Saucony Aya: A Radical DepartureRelease: 8 June 2019
Released in 1994, the Aya was pitched at the ‘fleet of feet that want to fly!’ The lightweight road racer and triathlon specialist was a radical departure from Saucony’s traditional design methodology, with a number of unique flourishes setting it apart from the brand’s iconic Jazz and Shadow franchises.
The most distinctive Aya design feature is the woven stability strip that runs from the ankles to the toes to reinforce the lightweight upper. The midsole was based on a foundation of Molded Maxlite EVA foam, with Saucony’s ‘Ionic’ cushioning system added at the rear for extra bounce, while the heels featured ‘Radical Decelerator’ devices and Stytherm counters. Underfoot, Saucony’s patented triangular-lug rubber tread was revised and rebuilt with a two-piece pattern made from XT-600 carbon rubber. Thin rope laces with a spring-loaded toggle closure system completed the Aya’s performance package.
As proof of the Aya’s hardcore sporting credentials, the model featured prominently on the feet of the world champion IRONMAN triathlete in 1994.
The signature Aya colour scheme of ‘Flash Purple’ and ‘Fire Red’ was a vivid combination that proved unusually telegenic. Paired with white synthetic suede, reflective Scotchlite heel tabs, speckled midsoles, and glossy plastic Saucony midfoot logos, the Aya popped eyeballs on both the track and the trails. The tongue featured a cryptic ‘Aya’ logo that references several mythological interpretations of the aristocratic name.
Also released in 1994, the women’s ‘Aqua Swirl’ and ‘Periwinkle’ colourway featured a tie-dyed mesh that was even more outrageous than the original men’s edition. A Penn Purple/River Blue combo was also available for both men and women.
To take the Aya for a spin, look for it to hit Saucony stockists on June 8.