A Brief History
It’s not often you stumble upon an 18th-century brand that’s still alive and kicking today, but take one look at Saucony and you’ll find one prime example of a company who has adapted decade after decade to stand the test of time.
Setting off on their 121-year journey way back in 1898, Saucony didn’t become a serious contender in the running scene until around ’77. Winning the Consumer Reports Magazine’s prestigious “Best Quality Award”, was when the brand began to become a household name. They quickly caught the attention of the burgeoning US market and cemented itself firmly in the minds of the rapidly-growing running community.
But it was in the ‘80s that you could say things really started to take off for Saucony. Several of their most iconic silhouettes launched throughout the decade, establishing a legacy that still lives on today.
We’re honoured to be stockists of Saucony and with our decade-spanning selection of silhouettes online at the moment, we thought now would be the perfect time to shed some light on their history. So let’s kick things off with the brand’s golden-era, the ‘80s.
Saucony Jazz OG – 1981
One of the brand’s best-selling shoes of all time, the Jazz hit the shelves back in 1981 and was developed alongside a team of specialist podiatrists to ensure the shape was as comfortable to the human foot as possible.
Up top, the vintage runner boasts a simple combination of nylon mesh and suede, with a cushioning EVA midsole resting below for support. It was one of the first Saucony silhouettes to feature the brand’s triangular lug outsole. This nifty little innovation provides trusty traction and creates a piston-like suspension system to propel you forward with each stride.
Saucony Azura – 1988
Next up, it’s the Saucony Azura. Arriving at the back end of the ‘80s, the runner was fuelled with some of the best technologies from its day. Dedicated to runners Saucony launched the Azura with one goal: “making your commitment to running as safe as possible.”
The durable pair sports an upper made of ripstop mesh with synthetic micro-suede overlays for added support, but below is where the innovation begins.
A compression-moulded EVA midsole works alongside the triangular lug outsole to provide lightweight cushioning and grip in equal measure. Looking to the skies, the brand looks at the heat-resistant tech that’s found in aeroplanes for the Azura’s supportive Torsional Rigidity Bar – Kevlar. Lightweight yet highly durable, the Kevlar TRB system sits within the midsole to disperse the impact of running evenly throughout the shoe and return the energy straight back into your next stride.
Saucony Aya – 1994
Moving onto the Aya now, and with the arrival of the ‘90s, so too did new technologies from Saucony. The Aya – meaning ‘to fly swiftly’ in Hebru – was one of the first runners from the brand to feature the supportive G.R.I.D. System: a nifty piece of tech that provided cushioning and stability in equal measure.
The way it works is almost like a tennis racquet for your foot, providing a similar responsive feeling to what you get when you connect with the sweet spot of a ball, satisfying. It’s built from woven Hytrel plastic in the heel which absorbs impact and helps stop your foot from pronating, protecting your body from the strains of running on the road. Combine this with the bulky EVA midsole and the Aya is one seriously comfortable runner.
The uppers are comfy too. Built from lightweight mesh and leather the 1994 runner also boasts a series of different lacing options meaning you can find a fit that’s just right for you.
Saucony GRID Web – 2000
Last but by no means least, it’s the distinctively ‘00s silhouette, the Saucony Grid Web. Bulky in design, the GRID Web kicked off a new decade for Saucony with a design that was sure to turn a few heads.
Its bulbous midsole houses the same G.R.I.D. System as the Aya, so you know the cushioning and support you’ll get is going to be second to none. Up top is where the design starts to raise a few eyebrows. The runner sports a flexible TPU cage that sits across its breathable mesh base, providing you with a supportive fit and giving the silhouette its ‘Web’ moniker.
A neoprene heel, collar and tongue provide plush comfort from the moment you step in, while the triangular lug outsole that first touched down in the ‘80s sits underfoot to keep you gripped to the roads.
The Saucony AW19 collection is available online and in selected size? stores now, priced between £70– £110.