Another obscure, lightweight trainer from our archive, the PUMA Lab II may seem like a relic to most, but it’s actually been re-released quite a lot in fact.

Mesh upper underneath some quality leather layering, cushioned footbed above the EVA midsole that runs from the heel to the forefoot, and a serious bit of traction on the out sole itself. This shoe definitely had some wicked tech for its time (especially considering it’s weight), but the main feature that pulls me in is its unique shape. The sleek, rocket-like body, greatly upturned toe box, and the contrast between the down and inward heel curve and the protruding midsole below it.

The colorway is class action as well and in researching the pair one can easily find re-issues though I’ve yet to see a blue and white match up as clean as these in stores today. Although in 2011, during one of their re-releases (quite possibly their first retro since their debut in 1984) a black and white and blue pair was made available to the public that came close to these. But not quite. It’s also worth a note that the newer versions don’t appear to push the toebox up as high, and although this type of runner / trainer isn’t my cup of chemistry, I must admit that this particular feature shouldn’t have been downplayed on the Lab II at all.

If you’re into PUMA and you want something a bit more unique – and a lot more lightweight – than the Suede or Clyde or States then maybe the Lab II is for you. But you better get crackin’ ’cause unless you wanna settle for a retro these are not an easy creature to come by, especially boxed as pictured here.

written by Dylan Cromwell

photography by errol