PUMA bridge exhibition

Archive stories

PUMA The Discovery
play

the creation of the archive

Over the past 7 decades, we have made history with our legendary athletes again and again. We have often been the first brand to introduce ground-breaking innovations and we collected lots and lots of stories.

All of these stories, innovations and milestones have now been collected in our brand-new PUMA archive. You can dive right in and find insightful anecdotes about our legendary athletes, icons, inventions and shoes or watch the first films produced by the archive.

For starters, the video "The Discovery" tells you how the archive was first set up and why Helmut Fischer, Mr. PUMA, plays such a crucial role.

archive visitors

Linford Christie in Herzo
Linford Christie, sprinter & marketing pioneer  Photo credits: christoph maderer/ puma

archive visitors

Clyde Frazier and Helmut Fischer
Walt "Clyde" Frazier, basketball player and fashion icon  photo credits: ralf rödel/ PUMa

archive visitors

Linford Christie
Tommie smith, sprinter and human rights activist  Photo credits: ralf Rödel/ puma

archive visitors

Klaus Wolfermann
Klaus Wolfermann, javelin thrower photo credits: ralf Rödel/ puma

archive visitors

Heinz Fütterer and Helmut Fischer
Heinz fuetterer, sprinter Photo Credits: Daniel Kardos/ PUMA

archive visitors

Schmid PUMA
Harald schmid, hurdler photo credits:  Ralf rödel/ puma
A culture of firsts

During 70 years of history, PUMA has often been the first brand to introduce ground-breaking innovations in sports and fashion.

"Forever Faster" has always been in our nature, as a true sports brand and we used all of our expertise to help athletes to get to the very top. We have set trends in fashion that have left our competitors with nothing but late copies.

Come with us on a journey through time and enjoy some of the best ever moments in sports.

Culture of firsts
PUMA shoe 1952

We were the first to make sure you get a grip in 1952

PUMA developed the world’s first football boot with screw-in studs together with experts, such as West Germany’s national coach Sepp Herberger. The launch of the “SUPER ATOM” in 1952 marks the beginning of PUMA’s highly successful heritage in football.
PUMA shoe 1960

We were the first to bond in 1960

We were the first sports shoe manufacturer to use the technologically advanced vulcanization production technique, whereby the sole and the shaft of the boot are bonded. This innovation helps PUMA athletes to achieve top performances.
PUMA shoe 1960

We were the first to let you get an even better grip in 1960

There was a time when football boots were uniformly constructed from smooth, supple leather. To try our different materials meant breaking an unspoken code. But PUMA ignored the convention of those times and made a shoe with aggressively textured rubber on the vamp. This was arguably the beginning of what came to be known as power football boots.
PUMA shoe 1968

We were a pain in 1968

The Brush Spike, designed in 1968, featured Velcro for the first time on performance footwear. But it was the brush spikes themselves that really pushed the limits. The tiny rows of spikes – 68 small, only 4mm long bristles in the front area of the foot – maximized traction and minimized resistance. The innovation worked so well that numerous American athletes, who wore the boot, set new world records just a few weeks prior to the Olympic Games in Mexico. However, according to the association, the shoe was deemed “too dangerous” and consequently banned. All athletes wearing the shoe had their world records withdrawn – a fact that has not been rectified until today.
PUMA King 1970

We were a revolutionary King in 1970

The PUMA KING from 1970 came with a revolutionary flat structure that made it lighter. In order to increase its softness and comfort, kangaroo leather was used for the very first time. Pelé wore PUMA KING boots and helped Brazil win the country’s third World Cup title.
PUMA shoe 1970

We were functional in 1970

What started as a functional solution for reducing strain on the Achilles tendon has become a signature visual detail of PUMA footwear. The white cutout on the back of so many shoes visualizes a zone where material was removed to allow pressure relief on the vulnerable tendon.
PUMA King 1976

We were the first to introduce flexible cleats into cycling in 1976

Cyclists in the 70s used nails to attach the cleats to the soles of their shoes. Once nailed, the cleats’ positions were fixed. At the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, PUMA debuted the innovative Olympia-Sprint which featured a plastic sole with cleats that could be re-positioned according to the riders’ needs. The outcome was the ability for racers to optimize their foot angle, improving efficiency and speed while sprinting.
PUMA shoe

