The PUMA California Was Born In The Magical Tennis Era Of The 1980s
The PUMA California trainer came straight from the courts courtesy of the Argentinian tennis legend Guillermo Vilas.
Performance court shoes made a massive impact in the 1980s thanks to endorsements and sponsorship deals with some of the very greatest. Diadora had Björn Borg with the legendary Borg Elite (1981) a style that is still regarded as one of the greatest 80s casual trainers of all time. Nike had John McEnroe with the Nike Air Trainer 1 (1986) and PUMA had the Argentinian tennis icon, Guillermo Vilas with the California (1982). Alongside Borg and McEnroe, Vilas also dominated the Gram Slam rankings, titles and trophies during the late 70s and early 80s. As tennis athletes themselves became faster and more powerful, they demanded a new breed of shoe that could keep up with the fast pace sport. Although rather simple compared to modern day trainer technology, the court silhouettes of the era really pushed the boundaries of what was physically possible for a performance shoe at the time. Styles like the PUMA California are still to this day regarded as one of the greatest court shoes of all time.
Above: The PUMA California trainer in a trio of new colourways now available from 80s Casual Classics.
Originally released in 1982 and worn by the Argentinian tennis legend Guillermo Vilas, the California became just as popular off the courts with the growing casual style and sportswear look of the early 80s. It also marked the start of a line of PUMA styles with Vilas, followed by the G. Vilas 2 Core trainer in 1983. The name itself was taken from a traditional way of making shoes known as the California technique and was designed as a universal training shoe for indoor and outdoor use. The signature chunky sole gave the California its own unique identity and with the help of Guillermo Vilas, the style has become an all time PUMA retro court classic.
Above: The PUMA California trainer in white/blue now available from 80s Casual Classics.
Now introduced to 80s Casual Classics, the PUMA California makes a return in OG form straight out of the Herzogenaurach, Germany based archives. Available in a trio of classic style colourways including white/red and white/blue the legendary 80s silhouette features the signature perforations to the toe vamp alongside the famous chunky sole unit and the iconic track stripes branding to the sides. A great addition to any casual collectors or retro trainer enthusiasts wardrobe, the California takes us all back to the magical tennis era of the 1980s.
Above: The PUMA California trainer in white/red now available from 80s Casual Classics.