PUMA Disc System Response

  • MADE ON: 10/92
  • ART.NO: 7745/1

Competition is a good thing for the consumer. It pushes boundaries forward and sometimes results in some innovative products. Innovative and sneakers in the same sentence? Well in 1991 PUMA released their futuristic disc system in response to Reebok’s Pump system sneaker. Someone at the German sneaker manufacturer said “hey, lets ditch the laces!” Crazy idea but what came out of it was the PUMA Disc. The initial marketing used the slogans “Turn it on” and “Win. Lose. Never tie.”

It’s difficult to imagine putting some tech into a sneaker without it being a complete fad but the PUMA Disc did provide a distinct benefit.

These OG PUMA Disc’s from 1992 have plastic wires running around the sneaker which are tightened by turning the disc at the top of shoe. This tightens a large proportion of the shoe around the user’s foot providing more foot-to-shoe contact giving the wearer a feeling of oneness with the shoe. The disc turns both ways to loosen or tighten giving infinite adjustability. The disc system is released when the push button is depressed and the tongue is pulled upwards.

I owned a pair of these when they first came out and I can safely say they were the most comfortable sneakers I had ever worn at the time, specifically thanks to this feature. In fact, it’s the same reason why sports cars have bucket-style seats that hug you and make you feel like you’re part of the car.

PUMA also used the Trinomic sole cushioning system in this sneaker that was first introduced in 1989 in their first move away from a foam sole. This is made up of small, honeycomb-like structures filled with gel. On this sneaker, the Trinomic cushioning is exposed on the under-sole to provide the user with a peak inside.

The colour scheme on this OG release is quite sober compared to some of the other releases with a base colour of white, a black PUMA formstripe, and blue and lime accents.

The PUMA Disc system never quite took off when it was first released. Maybe it was ahead of its time. I think part of the reason was that it was quite heavy and never quite fitted in anywhere – not quite the running shoe it wanted to be and nor the fashion icon it aspired to be. The current range of PUMA Discs are looking to change that with modern lightweight materials developed by PUMA over the years and clever usage of limited releases, rare collaborations, and striking colours. They have certainly made an impression on me since I have picked up literally a dozen pairs of Discs since their re-release last year!

written by Imran Arshad

photography by errol