Founded in 1958 in northern Michigan, Hush Puppies is a footwear brand synonymous with comfort, style and durability, and put basset hounds on the world map. Its intriguing name is linked to a traditional dish of corn fritters and fried catfish, also known as hush puppies, which were sometimes fed to dogs to cease their incessant barking.
A salesman connected the concept of hush puppies with tired feet, which were colloquially known as “barking dogs”. Hence, the concept of soft and comfortable shoes was subsequently pitched as “hush puppies” for tired feet.
The idea of this innovative salesman soon blossomed into a business that focused on casual and comfortable footwear that was released to the public in 1957 at the National Shoe Fair in Chicago. The trademark style, suede design and soft soles soon garnered the attention of a nation.
Hush Puppies sold more than a million pairs of its shoes within two years of its launch and based on surveys, most Americans had owned a pair of the casual footwear by the 60s. Celebrities such as members of the Rat Pack and Keith Richards were spotted with Hush Puppies on, which further promoted the rising brand to the public, especially adoring fans.
The branding prides itself as being more comfortable than bare feet and was so widely popular that in 1990, Mikhail Gorbachev invited the company as the first American brand allowed to manufacture and retail footwear on Soviet soil.
Hush Puppies eventually expanded its business to provide its innovation in comfort to 136 countries around the globe and remains a benchmark in the world of casual footwear.
Hush Puppies Shoes TV Commercial – 1960’s