• MADE ON: --/87
  • ART.NO: 2360/1

If the PUMA Clyde is a definitive low-cut silhouette for the brand, then its high top counterpart has to be the PUMA Cat.

Fair enough, this is opinion and not fact, though I’ve yet to see another one of PUMA’s high top basketball shoes from as far back as 1987 (the year that the pair pictured here were produced) still get remembered in today’s incredibly over-saturated sneaker market. The PUMA Cat has survived the test of time economically, and physically as well, standing strong, fresh out of the box, even twenty-five years after its initial production.

This is thanks to the simple rubber sole, stitched well to the solid leather upper, layered around the toe, under the eyestays, and around the heel for extra support. Even some of the eyelets themselves are reinforced with oblong bits of metal rimming to protect them and provide the wearer with a faster, easier lace up. The tongue and ankle collar are extremely comfortable as well and if any downside were to be cast upon these ’87 relics, it’d be the color coating on the center of the tongue (black here), which seems to becoming a wee bit sticky over the years. Still, compared to the aging artifacts and hideous chemistry experiments of some shoes, it’s a wonder that these held up so well.

Or is it simply the solid West German design, boasted proudly on the front of the tongue? Don’t be mistaken though, these were certainly manufactured overseas in Korea, and when in doubt one can flip that very same tongue for confirmation.

Production and age aside, what is it about the Cat model that made it leap so far? It has to be the single most creative (and risky) feature appearing on the trainer: the leaping cat from the back of the heel across the upper side wall, pressed in a durable, synthetic, foam material. This is branding at its finest, when a company literally builds their logo into the structure of the shoe. Now, mind you, we realize this is done in some fashion by every brand, and almost with every release for some models, but for PUMA this was a huge step in a louder direction, and not only do we commend them for it, we’re grateful, as this single design choice is arguably what made the Cat model survive today.

written by Dylan Cromwell

photography by errol