Friday, June 24, 2011

Are you as FAAS as a PUMA


I was at the public launch of RunRio's Timing Card last Saturday when I saw a banner at the display window of PUMA store. Learned that Puma has a new line of running shoes dubbed as FAAS. Further googling led me to more information and here's what I found out
Faas running shoes are fast as fast can be, lightweight and come with everything you need for running, and nothing more. It’s our approach to natural running: Whether training or racing, Faas lets you find your natural rhythm so you can find that natural runner’s high
The first thing that immediately came to my mind is Nike Free. Is Puma now seriously looking at the barefoot/minimalist shoe market?  Technically Puma has been providing us good racing flats for some time already specifically track spikes.  But when one speaks about the brand, it is almost always that the H-Street is uttered especially by Chi and Pose running practitioners
What isn't there to love? Just look at it. Breathable and lightweight upper mesh, wide toe box, generous toe box height, thin sole, and minimal toe-heel difference.  All of the elements of a barefoot/minimal shoes are there

Before I go astray, here's more information about Puma Faas --

PUMA used a ‘less is more’ approach by removing the bells, whistles, and traditional running shoe reinforcements and replacing them with a new lightweight system called BioRide. This technology has 3 integrated parts – Rocker, Flex, and Groove – that work together to create a more natural running rhythm

ROCKER.  Rocker refers to the outsole shape of the Faas shoes. Because of its rocker shape, the center of gravity is focused more towards the center of the shoe rather than the heel. This subtle design update allows runners to land in a more neutral foot position, rather than being pulled into a heel strike like most traditional running shoes

FLEX.  To encourage the feel of a natural ride, flex grooves have been added throughout the midsole. In the forefoot area, where more flexibility is needed to make toeing-off easier, additional flex grooves have been added. In the mid-foot and heel area, where the shoe needs to be stabilized to minimize unnecessary movement and produce the most efficient gait, fewer grooves exist

GROOVE.  On the lateral side of the midsole, there is a groove that runs along the side of the shoe. This is the Groove and has been carved into the midsole to allow it to compress in an accordion like way

Still confused what BioRide is? Here's a short clip


Now, why did I say it is similar to Nike Free? FAAS has a cushioning scale from 100 to 1000. Like Nike, the lower the number the thinner the sole (least cushion) is
You are probably nodding your heads right now in agreement.  Currently there are 3 models that are available: Faas 250, Faas 300, and Faas 500.  We are expecting that there will be 3 more that will soon follow: Faas 200, Faas 400, and Faas 800

I am crossing my fingers that the additional three models will come out this year as well.  I guess it will all depend on how the market will respond with its first 3 offering.  To be honest, I'd rather have Faas 100 hitting the stores soon.  I wanna see how minimal that would be and wishing that it'll adopt a zero-drop sole (heel and toe difference)

Enough of the wishful thinking, check out the shoes below

FAAS 250 Mens - 6.7 oz, heel (18mm), forefoot (10mm)

FAAS 250 Womens (6.7 oz)
also available in "dark shadow-fluo yellow-gray violet-neon"

FAAS 300 Mens - 7.2 oz, heel (18mm), forefoot (10mm)

FAAS 300 Womens (6.9 oz)

FAAS 500 Mens - 9.7 oz, heel (26mm), forefoot (16mm)

FAAS 500 Womens (8.9 oz)

Puma Faas 250 and 300 retails at $85 while Faas 500 asks for $100. As for me, I want a pair of these -

"running is nothing more than a desire to be faster and to enjoy the freedom of finding one’s natural rhythm" -Puma

(image courtesy of puma.com, thunderdogstudios.com)

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