The Puma Ignite Ultimate is the latest running shoe to use the German sportswear giant's proprietary Ignite foam midsole. This polyurethane and ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) compound is said to deliver responsive cushioning, optimal energy return and comfort.
This Ultimate model thickens the amount of Ignite foam. It looks much thicker compared to the original Ignite. However, it has the same 12mm heel drop, giving it a profile neutral runners like, while being robust enough for heel strikers.
The Ignite Ultimate has a new three-layer mesh upper that provides more breathability than previous versions. The PwrCool version I reviewed includes Puma's PwrCool thermo-regulating technology on the tongue, heel and sockliner for greater ventilation.
MATERIAL: Puma's Ignite proprietary foam midsole and rubber outsole with mesh upper
WEIGHT: 350g (US 9, Men's)
VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5
It retains the forefoot flex grooves on its outsole. A transition line guidance groove runs from heel to toe at the bottom of the shoe to mimic the natural gait pattern. The molded EVA sockliner hugs the foot's arch for better support.
The first time I put on the shoes, they felt comfortable, with space for my toes to wiggle but yet keeping the whole foot in place snugly. The heel counter provided ample support for my injury-prone ankles.
I went for a 5km run without socks on the first try, and felt no hot spots. Breathability is top-notch.
There is good energy rebound on each stride, and whether I was doing heel or midfoot strikes, the energy response and comfort were equally good. Impact was also nicely cushioned, and neither my knees nor feet hurt, even after longer 10km runs.
• Verdict: If you are looking for ultra-comfortable running shoes with good energy return, the Puma Ignite Ultimate has to be your choice.