PUMA Basket 68
- MODEL: PUMA BASKET
- MADE IN: CHINA
- MADE ON: --/07
- ART.NO: 346415 01
Many would argue that PUMA is known for their simple silhouettes, clean colorways, and realistically wearable releases. Just take a look at the endless variations of the PUMA Clyde or Suede and you’d probably agree in a heartbeat, even if those particular models aren’t your chosen cup of tea. Sure, there are some offshoots and experiments and crazy collaborations here and there, but in general the cats keep it pretty real, pretty humble, pretty easy to predict (in a good way). Now considering PUMA’s typically tame approach to sneaker design, it seems as though the Basket is a favorite model to hit with the weird ideas, those branch off thoughts, and any runaway imaginations that might be lingering around the art and concept departments.
Take these snakeskin Basket 68′s produced in 2007 for example. Dropped with two other, similar pairs (in both red and beige, still with the serpent scales) they surely hit the market throwing a bit of a curveball for PUMA fans. We openly admit that snakeskin isn’t anything new; it’s more the particular application of it in this trainer that tilts the scales (for better or worse). These definitely remind us of a similar black pair pushed out in ’08, covered in square stitching patterns and sold with thick, round, black laces. Both pairs have their texture added right on top of the upper, almost in an obtrusive way due to their thickness.
Not that we don’t dig PUMA pushing the boundaries and trying new things – and we certainly find these eons more appealing than the black or multicolored comic-art-inspired PUMA “Print” Basket’s that gained some hype from the regular reporters in November of 2007 – but it’s unfortunate that the overall outcome of the trainer isn’t all that successful. A relatively high midsole leaves them feeling a bit flat, with an appearance that leans heavily towards the clunky side, and tends to keep them looking more like a exceptionally low skate shoe rather than a basketball or casual trainer.
Granted, the reflective scales aren’t too overdone – which is somethng to tip the hat at as typically this kind of design leads straight to the gaudy, over-the-top, bells and whistles type of mayhem that seems to snare almost every major sneaker brand from time to time – though once a bit dirtied up the surface treatment tends to lose its general appeal. The scales flake and bend a lot too, adding an overall scruffiness to the shoe, and after some time this doesn’t look luxurious at all (which obviously was not intended).
On the plus side, the inner fit and overall feel is what we can commonly expect from our favorite German cats; snug, supportive, allowing ease of movement, and definitely sturdy on the soles. Some nice, final touches can be found in the metal tipped black laces and gold detailing across the sides and heels, but in general, there’s not too much to write home about. If you’re a snakeskin addict and already love the PUMA Basket 68, then maybe these were designed for you.
written by Dylan Cromwell
photography by errol