What’s this? A PUMA shoe for basketball? Go figure. For those who are still sleeping on lesser-known models from brands such as ANTA, BrandBlack, PUMA, etc. Let me introduce you to my PUMA Clyde Hardwood review.
The days when Nikey and Jordan are the kings no matter what are gone – today, if you do a bit of research, you’d soon know just how massive and varied the performance hoop shoe market has become.
But that’s why we’re here – to inform you of something that should be under your radar. We’ll be covering the shoe’s comfort & performance aspects, examining the build & quality of the shoe and also evaluating who is the shoe best for.
Model: Puma Clyde Hardwood
Weight: 16.9 oz / 479 g. (size 10)
Retail Price: $120
Cushion: Full-length ProFoam
Best Offer On: Puma
I. COMFORT & FIT
Let’s get right into the meat – how the shoe fits? It fits pretty well.
That’s likely my most accurate depiction of it – it’s not some kind of ultra-premium, cloud-like light or in the top 3 most comfortable ever. But it’s just enough to not get into the way of playing the game or just enjoying a light shootaround session with your pals.
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.
And I was right. For the first 1-2 weeks 🙂
I’ve seen that the shoe runs long for some. For me – I think my wide foot kinda compensated the fit and I don’t really feel they run long.
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 terribly bad. If you appreciate a very secure and snug fit for your shoes, you’ll like the Clyde Hardwood.
Still though, this is one of those scenarios where people had different experiences with the fit, so my recommendations would be the following: go true to size if you’re a wide footer, go down half a size if you’re a narrow footer.
For people with regular-shaped feet, it’ll depend on what kind of fit you’re looking for, though I’d mostly recommend sticking with your regular size.
Regardless of my personal recommendations, I would still encourage you to try these in-store just in case. And be sure to give them time to break in – no place to panic if you’re just starting out with these!
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 and enhances the experience.
Plus, the extremely light and thin tongue makes the shoe very easy to put on. Traditional tongue & lace construction is where it’s at – I’m still not a huge fan of one-bootie uppers, so the PUMA Clyde Hardwood scratches that itch of mine.
Overall – nothing extraordinary or very special but it works, no denying in that. The shoe’s not overly heavy or extremely light, it’s not super soft or the most comfortable in the world but it brings a secure experience that doesn’t bring up any unneeded distractions, and that’s good enough for me.
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 separated lateral portion with that large 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 grip. 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 looks more durable than your average modern hoop shoe.
I’ve been putting some hours on a synthetic rubber court outside and don’t see any signs of wear yet.
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!
I did play in a very old concrete park once, you can imagine just how much dust, rocks, and other debris piled up in the shoe.
This is the one time where I felt the grip softened up a bit due to an overkill of sh*t 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.
Great job overall. Grippy – check. Durable – check. Dust mostly isn’t an issue – check. On to the next!
Full-length ProFoam sounds really good right? Well, it’s just regular EVA foam you’d see on cheaper & older shoes. The one difference is that this foam is additionally caged in a TPU carrier for more stability.
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. 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.
I feel like the TPU cage firmed up the cushion even more but let’s not fool ourselves – cage or no cage, basic EVA can never be very soft or bouncy.
There’s still a solid amount of impact protection in the heel – you just can’t really feel it or have much fun as you would with something like full-length Zoom or Boost.
So, light-medium weight players, low-profile guards, spot-up shooters or anyone who appreciates a fast & firm setup will like the Clyde Hardwood.
Anyone who’s in need of more bounce, more spring back to each movement and a softer ride in general, will have to look elsewhere.
For a pretty minimal type of shoe that delivers just what you need and not necessarily what you want, support was no exception.
It was everything that was needed for the types of players that will enjoy the firmer & more responsive cushioning as well.
A flat base that promotes stability right away, an external heel counter for heel 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 torsional coverage.
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 go for a LeBron 17 or a Dame 5.
But for the rest of us, this will be more than enough. I’m an explosive driver to the hoop myself, I love to play above the rim when I’m able to, and I personally did not find this setup to be lackluster.
Once again – nothing extra, nothing truly special but still solid to get the job done!
V. BUILD & MATERIALS
For the upper – we got a surprising combo here. A synthetic textile material in the forefoot area and all genuine leather in the back. Kyrie 6 anyone?
I found this setup to be solid. 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 the most lockdown comes from.
I personally don’t have a clear, distinct choice or taste when it comes to materials – if 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.
This is mostly due to the textile not really being reinforced or overlayed with something like Fuse or nylon. There are some traits of suede but not enough to where it would matter much in terms of durability.
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.
Lastly, breathability was somewhat a mixed bag, not that I care much about it. The back area where the leather is barely has any airflow, for obvious reasons. The front textile area felt a bit cooler but the shoe wouldn’t be among the top contenders in terms of ventilation.
Overall, I think it’s a solid job once again – I don’t have any major complaints besides the questionable durability.
And there you go – a clear example that you should be interested in not only Nikey, Adidas, Air Jordan but also give the underdogs a chance. 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 perform that will get the job done for a competitive price – the PUMA Clyde Hardwood just might help you out!
You can grab them at the PUMA store in three available colorways.
Comfort Rating: 7.5
Performance Rating: 8.5
Value for the Price Rating: 9
Suitable for Outdoors: Questionable
Recommended for: Low profile guards | spot-up shooters | lighter players
Overall Rating: 8.3
Okay, that’s it for the PUMA Clyde Hardwood review! I hope you found it informative as hell!
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?