For those who are still sleeping on hoop shoes from the non-Swoosh-Jumpman-Three Stripe brands such as your ANTA’s, BrandBlack’s, Li-Ning’s, or PUMA’s of the world – let me introduce you to my comprehensive 5-month indoor & outdoor PUMA Clyde Hardwood review.
I’ll be covering one of the earlier PUMA hoop shoe releases in the last few-year lineup and breaking down its comfort & performance aspects, examining the build & quality, versatility, and how much value for your $$$ you’re getting amongst the competition and I’ll also give you some potential alternatives.
SHOW TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Spec Sheet
- 1-Min Review
- Fit & Comfort
- The Build
- Alternative Options
- What’s Your Take?
- PUMA Clyde Hardwood Review: The Verdict
I. SPEC SHEET
click for a full-sized sheet
DEALS OF THE PUMA CLYDE HARDWOOD 🛒
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II. 1-MIN REVIEW 🕒
Looking for the quick take? Here’s the gist of it: the PUMA Clyde Hardwood dropped back in 2019 but it’s still just as solid in 201 and later, even when stacked against current competition.
For $120 (and less these days), you’ll get a secure fit (most guys can go true to size), fantastic traction that will also last some time outdoors, decent ProFoam cushion that won’t give you tons of bounce but it’ll provide a fast, stable and low-to-the-ground ride.
Support was no slouch – most players or playstyles will find it sufficient and you won’t lose mobility as a result. The upper features a mix of textile and real leather, so the bang for your buck factor is there.
It’s a good hoop shoe. Nothing shockingly new and won’t exactly blow anyone away but it’s a good buy for those in need of a trusty all-around sneaker without paying a fortune.
> The FULL review is below
III. FIT & COMFORT
How’s the sizing? TTS or should you adjust? What about comfort? Anything else to know?
Let’s get right into the meat – how does the shoe fit? It fits pretty well.
That’s really the basis of it – it’s not some kind of ultra-premium, feathery light, or among the most comfortable ever. For me, it was enough for the shoe to not get into the way of playing my game seamlessly or hinder a light shootaround session with my buddies.
I’m a wide footer and the shoe didn’t look very wide looking at it online, so I had a bad feeling about these, for me particularly.
My fears didn’t come true though. A couple of weeks were enough for the upper to adjust to my foot’s shape and all is OK since.
I’ve seen that the shoe runs long for some. For me – I don’t really feel they run long but this will depend if you like your kicks to be pretty much one-to-one with your foot or you’re used to a more traditional half-inch of space for the toes.
If you can live with having a tad bit of space up at the front – there’s nothing really jarring about the fit here. You’ll be fine.
I went true to size and after a pretty uncomfortable 1-2 week break-in period, the shoe fits fine. It’s tight, snug, and very condensed but not enough to be particularly distracting.
Still though, this is one of those scenarios where people had different experiences, so my recommendations would be to go true to size for most foot shapes and if you’ve got a more compact, narrow foot, perhaps a 1/2 size down is a better option.
Ideally, it’s best to try these in-store but if you’re reading this one in 2021 and later, it’ll be tougher to find a pair on the shelves. So, true to size is the go – chances are, you’ll be good with that.
As far as pure comfort goes – nothing special. Nothing bad though either – there’s some internal padding (I would’ve liked more but it’s not bad), the material combo really cups your foot securely and allows for distraction-free play.
Plus, the extremely light and bendy tongue makes the shoe very easy to put on.
Overall – nothing extraordinary or very special but it works, no denying that. That’s good enough for me for 120 bucks, even when compared to our well-known competitors in the sneaker market.
How’s the grip on various surfaces? What about dust/debris? How long will the outsoles last?
Traction is great. Unlike the shoe’s fit, traction is something truly special, no joke. PUMA’s multi-directional pattern in the back portion of the outsole, classic herringbone in the forefoot portion.
