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Exploring the Value of 1968 Puma Track Shoes: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to vintage athletic footwear, few pieces hold as much historical significance as the 1968 Puma track shoes. These iconic shoes represent a pivotal moment in sports history and have become highly sought after by collectors worldwide. In this blog article, we will delve into the world of 1968 Puma track shoes, exploring their value, unique features, and the factors that contribute to their desirability.

First introduced in 1968, these track shoes quickly gained popularity among athletes and enthusiasts alike. Designed with innovation and performance in mind, they revolutionized the running shoe industry. Today, the value of these vintage treasures has skyrocketed, making them a prized possession for many collectors.

The Historical Significance

Delve into the historical context surrounding the 1968 Puma track shoes and their importance in the world of sports. Explore the events and athletes that contributed to their rise to fame, such as Tommie Smith’s iconic protest at the 1968 Olympics.

The year 1968 marked a turning point in sports history, with the Olympic Games held in Mexico City becoming a platform for political and social statements. One of the most memorable moments of these games was the protest by American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos during the medal ceremony for the 200-meter race. Smith and Carlos raised their fists in a gesture of Black Power and human rights, wearing black gloves and no shoes. However, it was their choice of footwear during the qualifying rounds that captured the attention of the world – the 1968 Puma track shoes.

The 1968 Puma track shoes worn by Smith and Carlos during their qualifying races became symbols of their protest and the struggle for equality. These shoes, with their sleek design and innovative features, not only propelled the athletes to remarkable performances but also served as a powerful expression of their beliefs. The shoes themselves became iconic, forever linked to the fight for civil rights and the pursuit of justice. Today, owning a pair of these historic track shoes is a testament to the significance they hold in both sports and social history.

The 1968 Olympics and the Black Power Movement

Explore the role of the 1968 Olympics in the context of the Black Power movement and the socio-political climate of the time. Discuss the impact of Smith and Carlos’ protest on the world stage and the lasting legacy it created.

The 1968 Olympics were held against the backdrop of widespread civil rights movements and a growing demand for racial equality. The Black Power movement, characterized by its focus on self-determination, pride, and political activism, was gaining momentum in the United States. Smith and Carlos’ protest represented a defining moment for the movement, as their raised fists and shoeless feet sent a powerful message of solidarity and resistance against racial injustice.

By wearing the 1968 Puma track shoes during their qualifying races, Smith and Carlos not only showcased their physical prowess but also made a bold statement. The shoes themselves became a symbol of defiance and a visual representation of the struggle for civil rights. The image of Smith and Carlos on the podium, wearing those iconic shoes, became one of the most enduring and impactful images in sports history, forever etched in the collective memory of generations to come.

The Legacy of 1968 Puma Track Shoes

Discuss the lasting impact and legacy of the 1968 Puma track shoes. Explore their influence on subsequent athletic footwear designs and their continued relevance in the world of sports and fashion.

The 1968 Puma track shoes left an indelible mark on the athletic footwear industry. Their innovative design, lightweight construction, and superior performance characteristics set a new standard for running shoes. The success of these shoes paved the way for future advancements in athletic footwear technology, influencing subsequent designs and inspiring generations of athletes.

Even today, the influence of the 1968 Puma track shoes can be seen in modern sneaker culture and fashion. The sleek silhouette, bold branding, and timeless appeal of these shoes continue to captivate both athletes and collectors alike. From high-profile collaborations to limited edition releases, the legacy of the 1968 Puma track shoes lives on, ensuring their relevance in the ever-evolving world of sports and style.

Unique Features

Examine the distinct design elements that set these track shoes apart from others of their time. Discuss the materials used, color variations, and any special edition releases that collectors should be aware of.

The 1968 Puma track shoes were a testament to both form and function. Carefully crafted using the finest materials available at the time, these shoes were designed to provide optimal performance and comfort for athletes. The following are some of the unique features that set these track shoes apart from others of their time:

Innovative Lightweight Construction

One of the standout features of the 1968 Puma track shoes was their lightweight construction. Puma engineers worked tirelessly to develop a shoe that would offer athletes a competitive edge by minimizing unnecessary weight. By incorporating lightweight materials and innovative manufacturing techniques, Puma succeeded in creating a shoe that allowed for maximum agility and speed.

