No, that is not the USAF’s latest stealth jet. Meet the Puma Disc Blaze, a shoe that turned 24 this year and still looks like nothing else on anybody’s feet. If you hate laces then you are going to love this one.
Puma is a brand that has been at the forefront of shoe innovation for a very long time. In 1952, Puma made the first football boot with screw in studs. In 1968, they made the first Velcro closing sneaker. In 1990, probably at the behest of people who hate the sound Velcro makes, they also came up with the Puma Disc system.
It works quite simply. As the disc is rotated, the wires attached to the supports on the upper are pulled tighter, creating a custom fit minus the hassle of having shoelaces. Ultimate comfort can only be achieved when a shoe is made to fit an individual foot and this is exactly what the Disc system was made to do.
Puma’s Trinomic cushioning system was cutting edge in the 90s, when the war for runner tech supremacy was on, and still feels plush to this day. Although a little stiff, it does give you all the support you need. The honeycomb shaped cells distribute load evenly and return energy efficiently all while giving you the support you need for quick direction changes. The size of the cells is also varied, with larger ones situated at the heel. And is this not one of the most beautiful shoe soles you have ever seen? Granted, the sole of a shoe is not something you will get to show or see much but man this looks rad.
Trinomic, since its first use on the Puma XT2 in ’89, formed the basis of most of Puma’s running shoes in the 90s. It’s amazing how the Disc Blaze has held up over the years and still looks futuristic, more than 20 years later.
Classic Puma green insole. This reissue also comes in a green box just like the original did back in 1991. The loop above the tongue improves ease of use. Also note the unusual asymmetrical toe box. Details, details.
The plastic heel counter is part of the cage that holds the Disc system in place, and also features some nice branding. Though it may seem minimal, it does a good job of keeping your foot in place.
Behind the plastic ‘wings’ that support the Disc system, you can see that the Puma formstrip has been retained. Its little details like this that set this shoe apart from any other shoe out there. Seriously, on feet these look like they’re from another world. Brought back from the archives the shoe has already been the target of many successful collaborations, my favorite of which is the Ronnie Fieg x Puma ‘Cove’. This silhouette is easily one of the most iconic in shoe history and is a must own for sneaker history buffs because it introduced a whole new closure system to the world.
And just last week Puma revealed the AUTODISC system, which is a powered lacing system that tightens and loosens the upper with the push of a button. One step closer to auto lacing. And now for that hoverboard.
Photos by Uday Shanker