Even before the influx of athletic footwear-based lifestyle sneakers in the market, Puma has already been a known name in the footwear business. It is one of the few well-recognized sneaker brands with decades-long of brand presence backed with a rich history in the industries of fashion, sports, music, and other subcultures. Like Adidas, Nike, Converse, Reebok, and other brands, Puma shares a wide array of sneakers for both men and women, and among these are those inspired by basketball shoes.
Puma Basketball sneakers vs. Puma performance-based basketball shoes
What are Puma basketball sneakers and how are they different from Puma basketball shoes? In this guide, we define Puma basketball shoes as shoe models designed to deliver a kind of performance suited for playing the sport. Some of these shoes can be found here.
Puma basketball sneakers, on the other hand, are the kind of sneakers that are designed based on classic basketball shoes but made for lifestyle or casual use. A detailed guide on popular and iconic Puma basketball sneakers is presented below.
Best basketball-inspired Puma sneakers
Undoubtedly one of the best and iconic Puma shoes is the Puma Suede. The highly recognizable silhouette first made an appearance in 1968 as the first-ever basketball shoe made of suede. It made its mark as a revolutionary release since during that time most basketball shoes are made of traditional leather. It was the shoe worn by gold medalist Tommie Smith and bronze medalist John Carlos during their historic Black Power salute during the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.
To date, the Puma Suede remains a staple piece in the history of sneakers. It has a wide range of colorways and renditions for both men and women. Below are some of the most famous renditions of the Puma Suede.
1. Puma Suede Classic
Indeed a classic Hall of Famer silhouette, the Puma Suede Classic proves time and time again that it is worthy of its iconic status. Since it released in 1968, the Suede has been receiving countless colorways and collaborations with renowned designers and sneaker retailers – with each one staying true to the Suede’s classic heritage in the history of basketball, sneakers, and pop culture.
2018 marked the 50th Anniversary of the Puma Suede and to celebrate the milestone, Puma launched the “Suede 50” campaign. It is a year-long celebration (throughout 2017/2018) comprised of 50 collaborations on the iconic silhouette. Some of these collaborations include Barbie, Mac Cosmetics, Hello Kitty, Big Sean, Ferrari, Panini, Stampd, The Weeknd, Poggy, Chapter II, Karl Lagerfeld, Pepsi, Staple, and more.
2. Puma Suede Platform
The Puma Suede Platform took the upper of the classic Suede and placed it on top of an elevated platform sole inspired by the success of the well-received Puma x Rihanna Fenty Creepers. The women’s exclusive model eventually branched out into different renditions featuring added materials or striking design details. These include the following:
Puma Suede Platform Satin
Puma Suede Platform Core
Puma Suede Platform Elemental
Puma Suede Platform Trace
Puma Suede Platform Trace Bold
3. Puma Suede Bow
The Puma Suede Bow is another modernized Suede fit for the ladies. Balancing out the sporty façade of the original Suede silhouette is an addition of a prominent bow detail at the heel, which adds a feminine touch to the shoe’s overall aesthetic. Worry not about limited styling as the ladies are presented with heaps of colorway options for this sporty classic-meets-feminine low tops from Puma.
4. Puma Suede Classic Embossed
The Puma Suede Classic Embossed is another fresh take on the iconic Suede silhouette without adding much of a fancy upgrade. The signature Suede features are retained, but the Formstrip branding is embossed for extra flair.
Also considered as an iconic Puma silhouette is the Puma Basket. It was based on the Suede tooling, but the upper is made of leather in lieu of soft and buttery suede. Like the Puma Suede, the Puma Basket follows a low-top construction and features a lace closure system and durable rubber traction.
Although initially made for basketball, the Puma Basket also managed to rise to fame such that its strong presence was known even outside the walls of basketball courts. Like the Suede, it gained a massive following from the hip-hop community and other subcultures as well and was the staple footwear of choice for some time in several key cities including New York, Houston, and Chicago.
