Worn by the fastest man alive, the PUMA Faas 800 has no choice but to fly. But can it fly by its competitors in the training department? Guess I have to bolt them on and see…
Once known as a performance brand with the likes of adidas and Nike, more recently over the last decade PUMA has restyled itself to favor fashion and lifestyle as much as it does sport. Often trended by more weekend warrior than hardcore athlete, the brand got a boost from endorser Usain Bolt who became the fastest man alive at the 2008 Olympics and then the 2009 World Championships. Looking forward to this summer’s Olympic Games, PUMA had to bring something special to the table, and they did not disappoint.
For those of you who have slept on PUMA lately, they revitalized their performance running models last year with a very well-performing line called FAAS. The main ingredient in a FAAS shoe is the foam (dubbed “FaasFoam”), which increases in volume as the assigned number on the name of a shoe goes up, marked from 1 to 1000. For instance, the FAAS 250 is a baseline, low cushion, sprint and low mileage trainer — almost a non-spike spike shoe. The FAAS 400 has a bit more foam but is still a low to mid mileage runner and not built for extremely heavy training. Then the big cat, the FAAS 800, which is the brand’s most cushioned, high volume trainer meant for heavy sprint work up to distance running. But where most shoes in this category lean toward support structures to add stability, the FAAS goes away from adding — in fact, PUMA subtracted to achieve stability. Here, I will let PUMA describe it in their own words:
Traditionally, stability shoes feature multiple materials that break down at a different rate; the result is an inconsistent ride. To rectify this, the Faas 800’s minimal design features a catch (wall) and release (grooves) system that guides the foot into a neutral position—ideal for pronators. Lateral release grooves compress to absorb shock and encourage the momentum to continue along the foot’s lateral edge. The medial side’s midsole extends into a paper thin wall that works with the medial flare to help catch the foot before it enters into overpronation.