The Blueprint: How PUMA Keeps Old Classics Fresh

More than ever before, sneakers are everywhere. Older designs, especially, receive a huge amount of attention whenever a new retro release or collab drops, and the competition for our attention has likewise never been fiercer. The growth of the Internet is largely responsible for this development, as niche websites are breathing new life into aging designs, allowing classics to remain a staple of the sneaker world.

While many sneaker designs look dated after just a few years and often fade from memory, PUMA eschews this obsession and instead recognizes the simple style of their classic sneakers. PUMA’s blend of comfort with simple, street-ready swagger makes them a player in the retro game, with timeless designs not bound to a single age or generation.

This current era of sneaker culture has shown a great appreciation for older designs, and that has unquestionably helped PUMA. The community’s infatuation with simplicity is only going to grow in 2016 and with their clean look, PUMA represents an important option for successful minimalism. When you put on a PUMA Basket or Roma, you’re putting on a sneaker that you can wear at any time, with any outfit. The multiple colorways available allow you to mix and match for the right color combination and you never have to worry about the design itself being the right fit. That versatility cannot be overstated.

[RELATED: Julian Edelman Talks Style and the Classic PUMA Suede]

They also recognize that just because they’re a sneaker company doesn’t mean they belong exclusively to athletes. While big names like Julian Edelman and Jamaal Charles are certainly a major part of the brand, PUMA also works with artists like Rihanna and Meek Mill to expand their reach and show off the versatility of their core silhouettes. The Suede is a prime example of this idea; originally born as a basketball shoe, Suedes are no longer worn on the hardwood. However, thanks to their versatility and comfort, they’ve instead become a fixture in the fashion world and are a centerpiece of PUMA’s collaboration with Rihanna.

As can be seen with the Suede, these collabs work in no small part because PUMA’s sneakers are the ideal canvas for individuals to creatively express themselves.

PUMA
PUMA

Unique in that it doesn’t have PUMA’s signature formstripe, the Blaze of Glory was born as a running shoe but endures now as one of the most customized sneakers around thanks to its smart design and exceptional comfort. Never compromising on comfort, PUMA understands the key to keeping your classic designs fresh is maintaining what made the sneakers hot in the first place while offering something the average company would never think of.

Even though many of PUMA’s designs have been around for a long time, they still represent something different. The Suedes have remained essentially unchanged since they first adorned the feet of New York Knicks great Walt “Clyde” Frazier, and yet they remain a fixture in sneakerhead collections thanks to their comfort, materials, and colorways. PUMA is certainly not allergic to change when it comes to their classic collections, but when they do make tweaks they smartly don’t get too elaborate and compromise the integrity of the original design.

By making subtle improvements rather than vast overhauls, PUMA keeps their classic sneakers current. Athletes around the world used to wear the Roma when competing in track and field at the Olympics; when they started sporting them away from the track, PUMA quickly realized the Roma’s ultra-thin, sport-specific soles weren’t going to offer enough cushioning for the average sneakerhead. Did they throw up their hands and say too bad? Of course not. Instead, they beefed them up with additional support in the arch and padding in the tongue, and now the Roma continues to be one of PUMA’s most popular silhouettes.

Even a sneaker like the R698–newer than many of PUMA’s best silhouettes–remains in the limelight thanks to its combination of comfort (the Trinomic system in the sole makes it one of the most comfortable sneakers anywhere) and a versatile look that keeps them current no matter what year it is.

Quite simply, PUMA’s classics do something few other sneakers can: blend simple, timeless style with unmatched comfort. That’s why you can expect to see PUMA sneakers everywhere–from the playing field to the streets–for years to come.

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