A company sales manager sat with a friend for a dinner of catfish and deep fried corn fritters called “hush puppys.” Intrigued by the name, the salesman discovered that farmers also used these hush puppys to quiet barking dogs. At the time, tired feet were known as “barking dogs” and the salesman reasoned that his soft, lightweight comfortable shoes could quiet them, too. The rest is history.
Hush Puppies was first introduced on the national shoe fair in Chicago in 1957. The attention surrounding the company's shoes were huge. Never before had a company represented such a relaxed natural style on a shoe which was also comfortable, almost weighing nothing, that were made of brushed suede and had a rubber sole. Hush Puppies philosophy is fun and comfortable shoes with a genuine style for both work shoes for everyday and casual shoes for the weekend.
The Hush Puppies trademark was registered on July 1, 1958 and soon after, the company purchased, for just $50, the photograph of a soft-eyed basset hound that would become its logo and grace millions of shoes, boxes, ads and displays.
In 1959, the company had produced over one million shoes and in 1963 one out of ten adults in the United States owned a pair of Hush Puppies. It didn’t take long for the rest of the world to discover Hush Puppies. Celebrities like Warren Beatty, Perry Como and the “Rat Pack” found them as early as 1959.
In the 60's almost everyone were using Hush Puppies, from Prince Phillip of England to the U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower. In 1961 the first collection for women was presented for Queen Elizabeth and it was also around this time Hush Puppies became the official shoe for summer and winter Olympics in Rome and Innsbruck.
In 1965 it was reported that Hush Puppies rubber soles saved the life of Rolling Stones member Keith Richards when he accidentally touched a live microphone with his guitar and knocked unconscious during a concert in Sacramento, California. Ambulance staff was convinced that if Richards had not had shoes with rubber soles, he had not lived today. In 1974, in San Francisco's "Summer of Love" Jimmy Buffet sang "I've got my Hush Puppies on" and was number three on the charts and the company became, if possible, more popular than ever.
Hush Puppies uses many patented technologies, an example is Scotchgard ® leather protector, which is added during the dyeing process. This method allows the material to be stain and water resistant, something that did not exist before and that is revolutionary in footwear manufacturing.
Selected Brands took over the distribution over Hush Puppies on the Nordic and Baltic market in 2009.