Well, this was a first for us: My boyfriend and I jumped in to see if we could write a review together after we both decided to replace our old running shoes with pairs of Puma Ignites, in matching blue. The shoes just debuted, so when we hit the ground to train with our club, just about everyone noticed the matching kicks. They teased us—asked if maybe we’re getting too serious—after all, matching shoes says a lot about a couple. But we’re all about business when it comes to researching and collaborating on the writing of this review, so we’ll keep the future where it belongs. Besides, I had something in mind beyond shoes—like a small, sparkly and expensive symbol—if we’re talking about a long-term commitment!
The Ignite Brand
When Puma decided to debut this shoe to the world, the big draw wasn’t so much the colours or the design but the novel midsole foam technology that claims to offer the most responsive type of cushioning on the planet. The shoe also promises uniform performance in hot or cold running conditions, which is a great perk for people who like to test their mettle by running in all types of weather.
My boyfriend and I were impressed by the fact that this shoe took nine years to develop, and while we weren’t invited to that high profile New York event introducing the men’s and woman’s Puma Ignite line, we celebrated bringing our shoes home with a little champagne.
My boyfriend and I collaborated on this list of features, so nothing fell through the cracks. In a rare moment of agreement, here’s what we jointly concluded: We both love the ultra-thin, soft suede tongue and the EVA sockliner which supports our arches. Both features create a fit that’s comfortable enough to outlast our longest training and running sessions.
We agree that the ForEverFoam used to create the heel makes the shoe durable and when we compared notes on the seamless overlays used to fabricate the AirMesh uppers, we were in complete accord. We think the signature Ignite insole foam is a secret fit weapon when compared to other running shoes, and on a fashion note, I thought it was cool to order our Ignites in the same shade of rich blue!
My girlfriend let me do the writing for this section because she thinks engineering is all about piloting a train, so allow me to do the honours. Both the men’s and the women’s Puma Ignites are engineered for high-rebound foot responses when they are worn. There’s plenty of flexibility via the grooves on the shoe’s forefront, and all of the high-wear areas have been given extra design attention.
Those flex grooves are supposed to increase energy return, and while neither of us can swear to it, we don’t dispute the Puma claim, because after all, their engineers spent nine years developing this signature shoe. Ditto the claim that a new, smoother toe-off guarantees a fluid ride. We do feel that our individual gaits have improved as a direct result of running in our new shoes. As for the gender difference, engineering on both men’s and women’s Ignites is identical, as evidenced by the number of women we talked to who weren’t hesitant to buy the male version for a better fit.
Both of us love these shoes and we were equally impressed when we learned that six-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt was in the lab when they were designed, but a celebrity endorsement can’t count as a “pro,” so consider these four:
- We feel that flexibility and rebound can’t be surpassed by any other running shoe currently on the market.
- It made us feel fast.
- My friend borrowed her friend’s Ignites and fell in love. Personally, we don’t share shoes—I’m a size 8.5 and my boyfriend’s a size 11—but we both get what she meant!
- The Ignite, we agreed, represents a new age of running shoe design and we’re blissfully happy with ours.
Despite the Ignite’s flexibility and rebound, others weren’t as enthused about the cushioning. We don’t agree, but specifically…
- Some runners may find the toe too narrow, and the overlays too structured which make make your feet go numb if you don’t listen to size recommendations.
- If you need arch support, this shoe may not be right for you.
So, there you have it. Our first collaborative shoe review. Both of us agree that it was fun undertaking this, but to be honest, we did get into the occasional argument while reaching our conclusions, so we have both decided to focus our attention on wearing the shoes, not writing about them!
That stated, we’re curious: Do you think you could research and write a shoe review with someone you are close to? If your answer is no, can you tell us why? We’d love to read your response!