We were the first Sports Brand on an F1 Race Track in the early 80s

This driving boot, designed for Stefan Bellof, was the first shoe made for a Formula One driver by a sportswear brand. Bellof commanded attention in 1983 when he drove the fastest lap to date around the Nürburgring. At a time when race car drivers had a 20% chance of dying in their car, PUMA designers prioritized safety and protection, as seen in the notable height of the shoe, while maintaining the minimalist needs of the driver, such as light weight and exceptional pedal grip. The Speed Cat was based on this shoe and is one of the most commercially successful shoes in PUMA history.
PUMA shoe 1982

We were open in 1982

Armin Dassler took inspiration from a bendy straw to invent the Torero Duoflex Sole. This revolutionary technology made athletes like Diego Maradona even more nimble and paved the way for molded flex zones that are still in wide use today.
PUMA Sneaker 1985

We were connected in 1985

Boris Becker needed a shoe to help him take even more risks on the court without incurring more injuries. PUMA worked closely with the champion to understand his style of play. The result was the first mid-top tennis shoe that prevented ankle turning and provided the tennis star with the confidence and protection to take flight.
PUMA Sneaker 1986

We were ready in 1986

Being already far ahead of its time, PUMA understood the importance of data to the athlete. At a time when personal computers were not widely used, we put one on the heel of a running shoe. Our runners were tracking speed, calories burned and distance covered with the PUMA RS back when computers were still magic boxes.
PUMA Disc 1991

We were laceless in 1991

After being the first performance wear company to eliminate laces by incorporating hook and loop in the 1960s, PUMA outdid itself by developing the DISC lacing system. This technology, which was developed in the early 1990s and is still being used and refined today, allows snug, custom fitting. Internal wires are tightened by a simple twist of the DISC.
Linford Christie

We kicked off innovative marketing in 1996

At the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996, we caused a stir with contact lenses: at a press conference, Linford Christie appeared with a white PUMA cat on top of his eyes. PUMA’s contact lens campaign later became a symbol for innovative marketing, not only in the sports industry but far beyond.
white PUMA King 1998 Jil Sander

We were the first to introduce sports to fashion in 1998

As the first sports brand, we merged sports and fashion through a cooperation with star designer Jil Sander. Lifestyle versions of the “KING” and the running shoe “Easy Rider” were launched in close collaboration and became desired fashion sneakers.
PUMA Lifestyle 1999

We were the first to merge sports and lifestyle in 1999

We launched the “Mostro” and kicked off one of the largest trends of the last decades: the fusion of sports and lifestyle. The PUMA Mostro with its typical Velcro fastener and spike sole is a combination of two shoes – the Sprintspike from 1968 and a surfing shoe from the 80’s. The result was a brand new and unprecedented lifestyle shoe which was quickly picked up by fashion icons such as Madonna.
Cameroon team soccer

We were the first to go sleeveless in 2002

In 2002, Cameroon's Indomitable Lions became the first African football team to make it to the World Cup quarterfinals. PUMA celebrated this first with another first, by issuing the team with sleeveless jerseys. The jerseys were banned by FIFA, though praised for their comfort and style.
PUMA Serena Williams

We were daring in 2002

Serena Williams caused a stir worldwide in her skintight “Catsuit” at the US Open in 2002.
Cameroon soccer team

We were brave in 2004

Everyone knows a football kit is made up of two pieces. Says who? The one piece UniQT designed for Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions removed unnecessary bulk and limited shirt grabs, setting the stage for a style of unstoppable football.
PUMA soccer shoe 2006

We were the lightest Football boot at the World Cup 2006

The v1.06, which was unveiled for the 2006 World Cup, was the world’s lightest football boot. Weighing only 200 grams, its ultra-thin ConTec microfiber upper gave athletes unmatched speed and improved ball feel. The grass “camouflage” was a never-before-seen visual expression, designed to disguise the feet of PUMA players from their opponents.
PUMA shoe racing 2007

We were ultimately racing in 2007

Red + form-stripe + Ferrari + world champion = FAST! The SF Future Cat Hi was the racing boot of choice for Michael Schumacher, the greatest driver in Formula One history. It’s no wonder with its ultimate functionality details: the hidden lace loops create a smooth and streamlined upper, the low-profile outsole, asymmetrical lacing, and split heel offer agility, sensitivity, increased blood circulation, and supreme pedal precision.
Sprint records

