Influence the Influencers: @eddiewinkicks on Why He Loves Rocking PUMA

PUMA has been around for nearly 70 years as one of the most important brands shaping the sneaker industry. This year alone, PUMA has had campaigns backed by some of the biggest names in entertainment and sports: Rihanna, who came on board as a brand ambassador and the Women’s Creative Director, designer Va$htie, rapper Meek Mill, Olympic champion Usain Bolt, and NFL players Jadeveon Clowney and Jamaal Charles were all important to the brand’s recent success.

But when talking about influencers, @EddieWinKicks is one of the biggest PUMA supporters in the sneaker community. Just check his Instagram page.

“They’re unique and I like what they stand for,” the New Hampshire resident says. “They have more to offer a consumer than other footwear brands in my opinion. On a typical sneaker wall, PUMAs always stand out to me.”

PUMA has released some great silhouettes this year, such as the Blaze of Glory Pack, highly underrated when it comes to silhouettes that are perfect for lifestyle wear. Eddie Win also believes collaborations have made them the brand standout this year.

“I’d argue that they have some of the best collabs in the game,” he says. “They let whoever they’re collaborating with go all out, as seen with what they’ve done with Ronnie Fieg. They’ve put out some amazing stuff together. I’m excited to check out their upcoming release. Upgrading the R698 and adding a strap to the Blaze of Glory, crazy! The first BWGH collab was super clean as well, the ‘Bluefields.’ I missed those in 2013 so when they brought them back this year I was hyped. Copped them with the quickness!”

Eddie Win is also a fan of the Suede Mid “Bluebird,” admitting, “I can’t rock those without someone asking me where I got them. They were a general release that was on the PUMA site for a minute. Once they sold out it seemed like everyone wanted a pair.”

PUMA R698 Sneaker Freaker Packer Bloodbath

Being a sneakerhead isn’t just about the amount of sneakers you have, though. It’s also about how you can put together a complete fit. For Eddie Win, PUMA is attractive because of the brand’s versatility. They don’t get lazy when it comes to apparel. Between the hoodies, pants, and joggers, you’re laced for the entire winter. And the sneakers work with anything.

Dress up Suedes with a button-up and simple denim? That works.

Wearing pin rolled, slim-fit denim or chinos? You got the R698 or Blaze of Glory. (Win: “They also go well with cuffed sweats and hoodies.”)

“I was walking into a club/lounge in Boston a few months ago and they had a strict dress code I didn’t know about,” he says with a laugh. “No hat, no sneakers. I saw a few people get turned away. I walked to the front, showed the bouncer my ID. He looked down at some yellow Suedes I was rocking and goes ‘Those are clean.’ He let me in no problems.”

For those that slept on PUMA throughout the years, Win recommends grabbing a pair of Suedes to start, a silhouette he believes is on the verge of creating a lasting impression on the millennial audience. Back in the day, it was his first pair that hooked him, a tan upper with a white form stripe.

“You’ll be surprised,” he says. “I’ve got hundreds of shoes, but Suedes always make their way into my weekly rotation. A classic always stands out.”

For an entire generation, PUMA has stayed true to itself. In the future, @EddieWinKicks only hopes that trend continues…though, of course, along with a focus on the lifestyle department, some experimenting with new Trinomic models, and new colorways for the R698.

“They’ve changed a lot of over the past five years and I’m totally on board with the direction they’re going in,” he says. “The R698, Disc, and Blaze of Glory have all gotten a lot of love recently and I hope that continues.”

PUMA R698 Low "Sakura"
PUMA Suede Yellow
BWGH x Puma R698 Bluefield
Puma Suede Mid Classic "Bluebird"

Follow Jarrel on Twitter at @_JarrelHarris