#FactsFriday PUMA – Blaze of Glory

#FactsFriday PUMA – Blaze of Glory
Originally named Ruda in the early years, PUMA was birthed supplying sportswear and athletic footwear. Since its release, the company has transcended into one of the most popular athletic brands. Producing athletic and casual footwear, PUMA is beloved obtaining brand loyal customers.

As previously mentioned in our last #FactsFriday post, the history behind one of the greatest shoe brands ever was the split between German brothers Adolf and Rudolf Dassler, and how that split created a rivalry between adidas and PUMA that spanned for generations.  While most sneakerheads–at least the ones who consider themselves “actual” sneakerheads–will know all of that, what many of you don’t know about is PUMA’s hush-hush top weapon: the Blaze of Glory.

While the Blaze of Glory doesn’t have nearly the same historical implications as other classics like the Roma or even the Disc, it’s still a worthy candidate. The Roma was a running and performance product when PUMA first released it back in 1948, complete with revolutionary padded nylon-suede styling. However these days, it’s a lifestyle shoe with new colourways, an upgraded padded tongue, arch support, and a new leather upper, making the same tough evolution that direct competitors like the adidas Stan Smith have done.

The Blaze of Glory, on the other hand, was created without much of a plan to it. When it first started appearing on the markets in 1993, PUMA didn’t seem like they knew what to do with it. Was it a runner? Possibly. It featured a first taste, aesthetically, of an upper style that would eventually become the no-lace system that made the Disc Blaze so successful and unique, a sequence of wires that could naturally conform to your foot. The Blaze of Glory also had that insane Trinomic sole, excellent aeration, a mesh upper with structural overlays, and a heel pull tab. And yet, it wasn’t really a “classic” type runner, it didn’t even look like PUMA’s long history of striking training shoes.

The other thing that really makes the Blaze of Glory stand out above the rest? The lack of branding. In the same way that Nike and Mr Tinker Hatfield first presented the Air Huarache with minimal branding in order to focus on the new, revolutionary sneaker tech, PUMA brought the Blaze of Glory out as a way to counter many of its more famous brothers and sisters. On the Blaze of Glory, there’s almost nothing significant revolving around PUMA on the upper, outside of a small silver foil cat on the heel.

After its early run in the 1990s, the shoe reappeared around 2007 through some inspiring collaborations, such as the “Great White” and “Shark Bait” colourways from Sneaker Freaker. It instantly connected the shoe with a new generation of collectors, and helped make it unique to PUMA amid all of the love and fascination over longtime classics like the Suede, and Clyde.

At the end of the day, the PUMA Blaze of Glory is, literally, blazing its own trail. With a super distinctive lacing system, a stripped-down upper that is hitting at the perfect time, considering our cultural tastes this year, and that legendary sole, this shoe will keep collectors in a frenzy going forward.


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