I was wandering through an athletic shoe store recently when I was literally stopped in my tracks by a pair of shoes with the unwieldy model name of FAAS 500 v4 pwrCOOL Running Shoes from Puma. That's a really long name for a shoe, I thought to myself, wondering what possessed Puma, the manufacturer, to choose it. But as I did a little research on the shoe, and after testing it, I came to the conclusion that it deserves a nice long name because it's a really cool shoe.
This shoe is designed for cool runners, which may be why designers included the term in the name. It is manufactured with an AirMesh upper to boost breathability, the protective TPU tip adds extra protection but doesn't compromise the shoe's light weight (only 240 g), there are reflective overlays on the exterior to keep you visible and safe on dark roads and the shoe's springy feel comes courtesy of the resilient FAAS Foam+ midsole. Deep, forefoot grooves make this shoe as flexible as an athletic shoe can be and the flex notches offer a smoother transition and toe-off thanks to EverTrack+. If you're an everyday runner more interested in the longevity of your shoes than fashion-forward appearances, you may find nirvana if you buy a pair.
Lace up FAAS 500 v4 pwrCOOL running shoes and hit your stride. You won't take long to understand the awesome engineering behind the footwear. Thermo-regulation technology keeps feet—and the rest of your body, for that matter—at a decent temperature so you preserve your energy as you run rather than feeling it dissipate because your feet are too hot to stand the pace. It stands to reason that this extra energy can make you faster and keep you refreshed longer, and for anyone who has sought in vain for shoes that offer minimal, lightweight cushioning to enhance their training programme, a runner can easily wind up emulating Hermes sprinting across the sky, minus those pesky wings on the feet. Cushioning and durability don't diminish the fit: It's strong, supportive and comfy. Expect a natural stride thanks to the 4 mm heel-to-toe drop, and you can forget pronation issues. Those lateral release grooves and decoupled heel will slow you down at a proper rate.
- Sick of being sidelined or distracted by a sliding tongue? The FAAS 500 v4 pwrCOOL tongue won't budge because it's held in place by straps originating at the medial and lateral midsoles. This alone could endear you to the Puma brand and this particular footwear!
- There's no denying the energy conservation capability of these running shoes. Test after test proves that the cooling technology used to craft FAAS 500 v4 pwrCOOLs is cutting edge, yet the design doesn't deter from fit and performance.
- Stability is a huge factor for runners fearful that if they choose a shoe based on a feature like “cooling” that stability and fit could get short shrift in the engineering department. This shoe proves all three are quite compatible, so the unique feature never detracts from performance.
- I love the fact that my toes have lots of room to move around, yet fit isn't compromised.
- If heel drop is a big concern for you because your particular running style requires more or less, these shoes might never fit the way you like, your performance could suffer and you might regret buying them even if the price was right.
- Fashion icons, listen up: You won't get any style points if you choose the FAAS 500 v4 pwrCOOL—despite the fact that "cool" is built into the shoe's name. Both the design and some of the colours are out-of-date according to shoesanistas, so buy these only if you have no style reputation to uphold.
- If you live in an area like Singapore where the rainy season can determine where, when and how you run, you may wish to save your money for a shoe that stands up to rain better than the FAAS 500 v4 pwrCOOL. The shoe's minimal sole is no match for tropical showers and the puddles they create!
- A decent number of runners auditioning the FAAS 500 v4 pwrCOOL say that size can be problematic. While some wearers were able to break them in and eventually enjoy a comfortable fit, others say they had to trade theirs in for a larger size than they normally wear because the fit just wasn't there.
You can't go wrong when you buy running shoes that bear the Puma logo because designers and engineers are fastidious about "getting it right" and innovating—like the signature cooling feature from which this shoe gets its name and reputation. As long as your goal is undertaking daily training in areas that aren't prone to rain and you don't give a whit about style and colour, you'll be terribly happy in these affordable, lightweight running shoes. For those of us who suffer from perpetually hot feet, these shoes are remarkable.
Despite a few review negatives, the FAAS 500 v4 pwrCOOL seems to satisfy a devoted number of fans who would be delighted to buy anything produced by Puma. This fact begs the question: Does brand influence all of your buying decisions or are you influenced as much by trends, advertising and high-profile promotions? On the other hand, are you all about the price? Inquiring minds want to know.