In a year that has seen some superb sneaker anniversary celebrations, Puma has made up a very special Suede Classic for the model’s 45th birthday. Puma commemorates the significant milestone with the release of the PUMA SUEDE SAPPHIRE, a special edition made exclusively in Puma’s Japanese factory. The Sapphire refers back to the inception of the Suede and its original colourway, as well as the precious stone that marks a 45th anniversary. Continuing with the 4-5 theme, Puma will release only 450 pairs of the Sapphires worldwide.
Starting life as a basketball sneaker, the Suede has undergone numerous appropriations and reinventions through the years, but for this project Puma are reverting to the original blueprint. Gone are the fat laces and eco-friendly synthetics, replaced instead with premium materials and Japanese artisanal craftsmanship.
This edition comes with all the minimal, simplistic goodness that the original Suede brings but with the addition of some carefully thought-out enhancements, Puma have elevated the shoe to luxurious new heights. The upper is draped in rich, premium brushed suede in a uniform hue of deep sapphire blue, with a tonal leather hit applied to the heel counter. The usual woven tongue label is swapped out for more of the dark blue leather, with the regular Puma lettering exchanged with a spade and mallet logo, nods to the heritage of manual craftsmanship from which Puma have drawn inspiration. Laser-etched Suede branding appears on the midsection with an added Sapphire logo towards the rear. The shoe’s inner is lined with buttery soft off-white calfskin, with all three logos adorning the insole. This all sits cleanly atop the classic Suede sole unit in white.
As if all that wasn’t quite premium enough, Puma have included with the packaging a seriously deluxe leather dust bag in the same blue and off-white colourscheme. The release is topped off by that all-important green box that made its long overdue reappearance with last month’s XT2+ release.