Ader Error’s collaboration with Puma shows that sneakers need not be over-designed to look good
By Ray Zhang
I don’t know about you, but I have had quite enough of super fancy shoes. The Malay language has a perfect word for how I feel: jelak (‘bored’ is inadequate a description, but you know what I mean). Enough of complex uppers (Balenciaga Track and Louis Vuitton Zigzag), brick-thick air soles (Shoes 53045) and superfluous text and hanging tags (anything Off-White). The comeback of Nike’s Daybreak and Tailwind made me realise that I no longer want super yachts for shoes, a catamaran will do.
Which means I won’t be going back to Stan Smith and kin. I still want my kicks interesting, but I don’t need them to be the next exhibit at the museum of footwear excesses. I like some colour since I won’t go full nurse mode nor goth gloomy. I like textural contrast since two fabrics are better than one (suede and leather!). And I like a few details since these would be so discreet they’ll be my inconspicuous enjoyment.
The one recent sneaker that meets all these requirements is the latest Puma X Ader Error collaboration, based on Puma’s classic tennis shoe CGR, with a few additions, naturally. Korea’s most feted streetwear label overseas won’t have it any other way. They don’t offer token makeovers a la Pharrell Williams; they are wont to deconstruct, but without transmogrifying the shoe’s recognisable form.
This CGR appeals to me because it’s not some basic silhouette on steroids (which, as we know, are banned in sports anyway). I like that it has a whiff of the 90s and includes visible yet discreet details such a labels alongside the lace guard (which includes two pairs of contrast-coloured D-ring lace holders). The colour story and details have, in fact, been explored in the collab’s RS9.8 and Roma sneaks, but I find that they’re better executed in the CGR, which comes at the right time—I’m retiring them dad shoes!
Puma X Ader Error CGR (White & Surf the Web pack), SGD189, is available at Leftfoot. Photo: Chin Boh Kay