The crossfit and cross-training segment of the fitness world is one which is seeing a huge surge in interest from the public, which means that brands also have to keep an eye on the bourgeoning area in order to meet the unique demands of the workouts. Puma has introduced its first specially-designed cross-training shoe, the Fuse, to help bring some stability, durability, and performance-boosting elements to those all-body workouts.
From a design perspective, the Puma Fuse has a striking look which could be as at-home on a sneaker shelf as it would a gym bag. The two-tone black and grey design, accented by some red trimmings, give the Fuse a classic look, but having a low-profile silhouette keeps it looking slick and subtle, while also keeping you closer and more connected to the ground, which is where the Fuse matters.
Not your average sport shoe
While running shoes are typically as lightweight and streamlined as possible, cross-training footwear is often more dynamic, offering more features that are far more conducive to doing various strength and functional exercises. The Puma Fuse wanted to deliver on this philosophy by offering some unique features on the model.
Firstly, there’s a four-millimetre drop on the heel, which is slightly less than the average running shoe, which tends to put wearers in a somewhat forward-leaning position. This lower heel rise keeps you on your toes, but also stable enough to handle more dynamic movements. Furthermore, the two-box is notably wider, allowing you to utilise your forefoot for control and steadiness, rather than your toes being bunched into a narrow edge. This additional space (while subtle) does allow you to have more freedom of movement, while still having solid lockdown in your midfoot and heel.
The internal midsole also features a bit more shock-absorbing rubber than your run-of-the-mill running shoe, which helps take some of the strain off during heavily-weighted workouts or jumping exercises; and if you’re able to take away even the smallest of impact on those knees, that’s an absolute win.
Admittedly, the Puma Fuse does carry a heavier weight to it (although not a ‘weighty’ shoe by any means), but this is for good cause. The reason is down to the all-purpose traction rubber sole, which Puma is calling Pumagrip. The stronger, more durable sole of the shoe feels far more robust and a little stiffer than something you’d find on the latest runners. The traction itself almost resembles that of a tyre tread, with the rubber having a notable grab, which bodes well for some more technical body workouts and lifting sessions.
While the base of the Fuse is all brash business (and for good reason), the upper is an incredible soft mesh construction, which is a great contrast to the more solid sole. The result is something that feels comfortable and breathable on the upper of your foot but feels firm and stable beneath it.
If you’ve already got a pair of lightweight running shoes in the cupboard, but feel they’re a bit too lofty for a serious gym or workout session, the Puma Fuse is not a replacement but a compliment to your fitness arsenal. The solid construction and comfortability and impact-absorbing elements make the Fuse something to consider to ease your meat-pins and take your sweat-sessions up a notch.
The Puma Fuse is available on Puma’s website for R2,300, and at select retailers countrywide.
The Gear to Match
The release of the Puma Fuse has also seen some matching Fuse apparel, which includes some great add-ons to an already-impressive footwear release.
Puma Fuse training shirt – R750
Puma Fuse training tights – R900
Puma Fuse running baseball cap – R280
Puma Fuse DriRelease training shorts – R850
Puma ultra woven training jacket – R1,800