PUMA Clyde

PUMA Clyde






Walt “Clyde” Frazier was one of the NBA’s most prolific players in the 1970’s, leading the New York Knickerbockers (The Knicks) to the championships in 1970 & 1973. During that time he was given the nickname “Clyde” which was given based on his resemblance to the infamous Clyde from ‘Bonnie & Clyde’. Originally released in 1972, Walt was the first basketball player to have his own signature shoe.

Throughout the years collaborators and companies have put their own spin on the shoe, but true Puma collectors know that the must-have Clyde’s are those made in Yugoslavia. The originals were released in five suede colourways: green, gold, scarlet, red, and blue. The shoe featured “Clyde” in a script font emblazoned on the side just below the PUMA logo. One of my favourite features is the perforations above and below the formstripe. The stripe meets at the heel with a blank heel tab. Not only is the shoe itself iconic but the teal box from the first releases has also become a collector’s item. It features a two-piece box with Walt’s image.

Although some collaborations have changed parts of the shoe, such as the UNDFTD Stripe-Off editions, most releases have the same features. One of the best parts of the shoe, in my opinion, is the sole. I like the speckled sides that meet up with stripes in the front. Turning it over and seeing the star pattern on the bottom always makes me feel good. I know that when I’m walking in snow or leaving footprints, a smart sneakerhead will see that and say, “Someone wearing Puma Clyde’s just walked here.”

Although it was first created for basketball, its use progressed to Hip-Hop, dancing and skateboarding. Forty years is a long time for a style of shoe to be in production. Many styles from PUMA and other companies have come and gone yet the Clyde is still around and coveted.


Text: Jennifer Gonzalez