ART NUMBER: 1510
MADE IN: FRANCE
If anyone was to look through PUMA’s they’d come across several models named after City’s around the world. The concept was applied to several original models; such as these Helsinki’s after the Finland’s capital city. It was also known of them to manufacture different shoes while giving them the same name. This also happened to the Helsinki’s; of which these are were the originals.
First spotted in PUMA catalogues circa 1976, it’s not fully known why they specifically choose the Finish capital to name the model. Some of models named after cities were linked to Olympic Games, but as the events were held between Germany, Canada & Russia at the time this could was unlikely in this case. There were at least three different mock-up’s that’s known of. The one’s seen here and two running shoes with Polyurethane soles. Even though the shoe wasn’t linked directly to a sporting event, it was marketed as a training shoe that the mass market consumer could wear casually.
The shoe featured a rich red suede upper and white formstipe. The colourway may seem an odd decision considering the flag of Finland is white and blue. In a similar construction to other models from the same era, there is a diagonal piece of material just before the front toe section of the shoe. This addition was believed to improve strength and flexibility during performance. The inner-sole is made from towelling material which would have been more comfortable and absorbent during usage.
After release of the Helsinki was released it was never seen again as a re-issue or retro. The shoes that followed carrying the same name bore no resemblance to these. Why PUMA chose to re-use the name on a seemingly different shoe is not known, but it was a fairly common practice. With the numerous of models such as these that exist in the PUMA archive, hopefully one day they’ll see the light of day once again as a re-issue.
Text: Professor B