Monday, August 24, 2009

Feature: A Visit to Heyday Footwear

In the sneaker game there are 3 categories of brands: The OGs, the "re-inventors", and then the select few brands out there that actually take pride in coming out with something original and innovative for people to wear on their feet. Well yesterday I had a chance to meet up with Darin Hager, the founder and designer of Heyday Footwear, and very quickly learned that they are no question of the latter group.

When I first walked in there was a nice rack of sneakers in the office that neatly displayed what was on tap for the upcoming Fall and Holiday seasons, some nice collaborative pieces that I can't talk about, as well as releases that will be hitting select Finish Lines across the country very soon.
Here's a look at just a few...

Part 2 to the Nooka x Heyday collaboration.

I'm loving this boat sneaker that they have in the works.

This was one of the most interesting pieces that I checked out. It's an updated version of their Johnny K model that features a removable collar. The top picture shows the shoe as a naked mid with no collar, however it will feature interchangable collars so that it can become a high top in seconds with either a black or purple upper. Especially with people cutting back this is a great way to make a pair of shoes versatile.

After checking out the soon to be released stuff we ventured into the stock room to see the samples, sneakers of seasons past, as well as some Spring and Fall 2010 releases...

Bags, boxes, and piles of sneakers.

I think these might be my favorite of the bunch. Using their classic silhouette this Super Smooth (i believe) was turned into a boot/ sneaker hybrid by adding the wedge boot sole and metal lace hardware. These will be picked up for the holiday season, great transition shoe.

The best part about samples is that you get to play around with materials and colors, and as a designer Darin knows all about them. Even the textured croc print is no stranger to Heyday...

With an industrial design background and building experience with footwear giants like Puma and Sperry Top-Sider, Darin has built Heyday by meeting that perfect line between form and function. When designing sneakers he takes every little aspect into account from the comfort and shape of the footbed to how many different ways the shoes can be worn with jeans.

On top of this he takes great pride in the originality and evolution of his Heyday sneakers. We discussed how the old brands have the advantage of looking into their archives for inspiration and some new brands have the audacity to knock off even the most obvious sneaker profiles. Heyday however is 100% originally designed from all of the fabrics to the design of the sole and the eyestay.

And all of that is done with the consumer in mind. The footbeds are memory foam (like a mattress in your shoe) and the inner linings are either buttery leather or uber soft terry cloth. The quality is also unmatched, down to the triple stitching on every single shoe. When talking about price points Darin stressed that he would love to offer his sneakers for a lower prices (which are already rather low) but literally wouldn't be making any money that way since he uses such premium materials and intricate designs. Which I personally think, you can't put a price on anyways.

Huge thanks to Darin for letting me come through and learn about the inner working of Heyday and the intricacies of running a footwear line.

You can check out Heyday at www.HeydayFootwear.com, to see all of the designs and even grab your own pair through their store. I was blessed with my very own pair yesterday, wore them all day, and must say they are extremely comfortable and the snake skin definitely turned a few heads.

Also follow Darin on Twitter: @heydayfootwear, and tell him what you think of Heyday.


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