PUMA Black and White


A name like ‘Black and White’ should signify nothing but simplicity and clarity, but I’d say that’s not quite right when it comes to this vintage PUMA model, which happens to be not only ambiguous, but also quite elusive.

While most of the big cat’s low cuts are quite arguably casual shoes by appearance, these trainers give off a different feel. They don’t particularly look athletic either though, having a more indoor appeal to them, so it leaves the mind to wander and we’re wondering what the purpose behind the ‘Black and White’ really was.

The main feature that leads to this appearance is the sturdy, thick, riveted sole unit, built to give a good grip. While the soles may not be so straight forward, the upper itself is as simple as they come, combined with a reinforced toe box that joins with the eyelet perforations in a usual, yet curiously attractive way. A narrow toebox make the shoe a ‘no no’ for wide-footed yetis out there, though the thin tongue gives ‘em a nice, right fit without cutting into the ankles (which can be typical with low, thin lasts).

With nearly no record or information of this shoe online, its history is hard to decipher. A version of the Black and White appears in a 1977 PUMA catalogue, labeled with the article number 142, though we can’t be certain they kept the same article number for this particular shoe pictured here. Our best guess on their production year is 70s or early 80s. Despite the dark bits of their definitive past, the PUMA Black and White is definitely a model worth a long look.

written by Dylan Cromwell

photography by errol

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