Porsche Design Studio and PUMA announced a landmark partnership last year, which would see the two German brands collaborating on a line of footwear and apparel. This month, the two debuted PUMA’s new XETIC cushioning with the Shift sneaker.
PUMA and Porsche have been teaming up for special collaborations regularly over the last 20 or so years, as the German sportswear brand continues to sponsor the Porsche racing programs as one of their main sporting industries. This year, however, things are slightly different, as the two brands signed a new partnership deal last year that will bring regular seasonal collaborations in the coming years. As a part of this new partnership, Porsche Design helped to debut the Cat’s latest new midsole cushioning, XETIC foam, in their new Fall 2020 collection. XETIC technology is the latest from PUMA’s FutureLab, the brand’s advanced research division. The name and the idea for the new cushioning come from the term ‘auxetic materials’, which refers to materials that behave in a specific manner when they are exposed to mechanical stresses like the compression of a footstep. Designed in tandem with the MIT Design team, XETIC consists of a molded rubber sole with figure-8 shaped holes reaching through it, allowing the materials to contract and expand in new ways.
Thanks to the Porsche Design team, we got our hands on a pair of the new Porsche Design x PUMA XETIC M Shift to test out and get a feel for the new materials. The M Shift is one of several sneakers in this season’s lineup, built specifically for a comfortable walking experience during all-day wear. The silhouette consists of a solid mesh and leather upper mounted on the XETIC tooling and adds color-changing panels and Porsche Design logos for some added flair. As expected from a collaboration with Porsche Design, the Shift features an array of premium materials, from the heavy but breathable single-piece of mesh that makes up most of the upper, to the smooth tumbled leather features around the tongue, heel counter, and inner lining. Immediately when opening the box, you know Porsche spared no expense on the quality.
Porsche Design and PUMA’s latest creation passes all the tests in our performance review. Described by the brand as a “comfortable walking shoe” The Porsche Design XETIC Shift has nailed the combination of delivering pure performance underfoot while mixing it with a more lifestyle-minded upper in terms of appearance and comfort. The solid body of mesh conforms well to the foot, without any interior layering to hinder the breathability and flexibility of the materials. The XETIC technology underfoot is strong and responsive and despite its irregular height and weight, still feels like a natural extension of the foot instead of clunky and dragging you down. The quality of the materials used is also a major piece of the design, highlighting key features like the tongue and rear pull tab in luxurious full-grain leather.
The latest release from longtime partners Porsche Design and PUMA released earlier this month and is now available directly from the Porsche Design website. The triple-black colorway of the XETIC Shift Mesh that we tested over the past several weeks is available for $335, along with the rest of the 2020 collection. Check out some of our images below for a better look, and stay tuned to JustFreshKicks for more PUMA release news.
Porsche Design x PUMA XETIC M Shift Mesh
Release Date: Available Now