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Hush Puppies - Buyers Guide

Updated on February 17, 2012

1958 was the year that the Hush Puppies story began when the first ever casual shoe was designed and marketed to the masses. Supple suede and lightweight crepe soles were combined together to create a soft, breathable and comfortable shoe. Originally Hush Puppies were aimed at young American families who were making the transition from conservative uniformity to a comfortable, laid back way of life. However, it was not just America who fell in love with the brand as its adorable basset hound mascot, eventually Hush Puppies were in demand worldwide. Everyone wanted a piece of Hush Puppies and loved that the brand allows us to be free, casual and relaxed.

Origins of the Hush Puppy name

Its hard to believe that a worldwide brand came about its name over dinner with a friend. It just so happens that deep fried corn fritters are also named ‘hush puppys’, once a company sales manager discovered this he became intrigued and also found out that farmers also used the hush puppys to quiet barking dogs. At that point in time tired feet were called barking dogs and the salesman deduced that his lightweight, soft footwear could quiet them too. The name Hush Puppies was trademarked and they bought a photo of a basset hound for 50 dollars which would become its logo and be the graphic that would appear on ads, shoes, boxes and displays worldwide.

The world was introduced to Hush Puppies at the National Shoe Fair in Chicago in October 1957. Two years later in 1959 the company had produced 1 million pairs, demand rocketed and everyone was intrigued by the casual lifestyle positioning of the brand not to mention the modern styling and brushed suede uppers. Celebrities soon caught on to the mania and the ‘Rat Pack’ were spotted wearing pairs of the brand. A fun fact is that it was Hush Puppies rubber soles that saved the life of Keith Richards when his guitar touched an ungrounded microphone. The creped soled Hush Puppies insulated Keith and saved the future of Rock n Roll!

It could be argued that the success of Hush Puppies is due to Worry Free Suede, an innovation that focused entirely upon the comfort of the wearer. Other technologies such as Scotchguard leather protector meant that Hush Puppies were leather scuff, stain and water resistant and changed suede footwear forever. Innovations such as these and also the Body Shoe and Bounce differentiated Hush Puppies from their competitors. The passion for innovation has continued throughout the history of the brand, even now they are working hard on initiatives such as Zero G, Wave Flex and Harmonys to provide world renowned comfort.

Always with their finger on the pulse when IBM and Ford announced ‘casual days’ in the work place Hush Puppies ran full page adverts congratulating the company in USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. Now, Hush Puppies has grown to include relaxed clothing accessories with the same easy going style that shot them into incredible success decades ago.

Best selling Hush Puppy styles include Warwick, a burnished leather boot with a stacked heel and three strap buckle detail, the sole unit of this boot contains HPo2 flex to help keep your feet comfortable all day long! We also love Myleene, a new addition to the collection this year which is a soft flexible pump with pretty cut out flower detail. For all the guys out there you can’t get much smarter than Ancona, a classic slip on smart shoe with elasticated inserts for maximum comfort. If you’re after a more casual shoe one of our favourites is Hang Out, a casual style lace up boot with interesting detail.


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