PUMA Unlimited Hi

  • MADE ON: 11/90
  • ART.NO: 6331/5
  • FACTORY: TDM 11/90

Sometimes a vintage pair of PUMA basketball kicks get lost in the past so much that almost no one knows their true model name anymore by the time they surface.

And with these PUMA Unlimited Hi’s that was almost the case, considering that we came across them – even in this pristine condition – entirely unboxed and without silhouette information. Luckily through our detective sources and passion for matching pairs we were able to deduce that they are in fact Unlimited’s (having since been retro’d) which just so happens to be a wonderfully fitting title considering the stability, sturdiness, and general longevity their quality build provides.

Made in November of 1990 they were more than likely released shortly after their production in the first quarter of 1991, though an exact date would be impossible to pinpoint without a time machine or catalog reference. Constructed in Taiwan they aren’t actually equipped with such premium materials or build techniques that are so special to speak of, per se (as the likes of Italian or West German made PUMAs can bestow), but their comfort, support, and especially their style must’ve certainly made them stand out at that time.

Based on their two-part article number (6331/5) it’s very likely that this was the fifth iteration (or colorway) they came out in, with an alternative white, red, and black pair (with corresponding article number 6331/1) also residing in our archives as evidence there was a more classic take on the shape. The version pictured here follows an interesting trend of neon colors laid against black or dark backgrounds which was clearly a common theme for hoop shoes in the ’90s and thus we’re not surprised to find this pair appearing as it does, though it must be said that not everyone can ‘get away’ with them on foot.

General characteristics of the Unlimited silhouette that lead it to be unique are the double layered, lower-placed eyelets and the abstract and diversely shaped, upper-placed eyelets. The ‘screen-like’ texturing across the belly of the tongue – a detail that could be interpreted as symbolizing the netting of a hoop – is something we’ve seen from PUMA vintage basketball before (see the PUMA Max Q Hi for reference) but it still remains a very memorable feature of the pair. And of course the easily seen Formstrip and branding blasted across the tongue and heel leave an impression that is hard to shake. In fact, one just might say, that with this pair PUMA leaves an unlimited impression.

written by Dylan Cromwell

photography by errol