In the basement of the brand’s headquarters at 1 Puma Way in Herzogenaurach, Germany, sits PUMA’s priceless archive collection. Half-century old track spikes sit next to medals and trophies garnered by PUMA athletes over the years, as well as marketing materials like billboards and posters, and let’s not forget the boxes upon boxes of sneakers including Vince Carter game-worn kicks.
Some 40 years ago, engineers at PUMA saw more and more people take to the streets to run but realized that there were no shoes made for exercising on asphalt. PUMA archivist (and a man who is affectionately referred to around the brand’s headquarters as Mr. PUMA ) Helmut Fischer explained to Highsnobiety, “The Fast Rider started a new era, this was the first jogging shoe in Germany, and it was one of the first times when designers actually considered the needs of someone who runs on pavement. The [Federbein] technology on the sole was important, this provided a lot of shock absorption and comfort. These colors were quite contemporary for the ’70s. If you’re running when the sky is already dark, maybe these shoes would catch your eyes.”
A handful of archival examples of the Fast Rider exist within PUMA’s archive, including two with the shoe’s original blue and yellow color blocking from between 1979/80 and 1982/83. The pinnacle of cushioning technology in the early 1980s, the Federbein sole roughly imitates automotive suspension to provide a more cushioned road feel. The Fast Rider has been re-introduced as a retro drop several times over the years, including in 2017, when size? exclusively offered a Fast Rider pack consisting of two original colorways of the throwback runner.
Now for 2019, PUMA has reimagined the throwback low-top as never before, introducing the all new Rider sneaker. Designed with those same early ’80s design cues at the forefront, the Rider maintains signature details like a grippy, Federbein-inspired gum outsole, plus a ripstop, leather and suede upper that is faithful to its predecessor. A new line intersects the PUMA Formstrip, opening the door for more creative color and material blocking.