When the founder of Puma and Adidas launched his business with his brother at a factory in pre-World War II Germany, Rudolf and his brother Adolf Dassler never would have guessed that their family would split and form two of the largest sportswear brands in the world. Despite the company’s humble beginnings in Herzogenaurach, Puma has been accused of creating a new sneaker that harkens back to the look of Adolf Hitler in an accusatory post on the internet.
When the pair of sneakers, called Storm Adrenaline, was photographed from above, the pair of shoes resembled the iconic Adolf Hitler with the slicked aside hairdo and mustache.
Although the Hitler-like design of the Puma sneaker is likely a coincidence, the shoes have been flying off the shelves since the design flaw was called out on the internet. People have expressed their concern over Puma’s designers because of its history in Germany. Some people claimed their new sneaker design has an “eight out of ten on the Hitler scale.”
Because the shoe not only resembles Hitler in its design but the name even harkened back to Hitler’s Nazi party’s paramilitary wing called the Sturmabteilung, which translates to Storm Detachment.
The comparison of the shoes to Hitler was first discovered in Russia, a country currently under the control of an authoritarian regime. Because the Russian customer did not like seeing the face of Hitler every time they gazed at their sneakers, they sold the shoe and exposed the Hitler design to fellow fans and friends on social media.
“That’s a good one,” the original person to notice wrote. “I never noticed. I used the shoe twice and never realized it until now. I have gotten rid of it. I’ve already sold it.”
Another customer, this one from Brazil, wondered why Puma would design a shoe that looked so much like Hitler because it was “not positive” for the brand’s image. That’s why people are calling for Puma to release a statement about the Hitler shoes and declare whether the design was intentional or not.
“In Brazil, we like, and we buy Puma, and as customers, we would like you guys to say something,” the customer wrote.
Another person accused the company of using the Hitler likeness as a “publicity stunt” to get more attention to their brand.
“They do look somewhat similar. Publicity stunt, maybe.”
Other people were shocked that people saw the face of the Nazi leader in the sneakers.
“Adolf Hitler shoes? I did not see it directly. I think it’s a bit farfetched. Good, I have Adidas, not Puma.”
Hitler’s image, like that of Jesus, has popped up in many unexpected places. For example, a house located in Swansea, Wales, became famous in 2011 when a youth worker saw the shape of the roof and recognized the face of the Nazi leader in the architecture. However, the likeness in the shoes is a lot easier to see since that house had a rather distant resemblance.
What do you think about this new shoe design by Puma?