Puma Hybrid Rocket Runner Review Facts
The Puma Hybrid Rocket Runner surprised users with its design and performance. Although it is not the most high-tech sneaker on the market, it does deliver good performance along with comfort, response, and a sleek unique design. The dual-foam midsole provides shock absorbency and response with the one-of-a-kind lacing system that holds the midfoot saddle tightly on your foot. The upper is engineered to be a bootie-like design and has a sock-like feel while allowing easy on and off with two pull tabs found at the tongue and heel. These shoes are available in a multitude of colorways and may be good for someone just entering the running world or looking to wear them casually.
The outsole of the Puma Hybrid Rocket Runner looks a little unique just by glancing at it. Rather than being made up of one single piece of rubber, it is segmented
into three sections. Depending on which colorway you choose, the forefoot and heel rubber sections may be colored to match the corresponding midsole sections. These areas of the outsole are made up of a durable translucent rubber while the midfoot is a solid or translucent
rubber color. These three segments of the outsole are designed to distinguish three points of contact - the forefoot, midfoot and heel. These sections are clearly segments by two deep grooves. The outsole does not boast an aggressive lug system, but rather features a chevron-type shallow groove system at the forefoot and rectangular lined flush pods at the heel.
The midsole of this sneaker is where it really shines. Based on sheer aesthetics, you know that it is quite unique. Puma makes use of two cushioning systems, hence the term “hybrid” in the name. Making up this system is a combination of NRGY pellets and IGNITE foam. The NRGY pellets are similar to the BOOST system
found in Adidas shoes, as it should be, considering both foams are made by a company by the name of BASF. The NRGY beads provide strong cushioning while the IGNITE foam absorbs energy and releases in a springy response. This hybrid foam cushioning system is found at both the forefoot and heel of the sneaker while the midfoot area is comprised solely of regular EVA foam. This is because you really don’t need a ton of shock absorbency and response at the middle of the foot. One reviewer said that the hybrid cushioning system found in this sneaker is more durable than Adidas BOOST because BOOST foam tends to flatten out over time while the combination of NRGY and IGNITE foam is sturdier and more resilient.
The material making up this sneakers’ upper is EVOknit
. This material feels like a thicker mesh and resembles a knit. The upper delivers breathability and also comfort because the shoe has a sock-like fit due to its silhouette design. The tongue of the upper is integrated into the rest of the upper, giving it a bootie-like fit. One noticeable difference in this upper compared to other sneakers like it is the unique lacing system. Rather than the laces running up the center of the upper, the laces run along the sides of the midfoot and across the shoe underneath a nylon strip running up the middle. Not only is this different than a typical lacing system, but Puma also made sure the laces don’t cause chafing or irritation to the top of your foot by placing a piece of material between the integrated tongue and your foot so your laces never touch your feet. This gives the sneaker a locked-down feel when the laces are tightened. At the top of the tongue, you will find a pull tab for easy on and off capability, with another pull tab featured at the heel. The back of the shoe boasts a supportive TPU heel cage for added support. Integrated into the lacing system, you will find a midfoot cage on either side of the sneaker, which is designed to provide additional support and stability.
Typically, when shopping around for a great running shoe, today’s trend is going the way of lightweight
. With that in mind, the Hybrid Rocket Runner does not score highly in the lightweight department. Perhaps due to its durable rubber outsole, midfoot cage, and dual-density foam midsole, this sneaker is not one of the most lightweight on the market. The men’s version weighs in at around 12 ounces and the women's’ weighs around 10 ounces.
Another area where this sneaker may not rank as highly as other comparative sneakers is in the breathability department. Although the EVOknit material that makes up the upper is lightweight, durable, and comfortable, it is a little thicker than a typical mesh material. Due to this fact, the sneaker is not quite as breathable as other sneakers, but it is fairly breathable nonetheless. Due to the soft lining found at the heel of the shoe and on the tongue, these shoes are comfortable enough to wear without socks
, which would make them even more breathable.
Not only is the dual-density foam midsole designed to deliver a cushioned and responsive experience, but it is also made for comfort. One reviewer remarked that the hybrid midsole present in the Rocket Runner results in a comfortable, cushioned, rubbery feel with each step. It was also said that it is not quite as springy as Adidas’ Boost midsole, but it may be more durable. The upper is made up of an EVOknit material that may not have as much flexibility to it as an engineered mesh, but it is fairly comfortable and is designed to deliver a sock-like feel. With that said, some users said that the sneaker tends to run a little narrow so if you have wide feet, it might not be a great option for you. One user also commented that the mesh on the heel of the shoe rides a little high on your Achilles
, so you may experience more rubbing in this area than you are used to.
Obviously, style is something that is relative, everyone appreciates things a little differently. The Puma Hybrid
Rocket Runner is definitely a shoe that dances on the style line. The upper is sleek and unique looking with its lateral and medial foot lacing system. The questionable part of the sneaker when it comes to style lies in its dual-foam midsole. Although the sneaker does come in single-color colorway options, there are a large number of other colorways available that feature the NRGY beads which give the midsole more of a polka-dotted design. This is not a bad thing, necessarily, but perhaps something you have to get used to. Other than that, the sneaker has a great sleek design.
