PUMA Agile

  • MADE ON: 11/93
  • ART.NO: 339060 05

By far one of the better colorways we’ve seen on a PUMA Agile, the humble white, “navy” blue, and black tones don’t prevent these 1993 basketball shoes from being quite the controversial piece. No, they never made any public stir or got a lot of hype (and if truth be told these shoes weren’t really ‘lost in time’ because they never made a big enough splash to be forgotten in the first place), but the controversy they strike is instead one with the vintage fashion police. Certainly for that era this type of shoe wasn’t uncommon – bulky shape, thick padding, heavy soles – though it’s easy to claim that these are definitely one of the more serious ugly ducklings of PUMA’s past.

Despite that vicious statement I personally find the PUMA Agile to be an extremely comfortable silhouette. The support they provide is insane and the durability of both the rubber sole (covered in a myriad of interesting textures for traction) and PU coated leather upper (blocking moisture penetration and providing a high resistance to scratching) is unimaginable. The only place of wear and tear I’ve experienced so far is in the throat line, where the leather cracks over time from the bending of the foot when walking or running, though it should be noted that some sort of damage (at the very least, unattractive creasing) is inevitable and expected here in any trainers.

The textile tongue is also a large part of the shoe’s comfort, providing a massive amount of cushioning against the front of one’s ankles. Further mixed in the medley is PUMA’s patented Trinomic sole technology, placing air bubbles beneath the heel and providing a bit of (intended) awe factor, especially at the time of their release back in the early 90′s.

Aesthetically I’ll admit these aren’t the prettiest shoes around – in fact, they’re debatably downright ugly – though the vamp layering which caters to a partially hidden form stripe definitely appeals to our subdued branding senses, and the overlapping shapes in the quarter are creative as well. Plastic eyelets hardly ever lend a helpful hand to any footwear’s facial structure, though laid underneath these is the real problem; as with many vintage basketball shoes the tongue has been coated in some sort of time-sensitive paint layer that is destined to decay and crumble over the years. Luckily the laces hide this problematic area for the most part, but still it seems the Agile succumbs to a tongue sickness common among quite a few models from that day and age.

Beyond the white and blue colorway pictured here, we’ve also come across white and purple (though they look more like burgundy or maroon) as well as black and white versions. It’s honestly a shame to admit aloud that these are the most attractive of the three (considering their own significant lack of charisma), however it’s arguably the truth, and to pick up a pair of PUMA Agile’s you’d either have to be looking for function over form, or simply have a serious jones for something 90′s on your feet. Either way, we’ve got a special place in our hearts for these humble, chunky, vintage numbers.

written by Dylan Cromwell

photography by errol

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