Review: PF Flyers Center Hi Sports Shoe

Through measures arcane and unseen by myself, a pair of Center Hi sneakers (y’know, trainers, gym shoes, whatever) made by the PF Flyer company were obtained for me at the start of the Gories reunion tour.  Outwardly they resemble Converse Chuck Taylors, and the two are contemporaries, the Chuck Taylor taking its current form in 1928, and the Center Hi following from BF Goodrich in 1937 (The two were actually owned by Converse for a very brief time in the early 70s).

When I first got them, I tried one on with one of my ubiquitous Chuck Taylors to see if there was any difference in feel.  The first thing you notice, when lacing them up, is that there are more eyelets, 20 as opposed to the Converse’s 14.  Next you notice the heavier material the shoe is made from.  Combined, the two make the shoe feel far more solid on the foot, as if they’ll last much longer then the current six months for a pair of Chucks.

I stood up and started to walk around.  “What the hell’s the matter with you??”  My girlfriend (hereafter referred to as ‘The GF’) was looking at me like I was crazy.

“I don’t know!” I yelled, lurching around the room like a drunken giraffe.  “The shoe is making me walk funny!”

“Well, take it off, or something!  You’re scaring me.”

Instead of taking it off, I put the other one on.  The secret of PF Flyers lies in a patented rubber insert which changes the way you stand and walk (the “PF” stands for “Posture Foundation”), resulting in alleged reduced leg strain.

That was the day before I was to get on the plane.  After wearing them for a couple of months now,  I have to say I like these A LOT. They feel more solidly built than the Chucks, and the posture-altering insert is apparently doing it’s job, as I had no real issues over the course of the 15-city tour; my legs and feet felt fine.  In fact, they still do. My only issue is with the tread.  They’re like rolling on cheater slicks: effin’ awesome on dry concrete, but Ghods help you if you gotta make a sharp turn  in the rain.

I would love to be able to tell you how well they would wear under daily use, as in would they last longer than a pair of Chucks; however, that part of the experiment was voided by a sharp chunk of metal cutting the fabric somewhere in Italy.  I would be willing to try again, with another pair…

I’m gonna give the PF Flyers Center Hi a solid A.  This may be the shoe that finally ends my 23-year-exclusive run of Chuck Taylors.  These things are GREAT.

EDIT: I’ve noticed people keep finding this review, and I feel I should put a link to my REVISED review, here.


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