In early 2011, we were approached by the video game publisher THQ, who were 6 months away from the release of Saint's Row 3, the third installment of the wildly popular video game that could only be described as GTA on crack. SR3 tells the story of a gang called the Third Street Saints; the title comes from the name of the district of the gang's home territory. They wanted to have Heyday Footwear's Super Shift High Top Sneakers as an item for the character to wear in the game. We had recently produced the outlandish and amazing looking Super Shift High Top Sneakers using python embossed leather. Purple was the Saints Row color, so we developed a purple version of python leather with white patent leather overlays, added the Saints Row branding to the straps, to the tongue and footbed.
My personal copy of the PS3 video game
THQ loved the concept we presented and wanted us to go straight to samples so we could send a pair to their developers at Volition. They 3D scanned the shoes and we worked together to craft a small backstory so the inclusion of the Saints Row shoes in the game made sense. In the story arc of Saints Row: The Third, the Saints had gotten so rich and so powerful they were able to have their own products from energy drinks to high top sneakers and the Saints became a "brand". While we worked on the production of the shoes over the summer of 2011, the hype grew to massive proportions leading up to the November 2011 release of the game.
As you played the game, you could customize your character by going to the in-game clothing store Planet Saints, to buy yourself new clothes with your ill gotten gains. The only branded product in the store (which contained hundreds of clothing options) were Heyday Footwear Super Shift High Top Sneakers. You could purchase the shoes in-game and customize them along with your character. The exact same sneaker found in the game could then be purchased on HeydayFootwear.com and THQ.com. It was a genius marketing program that intermixed Heyday Footwear with Saints Row.
We were with THQ to promote the game and sneaker release at the annual E3 video game expo in Los Angeles. Tens of thousands of fans and industry insiders at the expo saw the preview of the game with the Heyday Footwear x Saint's Row sneakers featured in the demo and at the booth. The November launch was the biggest in 2011 and propelled our brand Heyday Footwear to the top of the gaming world and success.
In 2012, we followed up the success of the Purple Python SR3 Sneakers used in the game with new versions for other gangs in the game. We produced red python SR3 sneakers for the Morningstar gang, turquoise python sneakers for the Deckers gang and a new version of the purple python with black patent leather and gold accents for the Saints.
While we can no longer produce sneakers bearing the SR3 logo, the breathtaking style of our python snakeskin embossed leather lives on with our all new Anaconda Collection and our Purple and Black Super Shift High Top Sneakers. Our Anaconda Super Shift and Anaconda Super Trainer high top sneakers are available in red, green, blue, and black anaconda embossed leather. These are the same exact shoes we made for Saints Row, with a few notable updates.
We've redesigned and re-engineered the flat sole found on the SR3 shoes to be more comfortable and added new details to the sole including our website (HeydayFootwear.com), Instagram Twitter handle @heydayfootwear, and slogan, It's not hype, it's Heyday. We've also added a new option called the Super Trainer that has a cushioned outsole . Whether you choose the Super Shift Anaconda or the cushioned Super Trainer, these are more than worthy updates to our classic Saints Row shoes.
Darin Hager designer of the Heyday Footwear Saints Row 3 High Top Sneaker