There are many factors that go into creating a solid pair of running shoes. For starters, it’s important that they don’t weigh too much, and that every ounce serves an important purpose. It’s also important that a well-made pair of running shoes offers enough stability to ensure the wearer maintains control of each step while also being flexible enough to avoid feeling uncomfortable. There needs to be just enough traction to promote stability without impeding speed, and they need to be breathable without being too flimsy. It’s not easy to design something that fits all of these criteria, but that hasn’t stopped countless footwear manufacturers from trying. The Blur is athleisure manufacturer Puma’s attempt at a running shoe, and it meets many of these important design factors. However, there are still some aspects of its construction that are worth mentioning to any customer considering a purchase.
Using EVA foam for the construction of their outsole was a risky move on Puma’s part. Some running shoe manufacturers will use hard foam instead of the traditional rubber material for the purpose of reducing the shoe’s weight or improving its flexibility. Thanks to this unconventional design decision, wearers of the Puma Blur will need to be careful when running on various surfaces in order to avoid degrading their shoes or injuring their feet
. The Blur’s outsole has also been designed with several horizontal grooves running from the midfoot all the way to the rear, ensuring this hard material doesn’t feel too stiff. Additionally, around 40 small lugs have also been added to this shoe’s underfoot, providing traction in key areas while also giving these shoes a distinctive sense of style.
Since the entire bottom half of these Puma running shoes are comprised of one solid piece of EVA foam, the midsole and outsole are essentially the same pieces. This is a design feature that has gained prominence in recent years, most notably with Swiss footwear manufacturer On
. While it helps to reduce the overall weight of the shoe, this design feature tends to limit the effectiveness of both the midsole and outsole of the shoe. In the case of the midsole, a thicker padding enhances its supportive density, but it comes at the expense of flexibility. Although the aforementioned horizontal flex grooves implemented in this shoe’s ‘outsole’ help to offset this aspect of its design to a degree, this shoe retains enough stability that the wearer will avoid losing control of their footing.
Upon comparing the construction of the Puma Blur’s upper with its lower half, a distinctive design philosophy is made clear. Puma obviously intended these shoes to be lightweight and flexible, even if this focus came at the expense of its durability and protection. Much like how this shoe’s midsole/outsole is comprised of a single lightweight material, nearly all of the Blur’s upper is made from synthetic mesh fabric. Thanks to its high concentration of perforated holes, this portion of these Puma runners provides fantastic breathability and weighs very little. However, the lifespan of these shoes will be severely limited as a consequence
The biggest payoff to most of the design decisions that went into the creation of this modern incarnation of the Puma Blur is how light they weigh. On average, these shoes weigh about 7 ½ ounces each, making their combined weight less than a single pound. The immediate benefits to this is that wearers won’t feel bogged down with excessive material and won’t need to worry about excessive sweat
or heat accumulation, even while running in extremely warm climates. The downside to this form of construction is that little thought was put into providing these shoes with any real supportive or protective design elements, meaning that runners are almost completely at the mercy of the elements when they take these for a run outdoors.
It’s a common sight in casual running shoes: synthetic mesh fabric with several small holes used for the construction of its upper. However, while many other shoes will supplement this material by adding firmer padding, faux leather, or fabric, the Puma Blur sticks to this material for all but its laces and midsole/outsole. This comes with the benefit of excellent airflow helping maintain a comfortable internal temperature
while these shoes are worn. Even better, the fact that these shoes weigh so little eliminates much of the cause for shoes to generate heat in the first place. While this may seem redundant at first, the truth is that this makes these Puma running shoes some of the best for use in extremely warm environments.
On one hand, the Puma Blur offers comfort for the wearer by maintaining a solid flow of fresh air while preventing their feet from feeling burdened with excessive weight. Coupled with some added flexibility features, these shoes may lead some wearers to feel as though they weren’t wearing shoes at all. On the other hand, the lightweight construction of the Puma Blur means that little to no effort was made into providing comfortable padding in any area except the ankle collar and tongue. Essentially, whether or not these Puma runners are comfortable is a decision that will need to be made on a case-by-case basis, and prospective customers are encouraged to find a physical model in a store to try before making a purchase.
Puma has been around for quite some time as a designer and manufacturer of many different forms of athletic apparel. With an eye for both fashion and function, they’ve garnered considerable success in the urban market, although they never really hit the same heights as brands like Adidas or Nike. With the Blue, Puma is re-releasing a classic model with modern updates in order to appeal to the nostalgic sneaker fan. They have a variety of different colorways to choose from, with some being more difficult to find than others. Because of these design aspects, it makes logical sense that these are some of the most stylish running shoes of its kind.
