Puma is a fascinating company. In the shadow of big brother Adidas, they’ve struggled to capitalize on their sponsorship of the fastest man that’s ever lived (Editor’s note: I believe this to be a result of only Puma stores carrying their performance shoes, thus limiting their market exposure). Little-known is the fact that the research into Adidas Boost foam was started at Puma, under the name “NRGY”.
Now that NRGY has made its way into Puma’s runners (after legal matters being settled with the materials company that took the formula from Puma to Adidas), the obvious question is how it compares to Boost. Well, it really depends on what you’re doing. If you’re just running, Boost is far superior. NRGY is just so flat. The cushion and energy return just doesn’t feel like it’s there. You can tell the foam is “from the same family,” but there’s a reason Puma athletes all wear shoes with Ignite cushioning, instead. On the other hand, if you spend most of your time in the gym or otherwise prefer a firm midsole, you might really like NRGY.
The upper, meanwhile, fits fits fine. There isn’t anything special about it. The Mega Knit version, which we tried on, but did not review, has a more relaxed fit with the same basic midsole, for those with wider feet.
Puma’s version of TPU just doesn’t measure up to Adidas’. That’s not to say some people won’t find something to like, it’s just that at $75 (versus $120 for the cheapest Adidas Boost model), you’re getting what you pay for.