The Puma Basket made a debut in 1968, and today it is available in a myriad of colorways, renditions, and collaborative release. Below are some of the most popular versions of the Puma Basket sneakers:
1. Puma Basket Classic
The Puma Basket Classic stays true to its name with its classic aesthetic. Wearers across generations liked its old-school look that never goes out of style. It comes in heaps of colorways with a budget-friendly price tag. Among the many renditions of this classic Puma basketball-inspired shoe are the following:
In 2007, Puma created a new ladies-exclusive silhouette based on the classic Puma Basket shoe and introduced it into the sneaker market as the Puma Basket Heart. It still has the profile and leather upper of the Puma Basket, but the laces are upgraded with exaggerated one that gives out a feminine touch to the sporty appeal of the original Basket silhouette. Like the Basket Classic, it has already been made available in several versions, including the following:
Female Puma fans are given another ladies-only release by the German sneaker brand through the Puma Basket Platform shoe. Dubbed by some as the cheaper alternative to the Puma x Rihanna Fenty Creeper shoe, the Basket Platform bears similar edgy and fashion-forward aesthetics highlighted by its elevated platform sole. Below are some of its versions:
Puma Basket Platform Patent
Puma Basket Platform Glitter
Puma Basket Platform Core
Puma Basket Platform Metallic
Puma Basket Platform Satin
Puma Basket Platform Big Strap
Puma Basket Platform Canvas
4. Puma Basket Bow
The Puma Basket Bow is the leather counterpart of the Puma Suede Bow. It shadows the classic silhouette of the Puma Basket sneakers, but with an added lustrous and enormous bow detailing at the heel that tones down the athletic façade of the basketball-inspired profile. The Puma Basket Bow first dropped on September 2018 in four original colorways such as the Puma White/ Puma Black, Puma White/ Winsome Orchid, Whisper White/ Puma Aged Silver, and Puma Black. Several more colorways are made available afterward.
5. Puma Basket Maze
Far from the usual classic look of the Basket is what the Puma Basket Maze offers. Like other Basket shoes, it shadowed the original silhouette's tooling, but it has been upgraded with fresh design details for a whole new look that still gives the nod to the Puma Basket's heritage. The women’s exclusive shoe flaunts a lacquered patent leather upper and a maze-inspired, overlapping, thick lacing system that transforms the shoe into a slip-on type.
The Puma Clyde originated as a basketball shoe in 1973 when basketball superstar Walt “Clyde” Frazier from the New York Knicks collaborated with the German footwear brand and requested a lighter and wider version of the Suede that he could use as a hoop shoe. Puma took the DNA of the Suede shoe, reconstructed it following Frazier’s request adding the athlete’s moniker to the sides, and introduced it as the Puma Clyde. It was the first signature basketball shoe of Puma.
Below are just some of the most notable modern-day rendition of this classic Puma shoe.
1. Puma Clyde OG
The Puma Clyde OG is an OG (Original) version of the Clyde silhouette but upgraded with minor design details to better suit today's market while staying true to the Clyde shoe’s roots. Puma released it in 2016 with top notch quality suede material initially in three attractive color schemes, including Red/White, Black/Purple, and Yellow/Black. The Puma Clyde OG runs true to size and is available for both men and women.
2. Puma Clyde Core Foil
Part of our list of new Puma basketball-inspired shoes is the Puma Clyde Core Foil, one of the recent renditions of Walt Frazier's signature hoop shoe. The Clyde Core Foil took the DNA of the classic Clyde shoe and transformed it with a few additional design tweaks that set it apart from the sea of old-school looking kicks. This version displays metallic foil accents on tongue, lateral sides, and aglets (the tip part of the laces).
3. Puma Clyde Frosted
In 2018, Puma introduced the Puma Clyde Frosted Pack comprised of two colorways of the updated rendition of the Clyde shoe. One comes in a versatile Black/White colorway, while the other comes in a Navy/White colorway. Each shoe features premium pigskin nubuck and leather upper that is constructed to withstand harsh weather conditions during winter.
The Puma Vikky is one of the first few women’s shoes that Puma created specifically for the ladies. It was based on a basketball shoe profile and built with a suede material with signature Puma Formstrip to the sides. Below are recent and popular versions of the classic Puma Vikky sneakers.
