When you think about spending some of your well-earned cash on a pair of new trainers, Puma may not be the first brand that comes to mind – but, it should be.
With leading brands such as Nike and adidas seen as the ‘Big 2’ in the footwear fashion world, the underdog is often overlooked.
That’s why we’ve created the ultimate guide to Puma suede shoes to prove it’s a quality brand in its own right. From their interesting heritage and where they’re made, to how to clean them and where to buy yourself a new pair, keep reading to learn more about this sportswear titan.
Puma shoes and trainers: the history
Since 1924, Puma has pushed the boundaries of sports shoes, driven by the speed and outstanding performance of some of the world’s greatest athletes. Pelé, Diego Maradona, Tommie Smith, Boris Becker, Lothar Matthaus and Usain Bolt are to name just a few.
But how exactly did it begin?
Brothers Rudolf and Adolf Dassler originally founded the “Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik” (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory) at their home in Germany – this was the only business at the time that manufactured sports shoes.
At the 1936 Summer Olympics, the brothers persuaded United States sprinter, Jesse Owens, to use them – the first sponsorship for an African American. Owens won four gold medals and the business skyrocketed in popularity, leading the brand to sell around 200,000 pairs each year before World War I.
This success lasted an impressive 24 years before an argument between the brothers, prompting Rudolf to found the brand that we now know as Puma. Adolf started his own company using his nickname “Adi” and the start of his surname “Das” to establish adidas.
And the rest is history!
Are these trainers popular?
Puma has been around for seven decades, but it’s proving to be more popular than ever among modern-day shoe-lovers, according to Google Trends.
But why is this?
Despite the brand being recognised for its rich sporting history and collaborations, the head of Select, Yassine Saidi, has helped Puma take a whole new direction when it comes to their look and style, according to Vogue.
A series of releases (Sneaker Freaker Blaze of Glory ‘Shark Bait’, Brooklyn We Go Hard R698 ‘Bluefield’ and the Ronnie Fieg Disc Blaze OG ‘Coat of Arms’) showed Puma in a completely different spotlight.
German and Japanese sneaker retailers, Solebox and mita sneakers, were followed by drops from BAPE and Fieg’s KITH and are among a huge number of big-name collaborations which further cemented Puma’s status as a serious brand to watch against big-name brands such as adidas and Nike.
The rise of mainstream sneaker culture
It would be hard to ignore the huge influence that “athleisure” has had on today’s fashion choices. Fueled by social media, this relaxed and sporty style can be seen everywhere; from the runways of fashion week and celebrity statements on the red carpet, to sophisticated lunches and business meetings.
What tends to lead this popular trend the most? Trainers.
“Sneaker culture” has boomed over the last three years, uniting genders and generations across the globe and allowing sports and fashion enthusiasts to become one.
Puma’s refreshed colour-ways, outstanding detailing and new design innovations resulted in collectable trainers that prompted people to talk about this sportswear giant like never before.
Puma has ridden celebrity partnerships to success
Puma originally rose to success through endorsement from a respected sportsman, so it only makes sense that brand collaborations and celebrity partnerships are at the very heart of the brand.
Aside from the mile-long list of sports team sponsorships over the years, recent collaborations include; video game developer SEGA, electronic musical instrument manufacturer Roland and pop culture figures such as Jay Z, The Weeknd, Selena Gomez, Kylie Jenner to name a few.
The partnership that often comes to mind at the mention of Puma, is with music artist Rihanna who was made creative director of the womenswear line in 2014.
The iconic Creeper silhouette from the Fenty x Puma range was an instant success and catalysed a worldwide trend of chunky platform sneakers from competitors like Vans and adidas. The shoe started out as a custom Puma suede on a platform sole for Rihanna herself, created by Billy Walsh (a.k.a. Mr. Completely).
So, what’s next?
Puma has achieved great success in its long history, but it doesn’t stop there!
As well as more high-profile collaborations planned in the future, the brand is expanding its environmental approach by creating a sustainable collection in partnership with renowned fashion school at London University Central Saint Martins.
Towards the end of 2018, Puma reintroduced the RS-Computer shoe (the first brand to incorporate electronic software into the sporting experience), complete with sensors, wireless technology, LED light indicators and a rechargeable battery – crazy right?
How to clean Puma suede shoes
If you’re a Puma enthusiast (or a new fan after this post), it’s important to know how to take care of them so they stay looking fresh out of the box through the seasons.
Spilt something on your brand new suede Pumas? Don’t panic!
Our handy cleaning and shoe care guide tells you exactly how to clean suede shoes, but here are a few tips from Puma themselves for your peace of mind:
- Clean your shoes straight after use if they are exposed to mud or dirt
- Use a suede brush to keep the outside surface of your shoes clean
- Never machine-wash or machine-dry your shoes
- Pack your shoes with crumpled newspaper and store away from any heat sources to help them retain their shape and last a long time
Fancy a pair of new Puma shoes after reading this post? We’ve got your back with a great selection for you to choose from at Wynsors World of Shoes. From the original classic suede design to platform creeper styles, find them at discount prices right here!