ART NUMBER: 178
MADE IN: WEST GERMANY
During an era when PUMA started manufacturing footwear for a vast and numerous amounts of sporting activities the Te-Ku’s made their introduction. Although an exact date for their first release date is not completely clear, it was during the late 1970’s they were first released and shown in the PUMA catalogues of their time. Their name is an abbreviation for the sport to which they were intended – ‘Tennis & Kunstrasen’, translating to Tennis & Artificial Grass or Astroturf.
The most distinguishing and standout feature on them as seen here are their totally smooth sole without any tred or markings. This made them ideal for the environment for the purpose as the athlete would be able to quickly manoeuvre about the court and most likely perform sliding shots when necessary. The smooth gum sole was likely they were a unique detail for Tennis shoes at the time as it’s not a detail seen on other shoes of their time.
Their simple beige suede upper and matching braided laces with black lettering would’ve been to match the nearly all white uniforms players would’ve worn during the 70-80’s. Manufactured out of PUMA’s West Germany & Yugoslavian factories the other variant made was the Te-Ku 80, with some pairs having Gold lettering and no leaping cat on the rear heal.
20 years later in the early 2000’s retro models were released in a variation of colourways not previously seen and in materials including suede and canvas. Having an all gum sole with tred pattern they were probably more of a casual footwear choice rather than for their performance capabilities on a court.
Text: Professor B