Formed in Germany way back in 1924; PUMA has grown from a small business that two young brothers founded in their mother’s laundry room; to a major multinational company that produces athletic and casual footwear, as well as high performance sportswear. Here, we have a quick refresh of the company’s history, before taking a look at the evolution of the brands’ footwear designs.

After persuading Olympic Gold medallist Jesse Owens to wear their shoes during the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, business really took off for the brothers and they were soon selling shoes by the truckload. Unfortunately Rudolf Dassler and Adolf ‘Adi’ Dassler didn’t exactly see eye-to-eye going forward, so parted ways and started up their own businesses. Rudolf registered the new-established company as PUMA, and Adi started his own sportswear company using the name –yup, you guessed it- adidas.

Sibling rivalries aside, let’s take a look at the evolution of PUMA’s footwear silhouettes; from the iconic ‘60s Suede Classic, to the ‘80s Court Star and finishing with the one of the brands’ latest designs; the Aril Evolution.

mens puma suede classic eco trainers in black and white with gold brandiing

gold medalist Tommie Smith and teammate John Carlos standing on podium at the 1968 Mexico Olympics  in black and white PUMA Suede Classic trainers

Tommie Smith and John Carlos on the 1968 Mexico Olympics winners podium. Image credit: tumblr.com

Born in 1968, the PUMA Suede Classic was worn with distinction at the Mexico Olympics by civil rights icon Tommie Smith and his teammate John Carlos. Smith took gold in the 200-meter dash (Carlos took bronze), proving this style which became synonymous with b-boy culture in the ‘80s, is more than just a fashion icon.

mens PUMA Court Star Citi Series in dark green suede with gold branding and an off-white sole

German tennis champion Boris Becker holding a PUMA tennis racquet

Tennis champion Boris Becker. Image credit: puma.com

This PUMA Court Star Citi Series is a reissue of the classic ‘80s Court Star silhouette. The casual tennis shoe is presented in a softer, more premium upper, with gold foil branding, a vintage-coloured midsole and ‘50s-inspired perforated Formstrip completing. The style is a token of PUMA’s illustrious tennis history, from kitting out 17 year-old court legend Boris Becker in top-to-toe PUMA, to taking over the tennis courts in the ‘80s with the Formstrip.

mens PUMA Aril Evolution trainers in man made blue with lisht pink Formstrip and white rubber sole unit

Retro PUMA advertisement from 1990 featuring PUMAs iconic Trinomic R698 mens trainers in multi-colours

Retro PUMA advertising at its best. Image credit: puma.com

The running silhouette was all the rage back in the early ‘90s, with lovers of the style hungry for chunky silhouettes and molded eyelets; PUMA threw the Trinomic R698 their way and they ate it up. The sleek new PUMA Aril Evolution design is the soul of the R698, enriched by materials and techy details such as a TPU saddle for midfoot stability and a rubber outsole with special tread pattern.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading up on the history of PUMA and their footwear design progression as much as we’ve enjoyed geeking out on it. If all this intriguing info and retro imagery has whet your sneaker appetite, then go ahead and check out our full PUMA and men’s trainer range, now.