“It’s so important to have shoes that make a statement, and I really think that these do,” said American designer Todd Snyder on the Grounder, his new sneaker collaboration with PF Flyers. The shoe, inspired by a 1940s PF Flyers model called the Wade Light, is a high-top made from 14-ounce military-grade canvas with a rugged rubber outsole. After the Second World War, the brand took the Wade Light’s robust sole and added it to their iconic athletic shoe, the Center High. Newly appointed as the Grounder, the outdoor shoe was in production from the ‘50s to the ‘60s, and because of its ruggedness became a go-to for football, baseball and other outdoor recreation.
Snyder worked closely with PF Flyers to modernize the shoe, updating it with a new fit and additional detailing. One of the challenges, he said, was designing a shoe that appealed to both PF’s loyal following and newcomers to the legacy sneaker brand. “You’re seeing guys experiment in different ways with how they wear sneakers,” Snyder added. “They’re not just for active elements, they’re meant for more sportswear and casual elements as well.” The Grounder is available in two colorways — olive (the original color of the sneaker) and all black — and features flat waxed laces and a pigskin leather lining.