The sportswear brand unveiled the Active Gaming Footwear on Wednesday, receiving mixed reactions from both casual gamers and professional eSports athletes.
Puma said it carried out “extensive talks with professional gamers”, which apparently revealed the need for a high-performance sock to play video games in.
They come in different modes – SEEK mode, ATTACK mode, and CRUISE and DEFENCE mode – though from the website alone it is not clear what each mode offers. The Independent has asked Puma for further clarification.
The product page states the socks were “created with console gamers in mind [and] designed for indoor and in-arena use”.
The description continues: “[The socks] deliver seamless comfort, support and grip so gamers can adapt to different active gaming modes and game their best.”
Gamers reacted to the socks with a mixture of delight and dismay at Puma’s attempt to monetise the eSports industry.
Some Twitter users were quick to point out that Puma’s new socks share similar features to the footwear handed out for free at trampoline centres.
Others appeared confused that Puma is marketing them specifically towards console rather than PC gamers.
Puma’s socks are not the first footwear designed specifically for gamers, with K-Swiss launching the MIBR One-tap “eSports pro sneakers” earlier this year.
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.
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