Puma Ignite Power Cool – Initial Thoughts

Today was my second run in the Puma Ignite Powercools so it is time to give my initial impressions of them. Yesterday was 3.2 mile run and today was a 5+ miler where I did my shoe test run course. i.e. running down the Bitch and then having to come back up it at some point. Which really gives me a pretty good clue on how I will run in a pair of running shoes.

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These were a Bennie Christmas present that he got off Amazon for a pretty amazing price. I liked the fit and upper of the Mobium Swiftstrike, but not the slappy ride, Bennie seemed to think that the Ignite’s would be a nice alternative and ordered them. I did find out that the toe box is more pointy and narrower than the Swiftstrike, but not enough to bother my tailor’s bunionette. So that was a good thing.

Personally, I HATED the blue laces on the blue upper and they were flat laces, which I am not all that crazy about in the first place, which meant that I had to change things up to a rounded yellow lace, just to give it some color and make them easier to tie.

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One other change, since it was still only 12*F, instead of wearing regular running socks, I wore my new Darn Tough wool socks, which helped an awful lot with avoiding the cold feet that I experienced yesterday. I won’t say that the feet were warm, but at least I wasn’t focused on how damn cold they were. In other words I was able to run and still feel my toes. The shoes are not called Powercool for no reason and need a little “extra” insulation that merino wool provides when it gets cold and/or windy outside.

The first thing I noticed was how smooth and quiet they were to run in. Going down hill was not a slap, slap, slap event and once I hit the flats, it was pretty easy running. Although going back up the hill they didn’t have the same snap as the Mobium’s did and seemed a little “dead” coming back up.

The midsole material had an odd feel when I was landing, nothing bad or anything, but definitely different from other shoes I have run in lately. It really reminded me of the how the old Sorbothane inserts made a shoe feel back in the 80’s – well sort of squishy. Luckily the squish does become less noticeable when you pick up the pace, but at slower speeds it does feel a little strange and will take a bit of getting used to.

The best part was that there were no hot spots, blisters or snug spots that made them feel uncomfortable.

Surprisingly, the grip on the outsole is better than I expected and in the walks and runs I have done in them I haven’t had any issues when walking on the snow-covered ice down-back. Also I have been impressed with how the outsole shed all he pebbles and stuff that other shoes seem to accumulate.

What don’t I like?

The tongue’s padding does not go all the way to the end of the tongue and when you cinch it down, I can feel the laces a little too much. Which means that I have to be a little less aggressive on how tight you can go with the laces. It is also a pain to get the tongue wings adjusted flat. It does lead to a little looser heel fit, but nothing bad just a little different from what I am used to.

Going Forward

I got these to be my easy run/long run shoes and primarily running at around a 9:00 minute or slower pace, which I found they did quite nicely. When I wanted to pick up the pace there wasn’t any problems doing so, but at the same time, they don’t “feel” like a fast shoe and it felt like I had to work a just a little harder to keep that faster pace. The was no “gee I didn’t feel like I was going that fast” kind of reaction after the runs.

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These are a 2015/2016 model running shoe from Puma. I know that they are not known for their super-fantastic running shoes, but the Puma running shoe lines seem to fit what I need now. Especially, since I am now looking more at getting “good enough” shoes that don’t break the bank every time I need or should I say want a new pair of running shoes.

So far they are doing quite well and I am liking how they are performing for me. The tongue thing is the biggest thing that I am not too crazy about with these shoes. Otherwise they have done what I wanted, at a price point that is more than reasonable.

However, they are NOT a colder weather running shoe and I do live in Maine, where it tends to get a little chilly from December through the beginning of April. I have other shoes for the treadmill, although I think the PowerCools might get a few runs in there for the longer runs that I know will happen over the next couple of months.

Based on what they are really designed for I decided to order the Puma Ignite PowerWarm to use during the winter and got a GREAT deal on them. I think they will work a little better for what I want them for during the next few months.

It will be a better and more fair test to run in the PowerCools during the Spring and Summer, than it will be now. After all they are not designed to be a winter running shoe.