Saucony boasts an enviable line-up of classic running silhouettes. With models like the Jazz, and the Grid and Shadow series, in particular, establishing themselves as permanent fixtures amongst devoted sneaker enthusiasts. But, when a performance shoe transitions to the less intense physical needs of pure style, the technological innovation that was poured into these designs can take a backseat, if they don’t fall by the wayside entirely.
The latest Saucony reissue should easily clear this hurdle. 1994’s Aya is a different kind of shoe for a different set of challenges, with looks to match. From the Hebrew for “to fly swiftly,” the Aya was engineered for the intense demands of the Triathlon. For the uninitiated, that’s a multi sport race (running, bicycling, swimming) that can cover up to 140.6 total miles in its Ironman form. It’s not something for the faint of heart, and it’s not something that any old shoe can handle.
The Aya combined a lightweight upper with a litany of technological features: woven, ankle to toe stability strip, Molded Maxlite EVA with patented Ionic cushioning, “radical declerators” a redesigned, reinforced XT-600 carbon rubber tread sole, and a bungee rope lacing system, for a multifaceted performance package designed to handle the challenges, large and small, of the Triathlon. (You don’t want to waste type retying a stray shoelace, for instance, hence the bungee closure.)
The Aya complimented the radical physical make up with a bold, 90s aesthetic. White, purple and orange made for an eye-catching palette, with details like a speckled midsole, reflective accents, and glossy Saucony branding.
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