A Striking Balance

The collab between Puma and Helly Hansen yields some fine kicks. This is one of them


Puma X Helly Hansen Trailfox.jpg

Among those in this equatorial hothouse who seek outdoor wear for cooler climes, Helly Hansen (HH) is likely an unfamiliar name, if compared to, say, Timberland. But HH is a heritage brand, one that was founded in Norway 142 years ago, making it more than twice the age of the Boston-born Timberland, which started in 1952.

Helly Hansen is known for their pro-grade gear for skiers and sailors, and their outerwear is especially popular in Japan, where they are sold through retailers such as Nanamica (a cult fave) and Beams, as well as in their own free-standing stores. So sort after is the brand among the Japanese that Undercover has recently collaborated with HH to tap into the growing demand for rugged and handsome outdoor styles.

The curious and uninitiated here now can get to savour Helly Hansen goods (girls, they’re not connected to Sally Hansen!) as the results of the brand’s collaboration with Puma, which have been available since late September, includes clothing too, are available on our shores. So this is not off-the-factory new. Yet, this pair of trainers caught our attention again recently when we visited Puma’s flagship at Jewel, and it looks even better the second time round, perhaps because the trend in outdoor styles is so prevalent and is more compelling than the persistence of street wear.

Helly Hansen has chosen to work on Puma’s Trailfox, a sturdy-looking poly-terrain, originally designed for trail-running, but now assigned the role of a “training shoe”. Given the anything-goes attitude of the footwear wear choices of gym-goers, it won’t be out of place on a Nautilus track. Nor with anything trendy; as an affordable and no less stylish alternative to the Balenciaga Track.

The Norwegian brand does not remake the Trailfox into an out-there shoe. In fact, HH keeps to a conventional black suede-and-fabric upper atop a two-tone—white and a dove gray that is subtly perforated—middle, underscoring the logo-on-logo branding. Attached to this is an IMEVA mid-sole, under which is a rubber out-sole that offers traction and durability, and a distinctive cool touch: spot colour of hi-vis orange. To us, that seals the deal.

Puma X Helly Hansen Trailfox training shoes, SGD199, is available at select Puma stores. Photo: Chin Boh Kay

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