- MODEL: PUMA DELPHIN
- ART.NO: 164
Talk about technology, this vintage pair comes with air bubbles jammed into the PUMA Contact outsole that give it a puffy, bouncing feeling we’ve not come to expect until years later.
The insole is actually punctured with holes for ventilation and windows the bubbles in the forefoot and ball areas. These parts are mirrored on the outsole with pill shaped, spongy traction marks that bounce when pushed against, unlike the rest of the semi-translucent, creamier than normal, gum rubber outsole: sturdy as a bag of bricks.
Pictured in a 1977 German catalog it’s hard to say exactly when they were first made and where, but obviously decades ago. A special detail on these is the Olympic stamp that can be seen beneath the side wall model writing; not necessarily a feature that appeared on every pair of Delphin’s.
The rest is quite routine though: rich navy blue suede upper, high quality dulled yellow leather form stripes, precise stitching, a lighter shade in the lining, and a brighter one still in the relatively tough vintage laces.
As for their aging, the soles aren’t the only aspect of their anatomy that seem damn sturdy. Eyelets, stitching, glued areas; all seems perfectly intact. Even the fuzz beneath the tongue is intact and the rubbery foam against the mid-foot appears to be supple and brand new. Actually beyond a bit of battering to the leather, the gold lettering is the only part flawed, showing a bit of what appears to be rusting on the outer side wall.
They fit how they look: really high soles, front and back have nice slip portions for easier roll of the foot, and it’s a serious shame these weren’t a size bigger so I could try ‘em and give ‘em a good run around the den.
All in all, the vintage PUMA Delphins are undoubtedly a serious work of art.
written by Dylan Cromwell
photography by errol