PUMA Italia


With almost no publicly published information on its history, the PUMA Italia is quite the elusive vintage trainer. Assumed to be from the 1970s or 80s, these Italian made, low cut suede treasures haven’t been retroed or released at all (at least as far as we know). Their name obviously comes from the Italian word for Italy.

What really stands out about the PUMA Italia is their shape. The upturned heel and toe give an overall feel that is quite unique and allows for an easy roll of the foot. Many of PUMA’s well-known releases are built flat-footed, with an outsole that touches the ground entirely. The outer tread and design of the midsole also differs from the usual PUMA style of that time.

Continuing to explore the silhouette, most PUMA fans will find the usual treatment they’ve come to love: one piece suede upper with extra layered fabric in the eyestays, heel, and toebox for reinforcement. Form stripes ride the walls, and leather lining cushions the inside of the shoe against the ankle. A foam-based tongue with creases in it allows a snug fit to the foot stands beneath the soft laces.

A curious fact to note is that beyond the various colorways floating around out there it appears that PUMA released a football shoe with the same name. It’s highly unlikely that this shoe was an upgrade of the OG model as it’s design is drastically different: leather upper, design cut toebox with no reinforcement layer, funky colorway with two types of eyelets (the typical leather punctures as well as riveted holes), and a fully flat, gum outsole featuring a variable-density middle layer in white. The tongue on the football release is also longer and higher as well.

Considering the lack of information available on these trainers, we certainly do know one thing: we’re happy to have a pair of PUMA Italia hanging around to bring us back to the days of terrace classic and country series that didn’t fall apart with twelve months times. If the Italia is ever remade hopefully the modern version can pay tribute to the quality as well as the design choices.

written by Dylan Cromwell

photography by errol