Some people have a sneaker addiction and would do anything to get their hands on the latest kicks to amp up their street style. Me? I’m addicted to a different type of shoe; training shoes. There’s something about the ultra-cool designs mixed with the meticulously researched tech of workout shoes that speaks to me. And, when you’re wearing a great pair of trainers, it can truly shift your gym sessions up a gear.
I’m a huge fan of Puma’s training shoes. The brand has released some epic gym-specific shoes over the last few seasons, catering for gym bunnies who were tired of wearing running shoes to HIIT workouts and Crossfit sessions. Puma’s super comfortable Zone XT training shoe remains my all-time favourite shoe for strength training sessions at the gym and, I wasn’t sure if they could create anything that would shift my attention away from this stalwart. But then, Puma’s LVL Up XT arrived at my doorstep.
With its improved design and stylish looks, this new training shoe is quickly becoming one of my favourites from the Puma line-up. The shoe boasts Puma’s LQDCELL stable cushioning technology, flexible knit upper, and a levelled midsole design to boost comfort and give you niggle-free training sessions. For me, the marker of a great training shoe is uninterrupted, quiet comfort. It needs to be so comfortable that I forget that the shoe is even there. Whether I’m struggling through a set of burpees, weighted squats, or deadlifts, Puma’s LVL Up XT offers that level of superior ‘barely there’ comfort, set after set.
The key to this unfailing comfort lies in the LQDCELL cushioning technology (engineered with liquid hexagonal cells), which offers stable cushioning in the heel, as well as Puma’s high-rebound EVA ProFoam, for instant cushioning in a lightweight package. The shoe is exceptionally light, which is a big plus at the end of a tough workout when you’re trying to muster up the energy for one last squat jump. The last thing you need in this instance is heavy shoes weighing you down.
Get a grip
Puma’s LVL Up XT shoes are also fitted with PumaGrip, high-traction rubber that ensures maximum traction and durability during training movements. The shoe’s outsole has zoned rubber traction pods, to help with agility and stability during workouts and a TPU piece at the heel provides extra stability for your foot.
The exceptional grip, stability and heel support of these training shoes give you the utmost confidence to push yourself in the gym. These shoes offer an amazing amount of stability, allowing you to go lower into squats and stand up, no problem while the stellar grip gives you the feeling you can keep going moving without worrying about falling on your face.
If HIIT workouts, strength training, or Crossfit is your jam, then I’d highly recommend giving the Puma LVL UP XT training shoes (R1,900) a spin!
Of course, if you’re wearing training shoes that offer the ultimate in quiet comfort, you’ve got to have the gear to match. Because nothing ruins a great workout like an ill-fitting sports bra or tights that keep slipping down your waist. The Puma LVL UP collection offers everything you’ll need to take your training up a notch and is a gym fanatic’s dream.
Train Flawless High Waist 7/8 Tight (R1,300)
If comfort is super important to you then you’ll love these sleek, high compression, high-performance training bottoms made with Puma’s dryCELL material. This innovative material helps to wick away sweat, keeping you cool and dry throughout your workout. It may sounds like marketing mumbo jumbo but it truly works. Your clothes don’t feel sticky or moist during a sweaty session, so you’re not distracted and can just get on with the businesses of training.
The leggings also feature a bonded waistband for ultimate support as well as flatlock stitching to minimise friction as you exercise. Black spandex within the fabric is designed to eliminate sheerness; so these babies are tried and tested, squat proof! What’s more, there’s three-pocket storage that wraps around the sides and back of the waistband, to help store your stuff if you’re worried about leaving it unattended on the gym floor.
High-Impact Front Zip Bra (R900)
Another winner for me from the LVL Up collection is the Puma High-Impact Front Zip Training Bra. This supportive racerback is paired with a front zipper that keeps it all in while you go all out. There’s no need to hold back when you’re wearing this bra, as the intensity of your workout increases, dryCELL tech meets you to wick away sweat, while the wide stability straps keep you supported on the move.
The racerback construction of this bra ensures an unrestricted range of motion throughout your workout, while built-in mesh, allows air to flow through the material while you train. The front zip closure means it’s super easy to put on and take off. It’s supremely comfortable and gives you the feeling that everything is held in place, and will stay put no matter what.
Train Ultra Hooded Jacket (R1,799)
If you love exercising outdoors then the Train Ultra Hooded Jacket will be your bestie this winter. Because, come rain or shine, bootcamp must go on! This performance piece is made with windCELL to withstand windchill, while a panelled, breathable fabric keeps you from overheating during high-intensity workouts outside. At your middle, you get a bonded waistband for support where you want it, complemented by a tunnelled drawcord to adjust your size.
To top it off, there’s a two-piece hood construction for a better fit no matter how you move. Two front inseam pockets offer secure storage while you’re out and about. This jacket was a godsend on a few chilly morning workouts and I can see it being invaluable in my workout wardrobe as winter weather sets in.
After years of working as an Editor and writer for popular websites like Joburg’s Darling, Cape Town’s Darling and Joburg.co.za, Crystal left her sanity and an established career in lifestyle journalism behind to follow her dream of creating a website for the intellectual and discerning woman. Today she spends her time chasing the thrill of being the first to know about ‘the next big thing’. She’ll try anything once and has been known to put her body, hair and health on the line – all in the name of research.