The rubber sole that makes up the outsole of this sneaker is pretty durable and it protects the midsole from premature wear and tear
. In fact, there is one reviewer who remarked that this sneaker’s outsole is durable enough to withstand lots of mileage. This particular reviewer said that after 150 miles, the heel and forefoot barely showed any signs of wear, which is impressive in a running sneaker. Because the midsole is made up of two integrated types of foam, it is more durable than other single-foam midsoles, in theory. Puma markets the NRGY pellets as being the part of the midsole that absorbs the shock while the IGNITE foam is the part of the shoe that releases the energy to propel you forward. The idea is that the two foams work together and work independently, thus wear down slower as a whole. The upper is made up of a thicker material than the typical mesh that makes up a lot of running shoes, so it should be able to withstand a greater amount of mileage.
These sneakers are designed to carry you over a large number of miles with ease. The segmented outsole and midsole allows your foot to move and flex naturally and will eliminate a stiff underfoot feel. The midsole will protect your joints from injury thanks to the dual-foam makeup which will absorb shock and release that energy to propel you forward. The midfoot saddle and unique lacing system will keep the shoe snug on your feet, protecting against chaffing and blistering. The tongue features a layer of fabric that keeps the laces from rubbing against your feet as well. The sneaker also boasts a TPU heel cage
that will keep your ankle and heel protected and sturdy.
These shoes deliver a decent amount of response thanks to the NRGY foam pellets and the IGNITE foam, which are both found in the midsole. The NRGY pellets are said to absorb shock while the IGNITE is said to release it in a way that will deliver a springy performance. Unlike the Adidas BOOST foam, of which the material is made by the same company as the NRGY pellets, the midsole does not feel as soft and marshmallowy. This is a good thing for anyone who does not like the feel of extremely soft material underfoot
while running. In other words, the midsole provides a firmer feel and response.
The shoe features a soft yellowy gel insert that delivers support and comfort as you walk or run. This removable insert takes away negative space within the foot chamber and eliminates foot movement within the foot chamber. The midfoot cage works with the lacing system on the sneaker to snugly wrap around your foot in a sock-like fit.
This will help to protect your feet from side to side movement within the shoe. The TPU heel cage also supports your foot by keeping it stable and locked in place.
Due to the fact that these shoes do not boast an aggressive lug system
or pattern, they will not work very well if you are looking to tackle off-road terrain. On the other hand, if you are looking to make tracks on the open road, at the gym, or on the court, these will work just fine. The textured outsole is semi-smooth so there is not a lot of traction capability. These are ideally suited for running on packed surfaces.
The MSRP of these hybrid sneakers is $120 but they can currently be purchased for as low as $70, depending on the colorway and size you are after. For the price, they are worth a shot!
These shoes have not received high marks for traction due to the outsole’s design. The rubber outsole is textured yet it does not have a lot of tread to it. Therefore, on slick and wet surfaces, it is more liable to slip. On solid dry surfaces, it seems to perform just fine.
The segmented design of this sneaker’s outsole lends itself to a great amount of flexibility. Basically, the rubber outsole is sectioned into three separate areas: the forefoot, the midfoot, and the heel. This allows the sections to work independently from one another as you move through your stride. The sections are separated by two deep crevices or large grooves. With that said, some users have commented that this makes the heel to toe transition not as smooth, but others seemed to enjoy it.
Although the Puma hybrid rocket runner is not marketed as being a stability running shoe, it does offer some stabilizing qualities. The midfoot cradle that is evident at the middle of the shoe works with the lacing system to help lock the shoe to your foot and stabilize you as you run by preventing side to side movements. The TPU heel counter is firm and more rigid than the rest of the upper, allowing it to lock your heel in place securely.
The heel to toe drop in these shoes is different for the men's’ and women's’ versions, however, both are fairly high. The men's version has a drop of 13.9 mm while the women's has a drop of 12 mm. This may encourage heel striking but many users have said that it hasn’t affected their gait cycle. If you are looking for a more natural, minimalist running experience, these may not be the best sneakers for you.
- Segmented rubber outsole is flexible and durable
- Dual foam midsole is made up of shock-absorbing NRGY pellets and reactive IGNITE foam
- The unique lacing system works with the midfoot saddle to lock the shoe tightly and securely to your foot
- TPU heel counter for added support and stability
The Puma Hybrid Rocket Runner is like no other sneaker out there today, in design and functionality. It may not be the most technically-advanced running shoe out there but for the price, it may be worth a shot. The NRGY beads used in the outsole are manufactured by the same company that makes Adidas’ BOOST foam, but this sneaker combines this technology with IGNITE foam. Because these two materials form to make a stiffer type of midsole, PUMA offset this fact by segmenting the outsole and midsole to allow for greater flexibility. The sneaker has a bootie-like construction and an EVOknit upper which isn’t as breathable as typical mesh, but it is comfortable and relatively breathable. The lacing system and overall design is definitely one of a kind. These sneakers may not be great for the experienced runner but perhaps better for someone just starting out.