Saucony — pronounced “sock-a-knee” — is a brand that doesn’t get as much hype recognition as the big players like Nike, Adidas and even New Balance do, but it’s most definitely OG. In fact, the shoemaker predates all three of those other brands, having been founded in 1898 near Kutztown, Pennsylvania’s Saucony Creek. One of the brand’s most iconic silhouettes is the Jazz Original sneaker. Made in 1981 for serious runners, the Jazz has become a popular model among casual consumers and sneakerheads alike, instantly recognizable with its retro aesthetic, triangle lugs on the outsole and the large logo on the side denoting three boulders dotting Saucony Creek.
Released in countless colourways and variants over nearly four decades, I got my hands on the Tan/Charcoal pair. They possess a very unique look featuring a pale brown nylon toe box and salmon-coloured suede trim (complete with matching set of second laces in the box), channelling a little of the “Salmon Toe” Asics Gel Lyte IIIs created by well-known footwear celebrity Ronnie Fieg. The rest of the upper is a greyish navy blue comprised of the same materials. The liner is finished in bright contrasting orange — a neat touch.
The shoes are lightweight and fit a bit on the snug side, but true to size. Although conceived 37 years ago, these originals still feel supportive enough that I could probably run OK in them if need be. The footbed also has quite a bit of cushioning and is comfortable enough to stand on for extended periods, which is not surprising considering a podiatrist designed the Jazz. In addition, the incongruent triangular tread provides a lot of traction on all surfaces.
Best of all, Saucony Jazz can be had at very non-hypebeast prices, found for under $100 right off the official website.