Monday, February 27, 2012

@TonyRezek Reviews @PumaRunning Bolt Faas 400's

If you've been reading the old blog here for any length of time, then you know that I've become a Puma convert for running shoes for 2012.  I've been lucky enough to run in the Bolt Faas 400's, Velosis III Running shoes (Puma Velosis III ON SALE!) and Nightfox 4 TR.  I have yet to hit the trails with the Nightfox, but I have worn them for X-camp sessions at Rev Gym.

But, if you don't want to take my word for how the Pumas are working out, maybe you'll be interested to hear what Swim Meister Tony has to say about the Bolt Faas 400.

From Tony himself;

I’ve had the Puma Faas 400 for about 2 months now. I haven’t been running in them. I’m a swimmer, and concentrating on my performance in the water only right now. But, I still do a great deal of my training out of the water. And I’ve worn the Faas 400 for every “dry” workout for the last 2 months.

Ware and Tear: So, how does a swimmer judge ware & tear on a shoe? My training out of the water is pretty hard on the feet. There is a lot of jumping, step ups, lunges, and planks. All of these put a great deal of stress on a shoe in one way or another, and I do this 2 to 3 times a week. They feel the same they did the day I got them, and don’t show as much as a wrinkle anywhere. I wouldn’t expect them to, most my shoes last a year or more with my workout routine. But I can tell you enough that these shoes are solid construction, and aren’t going to fall apart in one race (or workout) like the home made shoes you saw on the movie Prefontaine.

Comfort: Outside of my workouts, I’ve also worn these shoes around the house and daily errands. Something else you should know about me, I have a 7 year old son with Autism that requires 100% monitoring, and he is very mobile. Imagine a kid that gets into trouble around the house like a toddler, but is capable of a 40 yd dash in the 7 to 8 second range. Things like baby gates are barely an obstacle for him. I am on my feet nearly all of the day on weekends just minimize damage to the home and persons in it. I sit down when he eats, and usually there is an hour or two a day where his play is calm enough that I can sit. So you can imagine, I need an extremely comfortable shoe. I have to say the Faas 400 are among the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn. Most of my running shoes in the past get uncomfortable, whether its after 4 hours or 8, I usually want to take them off before I can, and just suffer the rest of the day. Not with this shoe.

Surprises: So far no negative surprises for me. One feature I have really come to appreciate is the sole of the shoe doesn’t stick out very far from the side of the foot. I didn't expect this to be a big deal, but it turned out to be. My last several pair of running shoes have a platform that juts out from the foot, and has a relative sharp edge sticking out from the side of the shoe. That at times caused problems in my workouts. I often do side planks, and much of my body weight rests on the side of one foot. With my old shoes, the edge of that shoe was very difficult to support my weight on, and my foot would often roll and put the weight on the side of my ankle. Not very pleasant. With the Faas 400, I can place put all of that weight on the side of my foot, without the edge of the shoe interfering. Now I only dread side planks for the pain of the exercise, not for the awkwardness of balancing on the edge of my shoe. That lack of edge on the sole also comes into play in my jumping. I often do lateral jumps over a bench, a step, or some type of stool. With my old shoes, sometimes that edge would catch what I was jumping over. Sometimes when my foot got caught I was able to recover without injury or embarrassment. Other times, it was pretty embarrassing. Fortunately I never got injured. With the Faas 400, I don’t have to worry about that. If the side of my foot hits the bench while jumping up, it doesn’t get caught, it just slides over it.

All in all, I think this is a very good shoe. It’s light weight, comfortable and appears it is probably quite durable. I would advise if you are between sizes like me (I have shoes of both 10-1/2 and 11 sizes that fit very well), go for the bigger size with the Faas 400. Although the shoe I’m wearing is maybe 1/4 size too small for me, it’s been a good shoe all around. I would certainly buy another pair.

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