When it comes to durability, most of Puma’s design decisions are detrimental. The fact that these shoes weigh so little is sure to be a pleasant benefit to many runners, but it means that they were unable to devote many resources to ensuring this shoe’s longevity. The most damning example of this design flaw can be found on the Blur’s outsole, where the use of EVA midsole foam instead of hard rubber results in a very short-lived underfoot. To be fair, some of the small lugs located on this portion of these Puma runners are coated with rubber for the purpose of providing extra grip. However, this is far from enough to ensure that these shoes will last longer than one or two seasons, even with regular maintenance and cleaning.
In much the same way that the Puma Blur doesn’t offer a great deal of durability, protection is another disappointingly lackluster aspect of its design. Synthetic mesh is breathable and provides wearers with a comfortable amount of cushion, but it won’t do much to prevent the wearer’s upper foot from becoming bruised or scratched if they get caught on a road hazard. Something similar can be said for its outsole since the material used for it is too much like that of a running shoe midsole to provide the basic function of any other running shoe’s outsole. It’ll do enough to protect the undersides of the wearer’s foot from damage in the beginning, but any protection provided by its construction is guaranteed to disappear quickly.
While the Puma Blur doesn’t receive high marks when it comes to durability or foot protection, something that it succeeds in providing is responsiveness. Sprinters and relay runners, in particular, will really appreciate how quickly these shoes are able to respond to their movements since its lightweight and considerable focus on flexibility provide these shoes with lightning-fast reaction times. While this may degrade over time, these shoes are guaranteed to react quickly to minute adjustments for at least a season or two of hard running.
Despite offering very little in terms of supplementary design elements, Puma managed to add at least one additional feature to its design for the sake of support. Were it not for the side quarter caging made from polyurethane that supports the midfoot, the Blur would have no supportive elements whatsoever. Thanks to this minor addition to its overall construction, wearers can use these running shoes for short bursts without feeling any midfoot fatigue or stress.
The Puma Blur is a casual running shoe in every sense of the word. There are some aspects that make them ideal for use in track and field events with the exception of underfoot track spikes. Aside from that one exclusion, these running shoes are ideal for use on terrains that are primarily flat and are mostly absent of obstructions. A sidewalk is ideal, as would be a well-maintained running track. A grassy field should be manageable, although artificial turf is recommended. Probably the hardest surface that these shoes could still manage to run on without suffering impeded movement or accelerated degradation would be an asphalt sidewalk; anything rougher than that will start to cause problems for the wearer very soon.
Part of the reason for Puma’s higher than average popularity among athleisure brands is the fact that their products are often sold at affordable price points. Where some of the top brands inflate their prices and release limited runs, Puma keeps their products reasonably priced for the most part. The Puma Blur had an initial retail cost of around $100, but after a few years on the market this cost dropped to nearly half its original price. To be fair, these shoes did come in some limited colorways that still cost close to their release price, but most versions come with surprisingly low price tags.
The foundation of these shoes is made from a material that is commonly used for midsoles rather than outsoles, meaning that it won’t offer the same features offered by shoes that use hard rubber for their bottommost portions. However, the Puma Blur attempts to reach a compromise by adding small pieces of rubber to some of the lugs on its EVA foam outsole/midsole. While this doesn’t do these shoes any favors when it comes to durability, it does allow them to maintain a more secure grip on the ground while running.
One of the most significant and immediately noticeable design aspects of the Puma Blur is its flexibility. The reason that this one element of its construction is so noticeable is that nearly every piece of material that went into its manufacture offers a considerable amount of give. The synthetic fabric used to create the Blur’s mesh upper allows for decent give, and the use of EVA foam midsole material instead of rubber for the outsole further enhances its pliability. Many people may feel that these shoes are too flexible, but others will certainly appreciate the positive effects it has on their speed.
It’s important for a running shoe to temper its flexibility with stability and vice versa. With the Puma Blur, this balance is skewed toward the former, but enough effort has been made to provide control to avoid causing trouble for the runner. Despite being more pliable than rubber, the EVA material that comprises this shoe’s midsole and outsole offer a modicum of stability through its thickness. The lacing system on top also improves stability by ensuring these shoes remain firmly attached to the wearer’s feet without excessive sliding.
The Puma Blur offers a traditional heel to toe drop of 12mm. Runners used to average drop running shoes will have no problems getting used to wearing these shoes.
- EVA foam for the midsole and outsole
- Shallow lugs supplemented by horizontal flex grooves along the underfoot
- Synthetic mesh upper with ample perforation for airflow
- Several different colorways to choose from
- Small rubber elements for extra grip
There’s a lot to like about the Blur, and Puma made a lot of really great choices during the design process. The end result of their work is a product that will allow runners to run at their fastest pace without feeling bogged down by excessive weight or uncomfortable heat. However, the lack of durable materials means that this product won’t provide the same experience for long since it has a tendency to degrade quickly. Still, these shoes are more than adequate for runners who want to look good and attack the track with their full power.