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PUMA To Stop Using Kangaroo Leather For Shoes

March 2023

Around two million kangaroos are killed for their skins every year, and major brands like Nike and Adidas use the material to make sports shoes. Now PUMA’s new ban could signal an industry shift away from kangaroo leather.

Also read: Nike to Stop Using Kangaroo Leather!


One of the world’s leading athletic brands has announced that it will stop using kangaroo leather in its products.

Around two million kangaroos are hunted and killed every year for their skins, which are used to produce specialist soccer shoes, known as cleats. Many major brands including Nike, Adidas, and New Balance are among those that use the material.

But now, PUMA has announced that it will completely stop the production of soccer boots made with kangaroo leather.

The news comes as the sports company launches its redesigned KING soccer boots which use new technology to replace kangaroo leather.

new Puma shoe
The new PUMA KING soccer shoes, made for the first time without kangaroo leather. Credit: PUMA

Also known as K-leather, kangaroo skins were used to create past iterations of the KING boots, which have been worn by some of the world’s best players including Johan Cruyff, Diego Maradona, and Pelé.

For the first time, the latest KING boots use a new, non-animal-based material made mostly from nylon microfiber, which is said to outperform K-leather in testing for touch, comfort, and durability.

"Inhumane" Kangaroo Leather

The widespread use of kangaroo leather has often been overlooked, but the issue has received growing negative attention in recent years. In 2021, U.S. lawmakers introduced a bill that would ban kangaroo leather products and encourage brands to construct ‘cleats’ from the many alternative fabrics available.

The bill, known as The Kangaroo Protection Act, highlights how the use of kangaroo leather products helps fuel the annual slaughter of around two million kangaroos each year, in a particular gruesome hunt that takes place in Australia.

Known as the world’s largest commercial slaughter of land-based wildlife, the hunt sees entire families of kangaroos shot in the dead of night with night-vision rifle scopes. According to Australia's kangaroo killing guidelines, slaughtered female kangaroos should be checked for joeys in their pouches - who should be bludgeoned to death if found.

Currently, California is the only U.S. state to outlaw the sale of kangaroo skin, but the Kangaroo Protection bill would make the ban nationwide. PUMA’s decision to phase out kangaroo leather with a superior, non-animal alternative, now gives added support to the bill, and will likely spark renewed interest on the issue.

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