Last Updated on September 27, 2019 by Heather Hart, ACSM EP, CSCS
This review is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of PUMA.
When I first started running back in 2007, there were a handful of shoe brands that I associated with the sport of running. Brands that you would find in a true running gear shop, designed to withstand the abuse of long distance runners. And then there was everyone else. Shoe brands you would wear to the gym, find in discount department stores, or wear simply for fashion purposes. You would maybe see them on the feet of novices at their first 5k race, but you would never expect to see them on the feet of experienced distance runners.
In the past 8 years (wow, I’ve been running for that long?) I’ve noticed a change in the industry. Athletic shoe and apparel companies are recognizing the distance running movement, and are striving to meet the needs of this ever growing market. Brands that I once associated with light-up shoes for preschoolers are now successfully making sneakers worn by Olympian marathoners.
One of the brands I am excited to see enter the running world as a contender is Puma. As a former competitive soccer player, I am no stranger to the brand. However, I always expect to see their gear on professional soccer and elite tennis players, not world record breaking sprinter Usain Bolt.
Puma was generous enough to send me a pair of the new Puma Ignite running sneakers for review. Now, the excitement mentioned above does not come without reservation. While it doesn’t seem there would be much difficulty in an established shoe company to make a killer running shoe, there actually is so much more than simply throwing together the right materials. Much consideration has to be taken into not only the fit and immediate performance of the shoe, but how this fit and performance will last over 5, 10, 20, and even hundreds of miles.
Upon taking the Puma Ignite out of the box, my first impression was that it was surprisingly basic. Not a ton of unnecessary “flair” or fabric. Just a lightweight, simply, yet incredibly brightly colored shoe. The specs on this shoe are as follows:
- Flexible AirMesh upper with seamless overlays
- Soft, ultra-thin suede tongue for more comfort
- Moulded EVA sockliner hugs the arch
- IGNITE Foam midsole for high-rebound cushioning.
- Chevron flex grooves for increased energy return
- ForEverFoam at heel for optimal durability
- Flexibility through forefoot flex grooves
- Transition Line mimics the natural gait pattern
- Smoother toe-off for a fluid ride
- EverTrack for durability in high-wear areas
- Weight: 8 ounces (size 7)
- MSRP $100
As with most of my shoes these days, the very first thing I do is wear them to a 6-8 hour shift at work, where I am on my feet the entire time running a gym. While this of course is not “running”, it is the first step in testing comfort, and searching for any sort of hot spots. Other than the fact that the shoelaces are somewhat slippery, and don’t stay tied very easily, the shoe was incredibly comfortable.
So I hit the roads.
Both pavement and dirt to be exact. And, if we are being honest, I ventured into the woods on a steep trail or a minute or two in order to check out the status of the local trail . As you can see in the photo above, the tread on this shoe is NOT designed for trail, so I wouldn’t recommend doing the same. But as far as the paved and dirt roads were concerned…the Puma Ignite performed wonderfully.
I’m not sure why I was so surprised by this fact. Perhaps it was my first impression based solely on the look of this shoe. Perhaps it was my preconceived notion that Puma isn’t a contender in the distance running world. I expected this shoe to feel stiff and unnatural, and it was anything but. The shoe was so incredibly comfortable and smooth that I didn’t even notice it. Not noticing your shoe – not feeling any specific hot spots on your foot, or the fact that your toes or the arch of your feet feel cramped over time due to stiffness, feeling NOTHING at all, is the ultimate compliment of a running shoe in my opinion.
Admittedly, I haven’t been able to clear 30+ miles in these shoes quite yet, so I am unable to confirm the claim that the Foreverfoam provides extra durability in the shoe, as mentioned in the specs above. But so far, I have been quite impressed with the Puma IGNITE. I would recommend this shoe for someone who is comfortable in a neutral shoe. I haven’t been able to find the specifics on the heel to toe drop, but in my opinion and experience it feels rather minimal (if I had to guess, maybe 6 mm range?)
The Puma Ignite is available in both a women’s and a men’s version, and comes in a variety of colors. Considering purchasing this shoe? Have any questions regarding my experience? Feel free to ask!
This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of PUMA.
