Have you ever played a console game and blamed your footwear? No? Well, PUMA has a $160AUD (Approximately £80) solution for you anyway.
They’re called “Active Gaming Footwear,” or as the description page says, gaming socks. “Created with console gamers in mind, the gaming sock is the first edition Active Gaming Footwear,” the description says. While sports and fashion have gone hand in hand for decades, so it’s no surprise that esports is slowly but surely making a similar impact. Nike has launched esports jerseys, Adidas has signed Ninja, and now Puma is getting in on the action with the launch of its “active gaming footwear.” Or, more specifically, “gaming socks.”
PUMA has introduced a new type of ‘shoe’ that it refers to as gaming socks. The company designed this new model specifically for console gamers, it explains on its website, though it also mentions in-arena use, suggesting that it is targeting professional esports players. The new type of shoe is described as fitting like a sock because it is, in a way, just like a really fancy sock.
Fabric sock-like shoes have become trendy; they’re a comfortable alternative to traditional sneakers or gym shoes, offering the comfort of a sock combined with the fit and sole of a shoe. These types of shoes are tailored toward indoor use, or perhaps casual city walking, often offering enhanced breathability and comfort for long days in the office or classroom.
PUMA is kicking off its Active Gaming Footwear line with ‘gaming socks’ that are essentially another type of fabric shoe. The company says these shoes are made for arena and indoor use; they feature what the company calls ‘SEEK,’ ‘ATTACK,’ and ‘CRUISE/DEFENSE’ modes with medial, lateral, and heel wrap-up grip, support, and stability. The rubber sole, meanwhile, has a low profile, offering grip like a shoe.
Of course, one must wonder how gaming socks are meant to increase one’s gaming performance. They would undoubtedly be more comfortable when sitting at a desk for hours compared to ordinary sneakers, but loafers and other types of shoes could also fit the bill. Likewise, some consumers have criticised this style of shoe as being like overpriced water socks.
According to the official product listing, the shoes – or “socks” have a number of features and benefits. The listing is showed as;
Created with console gamers in mind, the gaming sock is the first edition Active Gaming Footwear. Designed for indoor and in-arena use, it delivers seamless comfort, support and grip so gamers can adapt to different active gaming modes and game their best.
FEATURES & BENEFITS:
Medial wrap-up grip in SEEK mode
Lateral wrap-up support in ATTACK mode
Heel wrap-up stability in CRUISE and DEFENSE mode
TPU skin added support
Engineered knitted upper for comfort and breathability
Custom last sock-like fit
Outsole: low profile rubber outsole for grip
Insole: two densities foams co-moulded with a non-woven layer to improve comfort and increase torsion control.
In the past, a number of other brands have also released gaming-specific products.
Nike also revealed its first professional jersey for eSports players in September, having announced a four-year sponsorship deal with the League of Legends Pro League (LPL) in China at the start of the year.
Professional gamer Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins announced a major brand deal with adidas in August, believed to be the biggest individual sports brand deal in eSports history.