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Puma Debuts J. Cole Basketball Sneaker for ‘On and Off the Court’

Nearly a year after Puma first announced its partnership with J. Cole, the sportswear company is releasing the second iteration of the rapper’s signature basketball sneaker.

The Dreamer 2 “January 28”—named after the second track from Cole’s “2014 Forest Hills Drive,” the shoe’s launch date and Cole’s birthday—is a mid-silhouette intended to be worn on and off the court.

The shoe is equipped with Puma’s latest RS technology, “allowing athletes to perform at the highest level while also boasting a bold and slick fashion-forward design,” the brand said. Puma’s ProFoam features throughout the midsole, allowing for rebound and energy return, while the full-coverage rubber outsole is enhanced for optimal durability and traction, it added.

The Dreamer 2 “January 28” is a mid-silhouette intended to be worn on and off the court.
Dreamer 2 “January 28” Puma

The Dreamer 2 will be available at Puma’s New York flagship store, Foot Locker locations, select retailers worldwide and online starting Thursday.

To support the release, Puma has reimagined the cover of Cole’s triple-platinum 2014 album, returning the rapper to his childhood rooftop, this time wearing his own signature shoes. No longer looking off into the distance, Cole instead looks straight into the camera, “as if to say, ‘I did it, now it’s your turn,’” Puma said.

J. Cole’s first signature sneaker, the RS-Dreamer, dropped in late July. Similarly designed for both on and off the court, the kicks were seen on several NBA and WNBA players as they ramped up for their returns to play last summer.

“Over the years, basketball shoes have progressed greatly in their level of technology and comfort but have strayed too far away from designs stylish enough for cultural relevancy,” Cole said in a statement at the time. “The Dreamer hopes to change that reality. The highest level of on-court performance meets the highest level of aesthetic design for daily wear. Once again, you can hoop in the same shoes you wore outside.”

Basketball sneaker releases have shown no signs of slowing down. Just this month, Nike has debuted designs from two NBA stars. Washington Wizards point guard Russell Westbrook’s Jordan “Why Not?” Zer0.4 released its first colorway on Jan. 6, with further drops on Jan. 14, Wednesday and Feb. 25.

Named after Los Angeles Clipper Paul George, the PG5 debuted Thursday. The sneaker brings back the full-length Nike Air Dot Weld Strobel cushioning of the PG4 and introduces a new lightweight, low-top profile. On the outsole, a multi-directional tread pattern helps provide stop-and-go traction during play. A second colorway is slated to drop Feb. 12.