One of PUMA’s biggest pulls is the breadth that its footwear offering spans. From the timeless appeal of the PUMA Suede Classic which has been in its heyday since the ‘80s through to the PUMA Prism which looks to a futuristic, layered upper to make its mark. And, regardless of whether the design is retro, futuristic, or anything in between, the leaping puma logo is always the badge of a classic.
To prove our point, we took to the PUMA site to round up our favorite classic PUMA silhouettes on both sides of the timescale. Our retro classics have — in their own time — changed the face of sneaker culture as a whole, and the silhouettes that we back as future classics may still go on to do the same. What ties each side of the equation together is the forward-thinking, iconic design that always goes into PUMA’s footwear.
To begin this roundup with anything other than the PUMA Suede Classic would be blasphemy. This minimal silhouette has been championed on the hardwood court by all-stars, it’s been the face of a breakdancing movement, and it’s still one of the most versatile models on the market.
The Heritage Basket was originally designed as a leather counterpart to the iconic Clyde, but it soon took on a life of its own thanks to the immaculate, uncluttered visuals.
Designed in 1973 for the legend Walt Frazier, the PUMA Clyde made the leap into the lifestyle arena fairly soon after. Gold-foil branding details the premium leather upper for a timeless take on the classic.
Dating back to 1968, the PUMA Roma is one of the earliest pairs in today’s lineup. On release, the Roma ushered in a new age of training footwear with orthopedic arch support and a padded tongue. Today, Roma is a streamlined everyday rotation essential.
Argentinian tennis maverick Guillermo Vilas helped create a line of tennis shoes with PUMA back in the late 1970s and one still reigns supreme. The PUMA GV Special a lightweight midsole and perforated hits to retain a sense of athletic style despite premium leather uppers.
Actually, the Future Rider could have fitted into both categories. Most of the Future Rider’s design takes from the 1980 Fast Rider but a slimmer outsole, new color blocking, and comfortable Rider Foam transform the Fast Rider into the Future Rider.
PUMA’s RS-X³ Prism design slots squarely into the modern landscape of sneaker design thanks to a slightly bulky silhouette as well as a carefully picked mixture of materials to the upper for sporty appeal. The color palette is simple but packs a punch, too.
Much like the Future Rider, the Style Rider is modeled after the 1980 Fast Rider. Details like exposed foam to the tongue and a gum outsole hint at this model’s retro inspirations but newly engineered comfort and durability position it firmly in the future-classic category.
Made from sustainable materials, including recycled plastic sourced from the First Mile network, the PUMA LQDCELL helps create sustainable jobs and has a positive social impact in Taiwan, Haiti, and Honduras. Alongside the futuristic silhouette, there’s nothing more contemporary than a shoe that goes above and beyond in terms of positive impact.
Worn during back-to-back winning championship games in 1989 and 1990, the PUMA Palace Guard needn’t prove its iconic status, but a modern reissue of new colorways has brought that iconic status through to the modern day.
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