I am honestly pretty excited about these. Ever since PUMA checked back in into performance basketball, you could just sense some fresh vibes in this scene. Especially with the re-introduction of the Clyde franchise into the performance segment. Earlier this year, I had the chance to give the PUMA Clyde Hardwood a test ride and boy, were those nice basketball shoes. Sure they had one or two flaws but they still made my shoe rotation nonetheless and stayed in there for quite a while. The reason why the All-Pro got me all excited now, is because while unboxing and inspecting these, I could just see and feel that the Herzogenaurach based sports company made some upgrades. So. Let’s. Check. These. Out!
Not sure, if I have mentioned it on the KICKZ Blog before, but I really dig basketball sneakers that bring some old school flavor with them. And even though PUMA re-interpreted the look with some fresh elements, the Clyde All-Pro and the whole line in general certainly does that for me. Sure, the low cut is somewhat modern but it’s actually also not 🤷♂️. If you look way back, you’ll see Clyde FRAZIER rocking low tops back in the 1970s. Also, you now get, where these got their name from, huh? So this silhouette is actually a classic when it comes to basketball and PUMA just emphasized that theme by also going vintage when it comes to the selection and placement of their significant design elements. What’s also significant, is how PUMA just shed weight compared to the Hardwoods, making these the “fastest and most lightweight Clyde” according to the Germans. And yes, it only weighs 365 g and is therefore almost 100 g lighter than its predecessor. Great job in tackling one of my main concerns with this shoe line.
A little bit of premium and a lot of performance driven material can be found on these. Let’s start it off with the former as this is pretty easy to check off the list. The Clyde All-Pro has a suede heel cap. That’s it. Checked ✅. The more exciting material is however the Matryx Evo Tech knit, which is used throughout most of the upper. This is totally performance driven stuff. It’s thin and light but still feels very robust and supportive at the same time. The only downside is that it felt somewhat stiff. Not to an extent that it would feel uncomfortable or even hinder it from performing, but I think it just needs a little bit of break-in time to get the right creases in the right areas. Apart from that, great selection and definitely the right decision in order to make these lighter.
PUMA claims to use “high-abrasion, sticky rubber for enhanced durability and traction” on these and even before checking the specs, holding it in hand I could already tell that the outsole is stickier than all of the shoes I have tested lately. So this instantly got me thinking that these must have insane grip… and they do. And they give you that squeaky sound 🔊 at every hard stop. Definite upgrade over the Hardwoods. What I however noticed to be somewhat of a minus point, is that rather soft rubber compound. So while PUMA mentions it to be pretty much highly durable, I have some concerns here. But I guess only time and more basketball action will tell.
I think everyone that has tried the PUMA Clyde Hardwoods had one wish: softer cushioning. Back then it had ProFoam but unfortunately due to heavy caging, we never quite experienced its full potential. This time around, PUMA goes with full-length ProFoam+ and it’s uncaged! Good choice as you can definitely feel the difference. Not necessarily at the first step-in but through the course of testing, I was just impressed by how much better and softer these felt compared to last year’s release. For me, this part is actually the greatest upgrade and finally completes what I was missing in the Clyde line. Court feel is also solid by the way!
I went true to size and that‘s also what I would recommend. But go by your US size! Depending on the brand, my US9 can vary. While that‘s normally an EU42,5, it‘s an EU42 for PUMA 🤷♂️. That inconsistency between different brands though 🙄. Some may say that’s only half a size. Yes, but you also know how annoying a sloppy fit is. So get it right! Above, I have also mentioned break-in time, but that really only concerns the actual materials. The shoe is comfortable nonetheless. Especially the padded tongue and collar make these a great wearing experience. I did not feel any kind of pinching or jamming at all. What‘s also great is lockdown. The shoe kept my heel in position at all times and also prevented my foot from sliding side to side. Good fit. Not particularly narrow. Go find your US size.
I have mentioned it before, but let me say it again: I am super sceptical, when it comes to low cuts. Ankle injuries had me off the court more days than lockdowns in 2020 did. So I will always look twice, if a shoe does not even touch my ankles. To get this out of the way, if you are someone that needs certain feedback around the ankles, these are not for you. These will at best graze that area. But let‘s also get this straight. The base has a little bit of an outrigger and all in all offers good stability. Lockdown is great as mentioned above. Keys for that are the heel counter, that strong Matryx knit and the midsole, which comes up in the rear area. Sure, I personally prefer ankle restricting elements but I still felt relatively stable and safe at all times.
The PUMA Clyde All-Pro is undoubtedly one of my favorite shoes of 2020 and I am very excited to have these replace my PUMA Clyde Hardwoods in my shoe rotation. Not only did they solve my main issues regarding cushioning and weight, PUMA also upgraded most elements of this shoe compared to last year. One of my personal highlights is certainly traction. The only real minor downside for me is support. It still freaks me out a little bit when my ankles are exposed like this. At a price of EUR 130,- you get a highly competitive shoe. Sure, at that price you will also find some signature shoes from current NBA players and if it’s that what you are looking for, then that’s fine as there are a lot of options in that segment in general. But the All-Pros stand up for themselves by scoring with modern lightweight materials, good cushioning, great bite and a comfortable wearing experience. And don‘t underestimate that clean look 😉.
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