PUMA Tempo

  • MADE ON: 05/06

Quite similar to the PUMA Panama but with their own touch of fiery flare, these reissued Tempo’s stay pretty true to their OG form.

Originally released sometime in the ’70s or ’80s, the Tempo generally turns up in the exact same orange and black colorway, though we’ve spotted an old West German made pair that featured a more reddish formstripe and a lighter tan colored outsole. That’s not to say there haven’t been other colorways (such as another re-release with neon yellow instead of orange, or one featuring a black on black leather upper on white midsoles with a dark brown toe cap, or even white-based-body pairs) but it’s safe to say these are the staple style, as they’re certainly the most visually memorable.

This new version from 2006 has a much thicker midsole, curved graciously upwards in the heel and carrying the bright orange outsole with it. A very slight design shift from the otherwise spot-on retro of their original.

In general, the Tempo’s have a slim and low fit that is unique to them. For me personally, their tongues cut into my ankles a bit more than I’d like, though the toe box is wide enough for my feet and the heel shape makes walking short distances in them a great pleasure. They feel like ninja shoes, keeping my feet close to the ground, giving a good sense of the terrain underneath. Definitely not for anything heavy duty but certainly a great choice for hitting the park for a picnic or pouncing through a packed club.

What I aesthetically love about these re-issues is the immediately striking colorway and the significantly unique outsole shapes. I find the stitching that cuts straight through the formstripe to be distracting though, which has surprisingly always been there throughout the years (what is this a mistake turned tradition?) and the doubled up, ugly toe reinforcement (the suede layer is enough, but then adding the textured rubber high rise, is, well, gross). Pretty comfy inner lining though, and real sweet how it matches the colorway. Same with the coloring in the outsole, these design aspects are at the basics of what brings the whole shoe together and sets the tempo. Ultimately it’s a shoe that entirely entices me despite its minor flaws and I’d love to compare these to an OG pair for a fuller perspective.

written by Dylan Cromwell

photography by errol