I was a bit skeptical with the changed-up lateral portion with the thick line pattern but my worries all faded away after I put some good hours on a few different courts (outdoors included).
The shoe grips all courts so well to the point it’s scary. This reminds me of the level the Kyrie 2’s, Dame 3’s, and a few older retros brought in terms of sheer, consistent bite.
Since the rubber is very tacky and sticky – dust will pile up in the pattern fairly quickly. That would normally be a bit of an issue – not with these though. No matter the amount of dust, I didn’t feel like I needed to wipe to maintain optimal traction. Even on crappier courts!
No complaints about the traction at all – a phenomenal job.
As far as durability – the rubber isn’t very thick but it’s super tacky. I wouldn’t put these among the most durable outsoles ever but it sure is more durable than your average modern hoop shoe from Nikey & company.
I’ve been putting some hours on a less abrasive rubber court outside and don’t see any signs of wear yet.
I did play on banged-up concrete at my local park once or twice, so you can imagine just how much debris can pile up in the traction pattern.
This is the one time where I felt the grip loosened up a bit due to an overkill of crap in the outsole. But this is barely a nitpick since most shoes would do a similar job – there’s no real solution when you’re on a chore of a court, so wiping the soles down when you’ve got a few seconds is the way to go on such instances.
Great job overall. Grippy – check. Durable – check. Dust rarely is an issue – check. On to the next!
How’s the impact protection and energy return? What about step comfort, stability, and ride height?
Full-length ProFoam sounds really good right? Well, it’s just regular EVA foam you’d see on cheaper & older shoes but likely marginally altered by PUMA.
No surprise here for me personally. Brands have been doing this “let’s rename a basic component to a fancy tech name to hype up the shoe” tactic for years now. You can like it or hate it – a tech name on paper won’t change how the shoe performs on the court.
I didn’t hate the shoe’s cushion setup but since it’s not my cup of tea, it’s tough for me to praise it. I simply like my shoes to have some pop underfoot.
The TPU cage all around the midsole ensured the foam is super stable at all times but this also firmed up the cushion even more. Adequate performance qualities are here, it’s just that you won’t feel much of ’em cushion-wise.
Still though, being as subjective as possible, it’s a solid setup for those wanting a quick and responsive ride that’s very low profile and court feel-orientated. You’re low to the ground, stable, and precise in these.
This will work for just about anyone really, but guys who can’t live without some bounce should probably opt for something from the leaper’s lineup of shoes.
How’s the shoe’s overall security? What about stability and foot containment? Any trade-offs as a result?
For a pretty minimal type of shoe that delivers just what you need and not necessarily what you’d ideally love to get, support was solid in all areas.
It was everything that was needed for the types of players that will enjoy the firmer & more responsive ride as well.
A flat base of the shoe that promotes stability, an external heel counter for heel & ankle lockdown, a dynamic lacing system backed up by cables that tighten up the forefoot area if you require, and the TPU cage around the midsole also does wonders for lateral & medial containment of the foot.
Most players will find this setup sufficient – only those with particularly extensive support needs will likely aim for something else. For that LeBron’ish, tank-like support, I’d say check out this list.
But for the rest of us, this will be more than enough.
I definitely consider myself explosive and aggressive when it comes to slashing to the rim or playing above the rim when possible. I did not find this setup to be lackluster at all.
VII. THE BUILD
What are the materials used and how’s the build quality? How does the build perform and feel on-foot?
For the upper – we got a surprising combo here. A textile material backed up by synthetics in the forefoot area and all genuine leather in the back. Kyrie 6 anyone?
There are some traits of suede but not enough to where it would matter much in terms of durability or performance.
Traditional tongue & lace construction is where it’s at too – I’m still not a huge fan of the likes of one/half-bootie uppers, so the PUMA Clyde Hardwood feels right at home for those sharing a similar quirk.
I found this build to be solid overall if we’re talking value for the $$$. Nothing meaningfully different from what you’d get with $120 from Nikey or adidas.
