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Sep 16

Meet Justin: Puma Collector

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It has been awhile since I have done an interview with a Puma collector.  I decided to get back to it with my Puma friend, Justin Oliver. As with most of us Puma people we connected via Instagram in the sharing of our beloved Pumas.  Puma people are special. It always seems like the whole world is so focused on Nike and we’re just here with our suedes and wondering why others don’t get why Puma is the greatest. These interviews shed some light on that.

Puma Collection

Justin’s love of shoes started in elementary school where he would pass the time drawing and designing his how shoes. Colors, logos, designs… that was his thing. Also, he was intent on having the same shoes as his favorite athlete. He said, “…that meant an array of brands. The sneaker world to a kid in the 90s was a lot different than the sneaker world we know today.” Fresh out of high school Justin was working in the mall and had some good friends who were wearing Pumas.  Justin went out and, “bought a brand new pair of red/white Puma Easy Riders. After that, I bought a few pairs of Puma Roma’s and my love/addiction to Puma was born.” Now, collecting has become somewhat of an addiction (that many of us can identify with). But beyond that, Justin loves Puma and chooses the company because, “…it’s a combination on style and comfort. A simple pair of suede classics can be paired with any outfit. Or you can find a style for whatever outfit or activity you have going on at that time. Also, I believe the quality of most the styles have stayed consistent opposed to other brands that have started using cheaper materials.”

Justin went on to say, “For many years I had a collection of Pumas that consisted of about 20 or so pairs. I think with the rise of popular social media sites, such as Instagram, came an outlet to share my passion with friends – not just in the States but all over the world. It really fueled this addiction and in the last 3-4 years my collection exploded into a packed closet (with overflow in several other rooms and hand-me-downs going to my father since there wasn’t always room to keep everything).”

Right now Justin’s collection is right around 100 pairs (give or take a few he said). He has started to sell or give away a few pairs. He replied, “I just realized I don’t have time to wear them all and partially to use that money to buy new/more desired pairs. I feel comfortable with that number. I believe if space and finances weren’t an issue it would be a lot worse.Even with this amount of shoes there are still a few that Justin would love to add to his collection. His first ‘Holy Grail’ is the 2006 YO! MTV Raps Puma Clyde ‘Forever Fresh’.  Justin grew up watching YO! MTV Raps and loved the hip hop music of the day (even as a young middle class white kid who sometimes got laughed at for trying to emulate the style). That shoe embodies everything he loved about that time period.

His second ‘Holy Grail’ is the Goonies Puma Disc.  As Justin said, “The materials and details of the pair and the packaging are amazing and its inspiration is from the best movie ever made!”   Although both of these pairs can be located on Ebay now and then he does have a limit of how much he would spend on any one pair of shoes.

Any shoe collector faces the scrutiny of friends and family. There are the questions like, “Are you ever going to wear all of those?” or “Do you really need another pair of suedes?” And the answer is most often, “Yes. Yes we do.” Justin’s family may think he is crazy but they are still supportive and he receives Pumas for gifts. His wife is very kind and allows him one pair a month (within budget).

I asked Justin how he felt Puma was doing as a brand. They do lag behind some of the other brands here in the United States and have been taking steps to revitalize their image and shoes.  Justin comments are, “I feel Puma is doing a good job moving forward as a brand. Lots of recent collaborations with some important sneaker names have definitely made the brand more noticeable. I personally love the collabs with UNDFTED, Anwar Carrots, and ALIFE in the United States. These names are huge when comes to street fashion. Also, I believe Puma has a great core of athletes as brand ambassadors such as Rickie Fowler and Usain Bolt. They also have signed several celebrities who will move the brand into the spot light. I like the “attitude” and “edge” the brand carries at this time.” The brand has inspired Justin to buy more than just shoes – he’s currently in love with the cuffed sweatpants for men and owns shirts, hoodies, and hats.

