When Tommie Smith raised a gloved fist towards the sky after breaking the 200-meter sprint record and winning a gold medal at the 1968 Olympic Games, his gesture quickly became one of the most iconic moments in sporting history. On Smith’s feet — and later, in his hands — during this historic act was the PUMA Suede, a classic silhouette that PUMA is now using as a tribute to the sprinter. Smith has been with PUMA for over 50 years, so the brand has crafted an ultra-limited take on the Suede to celebrate his legacy, both as an individual and as a member of the PUMA team.
Limited to 307 pairs in salute of Smith’s Olympic jersey number, the ultra-premium sneaker features an OG black/white color scheme and was crafted in Italy from luxurious leathers and suedes. Individually numbered heel gold heel hits replace the standard leaping cat logo, and each pair comes packaged with a certificate of authenticity that’s signed by Smith himself.
“I’ve been with PUMA for over 50 years, because I view that company as a family, and not someone who gave me shoes to run,” said Smith. “And the shoes that I ran in you saw on the victory stand, and that was a social positive for me, to run for something that would grow later on in a way that I could help others as PUMA helped me move through that particular difficult time.”
All 307 pairs were seeded to a select group of PUMA athletes and family members, and will not see a retail release. However, if you’re looking for a classic style that you can snag right now check out Nike’s latest GORE-TEX equipped Air Force 1s.