Talk about the entire RS-X range has been a bit subdued and considerable understated, and that is perhaps the reason why the current generation may not exactly get the significance of why Puma wants to bring back the RS shoe range of the 1980’s back in a modern avatar. Nevertheless, the chunky sneakers are back, with a generous dose of modernity to go with the old-world charm. And they are here to remind you of the toys that you probably loved as a kid, complete with the colors and the simplicity of it all. Puma is calling this the RS-X, and there are priced at Rs 8,999 onwards depending on which variant you pick. These are running shoes, these are ideal footwear to wear for a jaunt to the mall and they could even be the ticket to some attention at work. But most importantly, these are the shoes which have all the makings of becoming a collector’s item, and you would loathe to get these dirty with the underrated activity that is walking.
At the moment, the Puma India website lists the RS-X Reinvention (Rs 8,999) in the multi-color and white colorways, the RS-X Toys (Rs 8,999) in the black and blue colorways and the RS-X Toys Hotwheels Bone Shaker (Rs 9,999) in the black colorway. The RS-X Tracks and the RS-X Scuderia Ferrari options will also be available in stores.
Each of these RS-X options is now a mix of many colors, a mish-mash of elements and a whole lot of abstract art personality to go with it. There is no middle ground with these shoes—you will either love them, or completely dislike them from the first glance. Luckily, I quite love the RS-X Toys Hotwheels Bone Shaker edition. In all of these options, what you get is a base color, and then a lot of other colors bolted on in what look like separate pieces that have been simply stuck on. For instance, if you pick the RS-X Reinvention in the Multicolor colorway, you get a white underlying base with blue, red and black added on in different elements. The RS-X Toys Hotwheels Bone Shaker is black, with blue and yellow blocks of colour and stripes to go with that. However, all this uniqueness is visible only side-on, and not necessarily to the person wearing the RS-X. “Mirror mirror on the wall…”
Since these are a reboot of the chunky sneakers from the simpler times, it is quite easy to assume that these RS-X shoes will be quite heavy, and therefore not really be the most comfortable for any activity beyond just the style quotient. However, that is the farthest you can get from the truth. Wear these, and they feel deceptively light and well balanced. In fact, you really can have no racing driver excuses about lack of balance etc. That said, you will hate running or walking around in these, because these are primed to become a collectable in your sneaker line-up. Buy two of these then?
If you thought that comfort wasn’t really a primary concern for the classic sneakers, you would probably. The Puma RS-X would perhaps put a host of the so-called boost midsoles in some of the contemporary shoes to shame. At the heart, which is the mid-sole, is the Puma Running System (RS) polyurethane midsole. We feel there is the Ignite foam in there as well, though Puma doesn’t officially say. Slip your foot in, and you would realise that there is a medial longitudinal arch beneath your foot—this basically runs from the heel to the front, and is a polyurethane protrusion built on top of the midsole to provide support where otherwise there is a gap below the middle of your foot and covers the foot’s anterior transverse arch as well. This is interesting as an addition, because it cushions the foot at the shoe’s flex point when you run, thereby reducing the stress on the foot. There are heel and toe ‘pillows’ as well, for extra comfort. This is a neutral shoe, and there is a thick mid-sole between you and the running surface you are on, with adequate cushioning too. There is a very grippy outsole to be ticked off on the checklist
Even though this is a chunky upper, the construction is done in a way that your foot doesn’t feel hemmed in or warm at any point. The toe box is quite spacious, and the mesh offers good amount of ventilation. For a shoe that has many pieces joined together, it genuinely feels very well made and robust. The blast from the past also doesn’t complicate matters around the fit and how snugly your foot is cocooned inside the shoe.
Irrespective of your footwear preferences and what not, the thing is that the Puma RS-X are a completely unique proposition, unlike anything you may have bought or seen thus far. This can be your collector’s item, this can be your daily companion and this can do a fair bit of running as well—just showing the enthusiastic new boosted kids how it was done back in the day. A must have for your shoe collection.