If there’s anything Puma knows, it’s about foot comfort.
For years, the German shoe company has devoted its energies to developing and evolving a particular line of golf shoes that aims to marry the breathability and softness of running shoes with hard core on-course play that does not compromise on performance.
And thus, the IGNITE series of golf shoes was born.
Truth be told, earlier iterations seem to focus more on comfort than traction and especially on the courses of tropical Southeast Asia, ie Singapore, where humidity is higher than anywhere else in the world.
Let’s just say that the occasional ‘Steven Gerrard slip’ is well, par for the course.
Thankfully, after various attempts at making it tick, the improvements have come.
Spikes on Ignite
In this latest edition called the Puma Ignite PWRADAPT golf shoes, they have solved the slippage problem with a creative solution; a set of seven 3D tornado cleats by renowned manufacturer, Champ.
So, they’ve added spikes to the Ignite to make it more stable. Sometimes, the best ideas are the most obvious ones.
Each cleat rests on its own pod that can move independently depending on the lay of the land. Think of it as a 4WD vehicle that can tackle terrain changes, and you’ll get the idea.
They are aligned 4-by-2 ala football boots (which they also happen to make) and supported by a Gripzone Traction sole with multiple moulded grips to support the sole.
But slips aside, there is another issue that had been a bane to previous models of the Ignite series – water-proofing.
While everyone else is offering one-year waterproof warranties, including other hardened, tough-as-nails, high performance golf shoes, the Puma Ignite PWRADAPT offers two.
Yes, that’s two years of a dry spell that is, in colloquial speak: confirmed, stamped and chopped.
Derilous or a print error? Neither, as apparently, the shoe brand is so confident of their shoes that they are wiling to stake their word for it, literally.
Then, there is improved control by means of an updated PWRFRAME exo-skeleton that provides a thin, protective TPU layer over the softer mesh material. It holds the foot steady during the twist and turn of a golf swing, particularly around the outer portion of the pad where the soft mesh bends the greatest.
By now, it may seem superfluous to discuss the comfort level of these shoes, particularly since this was the reason they were made in the first place.
At risk of being overly indulgent, we beg to differ. It is after all important to know that nothing has been sacrificed on that front.
Soft, supple and most importantly built as a single continuous piece, the shoe’s upper slips on like a scuba diver’s bootie.
There is therefore no need for the tug and pull traditionally experienced with the tongue below the shoelace.
Then, going further down is the Ignite foam sole that travels the length of the midsole, which contracts as the foot steps onto the ground and rebounds as it leaves, giving its wearer an extra push that makes walking 18 holes a whole lot easier.
There is also the idea that that extra bit of energy transfer from the ground up might offer more power to the swing, although it is likely more a placebo afterthought than actual, statistically-backed fact.
But who knows, perhaps the brand’s engineers might do well to conduct a little empirical experiment of their own before the next product launch?
Getting it right
This line of product has always been a difficult one to get right, as evidenced by the problems of the past.
Some have likened the earlier Ignites to really, really comfy and soft sneakers that get wet easily and is dangerously traction-less, especially on a cold, wet day at Keppel Club’s treacherously sloped golf course. (That truly is the litmus test isn’t it?)
The Puma Ignite PWRADAPT may have actually found that magical equilibrium.
A modern multi-material golf shoe that is groovingly stylish, it will take a big leap, even from Puma, to better this.
Available online at the Puma store in Lazada.Leave a comment