PUMA is starting 2016 very strong with the release of the Roxx Pack, consisting of two Blaze of Glory and two R698 colourways. As can be told from the name, the pack centres heavily around marble and rock effects. This pack carries on from where the 2014 Marble Pack left off, as again loud prints are presented with great subtlety through the use of very neutral colours. PUMA is never one to shy away from an outlandish graphic, as we know from previous releases including last year’s Alife collaboration, which was incredibly popular here at Attitude Inc. This pack is very much a statement from PUMA for this year, if it can keep producing quality general release packs like this, then we sure are in for a treat.
The Blaze of Glory comes in white and black, each with a contrasting print. The black Blaze of Glory focuses on a snowy-looking rock print which, being white set against plain black uppers, resembles a birds-eye view of Mount Everest. This print covers the whole of shoe aside from the side panel cages and the sock-liner, which are kept in black, to set the print off even more. A white-speckled midsole is added for good effect because let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a speckled midsole? Black laces with reflective 3M details are thrown in for good measure to add that final pop to the shoe. The white Blaze of Glory focuses on the marble aspect of rock, with fine black details sitting on a crisp white base to give the shoe a look resembling a Roman temple interior. Much like the black Blaze of Glory, the print covers the whole of the shoe other than the side panel cages and sock-liner which are kept white. Light grey speckles are added to a white midsole, to give the shoe an overall more toned-down feel to the black iteration. Both are very strong options nonetheless.
The white Blaze of Glory focuses on the marble aspect of rock, with fine black details sitting on a crisp white base to give the shoe a look resembling a Roman temple interior. Much like the black Blaze of Glory, the print covers the whole of the shoe other than the side panel cages and sock-liner which are kept white. Light grey speckles are added to a white midsole, to give the shoe an overall more toned-down feel to the black iteration. Both are very strong options nonetheless.
The R698 colourways also come in white and black, with both again featuring contrasting prints. However, instead of the print encompassing almost the whole of the shoe as is the case with the two Blaze of Glory colourways, the prints only feature on the toe-boxes of each R698 colour-up. As Ronnie Fieg proved with numerous fantastic Puma R698 collaborations, applying certain prints and colours just to the toe-box of the R698 can produce some brilliant results, and this is evident again with these two colourways.
The black R698 features the same snow-mixed-with-rock-style pattern on the toe-box that can be seen on the black Blaze of Glory. The rest of the upper of the shoe is constructed with premium black perforated suede which is, in the simplest terms, pure butter. The heavily speckled midsole is also present on the black R698 as it is on the black Blaze of Glory, a nice touch on both shoes. The same black laces with *white/3M* details are added to the R698, the cherry on top of the perfectly executed cake. Alternatively, you could switch in some black laces from Fat Lace to expose the print on any of the shoes a bit more.
The white R698, again like the white Blaze of Glory, focuses on a marble print, which sits cleanly on the toe-box, adding a luxurious look to the shoe. This luxury is only emphasised by the premium perforated suede that is used for the rest of the upper, similarly to the black R698. Light grey speckles are added to the midsole for good measure, the final touch to a brilliant shoe overall.
The Roxx Pack is an overall outstanding effort from PUMA. Applying the same colourways and prints to both the Blaze of Glory and R698 allows people to pick the model that they prefer, as some are more drawn towards the retro-feel of the R698 whereas some prefer the futuristic style of the Blaze of Glory. Though, really, when they both look this good, does it even matter?