Puma has been injecting a lot of focus into their running shoes, with some legitimately impressive innovations in recent iterations, most notably their trademark Netfit lacing system and NRGY bead-laden foam; so the German brand decided to combine the best of their technologies into their Hybrid Astro, but are they worth the price-tag?
As mentioned, the Hybrid Astros combines a few of Puma’s tricks in order to try and deliver the most well-rounded running shoe on the market – something that offers great cushioning and energy return, along with the ability for some custom lacing orientations. However, the ultimate goal of the Astros is to provide you with that little extra edge to take you to a higher gear and smash that PB of yours.
The Ignite foam feels great and has a noticeable ‘squish’ to it – enough to absorb a fair amount of impact while ensuring the momentum is propelling you forward thanks to its stability and rigidity. Buried within the heel area is the second interesting piece of tech, the NRGY Beads. Hundreds of the tiny little rubber beads are sealed within a transparent case in the heel, to help generate impressive energy return with each stride. We saw these in the Hybrid Runners last year, and it’s great to see them incorporated into more of Puma’s offerings.
Puma’s now beloved Netfit system is back too, offering wearers the a midfoot net to lock in support and offer the best fit for any runner depending on your lacing configuration. What you get is a snug, controlled fit, if you’re willing to experiment a little with how you lace your runners – but, the standard set-up is more than capable of giving you the lockdown you’ll need on the road.
Running shoes tend to to have a bit of a breaking-in period, but the Hybrid Astros have been a put-on-and-go experience that offers up a level of comfortability and performance that warrants the price-tag. If you’re looking for a dynamic pair of runners that’ll go the distance in terms of durability while offering enough ‘high-end’ bells and whistles to tackle that big marathon with, the Hybrid Astros should be on your radar.
Puma Hybrid Astro running shoes are priced at R2,299 and are available from Puma, Totalsports and selected retailers.