Additionally, the lightweight construction of these shoes made them more comfortable to wear for extended periods, reducing the risk of fatigue during races or training sessions. This attention to detail and focus on athlete-centric design contributed to the widespread popularity and success of the 1968 Puma track shoes.

Distinctive Formstrip Branding

Another defining characteristic of the 1968 Puma track shoes was the iconic Formstrip branding. This signature design element, featuring a contrasting stripe on the sides of the shoes, became synonymous with Puma and remains a hallmark of the brand to this day.

The Formstrip not only added a distinctive visual element to the shoes but also served a functional purpose. By reinforcing the sides of the shoes, it provided additional stability and support during high-intensity activities. The Formstrip quickly became a recognizable symbol of quality and performance, solidifying the reputation of Puma as a leading athletic footwear brand.

Color Variations and Special Editions

The 1968 Puma track shoes were available in a range of color variations, allowing athletes to express their personal style and preferences. From classic black and white designs to vibrant hues, there was a color option to suit every taste.

In addition to the standard color options, Puma also released special edition versions of the 1968 track shoes, further increasing their desirability among collectors. These limited edition releases often featured unique colorways, premium materials, or collaborations with renowned athletes or designers. Owning a pair of these special editions became a mark of distinction and exclusivity, adding to the allure and value of the shoes.

Evaluating Authenticity

Provide a comprehensive guide to help readers determine the authenticity of 1968 Puma track shoes. Highlight key indicators, such as specific markings, tags, and packaging, that can assist in differentiating genuine vintage pairs from replicas or later reissues.

As with any highly sought-after collectible item, the market for 1968 Puma track shoes has unfortunately attracted replicas and counterfeit products. To ensure that you are purchasing an authentic pair of these historic sneakers, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the key indicators of authenticity. The following are some essential factors to consider when evaluating the authenticity of 1968 Puma track shoes:

Original Markings and Tags

One of the most reliable ways to determine the authenticity of 1968 Puma track shoes is by examining the original markings and tags. Authentic vintage pairs will often feature specific details, such as the Puma logo, shoe size, model number, and manufacturing location, on the insole or tongue of the shoe.

When inspecting the markings, pay close attention to the quality of the print, ensuring that it matches the style and consistency of other genuine pairs from the same era. Additionally, check for any misspellings or inaccuracies, as these can be telltale signs of a counterfeit product.

Original Packaging and Documentation

Another important factor to consider when evaluating the authenticity of 1968 Puma track shoes is the presence of original packaging and documentation. Genuine vintage pairs may come with original shoeboxes, tags, or promotional materials that were issued at the time of purchase.

Examine the packaging for any specific branding or design elements that are consistent with the era in which the shoes were produced. Look for manufacturer labels, product descriptions, or style codes that match the intended release period. As with the markings, be wary of any inconsistencies or discrepancies that may indicate a counterfeit product.

Comparison with Reliable Reference Materials

If you are still unsure about the authenticity of a pair of 1968 Puma track shoes, it can be helpful to compare them with reliable reference materials. Look for reputable publications, online resources, or collector forums that provide detailed information and images of authentic vintage pairs.

By carefully examining the reference materials and comparing them with the shoes in question, you can identify any discrepancies or inconsistencies that may indicate a counterfeit or replica. Pay close attention to specific design elements, color variations, or manufacturing details that are unique to genuine vintage pairs.

Factors Affecting Value

Explore the various factors that contribute to the value of these track shoes in the current market. Discuss aspects such as condition, rarity, demand, and any notable sales orauctions that have influenced prices.

The value of 1968 Puma track shoes is influenced by a combination of factors that collectors and enthusiasts take into consideration. Understanding these factors can help you assess the worth of a pair and make informed decisions when buying or selling. The following are some key factors that affect the value of 1968 Puma track shoes:


The condition of the shoes plays a significant role in determining their value. Collectors and buyers typically prefer shoes that are in excellent or near-mint condition. This includes factors such as minimal wear and tear, intact original markings and tags, and no significant damage or discoloration. Vintage shoes that have been well-preserved and maintained over the years tend to command higher prices.

