The running shoe market has its fair share of high-tech options, with each brand having its own trick up its sleeve. Whether it be a new material, recycled ingredients, or otherworldly designs, there’s always some newfangled gimmick looking to draw you in. With all the tech in running shoes today it can be hard to keep up or make up your mind about which running shoe is right for you. That’s why, with the new Hybrid Ozone running shoe, Puma is taking it back to basics, offering a classic running shoe without all the bells and whistles, but with enough tech to focus on what’s actually important in a running shoe: performance. I slipped on a pair of Puma Hybrid Ozone running shoes to help you determine if these classic shoes are the right fit for you.
The Hybrid Ozone running shoe joins a handful of other products in the Puma Hybrid range, including the popular Hybrid NX and the Hybrid Astro. Combing Puma’s two performance technologies — the NRGY beads for instant cushioning, and the Ignite foam, which delivers great responsiveness and energy return — this new shoe is the ultimate hybrid of Puma’s latest innovations, hence the name.
To achieve a notable lockdown, the runner also includes a midfoot wrap-up, which keeps your foot in place during runs. The lockdown you get from this shoe is definitely noticeable and turns and angle changes feel comfortable and dynamic without hampering comfort. What’s more, using Puma’s high rebound EVA foam in its design, the shoe feels a lot lighter than some other options on the market, despite its wider sole and larger heel counter, which help to provide greater stability while on the track or street. If you prefer lighter running shoes then these will be right up your alley. They’re so light you feel like you’re running on air.
In terms of traction, the Puma Hybrid Ozone is made purely for running, with a very minimal traction pattern on the bottom, allowing you to keep moving forward with very little drag or disruptions when grazing surfaces on the go. I tested these runners on an indoor running track at the gym as well as the road and loved the smooth feeling these shoes offered on both surfaces.
While Puma’s Hybrid Ozone may not be the most dazzling of running shoes from a design perspective, they’re reliable, dynamic, and provide a classic, no-nonsense running shoe experience, with all the boosts that modern rubber and foam technology can provide. If you’re looking for a solid running shoe that’s robust to handle the beating the South African roads can deliver, Puma’s Hybrid NX Ozone a great choice. Ideally suited for shorter runs, these running shoes are great for the social runner who clocks a few kilometres a week rather than a marathon a month.
Available in black and white, and luminous pink and white colourways, the Hybrid Ozone offers a sleek, sporty look to complement any running gear in your workout wardrobe.
The Puma Hybrid NX Ozone running shoes are available online from Puma and at selected retailers for R1,600.