PUMA Unknown Hi
- MODEL: PUMA UNKNOWN
- TYPE: BASKETBALL
- MADE IN: ITALY
Officially known to us as ‘PUMA Unknown’, but fondly referred to as ‘Linea Sportiva’, this pair of vintage basketball shoes is definitely worth a detailed inspection.
There’s no telling if these are actually called ‘Linea Sportiva’ by model name, as we’ve certainly seen quite a few different silhouettes with that phrase printed or embossed on their uppers or tongues, and without a surviving box label or respective catalog we’ve no evidence to back up the statement. Though with that said, it’s the safest way to refer to them for now, and referring to these is certainly a worthwhile task, as the ice blue outsole alone is striking enough to keep them held tight in one’s memory.
Matched to the semi-transparent, brightly colored, rubber outsole unit are these splashes of turquoise and purple in the upper, against a pure white background. The lines aren’t so clean, incorporating a bit of rather chaotic upper architecture, and with some pretty creatively placed perforations (since when does a heel need to breath?) these are definitely a unique pair. Reminiscent slightly of the PUMA Cat Hi, a leaping iconic figure jumps from the heel towards the top eyelets on the outer and inner sides of the ankle collar. The diagonally downward traveling stripe grooves are probably the main detraction from the shoes overall aesthetic quality, slicing the beauty up and turning them into a geometric experiment gone bad.
Love the laces though, a detail that was sure to make these stand out back in the day. Unfortunately regarding a birthdate we’ve got none, with no tags or printed information anywhere visible on the shoe, with the exception of the outsole which bares the size as well as its brithplace, “made in Italy”. The build is definitely Italian, thin and more constrictive, with slightly pointed toes. The quality of the sole and upper are top notch, with no signs of flaking or deterioration in the inner lining and tongue. Overall, great a unique piece that would serve well as an individual summer high top if one wanted to stand out from the crowd, especially considering that they’ve yet to be reissued.
written by Dylan Cromwell
photography by errol