PUMA Relaunches The SpeedCat Sparco Sneaker34.0522° N, 118.2437° W
"In a time where nostalgia is appreciated, there is nothing that speaks to that desire more than the release of the PUMA SpeedCat Sparco."
PUMA’s connection within the motorsport world runs deep and it’s one of the longest running sports partnerships to date. Their passion for sport and performance fits the mold Formula One teams like Scuderia Ferrari and Mercedes-AMG Petronas; who wear PUMA’s apparel day-in and day-out as they compete in Grand Prix’s all over the world.
Originally launched in 1999, their SpeedCat Sparco sneaker is arguably the sportswear brand’s most iconic piece from their Motorsport collection. The sneaker was created in collaboration with Italian auto parts and accessories company, Sparco and it was the footwear of choice for Formula One drivers during that era.
This was primarily because its low-profile silhouette allowed them to feel the pedals and the feedback their high-powered vehicles was giving them. Like the vehicles themselves, the SpeedCat Sparco was also constructed with high-quality materials that ensured the driver’s feet were protected from the heat of the brakes and g-force that they were exposed to as they raced.
The sneaker easily became a favourite amongst motorsport fans and many of them sought to get a pair of their own. This reason and the ingenuity of youth subcultures in the 90s helped the SpeedCat become an icon on and off the racetrack.
We remember our first pair of SpeedCat’s like it was yesterday. For us, their influence was distinctly because of its European feel. The silhouette paired well with the slim fitting fashion of the late 1990s and early 2000s. It was a sneaker that we could dress up if we wanted to stand out from a crowd of dress shoes and loafers. But if we wanted to step out in wearing something more casual it could easily satisfy that criteria.
For 2019, the PUMA SpeedCat Sparco is revived with smooth suede materials and a comfortable PU sockliner. The sole pays homage to the brand’s motorsport heritage with tire-like tread marks at the bottom and a Sparco embroidered badge on the top of the tongue. All of this is presented in a eye-catching ribbon red-puma white colour way.
In a time where nostalgia is appreciated, there is nothing that speaks to that desire more than the release of the PUMA SpeedCat Sparco. However, instead of pairing it with tight fitting denim and v-neck tees, this generation is definitely more creative. We’ve seen individuals sporting the SpeedCats with a more streetwear-oriented aesthetic, pairing it with more relaxed clothing. It could be with their graphic tees, cropped trousers, and oversized jackets but still keeping inspiration from the 90s era.
We packed our pair with us to Los Angeles and put together a look inspired by our Caribbean uncles who wore their SpeedCats with cargo pants and denim jackets.
The limited SpeedCat Sparco in a ribbon red-puma white colour ways is available today, October 31st, 2019 at retailers like Livestock.
Words & Photography: Jon Carlo Tapia