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 criticized this style of shoe as being like overpriced water socks.
Whether that comparison is fair is up for debate. Regardless, PUMA is offering these gaming socks for sale in Europe and Australia at this time for the equivalent of around $100 USD. It’s unclear when these ‘gaming active footwear’ models will be available to purchase in other markets.