Puma Vikky SoftFoam
The Puma Vikky SoftFoam is a reissue of the classic Puma Vikky shoe but updated with new Soft Foam inserts for improved comfort and fit. The SoftFoam technology is a memory hybrid foam that keeps the feet fresh and dry. The Vikky SoftFoam, later on, received a mid-top variation called the Puma Vikky Mid SoftFoam.
2. Puma Vikky Platform
This platform edition of the Vikky from Puma joined the brand’s list of platforms that define edgy yet feminine aesthetic for rubber-soled kicks. It launched as part of a collaborative event by Puma, DSW, and Bloglovin’ along with other Puma models inspired by the Vikky. Like most low-top Puma sneakers, the Vikky Platform has also produced different variations such as the following:
The Puma Vikky also received a mid-top rendition called as the Puma Vikky Mid or otherwise known as the Puma Vikky Mid SoftFoam. The Puma Vikky Mid Deboss is one variation of the mid-top silhouette upgraded with a debossed textured upper and a matte finish.
1. What are the other popular renditions of the Puma Clyde sneakers?
Aside from the shoes mentioned above, other modernized versions of the Puma Clyde include the following:
Puma Clyde Pride
Puma Clyde Sock NYC
Puma x Coogi Clyde
Puma Clyde Script
2. What is the size range of Puma basketball sneakers?
Puma basketball sneakers are usually available in men’s US 5 to 15, while some models are offered in women’s US 5 to 12 sizing.
3. What are the common characteristics of Puma sneakers with basketball heritage?
Basketball-inspired sneakers from Puma are typically built with sturdy construction that offers sufficient support, stability, and protection. Upper materials vary, depending on the shoe model.
4. What are the most common upper materials used for Puma basketball sneakers?
Leather, suede, and canvas are the most common upper materials of basketball-inspired sneakers from Puma. Although other versions, typically the modern reinterpretations of classic models, utilize more adventurous options such as corduroy, satin, and other textured uppers.
5. What are the most popular Puma kicks that originated as hoop shoes?
Puma has always been known for its classic shoes such as the Puma Suede, Puma Clyde, and Puma Basket. These three shoes originated from basketball.
6. Are Puma sneakers, particularly basketball-inspired ones, expensive?
No. Generally, basketball-inspired Puma sneakers are budget-friendly. Several factors contribute to this, including the type of production, availability, and materials or technologies. Most Puma basketball sneakers are general releases and do not utilize much-advanced shoe technologies.
7. What is the price range of Puma basketball sneakers?
Puma basketball sneakers, like most Puma lifestyle-based shoes, are priced from $55 for regular models to as high as over $200 for collaborative, limited-edition releases.
8. Where to buy basketball sneakers from Puma?
Puma sneakers are available at Puma's physical and online stores, and partner sneaker retailers. Limited-edition or collector's items are sometimes sold at the resell market with a higher value than their original retail price.
9. How do Puma basketball sneakers fit?
These shoes from Puma generally fit true to size. However, to ensure a more comfortable and accurate fit, you could rely on to fit and sizing reviews of the particular Puma shoe that you are eyeing.
10. Can I use Puma basketball sneakers for playing basketball?
These shoes are constructed and designed for lifestyle or casual use and not necessarily as performance-focused basketball shoes. To ensure maximum foot support and protection when playing the sport, you may opt to use performance basketball shoes from Puma instead.
15 best Puma basketball sneakers
Puma Suede Caribbean Reef
Puma Fenty Suede Cleated Creeper
Puma Basket Classic Metal
Puma Suede Classic+
Puma Suede Classic Tonal
Puma Clyde Core Foil
Puma Suede Classic
Puma Basket Classic LFS
Puma Suede Classic B-BOY
Puma Clyde Snake
Puma Suede Classic Badge Iced
Puma Suede Classic Sport Stripes
Puma Clyde x Volcom
Puma Suede Deco
Puma x Big Sean Suede Mid
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.
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