Need a shoe that can keep up with you on the road and at brunch with the gals? Puma might have just the thing. Let’s be honest; finding a pair of trainers that offers great performance for your road-running adventures and incredible style for your day-to-day hustle isn’t always the easiest task. Chances are those running shoes you love aren’t going to look so great when paired with your athleisure uniform for weekend chores followed by brunching with mates. Luckily, Puma is solving the budgetary headache of owning two different pairs of trainers with a hybrid wonder built for comfort, style and performance. But, is this stylish shoe just a pretty face or is it a cardio-queen’s new best friend? We put the Puma Hybrid NX TZ running shoes to the test.
Technology fuses with style in this unique new trainer, which from the outset looks better suited for gaining street cred than racking up kilometres on a road run. You’d definitely be forgiven for thinking that the new Puma Hybrid NX TZ is a fashion sneaker rather than a performance shoe for series cardio warriors. Like many lifestyle-focused sneakers, the Hybrid NX TZ is lightweight, making it a joy to wear when you’re running errands, picking up the kids from school, or hopping on a plane. Wearing these shoes on a daily basis is indeed like walking on a cloud, but I was curious to see how they would measure up on a road run or in the gym for a cardio session.
While the shoe is lightweight, it also offers more than enough cushioning for road running and gym sessions – and that’s all thanks to the mid-sole. The shoe, which gets its name from Puma’s line of dual-midsole shoes, offers a combination of Puma’s ‘Nrgy’ beads fused into Ignite foam, which gives Puma fans the best of both worlds on the technology front.
The Ignite foam is a high rebound foam that offers stability and rigidity, but also a healthy dose of responsiveness at the same time. 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.
My first run in these neutral running shoes was a quick 5Km and I followed that with a 45-minute cardio class at gym the next day. The Puma Hydrid’s were beyond comfortable right off the bat and there was no break-in period at all. I’ve been running in these shoes for almost two months now and haven’t had one blister or sensitive sore spot on my toes, which is a constant concern for me with other running shoes.
Forget walking on a cloud, these babies are like running on a cloud, and are officially my new-favourite shoes to hit the gym in. But it’s not just the mid-sole that makes these trainers such a pleasure to wear, as the Puma Hydrid NX TZ also offers an almost unbeatable fit. The knitted upper provides a sock-like sensation while dynamic lacing, heel clip, and rubber outsole make the shoe feel secure.
I never worry about slipping or my feet moving around in my shoes when I’m wearing these trainers, and most of the time they’re so soft, lightweight, and comfortable that I almost forget they’re there. They’re hands-down the lightest running shoes I’ve ever worn and once I’ve burned them out (which will be soon because I wear them ALL the time), I will struggle to resist investing in a second pair.
If you’ve been searching for a great looking pair of shoes that will make pounding the pavement just a little bit easier, then you will love these new additions to the Puma range. They’re ideal for newbie runners, those who enjoy a weekly 5 – 10Km run, or even cardio classes at the gym.
The Puma HYBRID NX TZ women’s running shoes retail for R1 699, and are available at PUMA stores, Edgars, Superbalist, Studio 88, Totalsports, Takealot and selected retailers.