PUMA Disc System
ART NUMBER: 7745/1
MADE ON: 10/92
MADE IN: KOREA
Competition is a good thing for the consumer. It pushes boundaries forward and sometimes results in some innovative products. Innovative and sneakers in the same sentence? Well in 1991 PUMA released its futurist Disc System in response to Reebok’s Pump sneaker. Someone at the German company must have said “Hey lets ditch the laces!” Crazy idea but what came out of it was the PUMA Disc. The initial marketing used the slogans “Turn it on” and “Win. Lose. Never tie.”
It’s difficult to imagine putting some tech into a sneaker without it being a complete fad but the PUMA Disc did provide a distinct benefit.
These OG PUMA Disc’s from 1992 have plastic wires running around the sneaker which are tightened by turning the disc at the top of shoe. This tightens a large proportion of the shoe around the wearer’s foot, giving the wearer a feeling of oneness with the shoe. The disc turns both ways to loosen or tighten, giving infinite adjustability. The disc system is released when the push button is depressed and the tongue pulled upwards.
I owned a pair of these when they first came out and I can safely say they were the most comfortable sneakers I had ever worn because of this. It is the same reason why sports cars have bucket style seats that hug you and make you feel part of the car.
PUMA also used their Trinomic sole cushioning system in this sneaker that was first introduced in 1989 which was their first move away from foam based soles. This is made up of a small honeycomb like structure filled with gel. On this sneaker it is exposed on the under-sole to provide the user with a peek inside.
The colour scheme on this OG release is quite sober compared to some of the other releases, with a base colour of White/Black with the addition of Blue and Lime accents.
The PUMA Disc system never quite took off when it was first released. Maybe it was ahead of its time. I think part of the reason was that it was quite heavy and never quite fitted in anywhere – not quite the running shoe it wanted to be and nor the lifestyle option for the masses. The current range of PUMA Discs are looking to change that with modern lightweight materials developed over the years and clever use of limited releases/collaborations and striking colours. They have certainly made an impression on me as I have picked up 12 pairs of Disc’s since their re-release last year!
Text: Imran Arshad