Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Puma Wimbledon

Puma also produced tennis shoes bearing the name of the famous All England Club in Wimbledon. I don't have a catalogue picture of the first 'Wimbledon' model to date it, but it is exactly the same as the Puma 'Wilhelm Bungert' which features in the 1969 catalogue. It is therefore possible that it was produced directly before the licence with Wilhelm or possibly after he left for adidas. The shoe is made from box calf leather and has (rather unusually) suede reinforcements at the ball and toe part, giving the wearer extra protection during slides and lunges. The toe also has an extended rubber bumper presumably to stop wear during play. It features a Puma Number II sole (Puma were very imaginative with their naming of soles in the early days) which looks very similar to the adidas dish sole. It's pretty rare to find a pair of these today in any condition. I know Will Clayton has a pair of the Puma 'Bungert' which is about the only pair I have seen in anyone's collection.

The Earliest Puma 'Wimbledon' made in Western Germany

'Wilhelm Bungert' from 1969

Wimbledon seems to then take a break until 1977 with the introduction of a very familiar model. Puma used this profile with one or two minor changes on a number of models during this period including 'Tennis Super', 'Hard Court' and 'Davis Cup'. The sole unit is a Puma Star which is made of extremely hard wearing rubber and was apparently 'abrasive proof''. The upper is made of cowhide and the form stripe is fashioned from three rows of perforation holes. The finish is all white except for at the heel and the colour of the outsole. I've seen versions with royal blue, navy and orange outsoles. This shoe was produced until 1985 in the German and Yugoslavian factories, although the latter models had a herring bone pattern on the outsole in comparison to the earlier multi-nub pattern.

1978 catalogue picture of 'Wimbledon'

1984 'Wimbledon' with re-designed herring bone sole with pivot point.

Puma France also produced a 'Wimbledon' from 1982 to 1985. The shoe is made from a mesh nylon with a nubuck vamp, sitting on a dual density PU sole, not un-similar to the famous 'California' model albeit with Velcro straps for fastening.

French Wimbledon

Puma released a few model 'Wimbledon'  models in the late 80s including a couple of Becker variations, but I'm saving Boris for another day.

'Wimbledon Indoor' from 1987, one of the later models to feature the famous name.


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