Sports gear giant Puma took seven years to research and launch its proprietary Ignite foam midsole. This polyurethane and ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) compound is said to deliver responsive cushioning, optimal energy return and comfort.
Using this special Ignite foam midsole, the Ignite XT is a pair of training shoes designed especially for those who love high-intensity workouts. Its Ignite foam midsole helps to ensure high rebound for each stride, while its rubber outsole pods are supposed to provide full ground contact and traction without weighing you down.
The full-length flex groove at the forefoot area is meant to aid quick multi-directional movements. The one-piece upper is made of a synthetic mesh with a lace closure and padded tongue for a snug fit. And the molded EVA sockliner provides support for the arch of your foot.
The review unit came in a two-tone, blue and yellow combination. There are now only two colour combinations: orange/white and grey/white. But I still prefer the older black/white combo.
Overall, the Ignite XT's design is simple and pleasing. But I like the original Ignite better as it looks more sneaker-like.
I was surprised at how comfortable the shoes felt. They fitted my feet like a pair of gloves out of the box, and they needed no break-in time.
I went for a 10km walk without wearing socks, and the shoes did not give my feet hot spots. In fact, it was a really comfortable experience.
During interval training, comprising jumping jacks, burpees, lunges and squats, I could feel the rebound the shoes provided during multi-directional movements. These shoes certainly helped take some pressure off my ageing knees. I also like the support they provided for my injury-prone ankles.
The Ignite XT might not be meant for long-distance running, but they provided plenty of support and rebound during my leisurely 5km jogs and more intense 2.4km runs.
Verdict: For those looking for an affordable and comfortable pair of training shoes to do high-intensity workouts, the Puma Ignite XT is an obvious choice.
MATERIAL: Puma's Ignite proprietary foam midsole and rubber outsole
WEIGHT: 286g (US 9, Men's)
VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5
This article was first published on January 13, 2016.
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