PUMA Disc XTG Cross Training

  • MADE ON: 01/96
  • ART.NO: 140350 01
  • FACTORY: CTL / 01.96

Sometimes it’s the tech in a shoe that outweighs the appearance, making it completely acceptable to release an ugly beast if it’s at least built well.

Let’s not lie and let’s not beat around the bush; these PUMA Disc XTG Cross Training kicks are just downright shameful. No grace, far from gorgeous, a ghastly sight through and through, even the colorway is grotesque. However, they claim their own generous glory through the advancements they pushed.

Namely, it’s that disc. Known by the name of ‘the fit system’ PUMA’s days of mostly black boxes slathered in their “Turn it On” slogan of the ’90s was propelled into historical sneaker relevance with this easy locking, circular mechanism. For those disc virgins out there a booklet plastic-clipped to the ankle collar provides all the answers:

The Fit System benefits: provides a unique fit, a comfortable more even distribution of pressure over the instep, secure closure system (doesn’t come undone), quick to pull on and take off, and easy to adjust.

With this simple clicking disc, the tightness of the shoe can be adjusted in clockwise and coutner-clockwise turns. A faster release is performed with the quick pull tab and its plastic ring at the font. But beyond these obvious parts, we really love the tech in the rest of the tongue and eyelet areas. The plastic cone that tucks into the sides against the tongue, the plastic wires that are fixed to the upper with a three-part structure of embroidered strips, woven tubes, and plastic fasteners. And of course you can’t forget that good old Trinomic outsole (gotta love those bubbles)!

Now it’s easy to become a naysayer of the mesh on almost any shoe, but we’re pretty sure it makes these all the more comfortable, although unfortunately this pair was too tiny to actually get our toes into. The tread and layering add a lot of weight to the sole unit and thereby default these to be more than just a running shoe, and this is further reinforced by their name. What XTG stands for we can’t say for sure, though it’s likely an abbreviation for ‘cross training’. Why then the box would label them as cross-trainers twice is a another mystery, but cheers to crispy relic from PUMA’s past anyway.

written by Dylan Cromwell

photography by errol