PUMA continues its line of 80s running silhouettes as part of its Running System reboot, which officially kicked off in early 2018. The RS collection features a mix of different RS ranges, the latest of which is the new RS 9.8 range. The range is expected to include four designs, including the “Space,” “Core,” “Cosmic” and “SciFi” silhouettes. Having already dropped the “Space” and “Cosmic” sneakers, I had the opportunity to review the PUMA RS 9.8 Space.
PUMA RS 9.8 Space Design and Quality
The RS 9.8 range has a future-retro design, which takes its inspiration from the approximation of the speed of gravitational acceleration near the Earth’s surface of 9.8 m/s². The upper is crafted from a mesh textile finish, which is overlayed with leather and suede panels in contrasting colours. These bold colours are the reflection of space travel with its cosmos-themed colourways. The colours include the PUMA White mesh with a contrasting PUMA High-Risk Red in suede and the grey PUMA Formstrip, completed with black 3D TPU pieces, which is meant to create space-themed spheres. The sneaker also includes a full lace closure with the eyelets across three elements. The tongue features a graphic tab, featuring the PUMA emblem and the “RS 9.8” logo. The look is finished with an engraving of “R\\SYSTEM” on the rear heel.
Unlike the other RS silhouettes from the collection, the RS 9.8 has a much more minimalist aesthetic with even less branding and logos across the frame. However, there are some hidden details on the sneaker, such as the rubber outsole with its asteroid-like patterns underneath. Overall, the details and quality of the RS 9.8 Space are great.
PUMA RS 9.8 Space Comfort
What’s great about the sneaker is that the RS 9.8 has the same RS cushioning system as the rest of the collection. This means that the sneaker is extremely comfortable. While I do love the snug sock-like fit of many of the other sneakers, the RS 9.8 has a standard fit inner, which has a little more room to breathe. There’s still sufficient cushioning on the inside making it comfortable even after some time spent in them. The cushioning is also featured on the raised footbed, which makes it comfortable while walking or even running if required.
I already mentioned the rubber outsole with its asteroid-like patterns, but the design isn’t just for aesthetic purposes. The rubber actually provides good traction and grip with the pattern adding to this as well. It’s not the most complex of designs in terms of grip or water dispersion while running, but it gets the job done and doesn’t leave you feeling the awkward sense of a lack of grip on any surface.
With its lightweight PU and CMEVA midsole make for a very light stride, more so than many other silhouettes I own. For those who wear bulky shoes or sneakers, you know the battle of lugging around an extra 500g to 1KG on your feet trying to get around, which adds up over the course of the day. The RS 9.8 is one of the lightest sneakers in my closet, and with the added cushioning on the interior, footbed and outsole, I can walk around for hours at a time without even noticing the sneakers on my feet.
There’s a fairly large portion of PUMA silhouettes that can easily double up as both the standard sneaker for street cred, as well as being comfortable enough to wear at the gym or going for a run. With the RS 9.8, you get those benefits here too. The sneakers seamlessly transition between the two as well, so you don’t have to carry an extra pair with you during the course of the day.
The PUMA RS 9.8 Space ticks all the right boxes when it comes to a functional sneaker, lightweight, comfortable and practical. While it has a minimalist aesthetic, there are also quite a few nice details added to the design, including its bold, space-themed colourway.
The RS 9.8 Space sneaker has been available in various stores since end July 2019, including PUMA Select, Sportscene, The Cross Trainer, The Office, Superbalist, Side Step and Jack Lemkus. The RS 9.8 Cosmic dropped a few days back, which means you’ll have the choice of colourways between the two. Both sneakers retail for R1,599.
The PUMA RS 9.8 Space is a continuation of the Running System collection, kicking off the latest range based on cosmic themes. While the sneaker has a minimalist aesthetic, there are some hidden details making it stand out.
- Minimalist aesthetic
- Hidden details