|Founded||1937Akron, Ohio, United Statesin|
|Products||Apparel, clothing, and shoes|
|Parent||Kassia Designs, LLC|
In 1933, inventor Hyman L. Witman and canvas footwear pioneer B.F. Goodrich patented the "Posture Foundation" arch support insole, and began adding the new technology to its shoes. B.F. Goodrich shoes with Posture Foundation became known simply as "PF" in 1937. In 1935, Canadian badminton player Jack Purcell designed a low, white-bleached badminton shoe made of canvas-and-rubber for B.F. Goodrich. Named after Purcell, it featured a signature "smile" across the toe of the shoe and provided more protection for the court, (This line of shoes later became part of Converse in the 1970s). By 1944, PF Flyers released their first kids' collection of shoes, creating the slogan, "Run Faster, Jump Higher". Fashion trends in the 1940s and 1950s saw PF Flyers expand from gyms and ball fields to become fashionable active footwear; its main competitors being Converse and Keds. "Everything you do is more fun with PF" read one 1947 magazine ad. PF styles ranged from high- and low-top sport shoes to oxfords and moccasins "for work, relaxation and play." PF Flyers' women's line of shoes was released in 1948. In 1950, PF Flyers became standard issue for certain military outfits. 1958 saw the first athlete to be endorsed by a shoe brand. All-star basketball player Bob Cousy of the Boston Celtics was chosen to market PF Flyers. PF Flyers also sponsored Jonny Quest when it ran from 1964 to 1965. By the 1960s, PF was one of the most popular shoes in America, with a 20% hold on all canvas sneakers sold, but struggled with industry changes in the early 70s.
In 1972, Eltra Corporation, the former parent of Converse, purchased the PF Flyers brand from B.F. Goodrich, due to B.F. Goodrich leaving the shoe industry. However, this created a monopoly in the shoe market and the two brands were split due to an anti-trust lawsuit. Both companies were eventually sold in 1975. PF Flyers then fell into obscurity after this, being dormant from 1975 to 2000. The brand was first sold to P&F Industries,Inc, then sold to the Brookfield Athletic Shoe Company Inc. Then in 1988, Hyde Athletic Industries Inc.,(now known as Saucony), planned to relaunch the PF Flyers brand through the acquisition of the Brookfield Athletic Shoe Company Inc., by first marketing the brand for kids first before producing adult models. In 1991, LJO Inc. acquired the brand. Despite the split and selling of both companies, Converse kept the rights of the Jack Purcell line of shoes from the PF Flyers acquisition. Rebranded with the Converse name, Jack Purcell sneakers are still produced today.
In 2001, New Balance purchased PF Flyers and re-launched the brand in 2003. On 23 December 2014, New Balance filed a lawsuit against Nike-owned Converse for its federal trademark registration for the toe bumper, toe cap and striped midsole and had ruled out that, "Converse does not have the exclusive right to use a toe bumper, toe cap and striped midsole in connection with athletic footwear." On 15 July 2016, the United States International Trade Commission ruled in favor of New Balance, saying it could continue to produce PF Flyers footwear using the toe caps, toe bumpers, and stripes design. On 12 January 2021, New Balance confirmed that the PF Flyers brand had been phased out.
PF Flyers appeared in films such as the 1993 film The Sandlot. For the 20th anniversary of the movie, a limited edition shoe was made. In 2018, PF Flyers created another limited run reissue of the shoes shown in the film, to celebrate the film's 25th anniversary. PF Flyers also appeared in the animated television series, Jonny Quest, that aired from 1964 to 1965, with PF Flyers being the main sponsor of the show. Commercials for Jonny Quest would be centered around advertising PF Flyers shoes. One notable highlight of these commercials was the "PF Magic Ring", which featured "decoder dials", "magnifying glass", and a "secret compartment" inside the ring and would be included in the purchase of a pair of PF Flyers.
Introduced in the 1960s, the "Center" line is one of PF Flyer's most popular and well-known models. The "Center Hi" was also the same model featured in 1993's The Sandlot. In 2018, a baseball cleat model was introduced in collaboration with New Balance.
In the 1940s, PF Flyers created a consumer version of their US military boot with the release of the "Grounder". The "Grounder" is similar in design to the "All American" model, but with a more durable out-sole and thicker tread.
In 1958, PF Flyers created the first athletic endorsement, of which was Bob Cousy of the Boston Celtics, to market PF Flyers with the "All American" model, which was a basketball shoe similar in design to the Converse Chuck Taylor basketball shoe. In 2017, New Balance re-released the "All American" model, featuring Fresh Foam used in New Balance's active line of shoes.
Made in USA
In 2015, PF Flyers launched their "Made in USA" line, handmade in Boston, Massachusetts, to commemorate the 20th-century American-Made PF Flyers. Made in USA models include the "Center", "Ball and Buck", and "Windjammer".
- "Our Story". PF Flyers. Retrieved 11 October 2018.[dead link]
- Schneider, Jason (1 July 2015). "12 Glorious Moments in the American History of PF Flyers". Retrieved 11 October 2018.
- Brettman, Allan (24 December 2014). "PF Flyers Strike Back at Nike". Retrieved 21 June 2021.
- White, George (15 September 1988). "Sneaking Back:P.F. Flyers Live". Retrieved 21 June 2021.
- "PF Flyers | Our Story". PF Flyers. Retrieved 5 October 2016.[dead link]
- Feitelberg, Rosemary (15 July 2016). "ITC Rules Against Converse in Trademark Infringement Lawsuit". WWD. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
- @newbalance (12 January 2021). "Hey! These unfortunately have been phased out" (Tweet). Retrieved 12 October 2021 – via Twitter.
- Ciment, Shoshy (21 July 2021). "Exclusive: Looking to Empower Women in Footwear, Kassia Davis Buys PF Flyers From New Balance, Her Family Business". Footwear News. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
- Blosser, Lyle. "Jonny Quest Memorabilia". Classic Jonny Quest.com. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
- "Center Hi". PF Flyers. Retrieved 11 October 2018.[dead link]
- "Made in USA Windjammer". PF Flyers. Retrieved 11 October 2018.[dead link]
- "Grounder Hi". PF Flyers. Retrieved 11 October 2018.[dead link]
- "Introducing Ball and Buck's Newest Offering [Photo]". BostInno. Retrieved 6 October 2016.