It is important to note that some collectors may also be interested in shoes with signs of wear and use, as they add to the authenticity and character of the item. However, the extent of wear and its impact on the overall condition will ultimately determine the value.


The rarity of a pair of 1968 Puma track shoes significantly affects its value. Limited production numbers, special edition releases, or unique color variations can make a pair more desirable among collectors. If a particular model or style is scarce and hard to find, its value tends to increase. Conversely, if a specific version of the shoes is more readily available, it may have a lower value on the market.

Researching the production history and availability of different models can provide insights into their rarity. Keep in mind that certain collaborations, athlete endorsements, or special events associated with the shoes may also contribute to their rarity and subsequently their value.


The demand for 1968 Puma track shoes is another significant factor that affects their value. If a particular model or style is highly sought after by collectors, the prices can escalate due to the increased competition among buyers. Factors that drive demand include the popularity of the shoes among athletes, the perception of their historical significance, and their cultural impact.

Monitoring the market and staying informed about trends and collectors’ preferences can provide valuable insights into the demand for specific models. Additionally, factors such as media coverage, exhibitions, or collaborations that bring attention to the shoes can influence their desirability and subsequently their value.

Notable Sales and Auctions

Notable sales and auctions of 1968 Puma track shoes can have a significant impact on their value. When a pair of these iconic shoes sells for a record-breaking price or attracts attention through a high-profile auction, it can create a ripple effect in the market. Collectors may be willing to pay a premium for similar pairs or models associated with the same historical significance.

Keeping track of past sales and auctions can help gauge the current market value and identify any emerging trends. Auction houses, specialized sneaker resellers, and online marketplaces are valuable sources of information when researching previous sales and their impact on the value of 1968 Puma track shoes.

Collecting and Preserving

Offer tips and advice for collectors on how to build and maintain a valuable collection of 1968 Puma track shoes. Share insights on storage, cleaning, and displaying these vintage treasures to ensure their longevity and retain their value.


Proper storage is essential for preserving the value and condition of 1968 Puma track shoes. Here are some tips to consider:

  • Keep the shoes in a cool, dry place to prevent damage from humidity or excessive heat.
  • Store them away from direct sunlight, as UV rays can cause discoloration and deterioration of materials.
  • Consider using shoe boxes or protective cases to shield the shoes from dust, dirt, and potential damage.
  • Avoid stacking or overcrowding the shoes, as this can lead to deformation or creasing.


Proper cleaning techniques are crucial for maintaining the condition and appearance of 1968 Puma track shoes. Follow these guidelines:

  • Use a soft brush or cloth to remove loose dirt and debris gently.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can damage the materials or remove the original finish.
  • If necessary, use mild soap and water to clean the shoes, but be sure to dry them thoroughly to prevent moisture damage.
  • For stubborn stains or marks, consult a professional sneaker cleaner who specializes in vintage footwear restoration.


Displaying your 1968 Puma track shoes can be a great way to showcase their beauty and historical significance. Consider the following suggestions:

  • Invest in high-quality display cases or stands that provide proper support and protection for the shoes.
  • Ensure that the display area is clean, well-lit, and free from excessive moisture or humidity.
  • Rotate the display periodically to prevent prolonged exposure to sunlight, which can cause fading.
  • Consider incorporating other elements such as photographs, memorabilia, or informative plaques to enhance the visual impact and educational value of the display.

By implementing these storage, cleaning, and display practices, collectors can preserve the value and integrity of their 1968 Puma track shoes for years to come.

Famous Athletes and Their Endorsements

Highlight the renowned athletes who wore 1968 Puma track shoes during their careers and delve into the impact of these endorsements on the shoes’ desirability. Discuss notable moments or achievements associated with these athletes and their connection to these iconic shoes.

Tommie Smith and John Carlos: Icons of Activism

Tommie Smith and John Carlos, the American sprinters who famously wore the 1968 Puma track shoes during the 200-meter race at the Olympics, are two athletes whose endorsements have had a profound impact on the desirability of these shoes.