Finally, I wanted to know what Justin’s top 5 shoes are – hard choices for any collector. The top 5 in his rotation are his BioWebs, ALIFE “Silver Bullet”, 698s, ALIFE x Stuck Up 698s, Tropicalli Discs, and a beater pair of blue/yellow Cabana Racers. Those are some really nice daily-rotation choices.  Now for his actual top 5 that he owns:

  1. Puma x ALIFE. During Justin’s first trip to NYC he stopped by ALIFE during the release of the collaboration. Although he was early, the owners let him in so he could watch the set-up. He was able to pick up a pair of the sudes but they also treated him to a free t-shirt, bag, and a wrist-band to the RedMan concert.
  2. 2001 Red/White Easy Riders. This was his first pair and although he had passed them on to his father, his father has kept them and made sure they are preserved (that’s a great Dad!).
  3. 1995 Puma Suede Tan/Natural. This is his ‘vintage’ pair and is deadstock. That’s always special to a collector.
  4. Puma x The List ’93 Original Suede Green Flash. Although released just a couple of years ago it is much like the YO MTV Series with the bright colors and style of the 90s.
  5. Puma x Alexander McQueen Rocket – Lipstick Red. This is special because of the highest quality materials and top-notch leather. Justin loves it for the details and the flip-down tongue that is a lot like the old-school soccer/baseball cleats.

I’d like to thank Justin for taking time to answer my questions. Be sure to flip through the photo gallery and to visit him on Instagram!  Do you know a Puma collector that should be interviewed? If so, let me know!

 

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Aug 25

I’m back!

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Well, I took a break from the site for awhile. There were a number of reasons. The biggest was that I started writing for Frixshun Magazine. I was thrilled they asked me to write for them and I was able to turn out a few pieces. Unfortunately, one of the other reasons was just my time. I got so busy that even writing for Frixshun became difficult. I started two new sport sites and those took up the little time I had left. So between working full-time, my kids & their sports schedules, working on two new sites and finding time for myself to workout my time and energy got zapped. Oh, I also added doing social media for my gym.

But I miss being creative. I don’t have a lot of that in my job. I miss writing and creating stories. I considered a whole new site but decided that since I had this I may as well use it. I have quite a few new pairs of Pumas to review and write about so I guess I will start there. I hope you’ll welcome me back with open arms!

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Feb 13

Do Those Come in Sizes for Women? The tiring question…

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No Puma Sizes for Women

UPDATE: I am pleased to say that I was able to find the Alife Silver Pumas shown above in my size. I had to order them from the UK and they definitely weren’t on sale but I have them. Photos and review to come shortly!

You know the drill. I’m sure people get tired of the question. I get tired of asking it and won’t even bother anymore. The fact is Puma doesn’t team up with male designers who release sizes for women. Sophia Chang is a female designer and her collection included men. Why can’t it work the other way around? Ronny Fieg? Alife? BWGH? I have yet to see these collaborations produce shoes for women. Sometimes, they will get released in the UK in the smaller sizes but not in the USA.  When the collaboration between Puma and Anwar Carrots was announced I immediately asked about sizes for women. I loved the design. I was told, flat out, no. They would not be released in smaller sizes. I complained to Carrots and they insisted there would be smaller sizes. I explained what the Puma rep had said and they said it was wrong information. I don’t know who decides on the sizes. Maybe it isn’t Puma. Maybe it isn’t the collaborator. I’d definitely like to know so I can voice my concerns to the right people.

As it turns out I found the Carrots on a random website. They had 1 pair in a “kids” size 5. Yes, it was listed on the kid’s page. Those shoes were not marketed to kids. They weren’t available anywhere on any other site in the kids section. I searched and searched for a pair in my size and none were to be had. I have no idea how that site ended up with a pair but I was happy. They were also on massive sale. I did go back and let Carrots know I must have found the one pair released in my size.

It is frustrating to see release after release that I would be interested in pass me by. Meek Mill just released 24K White/Gold. The ‘white gold’ shoe is amazing and I would love a pair.  No sizes for me. Us women do get releases designed by Solange Knowles. These are not shoes men would wear. They are loud. Bright. Sometimes poorly designed. Sometimes genius. I don’t understand why these are our only options.  In the past two weeks, Puma released a black patent leather Basket. It is really shiny and pretty. I guess they think women wouldn’t want a shoe like that? No options for me.

I think men get tired of hearing women complain about this. I am sure I would if I were a man (probably not). Is it a demand thing? Not enough women want what the boys get? Or are there just enough women with larger feet that they can buy the men’s sizes and shoe brands think that’s good enough? I wish I knew the answer.

Finally, Puma released a shoe dedicated to Walt “Clyde” Frazier. It is shiny gold (similar to their release with UNDFTD a while back). As a huge basketball fan, I would love a pair of these to honor Walt. The box is amazing too. I don’t get the option of purchasing.

