PUMA Handball Spurt “Vlado Stenzel”

  • ART.NO: 153

Discussions of product design will always come back to the final pivot point of craftsmanship, and these Vlado Stenzel’s from PUMA’s past are a perfect example of that invaluable virtue.

A lesser known handball silhouette, these PUMA Vlado Stenzel’s were quite the find, if we do say so ourselves. When one first gets this special pair of Handball Spurt’s in their hands it’s immediately and undeniably obvious that the make is of amazingly high quality, and we’re happy to announce that there’s a solid story and explanation behind that fortunate feature.

Goalkeeper in his younger years, Vlado Stenzel grew to be a greatly successful Yugoslavian handball coach, eventually known as “Der Magier” (or “The Magician” in English). Two of his most celebrated accomplishments in the sport were the gold medal he helped his Yugo men’s team bring home from the 1972 Munich Olympics, and then his win of the 1978 Handball-Weltmeisterschaft (World Handball Championship). Even beyond that, it’s commonly considered his greatest success peak when he was promoted to the first place Bundesliga (German Bundes – or Football – League) in ’88 followed shortly by his victory of the DHB Cup in ’90.

Despite these golden moments in his career, Vlado has been known to proudly admit that his most favorite bit of nostalgia comes from the qualifying game at Karl-Marx-Stadt in ’76. Funny enough, this event ended in a defeat which was his own.

Someone as great and yet as humble as this doesn’t just deserve a special PUMA shoe… instead we’d like to think they deserve a seriously lush piece of trainer work, built-in with a bit of hype beast camouflage to throw off the trend flies and culture vultures.

Overall they’ve got a shiny, smooth, leather upper with some sort of soft coating, a completely foreign feel than that of most trainers (and we mean in general, not just from pre-2000). But attached to that is a simple rubber sole to keep that classic appearance and strike a subtle elegance from afar. What we mean to say is that to a lesser trained set of eyes these won’t seem all that much from a distance, but a true trainer lover will certainly cream their pants in delight with a closer, more intimate encounter.

Silver stamped print on sides declare the collaboration with (or tribute to) Vlado Stenzel, appropriate enough, as he seemed to have a similar, understated flair of quality and ambition about his life achievements. The “made in West Germany” text along the tongue comes at no surprise, considering the extremely commendable build, and diagonally hidden on the tongue is the true base model name – Handball Spurt – sitting quiet with pride, possibly another tip of the hat to Stenzel’s humble nature.

Assuming the article number is the three digits printed onto the front of the vintage PUMA box, we can’t venture to declare much more than that, as a production year is completely unknown as of now. One thing is for sure though, no matter when these are originally from, their durability is simply fantastic.

written by Dylan Cromwell

photography by errol

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