Smith and Carlos’ protest on the podium, raising their fists in a Black Power salute, transcended sports and became a powerful symbol of resistance against racial inequality and social injustice. Their choice of footwear during the qualifying rounds, the 1968 Puma track shoes, became forever associated with their iconic protest.

The endorsement of these shoes by Smith and Carlos elevated their status and significance in the eyes of collectors and enthusiasts. The connection to such a pivotal moment in history, combined with the athletic achievements of these two sprinters, has contributed to the desirability and value of the 1968 Puma track shoes.

Other Notable Athletes

In addition to Smith and Carlos, other famous athletes of the era also wore 1968 Puma track shoes, further enhancing their appeal among collectors. Some notable athletes associated with these iconic shoes include:

  • Bob Beamon: The American long jumper known for his record-breaking leap at the 1968 Olympics, wearing Puma track shoes.
  • Lee Evans: The American sprinter who set a world record in the 400-meter race at the 1968 Olympics, also wearing Puma track shoes.
  • Gerd Müller: The German footballer who achieved great success with Bayern Munich and the German national team, endorsing Puma footwear throughout his career.

These athletes’ endorsement of the 1968 Puma track shoes, either through their iconic performances or long-standing partnerships, has contributed to the overall desirability and prestige of these vintage sneakers.

Market Trends and Prices

Provide an overview of the current market trends and prices for 1968 Puma track shoes. Discuss any recent fluctuations in value and identify potential opportunities for collectors looking to buy or sell.

The market for 1968 Puma track shoes has experienced significant growth and fluctuations in recent years. As these shoes continue to gain historical significance and cultural relevance, their value has increased, attracting attention from both seasoned collectors and newcomers to the sneaker market.

Increasing Demand and Prices

The demand for 1968 Puma track shoes has been steadily rising, driven by factors such as their historical significance, limited availability, and the growing popularity of sneaker collecting. As a result, prices for authentic vintage pairs have reached new heights, with certain models commanding substantial sums in the market.

Notable sales and auctions have played a significant role in driving up prices. The historical connections, endorsements by famous athletes, and limited production numbers associated with specific models have led to intense bidding wars and record-breaking sales.

Opportunities for Collectors

For collectors looking to buy or sell 1968 Puma track shoes, it is essential to stay informed about market trends and be aware of potential opportunities. Here are a few considerations:

  • Research recent sales and auctions to get a sense of the current market value for specific models or editions.
  • Stay updated on sneaker blogs, forums, and social media channels dedicated to vintage sneakers to track any emerging trends or rare finds.
  • Consider attending sneaker conventions, exhibitions, or specialized vintage sneaker trade events where you can connect with fellow collectors and explore potential buying or selling opportunities.
  • Consult reputable sneaker resellers or consignment platforms that specialize in vintage and collectible sneakers for expert advice and assistance in navigating the market.

By staying informed and leveraging the resources available,collectors can make informed decisions and potentially capitalize on favorable market conditions when buying or selling 1968 Puma track shoes.

Restoring and Repairs

Offer guidance on how to restore and repair vintage 1968 Puma track shoes, ensuring they maintain their value and aesthetics. Share tips on finding reputable professionals or resources for repairs and restoration.

Professional Restoration Services

When it comes to restoring vintage 1968 Puma track shoes, it is often best to seek the expertise of professional restoration services. These specialists have the necessary knowledge and experience to handle delicate materials and restore the shoes to their original condition.

Research and seek recommendations for reputable sneaker restoration services that specialize in vintage footwear. Look for professionals who have a track record of successfully restoring similar models or brands. Communicate your specific needs and expectations to ensure that the restoration process aligns with your goals for the shoes.

DIY Restoration Techniques

For collectors who prefer a hands-on approach or are dealing with minor repairs, there are several DIY restoration techniques that can be employed. However, it is important to exercise caution and only attempt these methods if you are confident in your abilities.