I know. You want to tell me to shut up. This is probably why I don’t feel the love from Puma anymore. They are probably sick of me complaining. That’s why they don’t get much money much anymore. I love the brand. I love so many of the shoes. I just want the same option to buy as they guys do.

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Jul 08

Puma Soccer Cleats – New & Exciting

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The best jerseys at the World Cup were made by Puma. I discussed that in my post about Arsenal. Now Puma is set to collaborate with Kith, Colette, Alife, and BAPE for cleats. They are some beautiful cleats. I honestly like the Kith ones the best. A site is suggesting they will be priced at about $300.

EvoSpeec by Puma, Kith, Colette, Alife, and BAPE

EvoSpeed by Puma, Kith, Colette, Alife, and BAPE

EvoSpeed is one of the most respected cleats in football (soccer) and they are just going to look beautiful out there on the field (pitch if you’re from somewhere other than the United States). BAPE is also releaseing a jersey, ball, and maybe some shirts. I can guarantee that when my son sees this soccer ball he will want it. It is mighty cool looking. I’m not a huge fan of anything camo but I have to admit the ball may be a purchase for me.

Visit Hypebeast

Image from Hypebeast

What do you think of the cleats? Will you purchase them? Are they too expensive for the casual soccer player?

written by PumaLover \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Jun 12

Sophia Chang’s “Brooklynite” Collection for Puma

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People seem pretty hyped about this new Sophia Chang collection. Not only does it seem Sophia has created some really beautiful, unique designs but many are for women. Puma’s last release for women – the Girls of Blaze collection of discs – was very popular. The fact is women want shoes designed for them that are as good as what the men get. As of late, Puma has had releases without sizes for women. I’m not interested in every collection that gets released. I am not one who needs to purchase shoes all of the time but I sure would like the option. The rumors are out there that Puma will be releasing a lot more just for women and that’s exciting. More designs are being released all of the time. So far I have seen Baskets, Discs, Disc Wedge, and now these mids. I believe the Discs are for sale in Europe right now.

This is the first basket I saw. It is very cool.

Thanks Nick Kicks

UPDATE

I just saw this pink Basket in the collection. I’m floored – it is so beautiful. Women deserve this type of shoe. It is classic, beautiful, and isn’t a wedge. I will definitely be getting this shoe because 1 – it is pink and 2 – it is a Basket which is really my favorite style I think.

sophia chang basket brooklynite

UPDATE 2

Look at this mid! The collection releases in September and I image these will sell out quickly.

Brooklynite Sophia Chang Puma Mids

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Oct 16

Photo by Puma

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Sigh. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but I’m not a model. I’m not even close. I’m short-ish. I’m only 5’4. I’m thick-ish. My legs are not skinny – especially not my calves. Does it bother me? Nope! I am pretty pleased with my looks. I work out. I am in pretty good shape even if I still have 10 lbs or so to lose.

That being said – I sure wish I could wear shoes the way I see models wear shoes. I love the look of hi-tops with shorts. I like seeing models in shorts with the Puma wedges. I like seeing them paired with dresses too. They make it look so cute!!! I can’t.

I recently bought a pair of black Puma leggins. I love them. They are a tad long for me – I could have probably gone a size down – but they are very comfy. I bought these for a couple of reasons but one of the main reasons was to wear them with hi-tops and my one pair of wedges. So I got dressed this past weekend. I had bought a shirt that I felt was long enough for the leggings and wasn’t tight. I finished the outfit with my First Round hi’s. My daughter took a look at me and told me to go change. This is a rare thing. My daughter never tells me this so I figured I had better. I changed into jeans and put on my Evo Speeds as well. I felt bad.

This woman on this page looks so amazing with her wedges. She doesn’t seem that tall in the photos. And she isn’t stick-thin. So why can’t I wear that same outfit and look just as cute? I’m sure it lies somewhere between the size of my thighs (athletic) and age. Right? Let’s all lean towards age shall we?

I do wish I could have Puma come and dress me and fix me up so I could be like the models. I so badly want to wear my hi’s more because I love them. So what other options do I have? Can I just wear them and not care? Sure. Can I just give into my insecurities and only wear them the traditional way with jeans? Yes. I may do both.

