During the infancy of sneaker endorsement deals, one pair in particular really caught plenty of spotlight in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
This sneaker captured the attention of viewers all around the world when it was held up on the Olympic medal podium at the Summer Games in Mexico City in 1968.
Its mystique and cultural clout increased further in 1973 when it became the foundation for the signature shoe of the NBA’s most stylish player of the generation.
It was a simple silhouette, with one major point of difference to any other sneaker on the market: it had a suede upper.
The PUMA Suede, a groundbreaking lifestyle shoe when it released in 1968, brought a high-fashion fabric to a product that had previously relied on leather and canvas in its construction.
U.S. athlete Tommie Smith, a PUMA endorser, raised a black-and-white Suede on the dais in Mexico City during his civil rights protest that stunned the world.
Walt Frazier made design modifications to the original Suede, making it lighter and more flexible, to create the shoe dubbed “Clyde,” which took his nickname and put it on the feet of sneaker enthusiasts for decades.
Now the icon of style is back to juice your rotation with the arrival of the PUMA Suede for men, women and kids.