Saucony Shoe Manufacturing Company

With a history dating back over a century, Saucony is one of the worlds oldest shoe manufacturers which still stands ground today.

111 years ago in 1889, four businessmen from Kutztown, Pennsylvania, set out to produce their own line of children’s footwear and adult walking shoes, eventually opening up a factory on the shores of the Saucony Creek which runs through Kutztown. Adopting the name of the creek for their line of shoes, which means “mouth of a creek or river” in Native American, Saucony stayed true to their roots and even molded their logo after the creek. The swooping design of the logo is inspired by the constant flow of the creek, with three round cutouts in the center representing boulders in response to the rock bed floor the creek runs over.

Having had great success with the brand and feeling as if they accomplished what they set out to do, the four businessmen who stood behind Saucony sold the rights to a Russian immigrant by the name of Abraham Hyde in 1968. Mr. Hyde was a very well known man in the North East at the time and without him Saucony’s establishment may have had come to an end, had he not purchased the rights and help propelle the brand to where it is today.

Before getting involved with Saucony shoes and purchasing the rights to the company, Mr. Hyde had a small business of his own which he ran after his day job as a cobbler. In a small area he rented in the back of a laundromat in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Mr. Hyde started producing his own shoes from old scraps of rugs. Naturally, he called them “carpet slippers” and began selling them to the locals in the Massachusetts area.

After selling his carpet slippers for a few years, and saving up some money from his day job, Abraham Hyde quite his job as a cobbler and opened up his own shoe store in 1910, setting up shop along  the Charles River in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Mr Hyde continued to produce the carpet slippers for another 22 years before introducing something he and A.R. Hyde & Sons called the “pleasure skates” in 1932. A pair of ice skates which were the beginning to a new athletic shoe line that expanded to include baseball shoes, bowling shoes and roller skates in 1938.

To keep up with the changing times, A.R. Hyde & Sons began to develop footwear around the demands of US soldiers in World War II during the 40’s, and astronauts embarking on their first mission to moon in the 60’s, literally writing pages in the history books that no other company could ever recreate. How many can say they produced the boots for Neil Armstrong and the Apollo 11 team, the first humans to touch down on the moon?

When the rights to Saucony were being put up for sale in 1968 Abraham Hyde jumped on the offer, seeing it as another opportunity to build his empire. However, for the next 9 years the company remained somewhat of a secret between local runners in the North East. That was until 1977, when a national publicized magazine awarded the Saucony running shoes with their “Best Quality” award. The publicity instantly gave the small-knit brand a huge boost in popularity and helped put their name on the map and their shoes on the feet of runners throughout the nation.

Since then Saucony shoes remained one of the most popular running shoes in the market, with a cult following that  international level. Just like any other sneaker manufacturer Saucony has produced a lot of their own technology, including their popular “Grid” cushioning system which has been their #1 choice for over 15 years. They’ve also developed technologies such as “Flexion Plate”, “Arch-Lock” and “Comfortemp” which is a material that can actually read the temperature of your skin and cool your feet if they’re hot or warm them up if they’re cold.

As it stands now Saucony fall’s under the Payless ShoeSource umbrella, having bought the company in 2007 from the Stride Rite Corporation who purchased it brand in 2005.

Quick Facts

  • Founded in 1889 by four businessmen from Kutztown, Pennsylvania.
  • Opens up first factory in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, along the Saucony Creek in 1906.
  • Abraham Hyde begins producing carpet slippers in late 1890’s.
  • Abraham Hyde opens up shoe store in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1910 called A.R. Hyde & Sons
  • A.R. Hyde & Sons produces pleasure skates in 1932, ice skate.
  • A.R. Hyde & Sons expand athletic footwear line to include baseball shoes, bowling shoes and rollers skates in 1938.
  • A.R. Hyde & Sons sign contract to produce army boots for US soldiers in World War II during the late 40’s.
  • A.R. Hyde & Sons sign contract to produce space boots for the NASA Space Program in the 1960’s.
  • A.R Hyde & Sons acquires Saucony in 1968.
  • A.R. Hyde & Sons produce boots for the Apollo 11 space team in 1969, the first men on the moon.
  • Saucony awarded “Best Quality” in a US runners magazine in 1977 giving the brand national publicity.
  • Saucony purchased from A.R. Hyde by the Stride Rite Corporation in 2005.
  • Saucony purchased by Payless ShoeSource from the Stride Rite Corporation in 2007.