There aren’t many sneakers that call to mind classic heritage looks and modern styling potential, yet the Todd Snyder x P.F Flyers Grounder Hi-Top fits that definition perfectly. It’s the latest seasonal release from the ongoing partnership between the New York menswear designer and a shoe brand with eighty years of history, and man — do they look great.
Snyder’s taken his love of classic silhouettes and all things vintage, and blended that approach with the super-sleek styles for which he’s known. The resulting sneaker — made with a military grade 14oz. Canvas upper and a new tailored last developed by P.F. Flyers — is nothing short of a terrific fall sneaker. The style is available in either Black or Olive canvas, each of which could pair with looks that are office or weekend-ready. Take the Olive Grounder Hi-Top — you could rock it with a classic blue Oxford and navy blazer to the office on a casual Friday, and you could easily pair them up with light wash jeans and a slim Todd Snyder pocket T-shirt the rest of this summer. As to the specs themselves? They’re everything one would expect from a successful collaboration.
They feature unique design touches, like gunmetal eyelets and lace tips, that Snyder implemented to give the silhouette a fresh, modern look. And the durable outsole makes use of the construction that P.F. Flyers built its brand upon. The design follows much the same classic styling that also made P.F. Flyers famous. The Grounder Hi-Top is based on a vintage P.F. Flyers style from the brand’s history-filled archives — it’s a sneaker that would’ve been worn post-World War II by customers who needed a reliable pair of footwear, said Chris Tobias, P.F. Flyers’ global merchandise manager. And it reflects well on a brand that’s so well-known, Snyder says the sneakers are ones that “his father or grandfather would’ve worn.”
Snyder said it’s been “an honor” to work with the brand’s extensive history, and was immediately taken when he saw the original design upon which the Grounder is based. The style features durable details that one would expect from P.F. Flyers, including some sharp touches — like a toe bumper meant to reinforce the front of the sneaker and give it a sleek look.
The combination is crisp and clean, and it helps showcase the versatility of the style — either pair would work very well through the month of August with lightweight sand chinos, and when the leaves start to turn this fall, the rugged high-top construction is going to fit right in with a thick cardigan and your favorite chambray shirt. That goes for either the Olive or Black versions, which just might be your new favorite fall sneaker.
The all-black pair is an almost dressier version of the typical high-top sneaker, and lends the partnership a uniquely New York feel. It’s the same type of approach that’s made Snyder’s collaborations with brands like Champion so successful — the pieces are slick, modern and versatile, yet grounded in classic style (like the designer’s lauded Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirts, for example). The merger of styles that are heritage-inspired and yet stylish for 2016 is one that’s drawn Snyder praise across the menswear world, and it’s an approach that bodes well for future iterations of the partnership between Todd Snyder and P.F. Flyers.
Past versions have focused on styles like the Rambler Lo, a spring and summer-ready style that’s equally versatile. And the Grounder Hi-Top is a welcome step forward in the design efforts of the two brands, both of whom share respect for the other’s approach.
When you get two companies willing to nod to heritage and yet produce new, fresh takes that every guy can appreciate, it’s to be applauded — and that means you should definitely snag a pair of the Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers Grounder Hi-Top just as soon as you can.
Visit the Todd Snyder or P.F. Flyers Web sites to get your pair of the Grounder Hi-Top today for $130.
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