We spent 9.7 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

7 reasons to buy

  • Some customers repurchased these Puma California Vintage sneakers for sentimental reasons having used the shoes in the 1980s.
  • One user like the vintage looks of the sneaker especially its navy, black, and grey tones.
  • A few noticed the VTG or Vintage version of the Puma California sneakers is more breathable with the use of mesh in parts of the footwear.
  • A commenter finds the neutral colorways not overly done making them easier to style with casual clothes.
  • Some people call it the OG of the Guillermo Vilas endorsed and designed sneakers back in the ‘80s.
  • One commenter liked the breathability of these vintage mesh shoes with lots of perforations in the toe box.
  • The synthetic nubuck material in the toe box gives the shoe a polished old-school sneaker look.

3 reasons not to buy

  • The vintage shoe looks bulky as compared to other classic Puma designs like the Puma Suede and Puma Clyde.
  • The shoe design and colors looked a tad boring compared to other classic sneakers according to a couple of reviewers. 
  • One user says the tongue of the sneakers could get quite uncomfortable when the laces are closed tight.

Bottom line

Retro vibes run deep in the California VTG or Vintage by Puma. Named after the sunshine state of California, the classic tennis sneaker grew an audience in soccer-loving European countries. The affordable sneaker that became an inspiration for the Puma GV Special and the Puma G. Vilas is known for its reliable external arch support and thick rubber outsole. The EVA midsole of the vintage kicks also allows for lightweight cushioning and support. 


Base model: Puma California
Top: Low
Inspired from: Tennis
Collection: Puma California
Closure: Laces
Material: Suede
Price: $80
Colorways: Blue, Brown
Special editions: 6 special editions
Small True to size Large
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The Puma California Vintage has regular flat lacing and fits narrow to medium width wearers. It comes with regular flat shoelaces that secures the foot with a padded tongue and collar. It comes in men’s sizes 6 to 16. Women may also wear these kicks by getting equivalent sizes for men by reducing them by 1.5 sizes.

A throwback tennis shoe design, the Puma California Vintage is a silhouette that designed bestselling Puma tennis shoes like the GV Special and the G. Vilas shoes.  Coming in three vintage colorways that are naturally more versatile to style, the colors navy, black, and grey with white ‘80s sneaker accents are great pairs for casual streetwear. 

The silhouette takes on a retro look that is best paired with stonewashed denim joggers, skinny pants, and shorts.  Wear them with relaxed tees and hoodies reminiscent of the mid-1980s when the design first made its appearance. The perforated synthetic leather material in the toe box mixes easily with the rest of the mesh material in the upper. The lightweight sneaker is great alternative sneakers for those looking for lightweight, breathable, and vintage-inspired kicks for their sneaker rotation.

The throwback appeal of the Puma California VTG most especially its black, peacoat, and grey hues brings wearers back into the 1980s where the popularity of the shoe reached its peak. The shoe has external arch support aided by an Ethylene Vinyl Acetate or EVA midsole for lightweight cushioning.

German footwear brand Puma has been releasing iconic shoe designs since it was established by Rudolf Dassler in 1948. Founded in the town of Herzogenaurach where the company has its headquarters until today, Puma has produced some iconic shoes that are now considered as classics like the Puma Suede, Puma Clyde, and Puma Basket. In addition to creating classic kicks, the company has been providing shoes for soccer, running, basketball, and motorsports. The German brand has also designed shoes for the fitness market and the recent sportstyle which is geared for casual and athletic wear.

In recent years, the brand has been aggressively upgrading its portfolio with the longtime partnership with music superstar Rihanna as creative director of the Puma Fenty line that started in 2014. In 2018, the brand also partnered with the likes of musician and rapper Jay-Z as creative director of the newly resurrected Puma Basketball line which last sponsored NBA player Vince Carter way back in 1998. 

Another classic design from the brand is the Puma California. It was an original way back in 1983 and made even more famous when it was worn by a champion professional tennis player and grand slam champion Guillermo Vilas. The Puma California has been the inspiration behind the creation of two other silhouettes which was called the Puma G. Vilas and the Puma GV Special. The company currently employs more than 13,000 people and distributes footwear in more than 120 countries.

Through the years, the Puma California has shifted its audience from tennis players into the street-style appreciative crowd. The brand named the design Puma California after the sunny state of California. The Puma California VTG or Vintage relives the early years of the California silhouette when after being known as a tennis shoe it shifted gears with a newfound crowd and atmosphere. It quickly built a reputation in soccer terraces as a trainer as the mesh and leather upper with a low-slung design.

The recently launched Puma California VTG (Vintage) has been dropped in three original colorways that include Puma Black/Puma White, Peacoat/Puma White, and Gray Violet/Puma White. Among the shoes’ features include a clean mesh and leather upper with its tone-on-tone white colorways. Other updated features include a thick EVA midsole with external arch support for those with arch problems. The shoe is suitable for extended wear because of the improved arch support. To re-introduce the name of the Puma California shoes, the brand tapped singer and actress Selena Gomez to endorse the silhouette by possing with the 1980s-inspired sneaker in Puma tracksuit.

  • Perforations at the toe box add breathability to the Puma California Vintage.
  • External arch support aids those with flat feet to feel comfortable.
  • Rubber outer sole delivers grip and traction.
  • A woven Puma tongue patch and a gold-toned branding at the lateral side bring the signature Puma look.


Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sneakerhead turned sneaker industry expert that believes a good outfit begins from the feet up. His aunt currently isn't speaking to him for wearing a pair of kicks at his cousin's wedding. He spends most of his time trying to keep on top of the latest releases, hitting up his contacts and doing what needs to be done to secure his next pickup. Danny has been featured in prestigious publications such as The Washington Post, The Irish Times, Footwear News and the like.