Let's add footwear to the long list of gaming products that already exist. We have not only gaming peripherals like mice, keyboards, displays & even gaming RAM (yes it exists...) but we also have other products. You got gaming chairs, gaming glasses, gaming desks, gaming headphones. Heck, there's even other gaming clothing out there. But the absolute worst gaming product I have seen to date has got to be this gaming footwear from Puma. I mean, really. you have GOT to be kidding me, right? What is footwear going to do when you're sitting in a chair literally twiddling your thumbs???
It has become nothing more than a marketing gimmick to advertise a product as "gaming" in order to charge a higher price tag. A generic mouse & keyboard could cost you as low as $40, but of course, it won't have extra features. Mechanical keyboards are more expensive because of the mechanical switches & if you want your keyboard to be programmable without 3rd party software downloaded from likely sketchy places, then that will also cost you extra. Most gaming products usually just have RGB lighting added to them or they have some sort of feature that you could argue is extremely beneficial to gamers. Glasses, for example, the ones with the blue light filters on them, are "great for gaming" (they actually do very little if not nothing, thanks to recent studies) and are supposed to make you able to play games for longer periods of time without fatigue. Their design is usually quite sharp & colorful; something that would appeal more to gamers & give a more fun look to them.
Gaming socks, shoes or whatever kind of footwear they are... this is a ridiculous idea. Honestly, what is the use case here? Think about it: you're sitting in your chair or couch, controller in hand, drink to your side & your game on the screen. This is how most people play games; sitting down. Do you really need extra grip on your feet when you're sitting down? No. No, I don't think so. What's gonna happen if you don't have these socks?
"Oh geez! I pressed the A button so hard my feet slipped out from under me!" "Oh man, this game is too difficult. Maybe if I stand up, the controller will work better for me, but I don't wanna slip..." It's not like it's that much of an effort to walk to the bathroom when you've been playing games, or to the kitchen for food or something. Those stairs aren't going to be any less dangerous now that you have these things on your feet.
The only practical use for Puma's gaming socks that I can possibly think of is for playing VR games because for a lot of them, you're likely actually standing. Depending on your floor, footwear & general situation, I can see having some foot grip being useful. But definitely not if your general gaming sessions are sitting down anywhere. Otherwise, maybe I could see if it was some sort of pressure point thing where if a certain part of your foot receives pressure, it makes you think faster & more smartly, but even that sort of stuff is gimmicky at best.
All that being said, I'm gonna be honest here, even though I think Puma's got their marketing for these things way off in many ways, the product itself is actually kinda nice. The design is sleek, it looks comfortable. I would definitely wear it just for that reason. As a gaming product though? Garbage. I'm sorry, but really. It's just an excuse to charge a premium on the product. No way am I paying $160 for this. "For indoor & in-arena use" so no, $160 is not even worth it. If I could use them outside, sure.
What would make these things REAL gaming footwear is adding USB rechargeable LED RGB lighting to them. Don't forget to make them wireless with a few extra buttons on them that you can program & assign macros to. THEN I'll call it a gaming product & gladly pay $160 for it. Only if it has a minimum of 6 buttons per foot, 2-3 of which I can easily press with my big toes. Puma, I hope you're reading this.