Puma Suede Wrap Colorblocked History
Designed as a warm-up basketball shoe, the Puma Suede was first introduced in 1968 and was regarded as an innovative sneaker during that time. The Puma Suede is the first basketball shoe ever to utilize leather suede material for its upper instead of the typical canvas.
Today, the Puma Suede is regarded as one of the most classic sneakers of all time and the brand's most well-known pair. Several events contributed to the kick's success, and one of them happened during the 1968 Olympics. Two young African-American athletes won medals in the competition wearing Puma Cleats, and as they were being awarded, they stood on a platform with only their socks on and their right hands balled into a fist while the other's holding Puma Suedes. The athletes did this to show support for human rights during that time, which is known today as "The 1968 Olympics Black Power Salute." Tommie Smith, one of the athletes, was asked why he chose the Puma Suede for that moment he answered that the shoe reminded him of his self, "annoyingly strong, unassuming, and dark."
Fast-forward to some years later in 1973, Puma asked Walt "Clyde" Frazier, a basketball legend, to endorse the Puma Suede shoes. He received the nickname "Clyde" as he was usually seen rocking outfits that resembled the famous character in the film "Bonnie and Clyde." Frazier was known for his exceptional style, and people wanted to have a slice of his stylish flair, which prompted them to go out and purchase a pair of the Puma Suede he was endorsing.
In the 80s, the youth-centric urban community took notice of the Suede. The kick's thick sole and stylish design made its way to the burgeoning hip-hop and breakdancing communities. Teenagers adorned the sneakers in fat laces and often left them untied. The shoe's ability to appeal in different subcultures is what made it one of the most outstanding footwear in history.
With its established reputation and symbolism in the sneaker world, various artists, designers, and personalities were willing to extend their personality and creativity on the shoe. Some of the more notable collaborators are Rihanna, Big Sean, Solange, and Sneakersnstuff. Up to today, the brand is still releasing countless iterations of the shoe.
In 2016, the brand released an updated version of the Puma Suede. The Puma Suede Wrap Colorblocked featured an oversized wrap closure with Velcro fastening, which offered a snug fit. This update gave the Suede a whole new look and a unique perspective on a classic.