishes.