It was about a month ago that we mentioned the Puma Para Mexico on an episode of Boots and Bantz. The Para Mexico is one of those classy classic “Made in Japan” offerings which you’d probably never find released in North America. It’s one of those boots where the craftsmanship is most important, a boot which only uses the finest leathers; I personally like to imagine if anyone mentioned the words “super light” or “synthetics” regarding the boot they’d be sacked.
The Para Mexico was born in 1985 as Japanese take on the Puma King which was to feature at the World Cup ’86 (conveniently located in Mexico). The boot featured a K-Leather upper and a polyurethane soleplate, and if I’m being entirely honest in the nearly thirty years since its release there isn’t a whole lot that has changed about the boots. I mean in 1998 Puma Japan decided to change the colour of the studs from white to red, but other than that the composition of the boot was exactly the same. The team definitely took the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” axiom seriously!
To find a major change to the Para Mexico series you’d have to move all the way to 2009, some 24 years after their original release. It marked the year that someone mentioned the word light about the Para Mexico and didn’t get sacked. The Para Mexico Lite was born, featuring a lower profile tongue for starters but still the same classic K-Leather upper and soleplate of the original Para Mexico.
2011 saw Japanese legend and a player I believe is currently the world’s oldest active professional footballer Kazuyoshi Muira (known in Japan as “King Kazu”) honoured with his own customized pair of Para Mexico Lite’s. Kazu a long time Big Cat man was the first Japanese player to really make it on the global scene beginning his career in Brazil at the age of 15. In homage to where the King of Japanese football learned his craft properly the King Kazu edition Para Mexico Lite, featured the yellow and green colourway used by the Seleção and also a revised soleplate featuring six conical studs on the heel. The Kazu edition boots were on his feet for a famous goal scored against the Japanese National Team in a J-League v Japan Charity Match benefiting victims of the tragic earthquake and tsunami of 2011.
While the year 2012 saw the Para Mexico get back to basics but with a red colourway. The 80’s tongue was back and was paired with the six stud heel soleplate. It was 2013 which saw the most changes for the range, the classic 80’s style was out and replaced with a more modern homage to the new King line. The ingredients thankfully remained true to the Para Mexico range.
Personally I love what styling of the pre-2013 Para Mexico (and Para Mexico Lite), and I hope that Puma Japan still has them on offer. The current more modern Para Mexico still maintains a connection to the original Puma King line, in that the upper is still K-Leather. I’d argue that the Para Mexico is actually more loyal to the King brand than the more recent global Puma King releases.
What do you guys think about the Puma Para Mexico? Is it a boot you’d like to see made available on a wider scale? If you’re set on a pair, a search for Puma Para Mexico on eBay is probably your best bet!