Thursday, May 17, 2012

Puma vs Nike sprint shoe shootout

Puma Bolt FAAS 007 LTD vs. Nike Superfly R3

For the majority of 2 seasons, I've used the Nike Superfly R3 sprint shoes.  But since the eyelets on my second pair are ripping out, I decided to try a different shoe.

I have tiny feet for an adult.  My feet are size 7, but I often wear 7 1/2 in a street shoe.  Since I like to not wear socks when racing, I squeeze into a 6 1/2 in sprint shoes.

With both shoes outfitted with Omni 7mm xmas tree spikes and plastic risers (8), the size 6 1/2 Pumas weighed 5.3 oz compared with the same size Nikes that weighed 6.4 oz.
Advantage: Puma

Fit and feel
The striking difference between these shoes is material.  If the Nikes fit like a glove, the Pumas fit like a second skin.  The Nikes are air-permeable webbing, and the Pumas are air-tight like rubber.  The Pumas are lined with a suede that makes them comfortable and when they're on - they are ON.  They really feel like a second skin.  The Nikes are inferior in this way, my square shaped heel never feels tight and stable in the Nikes and tends to move a little.  In the Pumas, I don't have that problem.  It's like they're 'vacuum tight'.  The Pumas are far more comfortable.
Advantage Puma

UPDATE: After several workouts with the Pumas, they are absolutely the best fitting and most comfortable sprint shoes I've ever worn.  I can run all day in these with no socks! ... without the hint of discomfort or blister.
BIG Advantage Puma

Spike plate
Both have a very similar 8 spike plate that accepts (Nike) risers.  I hope Puma will consider supplying these as replacement accessories for their shoes since Nike has refused to.  The spike placement is identical.  The Nike plate seems slightly stiffer and less flexible and therefore might offer more spring but it seems slightly heavier and thicker.  I do like the Nike plate but something about the way my foot strikes the ground in the Nikes trashes the outside risers and doesn't distribute toe strike evenly across the plate like the lighter Pumas.   After running 4 x 400m tonight, not one of the risers on the Pumas show any wear.  They usually break after one race on the Nikes.

Too early to tell but I think the performance will be similar.  (see above - spike plate)

The Nikes look pretty striking with that 'spiderman' type webbing.  The Pumas come in one color - Jamaican Lime Green.
Advantage Nike

Too early to tell but I'm betting the Pumas will out last the Nikes.  The upper seems more durable and hopefully Puma has fixed the problems they've had with the spike plates breaking on earlier generations of these shoes.

Puma wins in the first test.   But they still need to stand the test of time and competition for me.  I've only worn them for one workout.   I don't recommend using your competition shoes for workouts or working out without socks.  But these were exceptionally comfortable, considering I wasn't wearing socks and I did 1600m of sprints.   I use the Saucony Showdowns - size 7 with socks for workouts.  A great durable and comfortable practice spike that you can get for $40.

Puma Bolt FAAS 007 LTD with Nike Risers


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