Boston-based running lifestyle footwear brand Saucony is giving back to the community in a big way in partnership with Boston Children’s Hospital to launch a limited-edition shoe collection designed by six young artists who are patients at the medical center.
With the help of the hospital, The Saucony Run for Good Children’s Program has launched The Shoes with Soul Collection, now available at saucony.com and select running specialty retailers globally beginning Sept. 4.
The six limited-edition shoes, inspired by six young patient-artists and created alongside a team of Saucony designers and developers, are designed to be an authentic reflection of the personalities and dreams of each child. The models are reimaginations of the athletic brand’s Kinvara 11 or Jazz 4000 collections.
Proceeds from sales of the collection will benefit the Boston Children’s Cardiac Fitness Program, an exercise program for kids with congenital heart conditions that trains their bodies and minds to “help them find their possible.” The phrase is based off the Cardiac Fitness Program’s motto, “Find Your Possible.”
Boston Children’s Hospital isn’t just a staple in the community—its merits are recognized nationwide. The medical center has been ranked the top children’s hospital in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for seven years in a row, and is the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Boston Children’s is now a 415-bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care.
“The Shoes with Soul collaborative is the next evolution of the wonderful partnership we’ve had with Boston Children’s Hospital and their innovative Cardiac Fitness Program,” said Anne Cavassa, president of Saucony. “This time we wanted to do more than offer a donation; we wanted to create a unique experience to bring attention to all the incredible work being done at the hospital while telling the stories of some of their brave young patients.”
Cavassa said in a statement that “Run for Good,” the brand’s call-to-action, is an invitation to people everywhere, especially children, to experience the transformative power of running.
“By sharing their life stories and playful energy through their footwear designs, these kids are a source of hope and inspiration to other patients and their families,” Cavassa said. “This project has been very close to the hearts of everyone at Saucony and we know the running community will also fully embrace it’s joy and significance.”
The six patient-artists selected by Boston Children’s Hospital to participate in the Saucony Run for Good Children’s Program are Max (13 years old), Eddie (14 years old), Jordynn (10 years old), Luc (14 years old), Luna (12 years old) and Kieran (12 years old).
The suggested retail price of the Kinvara 11 is $110, while the suggested retail price of the Jazz 4000 is $100. Both models are available in unisex sizing: 3.5-14.
This isn’t the first time Saucony, a division of footwear giant Wolverine Worldwide, has partnered with Boston Children’s Hospital on a notable philanthropic initiative. In 2018 and 2019, the brand donated 20 percent of its Cyber Monday sales to the hospital’s cardiac fitness unit.
In an era when authenticity and brand purpose are constantly preached as major parts of the modern retail experience, Saucony is ensuring that it can get its message across in ways much more important than shopping. Established in 2006, the Saucony Run for Good Foundation has awarded more than $1.5 million dollars in grants to 180 schools and community organizations all dedicated to preventing childhood obesity through running and proper nutrition.
“We were fortunate to have found such wonderful supporters in Saucony, who embrace the same philosophy of moving, achieving, believing, and running for good,” said Naomi Gauthier, M.D., director of the Cardiac Fitness Program at Boston Children’s Hospital.