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When Puma debuted its CELL cushioning technology back in 1996, the early marketing push was centered on the phrase “alien life form.” In 1996, with the X-Files and Independence Day as massively popular reference points, this was the most effective way to introduce a technology that had legitimately never been seen before (just like the spaceship that Jeff Goldblum and Will Smith learned how to operate.) The original Puma CELL was the world’s first foamless running shoe.

A radical departure from the industry standard of foam cushioning, the honeycomb shaped cells that gave CELL its name were made from molded, Polyurethane Elastomer. Not only did this new technology provide optimum performance over a greater timespan than foam cushioned footwear, it provided cushioning that could be more precisely controlled, according to the specific needs of a runner, right down to individual foot strikes.

From a design point of view, this revolutionary development was tailor made for the visible technology wave that swept athletic footwear design in the late 90s. 1998’s CELL Endura featured a stylishly chunky, round shape, the minimized use of the classic Form Stripe branding and a unique eyelet structure that made use of multiple laces. These design elements matched the forward thinking spirit of Puma’s innovative performance technology with a bold, assertive aesthetic that could only have come from the dawn of the new millennium.

Unlike My Heart Will Go On or I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing, the CELL Endura is a piece of 1998 that you’ll welcome back with open arms. The latest variation on the CELL Endura adds glossy patent leather overlays to the original suede/mesh/leather construction.

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