Designed for Puma’s Autumn-Winter 2016 collection, the brand new Puma Ignite Dual shoes are marketed as offering runners with both flexibility as well as cushioning – in a single running shoe.
Engineered for ultimate flexibility and cushioning
Engineered to provide ultimate flexibility and cushioning for mid to long distance runners, the Ignite Dual shoes feature Puma’s signature Ignite foam – this is visible on both the heel and the forefoot for full length energy return for runners.
The outsole of the shoes have been enhanced too, to mimic the natural gait of the average runner, who is predominantly a heel striker. A guidance groove also runs from the heel to allow smoother transfer of the runner’s weight from heel-strike to toe-off. To add to the freedom of movement, there are deep forefoot flex grooves present and carbon rubber has been included for extra durability.
Added Alvin Lim, 27, a coach and distance runner who has been sponsored by Puma for the past three years, “This shoe allows the foot to be in a heel position and then flexes off to a toe-off position. The design of the shoe helps to improve the running flexibility of the person – in that it helps the foot to bend more easily when running. This aids in comfort.”
At 16 ounces (450 grams) though, these are not the lightest shoes I’ve tried, due to the extra padding at the heels.
Vibrant colours that captured my attention
The first thing that caught my attention about the shoes was the colour which is really bright and attractive. My unit had been navy blue with a bright orange top and I thought that this was rather interesting – so in fact I think I fell in love with the shoes immediately.
The vibrant colours, according to Puma, are a result of a colour-shifting mesh that provides extra visibility in low light conditions and the appearance is finished with a contemporary graphic that gives the Ignite Dual shoes a youthful appeal. So these shoes will appeal to the young and the young-at-heart. Though I have not yet managed to take them out for a late night run, to see how the low-light visibility affects the shoes.
In addition, the shoelaces are also blue coloured, and the tip is orange, which matches the actual colour of the shoe really nicely. I also saw another model which was black + orange at the launch. And for those who prefer their shoes in more neutral colours though, there is also a black + white model.
Trying out the shoes at the launch
At the shoe launch, I tried out the shoes at a short run cum circuit training session. Led by Lim, this had been held at the Seletar Aerospace Park area and it was a short but intense session.
To kick off the media launch session, we had started by doing drills which had included hopping through cones and shuttle runs, before embarking on a 1.4km jog around the Seletar area.
Running with the shoes at a race and in my own training session
Subsequently I then took the shoes home and I have since brought them out for a couple more runs. One had been a 10km race at the weekend and the other had been a 13km morning run by myself.
Putting on the shoes are relatively comfortable – there is ample room in the toe-box for my feet to breathe and after some long runs, the toes do not feel any worse for wear. This is possibly thanks to the modelled EVA sock-liner present, which cradles the foot snugly when running.
The size of the shoe tongue is rather small though, so this physically takes some getting used to, but I later found that it does not really inhibit my running in any way.
I thought that my feet also felt quite snug in the shoes and was able to stay quite dry when encased inside – despite Singapore’s high humidity levels. This is thanks to the two tone premium flexible mesh in the shoes that allow for added breathability and flexibility. According to Lim, this is supposed to be an improvement over Puma’s earlier Ignite shoe models.
Despite the weight of the shoes, I also did not feel like I was really applying any additional effort in lifting my feet when running as compared to wearing some of my lighter running shoes – this is possibly because of the fact that the articulated chevron grooves were aiding in my landing and rebounding.
I could also feel that there is plenty of cushioning in the heel area, and this has been protecting my heels from the pounding of the pavement – so, I did not feel any heel strains for an extended period of running.
However at the same time though, I quickly realised that there is more cushioning in the heel and the amount of cushioning gradually decreases towards the front of the shoe. After running for an extended period of time – maybe about an hour, I could feel the impact on the balls of my feet.
This feeling had been more prevalent during my hill reps running session where the balls of the feet are required for landing. But then again, perhaps I am not the target audience of the Puma Ignite Dual shoes, as I am a mid foot rather than a heel striker.
Says Lim, “The shoe is primarily targeted at heel strikers, as the majority of runners fall into this category. But it also works for forefoot strikers, as they use the front of the shoe to exert power. So the shoe allows for a more flexible forefoot strike, which they can then toe off from. For mid foot strikers, this shoe acts as a neutral shoe for them, and benefiting their toe-off from the ground.”
Due to the comfort and cushioning, Lim himself feels that the shoes are suitable for running long distances though. He adds, “Though Puma is using sprinter Usain Bolt as an ambassador in the United States for the shoe, I am a long distance runner myself and I think the shoes can provide grip and flexibility for me when I am running. My long runs usually range for 10km – 21km but marathon running should be fine too.”
Where to get the shoes
The Puma Ignite Dual shoes have a recommended retail price of SGD 159 and they will be made available at all Puma stores and authorised retailers across Singapore, from 15 July onwards.