PF Flyers

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PF Flyers
Founded1937; 83 years ago (1937)
Akron, Ohio, United States
FounderBF Goodrich
Area served
ProductsApparel, Clothing, and Shoes
ParentNew Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc.
A pair of PF Flyer "All American" high tops.

PF Flyers is an American brand of lifestyle shoes that are currently manufactured by New Balance. Founded in 1937,[1] it is one of the original American sneaker brands.


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".[1] 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.[1] In 1950, PF Flyers became standard issue for certain military outfits.[1] 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. 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 media[edit]

PF Flyers appeared in films such as the 1993 film The Sandlot.[2] For the 20th anniversary of the movie, a limited edition sneaker was made. In 2018, PF Flyers created another limited run reissue of the sneaker shown in the film, to celebrate the film's 25th anniversary.


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.[3] PF Flyers then fell into obscurity after this, being dormant from 1975-2000. 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[2] purchased PF Flyers and re-launched the brand in 2003.

Current models[edit]


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 the 1993 Sandlot film.[4] In 2018, a baseball cleat model was introduced in collaboration with New Balance.


In 1968, PF Flyers released the "Windjammer". A CVO-styled sneaker, but with the classic PF Flyer design. In 2018, New Balance re-released the "Windjammer" for its "Made in USA" line of footwear.[5]


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.[6]

All American[edit]

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[edit]

In 2015, PF Flyers launched their "Made in USA" line, which is handmade in Boston, Massachusetts, to commemorate the American-Made PF Flyers of the 20th century. Made in USA models include the "Center", "Ball and Buck", and "Windjammer".[7]


  1. ^ a b c d "Our Story". PF Flyers. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b "PF Flyers | Our Story". Retrieved 2016-10-05.
  3. ^ Schneider, Jason (1 July 2015). "12 Glorious Moments in the American History of PF Flyers". Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  4. ^ "Center Hi". Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  5. ^ "Made in USA Windjammer". Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Grounder Hi". Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  7. ^ "Introducing Ball and Buck's Newest Offering [Photo]". BostInno. Retrieved 2016-10-06.

External links[edit]