PUMA will pay tribute to African-American athlete Tommie Smith with the release of these Suede Lo’s. At the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, Smith won the 200m race in record time whilst his team mate, John Carlos, took bronze. They both ascended the awards podium shoeless to symbolize black poverty. When the national anthem played, they proceeded to bow their heads and raise their black-gloved fists -a sign of the Black Power Movement.
The pair were immediately booed by the crowd and expelled from the Olympic village for bringing political issues to the event. They faced further ostracization upon returning to their homeland, as did second place runner, the late Peter Norman from Australia, for sympathizing with them.
However, the statement was seen by millions and made headlines around the world. It brought the African-American protests happening around America to a worldwide audience and went down in history as the 1968 Olympics Black Power Salute.
It seems a tad ironic that these kicks are meant to represent a specific moment in time where the people involved did not want to wear any shoes. Nonetheless, the upcoming joints look unquestionably hot, blending together solid colourways with gold accents and an allover embossed-print of a clenched fist.