Some common DIY restoration techniques for vintage sneakers include:

  • Cleaning: Use a soft brush or cloth to gently remove dirt and stains. Avoid harsh chemicals that could damage the materials.
  • Re-gluing: If the soles or other parts of the shoes have detached, use a high-quality adhesive specifically designed for sneakers to reattach them. Follow the instructions carefully and allow sufficient drying time.
  • Color touch-ups: For scuffs or small areas of color loss, consider using sneaker paint or markers to restore the original color. Test the products on a small inconspicuous area first to ensure a good match.

Remember, DIY restoration techniques are best suited for minor repairs, and it is important to know your limitations. For more complex or extensive restoration needs, it is advisable to seek professional assistance to preserve the value and integrity of your 1968 Puma track shoes.

Alternative Investment Opportunities

Explore the investment potential of 1968 Puma track shoes and discuss alternative avenues for collectors to leverage their passion for these vintage sneakers. Consider factors such as long-term value growth and emerging markets.

Investment Potential

Collecting vintage sneakers, including 1968 Puma track shoes, has emerged as a viable investment opportunity in recent years. The combination of historical significance, limited availability, and growing demand has contributed to the potential for long-term value growth.

While it is difficult to predict future market trends with certainty, the increasing interest in sneaker collecting and the scarcity of vintage pairs suggest that the value of 1968 Puma track shoes could continue to appreciate over time. However, as with any investment, it is important to conduct thorough research, assess risks, and consult with experts before making any significant financial commitments.

Emerging Markets and Demand

As the global sneaker market expands, collectors are increasingly looking beyond traditional markets to discover new opportunities. Emerging markets, such as Asia and the Middle East, have seen a surge in demand for vintage sneakers, including 1968 Puma track shoes.

Keeping a pulse on emerging markets and understanding their unique preferences and trends can provide collectors with valuable insights. Consider exploring international sneaker conventions, exhibitions, and online platforms specifically catering to these markets to connect with potential buyers or sellers.

Diversification and Portfolio Management

For collectors who view their vintage sneaker collection as a long-term investment, diversification and portfolio management are essential considerations. By diversifying your collection across different models, brands, or eras, you can reduce risks and maximize potential returns.

Stay informed about market trends, monitor the performance of different sneaker models, and assess the overall balance and composition of your collection. Regularly reassess your investment goals and seek professional advice if needed to ensure that your collection aligns with your financial objectives.

Future Prospects

Provide insights into the future prospects of 1968 Puma track shoes, considering factors like evolving fashion trends, cultural influences, and generational shifts. Discuss potential opportunities for growth and the long-term outlook for these coveted vintage items.

Evolving Fashion Trends

Fashion trends are constantly evolving, and they can significantly impact the desirability and value of vintage sneakers like 1968 Puma track shoes. As retro and vintage styles continue to make comebacks, there is a continued interest in iconic footwear from past eras.

By staying attuned to current fashion trends and cultural influences, collectors can anticipate shifts in demand and capitalize on emerging opportunities. Collaborations between fashion designers and sneaker brands, as well as the cyclical nature of fashion trends, can contribute to the sustained appeal and value of vintage sneakers like the 1968 Puma track shoes.

Cultural and Historical Significance

The cultural and historical significance of 1968 Puma track shoes ensures their enduring appeal and relevance. These shoes have become symbols of social activism and athletic achievement, representing a pivotal moment in sports history.

As awareness and appreciation for social and historical movements continue to grow, the demand for items associated with these moments is likely to persist. The ongoing recognition of the importance of civil rights, equality, and social justice can contribute to the long-term value and desirability of 1968 Puma track shoes as cultural artifacts.

Generational Shifts and Nostalgia

Generational shifts and nostalgia play a significant role in shaping the market for vintage items. As the generations that witnessed or were influenced by the events of the late 1960s and early 1970s age, there is often a renewed interest in the cultural touchstones of their youth.

For younger generations, the appeal of vintage sneakers like the 1968 Puma track shoes lies in their authenticity and connection to a bygone era. The desire to own a piece of history or to pay homage to iconic moments can drive demand and potentially increase the value of these vintage treasures.

While the future prospects of 1968 Puma track shoes are subject to various factors, their enduring cultural significance, historical importance, and evolving fashion trends suggest that they will continue to hold value and captivate collectors for years to come.

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