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Puma’s Mostro is coming back in 2024 — and below, we’re looking back on its legacy over the last 25 years.
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When the Mostro first debuted on the sneaker scene in the late ’90s, the style was known for its narrow, spike-soled silhouette — created with fashion-focused audiences in mind. The style notably featured a Velcro-strapped upper as well, bringing it a modern, streamlined appearance. Pairs skyrocketed in popularity throughout the early 2000s, with a brief reemergence in 2017.
Today, the style has come back into the sneaker label’s rotation with a range of activations, including an Ottolinger collaboration and new future colorways — plus a New York Fashion Week bash — for its 25th anniversary.
Below, brush up on the history of the Puma Mostro as its comeback looks to be one of the major trends of 2024.
When did Puma’s Mostro sneakers first come out?
Puma initially released the Mostro sneakers in 1999, according to Puma. The style featured a narrow, low-top silhouette with a. upper secured by asymmetrical Velcro straps. The pair was notably complete with rubber soles, which included rubber spikes across its front for a sporty edge.
What inspired Mostro’s spiked silhouette?
The Mostro shoe’s spike-tipped soles were directly inspired by ’80s surfing shoes and track spikes from the ’60s, according to Puma Catch Up. The textured base has remained in the shoe’s various colorways over time, as well as its accompanying knee-high Mostro sneaker boots. Befitting of the shoe’s Frankenstein-like origins, its name comes from the Italian word for “monster.”
Peter Schmidt, who’d also go on to work on Puma’s collaborations with Jil Sander and Alexander McQueen, is the designer responsible for the Mostro. Much of his efforts for the company focused on working with the foot’s natural shape, which is why you see the snug uppers and minimalist soles.
What colorways was the Puma Mostro released in?
The Mostro was initially released in colorways including black, white and red. Over the years, the style was also launched in hues including purple, orange, pink, yellow, blue and gray across various leather and suede iterations. In 2024, the shoe’s first two colorways feature palettes of light gray and neon yellow, as seen in the style’s accompanying campaign.
Have Puma’s Mostro sneakers been previously re-released?
Puma re-released the Mostro sneakers in 2017 with three dark colorways: black leather, navy blue suede and geometric-textured black neoprene. In 2023, Mostro’s were released in a “Coffee Roasting” shape with gum rubber soles, as previously seen on the brand’s website.
Upon its return in 2017, the Mostro was recognized as a Red Dot Design Award winner. The Red Dot jury’s statement read, “The PUMA Mostro has a design which is already defined almost as classical and it fits well; its functional qualities are convincing.”
Who’s worn the Puma Mostro sneakers over the years?
Since its release, the Puma Mostro has been worn by celebrities both off-duty and on-camera, including A$AP Rocky and Skepta most recently. In the early 2000s, Madonna frequently wore the sneakers during her 2002 “Drowned World” tour, and Scarlett Johansson wore an updated version of the shoe dubbed the Mostro Nu throughout her 2005 sci-fi film “The Island.”
Has the Mostro been in Puma’s brand collaborations?
The Mostro took center stage in Puma’s collaboration with Ottolinger, released in October 2023. The co-branded launch featured a pair of black and white high-top Mostro sneakers, as well as two sets of knee-high Mostro boots — one black and red, the other brown and metallic gold.
Why is Puma’s Mostro sneaker being celebrated at Fashion Week?
On Feb. 8, Puma will take over Manhattan with a New York Fashion Week event at the Park Avenue Armory. The fashion show will celebrate the Mostro sneaker and its landmark 25th anniversary, complete with displays paying homage to the style — as well as to-be-revealed musical guests for the occasion.
“With this show we will celebrate the comeback of one of our most unconventional ‘low-profile’ icons,” said Heiko Desens, Puma’s creative director, in a statement. “We will also be using this moment to reveal some Mostro design concepts clearly pointing towards the future to build the sneaker archive of tomorrow.”
The Mostro’s comeback comes amid a wider resurgence of Y2K styles and will stand out on its own among other sneakers from the era that’ve once again become trendy. Archival running shoes from the early-to-mid aughts that make heavy use of mesh will continue to be a major trend — as seen by releases from Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Asics, Saucony, and others — but the Mostro is a more singular silhouette from the same time period. Unlike the other shoes, which have been repurposed for lifestyle after initially being intended for performance, the Mostro was always made with a more fashion-oriented crowd in mind.
The Mostro may have started to trickle back last year, but 2024 will see its full return commence in earnest. 2024’s first release for the Mostro saw it sell out Jan. 13, but you can expect to see numerous more appearances as the year continues.
About the Author:
Aaron Royce is the Digital Editor for Footwear News, where he writes stories on trending news, celebrity style, collaborations and in-depth profile interviews. Prior to joining Footwear News, Aaron wrote for publications including PAPER, Grazia and the Daily Front Row. He currently holds a B.S. in mass communications from Virginia Commonwealth University.
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