- MODEL: PUMA NAPOLI
- MADE IN: ITALY
- ART.NO: 1256/1
Named after the capital of Campania and the third-largest municipality in Italy, the PUMA Napoli (or Naples, in English) has a fitting name as it’s a vintage shoe while its namesake is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world.
It seems that all of PUMA’s Italian-made vintage high tops are quite similar: conservative use of materials, incredibly light overall weight, thin walls (even when layered), and quiet, yet intricate, design principles. The PUMA Napoli is no exception to this description, and in fact, they may be a bit too much on the delicate side for more than casual wear these days.
With an exact date unknown our best guess is a 1980s drop. An interesting detail about the PUMA Napoli is that it’s actually identical to various other models, including the PUMA Parma, with the exception of their colorways. In fact, their boxes further prove this, showing off the same article number, with the last digit (the one following the forward slash which was used to denote the version or colorway number of a particular model) changed. Apparently the Napoli is the first of the series and the darker colored Parma is the third.
Beyond those two we have, however, seen another look-alike that varies in one way: its tongue is a built a bit differently. Unfortunately though, this icy-soled turquoise and purple pair does not have a box, so other than being an obvious part of this so-called ‘Linea Sportiva’ line, it’s hard to denote any information from them, as the Italian manufacturers were not keen on leaving any textual trace behind on the trainers themselves, other than the birthplace, size, and brand all embossed into the outsole.
Taking these for a test run we found that they’re quite comfy, embodied lots of breathability, and definitely felt more like a slipper than a shoe. This point is pushed home when one attempts to press up on the toe box, which feels incredibly thin. Furthermore, the heel support began to (audibly) crack and split (from the inside) almost immediately. I wouldn’t say this is a deal breaker in any way, however doing more than walking around and hanging about in a pair of Napoli’s would be a certified ‘no go’ from us over here at eatmoreshoes. Grab a pair if you can and if you dig ‘em, but watch what you pair for them; though they may be rare, they aren’t coveted, and their quality, while Italian and fine, is certainly not the most lasting, so we’d wisely recommend you steer far clear of a three digit price tag.
written by Dylan Cromwell
photography by errol