Review: Puma Ignite Netfit
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Footwear companies need a wide-ranging portfolio of running shoes. Some, for instance, are designed for a more secure and tight fit, some for those who prefer a wider toe area, while others may focus on better heel support or enhanced stability. But what if one shoe could fit pretty much every requirement?
Puma seems to have managed just this with the Ignite Netfit shoe.
The Ignite Netfit has an evoKNIT upper which has a sock-like fit. The shoe upper is completely covered in a netted mesh, which means that unlike most other footwear, this doesn’t have predefined lacing eyelets and the entire mesh can be used to thread the laces around.
This is where the magic lies. For starters, you can try five lacing options. “Standard lacing” will be ideal for most runners. Then there is “Stability lacing”, for more support around the medial arch—some runners also use insoles which are designed to provide the same support. For those with wide feet, there is “Wide Foot lacing”, which allows for greater breathability while retaining a customized snug fit. Runners at the other end of the spectrum will be able to take advantage of the “Narrow Foot lacing”, which adjusts the fit to the feet’s contours. Finally, there is the “Heel Support lacing”, which enables a tight fit around the heel area for extra support. You can pretty much customize the lacing technique further.
In terms of comfort, the evoKNIT upper adjusts easily to the foot and offers great ventilation too. It looks a lot like the upper on the Nike’s LunarEpic Low Flyknit 2 (Rs13,295; Store.nike.com/in). The only shortcoming is that if dirt gets in between the mesh and the upper, it takes some effort to dislodge.
Sitting under your foot is the dual-layer midsole that uses Puma’s proprietary Ignite PU foam, which offers a certain level of bounce-back feel while running. This sort of rebound response makes for a more assured running experience.
The Ignite Netfit has a 12mm heel-to-toe drop, slightly more than the 10mm offset on the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34 (Rs9,995; Store.nike.com/in) and the 8mm offset in the adidas PureBoost DPR (Rs14,999; Shop.adidas.co.in). While there is no impact on running performance, the offset drop depends on whether the runner prefers flat-foot positioning or not.
The outsole has additional inserts in the forefoot area for better “toe-off” movement as you start a run or change direction. The outsole takes advantage of EverTrack+, a blown rubber compound, which is essentially air-injected rubber that is lighter, softer and more flexible than traditional rubber.
All in all, the Ignite Netfit offers excellent grip across a variety of surfaces.
But it is by no means a plain-Jane running shoe. The design is attractive, the black, blue and white colour options look fantastic and will get the attention of people around you, whether you wear it to the gym, the mall or for a day out with the family.
The Puma Ignite Netfit is, in fact, as perfect a running shoe as you can buy right now.