The debut of the Trinomic Cushioning technology back in 1989 started a wave for PUMA like no other. By dropping the R698, prior to which shock absorption was solely left to the EVA outsole, PUMA revolutionized the footwear industry with a running shoe so comfortable that to this date is one of its most important silhouettes. The other half of the Dassler brothers was doing well and it was imperative that PUMA delivered its goods too.
The R698 was the first sneaker to feature PUMA’s Trinomic cushioning technology. It was an arrangement of honeycomb/hexagonal patterns in the sole that could compress and redistribute load while you moved. The running community immediately adopted the shoe and the R698 became the superstar of 90’s running. It offered unmatched comfort, the technology was ahead of its time, the stability was great and the shoe was very light.
The other great thing about the R698 is its shape and simple looks while packing a punch underneath. The upper consists of several panels making it an open field for the Sneaker designers to play around with. Over the years, the structure of the outsole has undergone a few changes but at the heart, the Trinomic cushioning system sits tight and true. The R698 has plenty of accolades to its name with a number of collabs by notable names in the industry like Frank the Butcher, Size?, ALife, Ronnie Fieg, LIFUL, Brooklyn We Go Hard (BWGH), Vashtie Kola, STAMPD, Foot Patrol, and many more. Each time the silhouette has been featured in a collab, something unique has been produced that rarely ever resembles any previous version. On top of that, PUMA has kept the R698 on everyone’s radar by coming out with packs every now and then.
Despite being a runner at its heart, the R698 is surprisingly wearable as a casual shoe with its minimalist dressed- down simplicity. The BWGH collabs are a perfect example of how some of the more muted colorways make this shoe even more appealing. The R698 is available in Mesh, Leather and Suede in a variety of colorways including the more blingy Vashtie Kola collabs (metallic gold and silver). Basically, if you have an outfit, there’s an R698 just for that outfit somewhere in the vast pool of collabs or general release packs by PUMA.
If you’re wondering where did the New Balance and ASICS Mids announcements of 2016 come from, you have to thank nobody but PUMA R698 Mids that were announced in January 2016, an idea that just got copy pasted for the fall-winter season by other brands. PUMA has always done its thing and this is the one thing among many that makes them stand out and earn their respect. They know the mileage of their classics better than any brand out there and they know when to strike. Their designers have always been ahead of the curve with sick silhouettes like the Blaze of Glory, R698 and Disc Blaze but it is their love for simplicity while putting technology and materials to work that has won them fans across the board.
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