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The History of Saucony Shoes

Updated on May 2, 2010

At 111 years old, Saucony is among one of the oldest footwear manufacturers still around today. Back in 1889, four businessmen from Kutztown, Pennsylvania, teamed up to manufacturer their own line of footwear, producing adult walking shoes and sneakers for children. They opened up a manufacturing facility along the banks of the Saucony Creek that runs through Kutztown, PA and named their company after the Creek. According to history the local Native American's in the area named the creek, stating that it's name means "mouth of a creek or river". A perfect fit for the brand seeing as how they had a nice spot on the shore.

Inspired by their beautiful location the Saucony brand designed their logo after the creek their factory laid on the shores of. Looking at the logo on a pair of Saucony shoes you'll notice it's swooping silhouette, a resembles to that of the constant flow of the Saucony Creek. You'll also notice three round cutouts in the center of the logo, these represent boulders lining the floor of the creek.

Saucony ran smoothly for a number of years with their line of childrens shoes and adult walking shoes, eventually introducing running shoes a few years after their establishment. Having had their fun with the company though and wanting to see it taken to the next level, the four businessmen sold the rights to Abraham Hyde, who at the time owned A.R. Hyde & Sons. It's almost impossible not to talk about Abraham Hyde and the rise of A.R. Hyde & Sons when speaking on the history of Saucony.

Abraham Hyde was a powerful player during his time. A Russian immigrant who migrated to the US and took up residence in Cambridge, Massachusetts as a cobbler, Mr. Hyde began to produce his own line of shoes around the same time Saucony got started. Renting a tiny space in the back of a Cambridge laundromat, Abraham Hyde started making what he called "carpet slippers", shoes constructed from old and unused scraps of rugs. After selling the shoes locally Abraham Hyde was able to open up his own shop on the streets of Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1910, calling it A.R. Hyde & Sons.

For 22 years Mr. Hyde continued to produce his signature carpet slippers, now being able to sell them to a much large audience through his store. In 1932 he introduced his next pair of sneakers, or I should ice skates. Known as the pleasure skates, Abraham Hyde produced a pair of ice skates which he announced would be beginning to an entire athletic shoe line. Eventually the lineup was added to with bowling shoes, roller skates and baseball shoes expanded the collection in 1938.

After that thing's started changing quick in the US. During the 40's our soldiers were involved in World War II, and the market on sneakers took a downfall as a countless number of men went to the front line, with a lot of women manning the medical stations. Luckily for Abraham Hyde, A.R. Hyde & Sons was commissioned by the US army to produce boots for soldiers in the war. Even though the war was a misfortunate event Abraham Hyde was able to keep it business running thanks to it and was able to generate a nice profit at the same time.

In the 1960s things got even better for A.R. Hyde & Sons. Having helped the government with the army boots some years ago, NASA reached out to Abraham Hyde to have his company produce space boots for the astronauts heading into the cosmos. So another wards, when Apollo 11 touched down on the moon in 1969, Neil Armstrong and the rest of the first manned crew to ever land on the moon were wearing space boots designed and produced by A.R. Hyde & Sons.

When Saucony came up for sale in 1968 Abraham Hyde jumped on the chance to pick up the right to manufacture and distribute the shoes. He moved all operations to his headquarters in Cambridge and started selling Saucony shoes through his store in Cambridge. Although becoming a popular seller in the Massachusetts area, Saucony shoes were somewhat of a guarded secret among locals due to the fact marketing was slim to none.However, in 1977 an editor from a nationally distributed US running magazine got his hands on a pair of Saucony shoes and the magazine awarded them with their "Best Quality" rating. The attention helped make Saucony a household name among runners around the nation, with everybody from bridge-runners to high school cross-country athletes wanting to get their hands on a pair of sneakers which were stated to be the best you could get.

Over the years Saucony continued to maintain a healthy growth, producing not just running sneakers but also spiked track and field shoes. They've also introduced quite a few technology advancements such as their patented "Grid" cushioning system which is their core support system they've been incorporating into their sneakers for over 15 years. They've also developed a fabric called Comfortemp which is able to determine the temperature of your skin, allowing the fabric to react in such a way that it can either cool you if you're hot or warm you if you're cold.

In 2005 the Stride Rite Corporation took over all production and rights of Saucony Shoes before selling it to Payless ShoeSouce in 2007.

Readers Note: For the latest information on sneaker releases from Saucony, and all other footwear brands, check out Sneaker Obsession, an online consumers guide for sneakers.


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      Jeanne baker 3 years ago

      Best shoes ive ever worn. but the last tw pairs get holes is top. what can i do. heartbroke.

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      Brian 7 years ago

      Discovered Saucony a couple years back. Best sneaker Ive ever worn.

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      Evan 7 years ago

      An interesting story ruined by a terrible writer. too many grammatical errors and horrible transitions.