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An icon of soccer culture reimagined: Puma Palermo sneaker hits SA

This '80s legend from the brand's design archives has been updated for the modern streetwear world

SA creators match the Palermo, R1,799, with Puma football jerseys to channel a modern terrace aesthetic. Featured colour combinations: Black Feather-Grey Gum (him) and White Vapor-Grey Gum (her).
SA creators match the Palermo, R1,799, with Puma football jerseys to channel a modern terrace aesthetic. Featured colour combinations: Black Feather-Grey Gum (him) and White Vapor-Grey Gum (her).
Image: Puma

A legend from Puma's design archives has returned in the form of the reimagined Palermo sneaker.

The Palermo first debuted about forty years ago, when it was created as part of a special series of Puma sneakers paying homage to some of Europe's most famous cities such as Oslo and London. This particular silhouette owes its name to the capital of the Italian isle of Sicily.

The low-top sneaker soon became a wardrobe staple of the terrace crowd in 1980s soccer stadiums. Part of Puma's storied history, to this day, the Palermo evokes a deep sense of nostalgia for many football fans.


Mzansi creatives style the Puma Palermo, R1,799, for a sporty look. Featured colourways: Vine-Clemintine (him) and Special Pink Delight-Puma Green (her).
Mzansi creatives style the Puma Palermo, R1,799, for a sporty look. Featured colourways: Vine-Clemintine (him) and Special Pink Delight-Puma Green (her).
Image: Puma
Like the original, the 2023 Puma Palermo features a signature tag at the upper and a classic terrace gum sole.
Like the original, the 2023 Puma Palermo features a signature tag at the upper and a classic terrace gum sole.
Image: Puma

Now this icon of soccer culture has been revived for the modern streetwear world. The 2023 Palermo incorporates much of the unmistakable design DNA of the original — its signature tag at the upper, a T-toe construction and a classic terrace gum sole — but it's been updated with vibrant colourways and fashioned from a tactile mix of suede and leather.

To celebrate the silhouette's return, Puma kicked off its first-ever Palermo campaign showcasing how different personalities make the sneaker their own.


Footballer Jack Grealish sports the Puma Palermo, R1,799, in colourway White Vapor-Grey Gum.
Footballer Jack Grealish sports the Puma Palermo, R1,799, in colourway White Vapor-Grey Gum.
Image: Puma newsroom

The first chapter, released in October, starred Jack Grealish, the beloved Manchester City midfield playmaker and upstart, who is a style icon in his own right. He teamed the Palermo with classic light-washed denim and an oversized topcoat for a contemporary smart-casual look.

Then it was famed singer-songwriter Dua Lipa's turn. Photographed in a historic Italian villa, she paired the Palermo with oversized sportswear and jeans.


Singer-songwriter Dua Lipa wears the Puma Palermo, R1,799, in colourway Vine-Clementine.
Singer-songwriter Dua Lipa wears the Puma Palermo, R1,799, in colourway Vine-Clementine.

The latest chapter of this campaign sees SA creators match the Palermo with Puma football jerseys to channel a modern terrace aesthetic. 

How will you style yours?

The Puma Palermo, R1,799, is available in eye-catching colour combinations, including Special Pink Delight-Puma Green; Vine-Clementine, White Vapor-Grey Gum and Black Feather-Grey Gum.

It's available from Puma.com, Puma Retail stores, Colt45 by Al Capone, Sportscene, Shesha, Office London, Sidestep and Superbalist.

This article was sponsored by Puma.