Canvas sneakers are essential warm-weather footwear, and for good reason. The minimal design is lightweight, breathable and durable. For decades, the same silhouettes have dominated the market, but recently PF Flyers offered an alternative style called the Grounder. Its design — a rugged sole and robust toe bumper, paired with a canvas high-top upper — originated in the archives of PF Flyers. After the Second World War, PF Flyers took the rubber lug sole from a shoe called the Wade Light and added it to their iconic canvas athletic high-top, the Center Hi. In production through the ‘60s, it was favored for outdoor pursuits and sports because of its heftier outsole.
The revival of the Grounder keeps all the definitive elements of the mid-century shoe while modernizing the fit. The shoe has a sturdy rubber outsole with a ribbed toe bumper, a 14-ounce canvas high-top upper and a gussetted tongue. Even with the more substantial sole, the silhouette remains simple and streamlined. For the fall, PF Flyers is offering the Grounder in two classic colorways: Black/Cream and Cream/Cream.
The shoe’s classic styling, paired tastefully with the uncommon sole, combine for a truly unique sneaker. That sole is built for performance and allows the wearer to actively engage the world around them: bike to work; skate to your neighborhood coffee shop; play a pickup game with your friends on the weekend. Yet the minimal design looks good paired with everything from faded shorts and a tee to jeans and a blazer. It’s a riff on a timeless design, fit for any wardrobe. Once lost to the archives, it has the potential to be your new essential sneaker.