Heather Hart is an ACSM certified Exercise Physiologist, NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), UESCA certified Ultrarunning Coach, RRCA certified Running Coach, co-founder of Hart Strength and Endurance Coaching, and creator of this site, Relentless Forward Commotion. She is a mom of two teen boys, and has been running and racing distances of 5K to 100+ miles for over a decade. Heather has been writing and encouraging others to find a love for fitness and movement since 2009.
Will these make me run like Usain Bolt? They look pretty cool…
Yes. Exactly like him. Just a little slower 😉 🙂 😉 🙂
These look really cool! Several brands are upping their running shoe game which I appreciate
I appreciate it as well…especially considering the fact that running shoes are such a financial investment for us frequent runners. It’s nice to have something we know is going to work!
I love the retro look of these! And that more companies are entering the market. I think there’s never been a better time to be a runner when it comes to choices in shoes–great review.
Thanks! I agree, it seems everyone is hopping on the running bandwagon. Fine by me, the more the merrier…and the more choices for us!
Kathryn @ Dancing to Running
I love how futuristic these shoes look!
It’s great how they are futuristic and retro looking all at the same time!
Great comprehensive review! I think it looks like a very sleek and light weight shoe. I am surprised that they would use a slippery lace though.
I find a lot of newer shoes have this type of lace. I don’t really like them. Thankfully, it is a quick fix, just put another pair in!
Eat Pray Run, DC
i’m like you, i’d be skeptical about puma running shoes as well. curious about the slippery-ness you mentioned – was that the soles? the tread? or both? good review!
It was the soles and tread…or lack of tread really. PERFECT for running on roads. Not great for heading off trail (or in my case, climbing a steep, wet, leaf and dirt covered hill, haha!)
Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner
I always thought of them more as a casual shoe brand. I’ve seen a bunch of reviews for these lately and it sounds like it is worth giving them a second look. Nice review.
Sam @ PancakeWarriors
Wow, like you I’ve onty thought of puma in soccer or maybe the casual shoe! these are awesome looking and it’s exciting to hear they are comfortable too!
Awesome shoes! And I totally agree, shoes that used to be for fashion are now fashionably fitness oriented. It’s nice to see there being more variety to meet all our different needs.
Yes! I love cute shoes as much as the next girl, but if they can’t keep up with my training, they are useless to me!
Ange @ Cowgirl Runs (@cowgirlruns)
I’m always impressed when a traditional “non running” shoe performs well. I need to be super picky about shoes as I’m apparently injury prone.
Yeah injury prone certainly throws a lot of shoe options out the window. I’m lucky that I’m a neutral runner who can run in almost anything (fingers crossed it stays that way!)
These shoes look awesome and I think that is a great price!
Very reasonable MSRP for running shoes!
Pretty Little Grub
Interesting that Puma is making their debut into the running world. The shoes are quite plain but glad to hear they worked well for you.
Very plain, but work very well, which I suppose is more important! The bright colors do make up for the lack of intricate design.
Those look good! I would prefer something that can get me from the road to the trails though as sometimes I change my mind mid run and detour!
You and me both (as I ended up doing, haha!) It is so hard to find a good crossover shoe! Trail shoes seem to get too heavy on the road, road shoes too slippery on trails :/
Mar on the Run!
I don’t think I’ve ever worn Puma shoes before. Very pretty color!
I have only worn Puma soccer cleats! They certainly weren’t so purple and orange, haha! 😉
These look like fast shoes! 🙂 Great review. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you for reading!
MCM Mama Runs (@mcmmama)
Cute shoe! I got some Skechers recently (they fall in the same mental category as Puma for me) and I was shocked at how much I liked running in them!
YES! That is another brand I’ve heard great things about, but I can’t help but thing of sparkly, light up shoes, haha!
I’m fascinated by the concept of foreverfoam. I’d love to read your review after more mileage.
I will be certain to update in another month or two!
I love that so many brands are creating shoes for different markets. It’s good to have choices for workout and running shoes instead of just being limited to a few.
Katie @ Huff 'n Puff to Buff 'n Tough
Those are cute!!
GinaB @ Mirror Watching
Thanks. Being a relatively new comer to running your post was like a lesson on sneaks for runners.
Did you find these shoes to get to hot during warmer weather?
Great post! It’s really hard to find good running shoes these days, there are so many options and it can be super overwhelming! Thanks for an awesome and informative review 🙂