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Although I’ve logged a fair amount of miles the past 10 years, I had yet to wear any Puma brand running shoes. My first thoughts about Puma in general were from my soccer playing days and that they always fit like a glove. That of course is ideal for soccer, but not so much for running. Hence, I was pleasantly surprised that these were true to size, snug but not tight, and a really comfortable fit. My second connection to Puma and running is the blazing speed of the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt. Therefore, I was hoping for some real injection of speed to my running pace.
From a purely aesthetic visual standpoint, I really like the simple classic look. Upon further inspection, the more advanced features start to become quite evident. From the breathable upper and heel toe drop to the Puma Faasfoam cushioning and lace closure system, this shoe has an abundance of advanced technical features. To put the Puma Faas 500 v3 to the test, I ran on a variety of surfaces: compact gravel trails, concrete city sidewalks, a speed session on the treadmill, and a neighborhood park cruise while pushing my two little girls in the stroller.
Puma Faas 500 v3 Performance
My initial observations are quit positive because the Puma Faas 500 v3’s are very lightweight including a minimal 4mm Heel Toe Drop. In addition, they have adequate cushioning which caters to a wide range of runners, and is very versatile for a variety of workout sessions. The first run was fairly easy with a few slightly faster intervals thrown in. With the preface that the shoe hasn’t really been broken in, the soles seemed a bit stiff during this first run. I like to joke and say that a shoe isn’t truly broken in until you’ve hit 300-400 miles in them, and as presumed they did become more supple as I logged more miles. Bad weather forced me onto a treadmill run where I tested them with some 4 x 1 mile repeats. I Averaged about 7:00 for all 4 intervals which is a strong effort for me, and the Puma Faas 500 v3 performed really well. Enough padding to protect the midfoot/balls of my feet, and light enough to allow for a fast cadence.
The air mesh upper is designed to provide breathability and comfort which performed great when the temperatures started to climb past 80 degrees. The best feature of the Puma Faas 500 v3 in my opinion is the lace closure system. In the case of this pair it’s a bright green strapping system that extends from the heel cup up to the shoe laces. That combined with the Everfit lockdown provides opportunities to secure the shoe to whatever snugness desired. I like mine tighter towards the top of the laces/foot to avoid any shifting, and a bit looser towards the bottom of the laces to allow some breathing room for my toes. It’s great that this can be adjusted to meet any runner’s needs. It must be said that a good portion of my runs are done while pushing a stroller because sometimes it’s the only way to get a run in. I do occasionally kick the tires which created a nice little scuff on the front of the shoes. Due to that, the Puma logo formstrip on the outside of both shoes has slightly pulled apart (see close up photo below). One thing I would personally like to see addressed in future versions is reducing the cushiony thickness of the tongue to prevent any sliding.
Puma Faas 500 v3 Midsole/Outsole
The biggest thing I noticed right away was the Heel Toe Drop of 4 mm. Now, this is a very minimal drop from the heel to the toe, and will require some getting used to even if you are an experienced runner. Your achilles heel and calves need time to adjust to the difference in drop. More than likely some soreness will be experienced if trying this shoe when coming from the more traditional drop of 12mm. I’ve been transitioning for the past 3 years while rotating through shoes with varying Heel Toe Drops, and finally feel comfortable in 4mm shoes. Additional cushioning at the forefoot and heel along with the denser carbon sole will aid in protecting your feet during longer runs.
Final thoughts for the Puma Faas 500 v3
I believe the Puma Faas 500 v3 to be a good all around shoe for runners of all shapes, sizes, and running form. The 4mm drop along with the Faasfoam cushioning system will be a big selling point to anyone looking to try out a minimal running shoe. The Puma Faas 500 v3 will definitely be added to the shoe rotation as a trainer for easy runs, tempo pace runs, and speed work. With an MSRP of $100 this shoe is a good buy because of its versatility. For more information please visit https://us.puma.com/