Any suggestions??

written by PumaLover \\ tags: , , , ,

Aug 15

Pumas by Sergio RossiI wear heels every day to work. Well, pretty much everyday. During the winter I have some flatter boots but generally, I wear heels. The pants I buy are usually a tad too long on me so heels help them not to drag. Plus I just look good in them. *humble* Now and then sneaker companies come out with heeled versions of their shoes. More times than not they just look like sneakers with heels on them. That really doesn’t interest me. If I want sneakers, I’ll buy sneakers. Same for heels. I really don’t want to take my Clyde’s and just stick heels on them.  You can see examples of this by Adidas (sample 2), Nike, and even Converse. If   some women like those shoes – fantastic!  I kinda think the Converse ones are cute but I wouldn’t wear them.

Sure, I’m biased where Puma is concerned but ever since they released the Sergio Rossi heels I’ve loved them. They are chic. They are fashionable. And even better, while they have Puma styling they don’t just look like a pair of suedes with heels on them. I love Mary Janes and I know that these would look amazing on me – if I could afford them. Rossi comes with a high price tag and although I found them on sale… $300 is still a high price for them.

Puma Clydes Heels The site also had black Sergio Rossi Clyde heels. They actually look a lot like a pair of patent leather tie up shoes I already have in my closet. These do have very clear Puma detailing on them but I could definitely wear them to work and no one would think they were sneaker heels. The heels are higher than I normally wear but I’d suffer through it for how good they look.

For a limited time you can go to 6pm.com and buy yourself a pair. Or even better – buy me a pair. I’d be forever happy if you did.

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Jul 23

Puma “City Pack”

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I’m always late to the game with new releases. I guess I have too much going on in life but I do my best. One of my favorite ‘new’ releases by Puma is their new City Pack collection. It features a design for Atlanta, New York, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. If I was going to have to pick a city, I’d have to pick Atlanta. The design is very nice and they even have ‘hotlanta’ and ‘ATL” inscribed on the shoe.  I happen to have a few friends that live in Atlanta and they are very big into Cuban salsa. I say they buy these shoes for their next performance (although they most often wear red Converse shoes which look great too).

If Puma would like to really stretch themselves, I’d suggest a Detroit shoe that works with the colors of either the Tigers or the Lions. I mean – I guess I am biased being a Detroit Sports chick. I think the navy/organge of the Tigers and the Hawaiian blue/silver of the Lions would make for beautiful color combinations.

You can go to Footlocker and see the shoes in all their glory. They are all really beautiful.

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Jul 18

Puma Whirlwinds & Detroit Lions

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Puma Whirlwinds for Detroit LionsYup! I put both of those in the subject. You may not realize it but I am a huge Detroit Sports fan. I grew up in Michigan and I don’t waiver from my teams. For as long as I can remember I’ve loved the Lions and the Pistons. Sure, I love the Red Wings too – they do provide us with wins and championships when the other teams are sucking wind – but  the Lions and Pistons are my teams. In fact, I am pretty sure Isiah Thomas used to rep for Puma shoes back in the day. I have that  stuck in my mind from about 7th grade.

Now that the Detroit Lions are climbing the ranks in the NFL it is more fun to wear my gear. In the past I’d get the pity looks and comments like, “You are such a good fan wearing that jersey when the team is 0-16.”  So now that I can wear my shirts with pride I needed some shoes to match. I’ve been checking out shoes for the past 6 months trying to find just the right pair. These aren’t perfect but they are close. They look really good with my tshirts. I think I need something different for my jerseys though because they are a different shade of blue – more brilliant. Of course looking from the jersey to my feet – you can’t really tell.

My next pair will probably be black with a blue stripe. Puma had some but they didn’t come in unisex sizes (argh) so I couldn’t buy them. These are kids shoes actually. I’m proud to say that they were on sale & I got them 40% off so they were a fantastic buy.

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May 12

My White Puma Basket Shoes

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Puma Sneakers White BasketAh these shoes… I love them. They match everything and are comfortable. I believe I found these like two years ago at the Outlets for $20. Yup. Just $20. The black and white appealed to me because I always love having a pair of sneakers that match everything and anything. These are Puma “Basket”.  I recently cleaned them up (Mr. Clean Eraser) and my mom thought they were brand new! That’s why it is always important to keep the sneakers clean and fresh! It isn’t always possible but with these type of Pumas they clean up really well.

These are women shoes. So good job Puma! Keep giving us women some great designs that can equal what you produce for the boys.

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