We smashed Sprint World Records in 2009

We wrote sports history in 2009, when sprint hero Usain Bolt smashed the 100m and 200m world records in Berlin. Lightning Bolt broke the 100m world record with an amazing time of 9.58 seconds, when he effortlessly sailed past his own world record of 9.69 seconds, 0.11 seconds faster than exactly a year earlier at the Olympics in Beijing. He manifested his reputation as a sprint superstar when he also broke his own 200 meter world record to become World Champion in 19.19 seconds. With the Jamaican team coming in first in the 4×100 relay in 42.06 seconds, he finished a historic week by adding another gold medal and World Championship title to his tally.
PUMA shoe 2013

We were the World’s lightest Racing Shoe in 2013

New rules for weight reduction in Formular One spurred PUMA to create the world’s lightest racing shoe. Extensive research and design innovation came up with a shoe that fulfilled the comfort and fit requirements of top drivers and still weighed in at only 98 grams per shoe.
PUMA Disc

We were just simple in 2014

PUMA DISC technology from the early 1990s continued to be streamlined. The cable lacing system once housed in a large plastic base was now contained within a low-profile cylinder that rose just above the surface of the mesh upper. The technology is the shoe’s primary visual element, eptomizing simple design.
PUMA tricks

We played ‘Tricks’ in 2014

Just in time for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, we revealed our PUMA Tricks, a new colorful interpretation of the evoPOWER and evoSPEED football boots. The unusually colored boots represented the unshakable confidence of players who wore them, and highlighted their potential to do the unbelievable. Mario Balotelli, Cesc Fàbregas, Sergio Agüero, Marco Reus, Radamel Falcao, Olivier Giroud, Gianluigi Buffon and Yaya Touré were among those who sported them.
PUMA shoe

We arrived in the future in 2015

Ever since Marty McFly time-travelled to the year 2015 in “Back to the Future 2”  and put on shoes that tied themselves, 2015 was the year for which auto-lacing footwear was expected. And guess what? We delivered. That year, we unveiled a pair of PUMA sneakers with an Ignite sole that came with an automated tightening function of our patented Disc system. At the touch of a button, the wearer fastened the shoes. Depending on which way you pressed the Disc, the shoe either got tighter or looser.
Formula 1

We created science fiction in 2015

Imagine information on speed, revs per minute, fuel usage and race lines being automatically displayed on the visor of your helmet, while driving a racing car? Sounds like science fiction? It is not. In 2015, we joined forces with BMW to create a futuristic driver suit, that used Bluetooth technology to transmit data from BMW’s “CSL 3.0 Hommage R car” to the driver.
PUMA Thermo jacket Ad

We kept you warm and cool in 2016

In 2016, we designed a jacket with adaptive dynamic thermoregulation, the evoTRG Thermo-R Vent Jacket. It had ergonomically-placed inserts that adapted during your moves: they opened when you were running to keep you cool and closed when you stopped to keep you warm. This jacket was so amazing, that it was chosen as Winner in the ISPO AWARD 2016 category Apparel Performance Products Outer Layer.
Racing shoe 2017

We were again the World’s lightest racing shoe in 2017

We wanted to create the most minimalist solution and we did. In 2017, we designed a Formula 1 shoe that looked like a sock. The idea was to make the lightest shoe, so we knitted an upper in one piece made of Nomex. We then added a neoprene outsole, which is the world’s lightest and provides most grip – important features, because the sole acts as the critical interface between the drivers and their race cars, facilitating lightning-fast throttle and brake responses.

Stories from the PUMA Archive

In addition to the shoes, pictures or autograph cards, the Archive also features the stories that made PUMA's 70-year-history so special. 

Dive into the Archive and read stories about the PUMA legends, inventions and history

Daddy Cool

Basketball legend and fashion icon Walt "Clyde" Frazier

read the story
Walt Clyde Frazier und Helmut Fischer

Photo Credits:

Ralf rödel/ puma
Boris Becker

Want an autograph?

Even Boris Becker started off small.

 

 

Read the story

A passion for the PUMA King

Lothar Matthäus: "Yes, but..."

His passion for the PUMA King caused Lothar Matthaeus a lot of trouble

 

read the story
Lothar Matthäus and Helmut Fischer
Heike Drechsler, Merlene Ottey and Linford Christie

Heike Drechsler

Bringing the Disc to Track & Field

It was in 1991 when PUMA introduced another gamechanger...

 

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Cover Picture Credit: Christoph Maderer/ PUMA