As one of the most iconic American trainer brands around, Saucony is a brand that most of us are familiar with at some level. Read on for 20 things you probably don't know about Saucony.
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Originating from Saucony Creek in Pennsylvania, Saucony’s history in footwear saw the label producing boots for the first American astronaut to walk in space and creating military boots for the US Army in World War II, before creating the trainers Rod Dixon wore when he won the New York City marathon in 1983.
From the creation of the first slip-lasted running shoe, to the introduction of their innovative ‘Grid’ technology and the EVA dual density midsole, Saucony have been producing innovative technical footwear for over a century and are intrinsic to the development of the modern training shoe.
Read on for 20 things you probably didn't know about Saucony.
20 Things You Probably Don't Know About Saucony
1. The brand was founded in the 19th century, in 1898. Saucony is 118 years old.
2. The brand's name comes from Saucony Creek in Pennsylvania, and means "Mouth of creek or river." Saucony was founded by four men in Kutztown, Penn.
3. Saucony first started by making children's shoes. When first founded, they didn't make men's and women's sneakers.
4. In 1910, the brand was producing roughly 800 shoes per day. Early in the 20th century, it was already churning out close to a 1,000 pairs of sneakers a day.
5. Hyde Industries purchased Saucony in the 1968. Hyde produced its own sneakers and was home to Spot Bilt, and brought Saucony on board. This built the platform for Saucony to take off as a recognizably brand.
6. In the '60s, Hyde, the brand who purchased Saucony, made footwear for NASA and its early astronauts. It didn't say Saucony, but Hyde, the parent company of the brand, produced footwear for the first astronauts to walk in space.
7. Although it been around for almost 80 years, Saucony didn't make waves as a running powerhouse until 1977, when it caught the attention of the running media and started to win awards for its quality performance.
8. The Trainer 80 was the first slip-lasted running shoe.It didn't have a piece of cardboard to add stability to the upper and gave a more natural feel. A lot of running sneakers used to be made with a chunk of cardboard inbetween the upper and midsole. It's what kept the sneaker from getting destroyed. But Saucony introduced a sneaker that didn't have this process.
9. Saucony's Grid Technology was the first running midsole that offered both stability and cushioning. Stability shoes are built for those who need their foot to stop pronating during a run, but they often are quite uncomfortable. Saucony fixed this problem by the introduction of its Grid Technology which kept a stable during a run, but also added a soft return.
10. Saucony made the first technical walking shoe in 1987, and focused on the difference between walkers and runners. A walker has different needs than a runner, and the biomechanics process isn't the same. Saucony's walking shoe, the Instep, focused on giving walkers a sneaker that had the same innovation as its faster-moving counterparts.
11. In 1989, Saucony introduced the idea of running sneaker that could be combined with a crosstrainer. Crosstrainers are bulky sneakers that are meant for athletic purposes, but you wouldn't really want to run in thme. Saucony introduced the concept of making a crosstrainer that centered around a running sneaker with its Crossport. It was a running sneaker, but had enough support for activities that needed more than a lightweight shoe.
12. The Saucony Flight was the first sneaker to have an EVA dual density midsole, or what is known as a medial post. In order to stop pronation, a sneaker needs to have some rigidity to the instep. This is done by having a midsole that's both firm and soft. With Saucony's focus on running, the brand was once again an innovator for athletes who needed more than other brands were offering.
13. Saucony makes vegan shoes, which include no glue or animal-sourced materials. Believe it or not, not all running sneakers need to be made out of products derived from animals. Saucony has been making vegan sneakers, including the glue that keeps the sneakers in one piece.
14. The correct pronunciation of Saucony is "Sock-a-knee."
15. Until 1994, Saucony's sneakers were Made in USA. New Balance still holds the reign as the only major athletic brand who still produces shoes in America, but Saucony also produced its sneakers domestically. In 1994, the brand was forced to stop labeling their sneakers "Made in USA," however. But if you come up on O.G. gems, you can find "Made in Maine" stickers on deadstock pairs.
16. 1998 saw Hyde officially change its name into Saucony. 30 years after acquiring Saucony, Hyde officially changed its name into Saucony, proving that the brand would have staying power and could stand on its own, not as a subsidiary brand.
17. Saucony is known for its throwback sneaker - the Jazz, but it's also the brand's best-selling sneaker of all time. These days, you're likely to see sneakerheads in a pair of Shadow Originals or Shadow 6000s, but the Jazz is the sneaker that Saucony is known for, and has been featured in early collaborations with sneaker boutique atmos.
18. The Hangtime has given Saucony cred in the O.G. basketball sneaker game, but it was originally a Spot-Bilt sneaker. The Hangtime has become something of a cult classic. But it's not exactly a Saucony sneaker. It was first produced by Spot-Bilt, Saucony's sister company, in the late-'80s, but was re-introduced under the Saucony brand.
19. Bodega has done 10 different collaborations with Saucony, and the earliest was in 2008. Saucony collaborations have become one of the latest trends for boutiques that want to produce something that'll be appreciated outside hyped sneaker releases. But the champ of those collars is Boston's Bodega. Saucony has moved to Massachusetts, and the two brands have worked together 10 times, with the first collab coming on three pairs of Courageous TRs.
20. The brand is now owned by Wolverine, a premium bootmaker. In 2012, Saucony was purchased by Wolverine, a brand with an equally-impressive heritage, and is also home to Keds, Sperry Top-Sider, Sebago, CAT and Hus Puppies.