The PUMA Speedcat sneaker is a Y2K shoe coming in faster than an notification from BlackBerry Messenger in 2004.

No really, the PUMA Speedcat may just race past adidas' Samba shoe as the best lifestyle shoe of 2024 (or at least 2025). The emerging hype around this racing shoe is partly due to PUMA's celebrity ambassadors stepping on the gas — what other brand has endorsement deals with RiRi and Rocky at the same time?

But what's really giving the PUMA Speedcat a boost right now is its forward-looking design, as a sneaker originally designed for hardcore F1 racing that just so happens to give off a ballet flat vibe, merging two contemporary trends at once.

It's a hard shoe with a soft spot that gives it this sexy unisex appeal.

The PUMA Speedcat is also battle-tested: originally released as a lifestyle shoe in 1999 after being worn by F1 drivers throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, the original Speedcat sneakers survived burnout even before it hit the mainstream market.

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Finally, on June 29, the Speedcat launches in the United States at retailers like KITH, atmos, END, Sneakersnstuff, and other specialty sneaker stores.

So buckle up because the Speedcats are about to go on a world tour circuit, having already raced into specialty markets.

In January 2024, for instance, PUMA made a pit stop in Korea with a pop-up that also revealed an upcoming Speedcat shoe made in collaboration with buzzy designer JUUN.J, slated to drop in August 2024.

These upcoming PUMA Speedcat shoes are dressed up in suede and comes in black or red colorways, which reference early-2000s racing uniforms that would have skidded perfectly into any motocross-themed lookbook today.

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While everyone from Supreme to Craig Green has been tapping into motocross and racing-inspired apparel, PUMA has been running laps around the circuit. Ever since ASAP Rocky was hired to be the creative director of PUMA's F1 line in 2023, he has turned Y2K-era PUMA silhouettes like the Mostro into race-ready steppers fit for an avatar in Gran Turismo.

Cool girls like Emily Ratajkowski have already been giving the PUMA Speedcat-like sneakers a spin around the block. The numbers on the scoreboard don't lie.

In May 2024, PUMA reported it has been growing sales within the last quarter thanks to these retro shoe styles.

With so many Sambas on the track today, Adidas most popular flat shoe might be loosing speed with a fashion forward crowd.

Maybe the PUMA Speedcat will leave Sambas eating dust?

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