Please, Don’t Smudge My Puma
Why are you reading about dude-related stuff? Because it’s Fit Bottomed Dudes’ Week, that’s why! Click here for all the special posts, and please share with the guys in your life! This post is written by Ryan Walters, who just happens to be married to FBG Jenn.
I have been active my entire life, beginning at the age of four playing chase the ball (amongst other things) on the soccer field. During my grade school and early adolescent years, I participated in one competitive sport or the other (soccer, baseball, basketball and volleyball), which culminated in captaining my high school soccer team and founding my high school’s men’s volleyball team and conference. I stayed active into college—reverting to my pre-pubescent level of competition with the campus intramural leagues of flag football and basketball with my roommates and dormitory colleagues. Finally, following my college years, I’ve enjoyed hiking, running short races such as the Trolley Run in Kansas City, playing shortstop for my firm’s softball league, playing tennis, and I’ve recently re-discovered my true inner athlete training with Jenn at the Fit Pit.
That is a long list of formal activities…so what’s the point? Why might this interest you? Well, in all these past 30 years, I have worn A LOT of damn sports shoes. I am intimately familiar with darn near every type of cleat, tennis, basketball, running, hiking and otherwise active shoe type that has been invented and somehow—through all of my travel, tryouts, playoffs, overtimes and training sessions—I have never worn Puma.
To me, a “puma” has been many things: a fast sleek cat, a punchline in a Chris Rock song, a large bleach-blond goalkeeper playing for Sporting Kansas City (nicknamed “White Puma”), and a fashion shoe worn by the pre-hipster types beginning in the late 90s (in my personal experience personified by “Big T” one of my oldest friends—note the apparel in photo at right).
So imagine my surprise when Jenn presented me with two new pairs of Puma running and cross-training shoes to try out for Fit Bottomed Dudes’ Week. I said, why not? I’d certainly consider myself qualified to comment and, truth be told, even though I have worn many athletic shoes in my day, I couldn’t say I have “a brand.”
I have wide, large feet for my frame size (think Hobbit-sized, but without the disgusting hair and of normal height). And I have always been an explosive athlete—as a result I generally destroy shoes. Slowly at first. Worn color, scuffed toe and, then, the sides of the shoes begin to erode and eventually blow out. Occasionally, I’ve torn the sole partially off; other times I’ve simply sheared the stud out of the cleat. As a result, I’ve never formed a quality relationship with any particular shoes brand. So sure, Jenn, give me the shoes. Let’s see if I destroy them…