PUMA States x Solebox theLIST
- MODEL: PUMA STATES
- SERIES: PUMA THELIST
- PACK: PUMA STATES X SOLEBOX 10TH ANNIVERSARY PACK
- TYPE: BASKETBALL
- DESIGNED BY: Solebox
- MADE IN: CHINA
- MADE ON: --/13
- LIMITED TO 100 PAIRS
- ART.NO: 355013 01
- FACTORY: FTWDM/FCNDT
PUMA has never been a brand to blow releases out of proportion nor is it one to cater towards hype. They’ve kept themselves rather clean and out of all that mess, but every once in a while, a shoe slips through. This Solebox x PUMA progeny is one of those shoes.
Whether taking inspiration from Chinese New Year or not, this pair of States was released in a time frame when many other pairs with snake-like features were being dropped due to the celebration of Year of the Snake. And of course the most noticeable feature of the snake is its scales, which means shoe trends of early 2013 will be covered in snakeskin. But while competitors may have relatively similar designs or patterns, PUMA has the upper hand due to multiple reasons.
The first reason is Solebox. Not only is the idea of a collaboration more appealing to most sneaker heads, but the name on the other end of the collab is the highly regarded Solebox. Their exclusive and high end shoe selection has marked them as an El Dorado of sneaker shops. And their inventive history of collaboration has earned them quite a reputation.
The second thing that sets these States apart is quantity. When pairs are released in limited quantities, it gives the shoes a sense of exclusiveness and they suddenly become more desirable. And when only one hundred of each colorway are released (as is the case with these States pictured here), it leaves everybody hungry for a pair.
But the real reason these shoes are successful is not because of their tag-team work or limited numbers. Yes, these factors help with cleaning out the stocks quicker, but what is the real fuel powering these States? It’s purely aesthetics. Many reptile-inspired shoes go over the line by trying to mix different colors and patterns of skin, but simplicity is the key to a successful shoe.
Many people have limits of what they feel they can pull off but still like to set themselves apart, which this pair can do. It’s a classic model with a modest suede upper, a snakeskin formstripe, and co-branding on the label. Sweet and simple. This is the real reason behind it’s overall prosperity. It could’ve been released in Antarctica and had been a collaboration between polar bears and penguins. It wouldn’t change the envious glances you’ll be getting around town. Hype doesn’t measure the success of a sneaker, the sneaker measures the success of a sneaker.
written by Kyle Zemborain
photography by errol