At the turn of the century, innovative tire manufacturers discovered a new use for their vulcanized rubber and canvas techniques: casual footwear.
One such pioneer was BF Goodrich, who manufactured several lines of vulcanized athletic shoes, oxfords, heels and boots. In 1933, Goodrich patented the Posture Foundation insole. This early innovation in comfort forever changed the sneaker landscape and quickly became immensely popular. In 1937, Goodrich brought several of their footwear lines under the brand name “P-F.”
The PF brand grew throughout the ’50s and ’60s,becoming one of the most popular brands in America “for work, relaxation and play.” Women could buy outfits designed to match their PFs, basketball’s first superstar, Bob Cousy, wore PF, and PF was standard issue in the US Army.
BF Goodrich posted an impressive $29 million in shoe sales in 1971, but they soon decided to quit the shoe business altogether and sold PF to Converse’s parent company. For a handful of years, PF shoes by Converse were produced; however, the merger was ruled a monopoly and PF was sold once again,trading hands several times.The brand slowly drifted into obscurity, but it was far from forgotten. PF gained a permanent place in American mythology, appearing heroically in movies such as the 1993 classic film,“The Sandlot.”
In 2001, New Balance purchased PF Flyers, viewing it as a great match to their high-performance American brand. 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.