When Puma released the original Mobium Elite, it was called the first "adaptive" running shoe in the industry.
It was supposed to allow the foot to move naturally but with added propulsion. However, I found that it catered more to midfoot strikers.
The latest Mobium Elite Ride is built for the traditional heel strikers, even though it features the same technologies - Expansion Pods, Mobium Band and Windlass Chassis.
The Expansion Pods, which are on the outsole, still look like a cat's paw. They are designed to align closely with the bone structure of the foot to provide better flexibility and support.
The Mobium Band, an elastic band that runs through the outsole and midsole in a figure-of-eight pattern supports the arch for better energy return. But the new band is thicker than the original's.
Puma describes the Windlass Chassis as the first ethylene vinyl acetate midsole that changes its shape and length as you run, to ensure that the shoe moves naturally with your foot.
The shoe also features Puma's new stretchable upper, known as Adaptive Fit, in the heel, such that it adapts to heel movement; and a decoupled heel "crashpad" for initial heel strikes.
The review unit came in a combo of black, indigo and yellow, while sporting the brand's usual stripes on the outstep and the cat logo - both in a nice silver tone - near the big toe. It looks good enough to wear with pride from track to gym to mall. And certainly a good pair to wear on your travels.
When I first slipped my feet into the Ride, I was pleasantly surprised by how comfortable it felt. The original did not feel that way.
Although it is not exactly lightweight when compared with minimalist running shoes, the Ride does not feel heavy.
When I wore it for an initial 2.4km run, the shoes already felt broken in. Being a conventional heel-strike runner, I love the energy return that the Ride provides during heel strikes. When I switched to a midfoot strike, it felt comfortable too.
Even when I took the shoes on a 5km jog, the comfort level did not drop. I could still feel the cushioning upon impact and the bouncy response with each running stride. My toes had enough room to move yet they did not slip. And my arches and ankles felt supported.
I also wore the Ride walking in shopping malls and it felt as good as my usual walking sandals.
The only downer - and a slight one - is that there was not much ventilation and my feet did feel warm after a while.
The Puma Mobium Elite Ride is a great pair of running shoes for heel strikers who want looks, comfort and affordability.
Material: Adaptive fit upper with ethylene vinyl acetate midsole
Value for money 4/5
This article was first published on Jan 28, 2015.
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