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Decades ago in Germany, a dispute between the Dassler brothers led to the split of their joint shoe factory and the creation of two rival companies – Adidas and Puma – which still exist today. Founded by his older brother Rudolf Dassler in 1948, Puma has since grown into an international sport and street style icon.
After entering the football and athletics categories, Puma wanted to establish itself in the basketball market. Years before Michael Jordan became the face of basketball shoes, Puma called on Knicks playmaker Walt “Clyde” Frazier to launch his own signature style with the brand, called the Clyde, in 1973. While Frazier wore the shoes on the court, they quickly became popular in park games from Manhattan to Harlem.
After supporting Ralph Sampson in the ’80s and Vince Carter in his dunk debut in the’ 90s, Puma suspended its basketball brand to focus on other categories. In 2018, the German giant returned to hardwood, signing a host of top picks and releasing modernized performance pairs that draw inspiration from Clyde’s DNA.
Evolving from low-cut smooth suede shoes to the tech models worn by LaMelo Ball, DeAndre Ayton and even J. Cole, Puma offers a basketball shoe for players of all sizes, skills and abilities. Check out our list of the best Puma basketball sneakers for 2021 below.
Puma RS Dreamer Basketball Shoes
Designed for the agile player on the go, the Puma RS Dreamer combines performance technology with relaxed color blocking. Artist and hooper J. Cole’s first signature shoe features Puma’s famous RS foam in the heel and a full ProFoam midsole for shock absorption where you need it and energy return with every stride. Drawstring lacing, a knit construction and suede overlays create a fluid aesthetic on this low model that received NBA approval from Dennis Smith Jr, Danny Green and Kyle Kuzma.
Puma Nitro Fuzion Spectra Basketball Shoes
Worn by Breanna Stewart in the 2021 WNBA All-Star Game, the Puma Nitro Fuzion Spectra takes a look at the low-top trend with modern materials and sleek styling. Nitrogen injected cushioning supports players on the move, while an adaptive FuzionFit + compression band ensures feet stay locked. These are built for speed, whether you’re bringing the ball across the court or creating havoc from the wing.
Puma Clyde All-Pro Basketball Shoes
The Puma Clyde All-Pro aims to honor the past while evolving with the times. Remade with LaMelo Ball and the next generation of leaders in mind, the All-Pro offers the same smooth ride as the original, but is covered in modern Matryx materials on the upper and ultra-responsive ProFoam + cushioning under the foot. The silhouette comes in a range of shades that pay homage to classic NBA franchises and even the beloved Christmas movie “Elf”.
Puma RS Dreamer 2 Basketball Shoes
Offering cross-appeal, the Puma RS Dreamer 2 is J Cole’s second signature shoe. First seen on Cole in his cover for Slam magazine and later in action during its Basketball Africa League run, this mid-top model offers more support than its predecessor with an even bolder look. A mixed material upper with stacked overlays is reminiscent of high fashion favorites, while an inflatable EVA midsole proves this shoe is still for all business.
Puma Clyde Hardwood Basketball Shoes
The Puma Clyde Hardwood is a practical basketball shoe designed strictly for hooters. Further enhancing Clyde Frazier’s iconic silhouette, this modernized low top shoe combines leather and suede on the upper for an old school feel and breathable textiles on the toe box. Set on a semi-translucent sole and featuring vibrant branding details and overlays, the Clyde Hardwood is a stylish choice that proves more than capable on the court.
Puma Court Rider Basketball Shoes
Carried by the NBA Rookie of the Year LaMelo ball, the Puma Court Rider is built for speed. The low shoe remains stable thanks to an exaggerated lacing system and a sticky rubber sole. Puma’s bold branding culminates on the inside and outside of the multi-layered upper, which is made up of a variety of textiles for style, structure and breathability. Stunning colourways that pay homage to the Nickelodeon Rugrats cartoon and the popular NBA 2k video game franchise take this model to new heights.
Puma Clyde Court Disrupt Basketball Shoes
Puma Basketball has made a comeback with the release of Puma Clyde Court Disrupt. A positionless basketball shoe that balanced old-school ethics with the energy of youth, this re-imagination was worn by young talents such as DeAndre Ayton, Terry Rozier, Skylar Diggins and more. This is because the shoe amplifies Clyde DNA with a knit style and is based on a blend of Ignite foam and NRGY beads for top notch performance. The style is so popular that it is currently sold out on the Puma website and is only available in limited quantities at select retailers.
Puma Uproar basketball shoes
The Puma Uproar has been worn by the best players in the NBA, from center DeMarcus Cousins to playmaker Terry Rozier. Slightly lower than the Clyde Court Disrupt, the Uproar uses Ignite foam and NRGY beads while combining leather and mesh on the upper for a soft yet rugged fit. An external heel counter, herringbone traction pattern, and conventional lacing system compare them to many mid-tops on the market that work for the full spectrum of players.
Puma Legacy Basketball Shoes
The Puma Legacy pays homage to New York streetball icon God Shammgod, known for his dazzling ball handling. The styling features a blend of Ignite foam and NRGY beads for responsive cushioning and a non-slip outsole so you can juke on a dime. Along with the Shammgod style, the Legacy was launched in other mid-top make-ups as well as low-cut versions. The likes of RJ Barrett and DeMarcus Cousins have brought the Legacy Series into NBA action.
Puma Clyde All-Pro Kuzma Basketball Shoes
Celebrating the convergence of fashion and function embodied by the original Clyde model, Puma brought in stylish swingman Kyle Kuzma for their latest update to the classic silhouette. Cool enough to turn heads in the tunnel but made for basketball, Puma sought out a third-party Rhugi style to mesh the track with the hardwood. The finished product offers performance perks like a Matryx engineered knit upper and full-length ProFoam + midsole in a retro aesthetic that only the more frill can pull off.