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 excellent performance along with comfort, response, and sleek, unique design. The dual-foam midsole provides shock absorbency and answers 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.
Keep reading our in-depth Puma Hybrid Rocket Runner review to find out if it is worth the investment.
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 segments by two deep grooves.
The outsole does not boast an aggressive lug system but instead features a chevron-type shallow groove system at the forefoot and rectangular lined flush pods at the heel.
The NRGY pellets are similar to the BOOST system found in Adidas shoes, as it should be, considering a company makes both foams by the name of BASF. The NRGY beads provide durable 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.
It is because you 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 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 conventional 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. It 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.
The men’s version weighs in at around 12 ounces, and the women's’ weighs about 10 ounces.
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.
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 reasonably 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 an excellent 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.
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. It 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.
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 higher amount of mileage.
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.
It is a good thing for anyone who does not like the feel of incredibly soft material underfoot while running. In other words, the midsole provides a firmer feel and response.
It 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.
Two deep crevices or large grooves separate the articles. With that said, some users have commented that this makes the heel to toe transition not as smooth, but others seemed to enjoy it.
If you are looking for a more natural, minimalist running experience, these may not be the best sneakers for you.
- 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
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 are definitely one of a kind.
The Puma Hybrid Rocket Runner may not be great for the experienced runner but perhaps better for someone just starting out.