Dezeen Magazine

Puma unveils X-Cat Disc trainers based on shapeshifting sports car

Sports brand Puma has based its latest Disc trainers on a fabric-covered concept car released by BMW (+ movie).

Puma teamed up with Munich studio Designworks – a BMW Group subsidiary – to create the X-Cat Disc, which features a single piece of silver-coloured covering that wraps around the foot "like a second skin".


The trainer is based on BMW's Gina Light Visionary Model, unveiled in 2008.

The concept car featured flexible fabric stretched over an articulated steel frame, which allowed the vehicle to change shape and conceal features such as headlights when not in use.

The Designworks team adapted the lightweight material used in the car, making it more breathable and durable for the shoe.

A pattern of laser-cut holes across the front of the trainer provides extra ventilation, and the shape of the sole was inspired by the gears of a car engine.


According to Puma, the trainer, which takes cues from "automotive design thinking", provides greater flexibility and further stability to the wearer.

"The approach was to look at every aspect of making a shoe and to try and reimagine it," said BMW Group Design's senior vice president Adrian van Hooydonk.


Instead of laces, the shoe is tightened or loosened by turning a rotating disc on the upper. The tauter the material is pulled, the more the underlying structure of the trainer is revealed.

Puma first introduced the Disc design in 1991 and has since released several models featuring the same rotating mechanism. Adidas has plans to release its own lace-free shoe, unveiling the first images of its knitted football boots in 2015.


American sportswear brand Under Armour has also experimented with new materials and methods of production, releasing trainers with 3D-printed lattice soles that are designed to be suitable for any sport.