Puma is a sneaker brand that started in 1924, nearly a century ago. It was a small German shoe factory founded by brothers Rudolf and Adi Dassler. The pair produced athletic footwear for playing sports. The brand evolved into a famous manufacturer in the sneaker world and amassed loyal customers from across the globe. Puma has made its share of collaborations through the years and one of the most prolific is the meeting of the minds with Ralph Sampson in the Puma OG collection bearing his name. To fully appreciate the merits of the sneaker one must examine its finer points and take a closer look at why it hit the shelves with a frenzy of buyers waiting to scoop them up.
History of the Puma OG Ralph Sampson
The Drop Date reported on the announcement of the pending release of the Puma Ralph Sampson OG. In 2018, a re-issue of the sneaker was on the horizon. The news put Puma enthusiasts on alert that the vintage sneaker from the 1980s was on its way to the shelves. It was to be a new take on his signature model that became legendary. Ralph Sampson earned legendary status as a player for the Houston Rockets basketball team. The giant basketball player towered at 7 ft. 4 inches. After more than thirty years, the sneaker model was set to make a comeback in a court sneaker that is available in a low top and a mid-version for more modern sneaker lovers with a passion for vintage throwback editions and the game of basketball. The retro sneaker’s pending release caused quite a stir in the sneaker community.
A closer look at the Puma OG Ralph Sampson sneaker release
The OG Ralph Sampson emerged in 2019 as a clever throwback to the original sneakers of the 1980s, when the first Ralph Sampson signature edition dropped. the former NBA player lent his name to the shoe with its rubber cupsoles and minimal cushioning. When compared to modern editions the improvements offer greater comfort and support, but that’s a part of its evolution. The 2019 edition dazzled sports history fans with a brilliant white for the leather uppers with decorative accents of Peacoat navy and Grey Violet seen in the piping and branding details. The familiar signature of Ralph Sampson appears above the solid stripe on the side along with the brand and model stamp.
Wear Testers assessed the Ralph Sampson OG advertised as a mid as a little taller, referring to it as closer to a hightop. Sampson wore the originals before they underwent a redesign. The latest iteration isn’t made for professional athletes, nor is the model a competitive or technical shoe. It’s an attractive sneaker with a vintage appeal that is sophisticated yet sporty, available in two colorways. The sneaker is meant to honor Ralph Sampson and his legacy. The full leather uppers are supple and flexible enough to move with the feet for all-day comfort. Highsnobiety points out that you can wear these sneakers on the court but they’re more attuned to those seeking to make a fashion statement on the streetwear scene. Puma modernized the 2019 sneaker with some interesting twists. Aesthetically, the white leather upper with the Ralph Sampson signature with its hand-written appearance in gold stands out as a luxury feature with Gold retro PUMA Majesty branding placed on the lateral side, Puma branding on the tongue, and the contrasting color overlay on the lateral side.
The Grey and Navy accents are sophisticated lendings just enough contrast to make the sneaker visually interesting. It’s a sneaker that has a classic feel with a nod to the past NBA great. The Ralph Sampson OG’s leather uppers feature perforated details on the vamp. They’re decorative but serve the distinct purpose of providing ample airflow and ventilation to prevent the feel from overheating or perspiring. One of the best improvements on the sneaker is the padding added to the tongue and the collar. They’re far more comfortable than the vintage edition, but not overdone. Fitted overlays around the ankle provide the needed support in this region of the shoe. the most recent edition offers full lace closure with a mid-rise lacing option. The fit is customizable via the lacing system. The sole is textured rubber for exceptional traction and grip on walking surfaces. It’s another improvement over the old materials used in the 1980s. The contouring of the upper adds support while slimming the appearance of the feet. Cushioned footbeds provide comfort for all-day wear. The Puma OG Ralph Sampson mid-top sneaker is still available at the Puma website, when in stock, for a price of $90 per pair. If you can’t find your size there, you might have better luck with an online vendor, but the price will be significantly higher for these iconic sneakers.
The Puma OG Ralph Sampson signature edition was re-issued in 2019 after decades since it debuted in the 1980s. New updates and comfort features show the evolution of Puma’s technology and new materials since that era. The throwback sneaker is a tall mid-ankle sneaker style that could easily pass for a hightop. Its sophisticated styling and the addition of bracings and supports at the ankles and heel, with comfort padding at the tongue and collar, present a modern version of the vintage, legendary sneaker from the 1980s. It’s still a celebration of the man, his legend, and the game of basketball. Puma isn’t marketing the OG Ralph Sampson as a technical sneaker for the basketball court. It’s more aligned with fashionable streetwear. It’s an attractive pair of kicks. You can still find them for sale at prices ranging from $90 and up. They’re good-looking and versatile mid-style sneakers with the Puma comfort and technology that has catapulted the brand to its current status on the market today. It’s Puma doing what it does best. They deliver high on iconic sneakers that are both fashionable and functional.