- MODEL: PUMA R698
- SERIES: PUMA SHADOW SOCIETY
- PACK: PUMA SHADOW SOCIETY PACK 2
- MADE IN: CHINA
- MADE ON: --/12
- ART.NO: 354882 01
While they don’t turn up so often, there are likely a small number of OG R698 runners floating around out there, somehow surviving since their debut back in the 90s. What made the shoe such an impact wasn’t its futuristic and confusing name, but the technology that was bestowed in its sole. PUMA Trinomic system – a “motion control technology” as they call it, incorporating advanced cushioning for elongated comfort – was added to the already flexible and shock absorbing EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) sole unit. Beyond that, one of the absolute coolest features of the R698 is the translucent bolt cutting across the bottom of the outsole, acting as a window into the guts of the honeycomb-like, bubble cushioning underfoot.
Now even though the international Shadow Society definitely needs to be credited for their superb choice of silhouettes in this second drop, they certainly weren’t the first to resurface the R698 from PUMA’s archives. Berlin’s own Solebox dropped a sicko collab in April of 2009 featuring a crazy daring colorway and even further taunting those who were too tame to purchase a pair by providing light up laces as well. Talk about loud; Solebox surely does get a kick out of lights.
The end of that summer brought on a limited edition mesh pack as well, featuring a few colorways to refresh the model once again. But the fun for our old R698 runner didn’t stop there. Autumn of 2010 came falling in heavy with a slammin’ “triple threat” collaboration between PUMA, Size?, and Sneaker Freaker magazine. Further publication playmates were found by PUMA in a joint effort with Classic Kicks in early 2011, showing off a dazzling (and almost too bright) colorway released with a matching neoprene laptop carrying case.
In no way is this meant to be a complete history of the R698′s jog through sneaker scenes past and present, though it should illustrate the special attention and love this particular silhouette receives. Those who’ve touched it in the past must have shared a similar vision, at least in essence, with those who continue to touch it today and will likely carry on touching it into the future.
What’s that you say? Don’t find the Shadow Society’s “shale” brown and “mosaic” blue remake of these runners up to your own personal scratch? Fear not! For those that are turned off by these too cool hues they’ve dropped a hot red “plum” pair as well. Either way, hot or cold, if you dig a decent running shoe then you’d better move fast before your lapping at the leftovers online.
written by Dylan Cromwell
photography by errol
special thanks to Lucy