We spent 8.4 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

9 reasons to buy

  • Several customers like the old school looks of Puma GV Special.
  • Majority of the comments online praise how the Puma GV Special is well-built and durable.
  • Many shoe buyers were impressed with the comfortable midsole cushioning of the GV Special from Puma.
  • Most users claim the leather upper is easy to clean.
  • Online reviewers like that this shoe pairs well with a variety of outfits.
  • Several critics online cite that this particular classic shoe is very durable compared to other vintage sneakers.
  • Shoe users with pronation problems highlighted how the moderate arch support made wearing the shoes comfy.
  • A few customers like the simplicity of the design that works well for a casual sneaker.
  • Good experiences in wearing the shoe have convinced several of its buyers to become repeat buyers.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Some reviewers find the Puma GV Special too narrow for their feet.
  • One complaint notes the lack of tongue cushioning that is a bit uncomfortable.

Bottom line

Often overshadowed by other classic casual sneakers, the Puma GV Special is one special shoe that has stood the test of time for the German brand. It gained its iconic status since the 1980s simply because it is generally well-built and promises a durability that could last for years. 

Another major draw is its comfortable midsole cushioning that makes it an ideal everyday casual sneaker. Lastly, its simplicity in design remains as its main asset projecting a minimalist style without buyers thinking they are spending more for everyday footwear.


Expert Reviews

  • First look | Highkickz

  • First look | M.L. Kicks

  • First look | DCDFDAS 54

Become an expert

The Puma GV Special is secured by a regular lace closure for that snug fit. This pair has padded collar and insole will keep its wearers comfortable and ready to chill. Meanwhile, the perforations on the toe box provides ample ventilation keeping the feet feeling fresh and dry.

For a retro trainer, the Puma GV Special retains the classic good looks of the original sneaker released in 1980. The silhouette literally remains untouched with its leather upper and perforated detailing. Completing the overall design, a Puma woven logo is placed on the tongue while a PUMA GV Special callout is conspicuously placed on the lateral side while the iconic Puma cat logo is clearly visible at the heel back.

The all-white and all-black models of this underrated shoe works best for most of the popular outfits today. The all-black trainer need not be cleaned regularly and could best fit an all-black style with slim black jeans and fitting shirt. The all-white variation, meantime, although difficult to clean, works well for casual summer look and best paired with chinos or khakis and a button down shirt or polo.

In terms of notable feature, the shoe may have already been overshadowed by modern sneaker technologies. Add to that that there are other more popular classic sneakers from other brands. But all this are easily downplayed by the Puma GV Special’s main strengths: durability and comfort.

For a shoe to survive more than three decades in the market and still convinces many people to buy a pair, it means the shoe has impeccable quality and comfort. The full leather upper with perforated detailing and stylish silhouette makes it one of Puma’s best-selling classic sneakers. Add to this the plush Polyurethane midsole and rubber sole with excellent grip.

Amid all these nice features, the Puma GV Special’s main draw is also its history of being worn by one hell of a great tennis star. Moreover, the nostalgic good look which has impressed several generations of sneaker lovers makes it one of Puma’s most loved shoes.

In existence for more than 37 years, the Puma GV Special shoes first came out in 1980. The creation of the shoes started with Guillermo Vilas, an Argentinian tennis star in the 1970s to 1980s, whose initials were forever attached to this iconic shoe.

The four-time tennis grand slam champion collaborated with Puma to create an iconic shoe that would match his winning style and plays. Known for his one-handed backhand moves and his good looks that captured the hearts of many women, Vilas’ style was well translated into the popular tennis shoe.

What came out of the collaboration, which started in the late 1970s until finally when the shoe was released in 1980, was a footwear with an excellent cushioning system and durable design in original all-white classic tennis shoe looks.

With a rubber outsole, the Puma GV Special has a solid grip on the ground. The tennis shoe also had the same promising grip on the outsole that had helped make Vilas a specialist in the clay courts as the Argentinian tennis ace had been known to play better on hard surfaces.

The shoe’s good cushioning system was also helpful to Vilas in making quick movements on the tennis court especially when the South American player popularized his signature “Gran Willy” or a shot where the player hits a tennis ball back to their opponent between the legs.

Through the years, the Puma GV Special has remained almost the same with its all-white and all-black designs becoming popular for many sneaker fans.

  • Women’s line Puma GV Special EXT was also released by the brand to cater to the female clientele.
  • Puma GV Special Geometric was also released with geometrical patterns and designs on the upper.
  • Another version, Puma GV Special exotic was also released with a rubber gum sole.
  • A Sibling x Puma GV Special limited edition shoe was released in 2014 with bold colors and knitted fabric.
  • American soccerer Michael Strahan and rapper Future also donned the shoes.
Danny McLoughlin
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.