The last decade has seen Puma excel as an innovative designer of running shoes and this progression took a further leap forward with the association with World record-breaking sprinter Usain Bolt and more recently the Jamaican Athletic federation.
Early innovations brought the evolution of the honeycomb cell for cushioning. The first generation shoes virtually replaced the normal EVA middle sole of running shoes with the cell. Over the years the cells have changed to be thinner, more flexible and more complex with cells within cells. All of this has provided a level of resilience that far outstripped the life of a normal EVA.
In 2009 Puma introduced the Faas range with the 300 and 500 the first to be launched on the South African market. The Faas 300 made a major impact appealing to short distance racers but being a bit light on cushioning it failed to make it much past the half marathon, as many conservative South Africans looked (mistakenly) for rigid heavy shoes for the ultra marathons.
Last year in just prior to the World Athletic championships in Daegu, Puma and Usain Bolt unveiled the Faas 400, which has now made it to South Africa.
This is a lightweight shoe with Puma’s patented BioRide midsole technology. This combines a lightweight midsole with ID cells, which results in both exceptional flexibility and cushioning. This level of cushioning is not only sufficient for marathon distances, but also significant enough for short ultra journeys through to Comrades.
The lacing yoke and other support structure are laminated to a lightweight mesh upper. This not only minimizes stitching but also virtually eliminates any risk of blistering and results in an extremely lightweight shoe making it directly comparable against the Nike Lunar racer. However the lower profile and sculpted midsole promotes a good forward roll and toe-off assisting runners into an efficient and more natural running style.
The outer sole has an Ever ride rubber block on the medial fore foot and hard earing Ever Track section on the heel. These ensure greater lifespan of the outer which has a dimpled effect that has surprisingly good grip in all weather conditions.
The Faas 400 is built on a relatively straight last that provides a higher degree of torsional resistance compared with a curve last normally associated with a shoe of this weight and style.
The Puma Bolt Faas 400 has all the characteristics of an ideal shoe for the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon.
This is a shoe deserving every runners consideration and don’t be surprised if you find that this shoes allows you to run with a new efficiency and …puts wings on your feet!