In 1924 a new shoe company was founded in Herzogenaurach by the brothers Rudolf and Adolph Dassler, but it was not until 1948 that Puma came into existence. Rudolf Dassler started the company after he and his brother had split up over a serious argument. At the same time, Adolph founded the adidas brand. In the same year, Puma launched its very first football shoe.
It was not long before major athletes were wearing the brand at important events. In 1952, middle-distance runner Josef Barthel won the first ever Olympic gold medal at 1,500 metres in Helsinki wearing Puma sneakers.
The "Formstripe" introduced in 1956 has been the company's trademark ever since. Even though it did not add any aesthetic value to the shoe, it did give extra strength to the upper section.
The modern cat logo was introduced in 1968, the same year that the Olympic Games took place in Mexico. Tommie Smith won gold in the 200m with Puma spikes, and at the moment that Smith was about to receive his gold medal, he and his teammate John Carlos did the black power salute in protest against the inequality that was so prevalent in African-American culture at the time. He then left his Puma shoes on the stage for all to see. After this incident, both athletes were banned from the Olympic village. What caused a stir at the time stands today as one of the most important examples of the fight against inequality.
Puma is often associated with legendary athletes, such as tennis star Boris Becker, and football star Diego Maradona. Puma was also associated with the b-boy culture, and when hip-hop and punk arrived, Puma's Formstripe became recognisable on all streets. Puma was also very popular among skateboarders. They even wore the puma suedes and the puma baskets in the early nineties, while Puma was still far from making skate shoes.
Puma has always been inspired to invent the newest techniques. In 1991, they designed the Disk system, a mechanism without laces that adjusts to how the shoe sits. The puma cell, released in 1996, was the very first shoe with a foam-free midsole. Because of all the technical gadgets that Puma has added to its collection, their range of sneakers, including the popular Puma RS-X, Puma Cali and Puma Future Rider models, are some of the biggest favourites among sneaker lovers.
Generally, PUMA sneakers tend to run a bit small, so it's recommended you buy a size up than your normal.