For a while now I've been seeing Chuck Taylor rip-offs. First of all, if you want a shoe that looks like a Chuck Taylor, damnit get a Chuck Taylor; don't be buying some designer's interpretation of a Chuck Taylor (unless its actually a Chuck Taylor or other Converse designed by John Varvatos, that's different). There is absolutely no reason to buy these things. Chuck Taylor's rock, and there are so many to choose from.
That being said, there is another classic, the only true alternative to the Chuck Taylor. And that is the PF Flyer Center. I've been promoting PF Flyer's for a while, but I haven't owned a pair in years, so I was hesitant to write anything about them, memory being what it is. But I was very lucky to get my hands on an extra special pair, the Tanner Good's PF Flyers Center Hi. I'm not disappointed. I was considering the Made in the USA Center Hi in Burgundy, and was ready to pull the trigger on them when these almost fell into my lap.
With pride in the heritage of PF and a determination not to rely solely on past success, PF designers modernized Posture Foundation and New Balance re-launched the PF brand in 2003. The brand has been regaining momentum since then, and remains true to its original mission of creating premium, classic sneakers rooted in authentic American style.
I really can't say enough about the quality of these shoes. No, they are not a technical shoe so they aren't going to offer you the cushioning of your favorite running shoes or any of that. But they are extremely comfortable, certainly 'wear all day' comfortable. And the leather...oh boy. I had not heard of Tanner Goods before, but all I had to see was Horween Leather, my favorite tannery hands down, to know that I was sold on these shoes. The color is rich, the texture is soft; you just know these shoes are going to last and look good the whole time.
At Tanner Goods, we strive to create modern products that respect the past. Our philosophy of Worth Holding Onto -- the idea that quality, longevity and value are all interdependent -- is an approach that extends to everything we do and make. We try to think before we act. We choose carefully, from the materials we use and the suppliers we select, to the people we hire and the partners we join. It all traces back to those core elements for us: quality, longevity and worth.
It was New Balance's ownership of PF Flyer's that really got me interested in the brand again (I've been aware of them, sneaker head that I am, for a long time and had one of the Converse made PF Flyers back in the 70's). I've been really impressed with New Balance of late: their move towards making shoes in places like the USA and the UK (who else is doing that right now?) again, their huge move into the MLB where they went from zero to hero in about two seasons. And they are really using this heritage brand to do some great things with, again, shoes made in the USA and partnerships with companies like Tanner Goods and American designer Todd Snyder (the Snyder designed Rambler will probably be my next PF Flyer purchase.
I'll be adding some pics of my shoes shortly, I'll add them here and to my Instgram feed (you did notice I'm trying to tie together my social media feeds and my website, right? Instragram is a little lagging...but I'll get that worked out). Be sure to check out the PF Flyers' store, there having an End of Season sale right now and offering free shipping (until 1/8/17 I think). The Tanner Goods shoes are on sale, as are the Todd Snyders.
Quick word of advice, at least for the Center, they run a little small. I had to go up a half size.
Hey, man, nice kicks!