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28 Jun 2024

Features GV Special PUMASponsored

I Wore the PUMA GV Special for a Month in Search of the Perfect Everyday Sneaker

PUMA GV Special

Throughout my lifetime as a footwear fanatic, one thing I’m always chasing is the perfect everyday pair that hits all the right notes. The hardest part about my never ending quest is the sheer volume of sneakers on the market, all boasting various details that make them the best. That’s the reason I started this series of wearing a particular model for a whole month, so I’m able to try a broad range and put ‘em through the ringer. If you’re wondering if I actually mean the whole month – I do, from parties to work and even a gym sesh.

For the past month, from mid-May to June, the subject of my search for the perfect daily driver has been the fully bulked tennis sneaker from the 1970s, dubbed . For newer heads who weren’t around for the 70s and 80s, the GV stands for Guillermo Villas – an Argentine tennis extraordinaire who embodied the era of the clay courts. Villas was part of tennis line up throughout the 70s and 80s, and the GV Special was one of his many signature shoes with the Big Cat.

My wear test started in May and spanned thirty whole days of hardcore wear. Ultimately, I was pleasantly surprised by the GV Special, as it’s a luxe addition to my rotation and came correct in my hunt for the perfect everyday essential.

First Impressions

The first time I ever clocked the GV Special was actually reading Sneaker Freaker as a kid, so it’s a cute full-circle moment that I’m now writing about a shoe I learned about in the magazine I now work at. Despite being familiar with the GV, I hadn't yet experienced the chunky-soled beast first-hand and was psyched to start the wear-test. My excitement grew five-fold when the iteration I was to be wearing was actually the ultra-rare, special Sneaker Freaker-edition PUMA GV that I had heard so much about but hadn’t yet seen in the flesh. I may be biased because of my SF ties, but they’re crisp!

Personally, I’m an avid fan of PUMA, but I lean towards the slimmer, low profile models such as the , and . Therefore, the eye-catching midsole on the GV left me slightly nervous because it was outside my comfort zone; however, I looked past my apprehension of chunky iterations, mainly because the materials were super luxe, especially the pop of green suede. That word is in italics for a reason, as we’re talking top-tier leather on these PUMA GVs, and this particular pair was also made in Italy, which appealed to my penchant for life’s finer things. The mix of premium leather and suede had me giddy, and I was pumped to begin my month-long wear-test of PUMA’s GV Special.

The Wear Test

With my first impressions out of the way, it was time to test! The experiment first began on a Saturday, but I have to come out and say first up that I did cheat… slightly. That Saturday night, I couldn’t bring myself to wear the GVs. This wasn’t because I didn’t want to, but I actually had a house party that was destined to be a rager, and I was too scared to bust these up. I stand by my decision, these GVs were too nice, I didn’t wanna mess them up the first day of wear because I had a whole damn month to go! I did keep in the PUMA spirit though and subbed in my crisp navy and white Speedcats. I wore the GV Special every day after that though, and after a full thirty days of wear, they’re pretty thrashed.

My usual daily routine wasn’t super strenuous for the PUMA GV Special, but for a retro performance-turned-lifestyle model, they were comfy AF. It probably has to do with the gargantuan midsole that cushioned my every step. After the first week or so, my fear of chunk subsided slightly, and it slowly became fun to style. I’m going through a baggy pants phase, which made the GVs easier to wear, but I tried to challenge myself and rock these with a slimmer cut. I was expecting the GV to not look as good, but the slimmer cut accentuated the roundness of the toe box and period-correct perforations.

Hardcore Wear

During this month of wear, I actually had a bunch of gigs on the go. Artists Yves Tumor and Ecco2K were both in my city, and I wore the GV Special. Because the GV isn’t a modern-day performance sneak kitted out with teched-out innovations, I was honestly expecting some discomfort. But, thankfully, they persevered and both concerts went ahead without a hitch! This probably had to do with the additional arch support and moulded footbeds.

I do take these wear-tests very seriously, and so I wore the PUMA GV for everything, and that included the gym. Which, to be expected, was the only place the GV Special fell short. I wasn’t surprised by this, mainly because this is a lifestyle geared sneaker and isn’t meant for performance. Personally when I workout, I like to be low to the ground, but maybe that would be different if I were playing tennis!

Final Thoughts

If I get very attached to sneakers after rocking ‘em for a full thirty days, it’s a successful wear-test. The relationship between me and Guillermo Villas’s signature was slow and steady. After a full-month of wear, I grew to adore my pair of GVs, so much so that after they were taken to be shot by our photographer, I was nervous to let them out of my sight.

I feel safe in saying the PUMA GV Special is pretty close to being a perfect everyday sneaker, as they took me through my day with ease. The biggest factor many sneakerheads look for with a reliable daily driver is comfortability, and aside from the gym, I had no comfort issues with the GV Special. Another positive for the 70s classic is they age nicely after a good beating. The leather was premium, and showed its patina like a luxurious vintage designer bag. One aspect that I especially enjoyed is that the premium suede rubbed off on the laces, giving off the vibes of how indigo-dyed denim rubs off on your sneakers. You can tell these were made in Italy and ooze opulence. Honestly, the biggest downside is that they were too premium, and I was scared to mess ‘em up!

Want more GV Special? Head to read the article written by the SF boss man, Woody!

28 Jun 2024

Features GV Special PUMASponsored

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