The front is light and thin, giving you just enough forefoot mobility and comfort to stop and pop, while the leather in the back hugs your heel very nicely after it’s broken in.
This way, you’ll be light on your feet but you’ll also be secure, as the back area is where most of the lockdown comes from.
Breathability was somewhat a mixed bag. The back area where the leather barely has any airflow, for obvious reasons. The front textile area allows for some airflow but these are definitely not among the best-ventilated sneakers. Not that it tries to be though.
I personally don’t have a clear, distinct choice or taste when it comes to materials – if it feels great and performs great, I’m going with that. Nothing less, nothing more. I feel like these gave me what I need – sufficient comfort, sufficient coverage and they play very nicely.
As for durability and overall build quality – I think PUMA did a solid job, though not without small culprits. The leather in the back will last you a near lifetime but the forefoot textile area already looks visually tired after a few weeks of playing, especially after some outdoor action.
Not the weakest shoe but the strongest either – these will last you a while but I wouldn’t put these in my outdoor beater rotation.
Summarizing the PUMA Clyde Hardwood review, final thoughts, and whether it’s worth your money
I admit it, this is officially my first PUMA sneaker I’ve stepped in to play basketball for a good amount of hours before constructing my thoughts to a detailed review.
But it’s a clear example that you should be interested in not only Nikey, Adidas, or Air Jordan but also give the underdogs a chance. They’ve been quickly growing in the shadows for a while now.
The PUMA Clyde Hardwood is a very solid shoe for those that like that type of responsive & low to the ground setup.
They fit great once you get the sizing right, traction is phenomenal and very durable, cushion will come down to personal preference and they’re supportive for most players. $120 is a solid price, especially considering there are Nikey/Adidas shoes that are $150-$180 and have way more issues.
If you’re looking for a trusty performer that will get the job done for a competitive price – the PUMA Clyde Hardwood just might help you out!
SHOP THE PUMA CLYDE HARDWOOD 🛒
IX. ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS
Not completely sure if the Clyde Hardwood is for you? Check out my recommended alternatives
PUMA CLYDE ALL-PRO, $130
A later model in PUMA’s Clyde lineup and one that a lot of people consider as the better Clyde Hardwood, the All-Pro shoe will feel right at home with its older counterpart and provide some improvements that might just make you want to get those instead.
You’ll get a similar build that’s a bit lighter-feeling, updated ProFoam+ cushion that does actually feel a bit better, stronger outsoles for outdoor play, and the same qualities that make it an effective, versatile basketball sneaker.
PUMA COURT RIDER, $100
If you want a similar feel from your sneaker but can’t lash out $130, the 100 dollar Court Rider is a viable option from PUMA.
You won’t be impressed by its cushion nor its materials but you’ll still get a good hoop shoe that takes care of solid traction, a stable, secure ride, and a build that will last outdoors.
X. WHAT’S YOUR TAKE?
Your varied opinions are invaluable to the next reader!
Okay, that’s it for the PUMA Clyde Hardwood review! I hope you found it informative as hell!
The days when Nikey and Jordan are pretty much the only attractive options to grab a good basketball sneaker are gone. Today, if you haven’t already, you can do just a bit of research, and soon grasp just how massive and varied the performance footwear market has become.
If you’re looking for more awesome shoes for a similar price range – be sure to check out my ultimate list of the best budget shoes!
Be sure to let me know if you’re in need of some advice, or perhaps you got a suggestion? What’s your experience in the Clyde Hardwood if you’ve played in them?
Drop a comment below and I’ll get back to you quickly!
XI. PUMA CLYDE HARDWOOD REVIEW: THE VERDICT
My own final ratings, takeaways, and recommendations
PUMA Clyde Hardwood$120
- Regular/narrow footers: go true to size
- Wide footers: true to size as well OR order a few pairs to be sure
- A solid overall choice: nothing extraordinary but still do a great job
- Most guards
- Spot-up shooters
- Lighter players