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Puma Doubles Down on Retro With Classic Suede Reissue

After already going retro this summer with its ‘80s-inspired RS-G golf shoe, German athletic company Puma plans to take it even further back in time with the reissue of what it calls its most iconic shoe: The Suede.

Originally released in 1968, the classic shoe was seen worn by Tommie Smith as he protested on the victory stand during the 1968 Olympics and by Walt “Clyde” Frazier on the basketball courts in the ‘70s.

Now more than 50 years old, the sneaker will return as the Suede Classic XXI, available on Puma.com, in Puma stores and at select retailers starting Nov. 4. It will come in a variety of colors, with a full suede upper, the iconic Puma Formstrip on the side and a woven label with Puma branding on the tongue. Additional colorways and collaborations are slated to be released worldwide next year.

In June, the German footwear giant introduced its RS-G golf shoe, named after the Running System shoe line it created in the ‘80s and reintroduced in 2019. The RS-G borrowed its “chunky” silhouette from Puma’s retro lifestyle-oriented RS collection. The RS-G built on its predecessor, however, by offering a waterproof, seam-sealed microfiber leather and TPU skin upper designed to keep out any adverse elements encountered on the course. Available as of June 23, the shoes retail for $130.

Puma is by no means the only footwear company looking to pull in nostalgia-hungry consumers. Adidas has been releasing a whole line of shoes inspired by the Adidas ZX, originally released in 1984 as the brand’s first-ever running shoe. One of its most recent installments saw the company go all in on the nostalgia factor when it partnered with the classic children’s toy company Lego. The Adidas Originals ZX8000 Lego sneakers, which retail for $130, feature Lego studs on the heels as well as co-branded tongue tabs colored in the Lego logo’s iconic red and yellow colorway.

In its Fall/Winter 2020 men’s and women’s sneaker collection, two out of Lacoste’s five key trainer styles pull on retro designs. The Ace Lift, priced at $120, drew inspiration from a ‘80’s classic, the G80 silhouette. The Storm 96 Lo is inspired by the Storm 96 OG, Lacoste’s first running shoe released in 1996. The shoe, priced at $135, references ‘90s style, but is a redesigned low-top version for the new season.