The Puma Nrgy makes for a great story. It is a trendy and gorgeous looking shoe that has found itself the subject of courtroom battles overseas because of the technology used in the shoe. At the center of the debate is an outsole made of a synthetic material called thermoplastic polyurethane. Both Puma and another popular German shoemaker claim they were the first to create the damping material, which provides a high-energy return to those who wear it. Unfortunately, neither company patented the material, which is a story for another day, and on two occasions, the German court system has stated both companies can sell the shoe.
With that in mind, Puma has put a great deal of energy into the styling of the Nrgy. It comes in a huge range of colors and features non-traditional detailing like a reflective strap on the back. Like many other shoes from Puma, the Nrgy are comfortable and would be a great option to sport with athletic leisure wear. Though, they would not be a great pick for serious running. A 5k maybe, a half or full marathon, definitely not. They simply don’t provide the support or structure needed. Though, the foam outsole does provide a great bounce back. In addition, those who have worn the shoe have complained about the durability of the shoe stating the stitching and the glue in the midsole does not hold up.
The outsole of the Puma Nrgy is where this shoe most pretends to be like a running shoe. It features a synthetic material called thermoplastic polyurethane. From the perspective of an untrained eye, it looks merely like white foam. Though, the scientists who created it meant for it to be a damping material, which provides a high-energy return to those who wear it. Stated differently, it propels runners forward with a bounce. It looks much different than the outsoles of other shoes in the running category primarily because it has a smooth surface and does not have ridges. It looks similar to the sheets of Styrofoam one might use in packaging. To the touch, it is also somewhat spongy.
Historically, Puma has not been a significant player in the running shoe market. While the company has several shoes that fall into the category, serious runners have not favored the brand. While this shoe did not change that reputation, there was serious consideration put into the design of the outsole. It is differentiating, and Puma has been in a court battle with another German shoemaker over the material used to create it.
The midsole of the Puma Nrgy provides a great deal of comfort. It contains “pellets” that together with the material of the outsole provide a pop at take-off. Most shoes in the running category have some patented material in the midsole that provides bounce, and these are at the top of the bouncy category. That said, the Puma version seems to wear down more quickly and hence needs to be replaced sooner. Though again, most people do not use these shoes for long runs.
The upper on the Nrgy has two styles. One that is a standard mesh, and another that is a knit. The mesh is constructed in various geometric patterns. For instance, the black version is an octagon pattern, and the blue version is done in rectangles. The side has a finer mesh than the top and is a triangle shape. The knit version of the shoe, which is not manufactured as often, feels softer to the touch. These also feature a fine mesh on the side. The shoes are washable.
The laces on these shoes are odd. They do not tie on top of the foot, but rather underneath the tongue. Pumas seem to have done this to keep the upper clean. Though this is not great from a function standpoint, and the laces can rub on the top of the foot. Furthermore, there are only three to four eyelets for the laces, depending on the style, so it easy for the tongue to move around. Again, for serious runners, this is a headache. Though, the lack of eyelets makes it easy to lace the shoes the first time around.
Finally, most versions of the Nrgy are cut funny. While most shoes fall just beneath the ankle bone, these go way below the ankle bone in a swoop on both sides of the shoe. This accentuates the heel of the shoe and the lace area. The swoop doesn't seem to serve any function but is instead a style statement. Also, it shows a lot of socks, which is not the best look. Sans socks, it is good style, but impractical.
The men’s version of the Puma Nrgy weigh ten ounces, and the female version weighs eight ounces. This makes the shoe average when it comes to weight. Those looking for a light option should consider this buying guide.
Both the mesh and knit options for the Puma Nrgy are breathable. The material allows for air flow, which is good because the shoes look silly with socks. And running shoes with no socks get real stinky fast. In fairness, there is a soft foam sock liner but is not enough to wick away all moisture. Despite looking funny, here are some options for a great sock
Judging the Puma brand on comfort can be difficult. If one sports the shoes out about to the coffee shop and to pick up kids from school, then yes, it is a comfortable shoe. One’s back is not going to hurt, and there will be no blisters. On the other hand, if someone decides to go for a long run in the shoe, then it is not a comfortable choice. It does not provide support, and the foam wears down quickly. And because of the swoop underneath the ankle bone, the shoe is not secure, and it is easy for small pebbles to get inside the shoe. The laces also rub against the top of the foot. From the perspective of a step counter,
under 10,000 steps is comfortable. Over 10,000 steps are uncomfortable.
To offer credit, the shoe also provides a great deal of bounce, which can make one feel as though they are walking on clouds when they first put them on their feet. Also, it has a pull strap on the back, so one does not have to untie their shoe but just rip them off from the ankle. The shoebox is also wide and cozy.
The Puma Nrgy is a win in the style category. They come in a range of colors from black to peach, to camo green. They are sleek on top with laces that tie under the tongue. The Puma logo is stitched on the tongue. The back of the heel has a giant script logo across a strap, so those who run behind you know what type of shoe you are sporting.
The giant cutout below the ankle bone is certainly a unique feature. It is not functional, but it is stylish and would go perfectly with a great pair of running
pants. An all-black option is available, which is great for those who have strict uniform standards. The knit option in camo is especially hip looking. The materials of the shoe are washable so that one can keep them fresh-looking.
Not all shoes can compete in every category. Some are stylish. Some are comfortable. And others are supportive. When it comes to durability, Puma does not compete. This includes the Nrgy. Many who have worn them complain that the stitching comes undone and the glue does not always stick between the outsole and the midsole. In addition, the thermoplastic polyurethane, which provides bounce, wears down quickly. While most will replace their shoes every 300 to 500 miles, these may go sooner.
These shoes are not meant to provide protection from the elements. This includes water, snow, and rocky terrain. Water will seep through the mesh and/or knit material. In addition, because of the low cut under the ankle bone, little pebbles frequently sneak their way into the shoe. The strap on the shoes is reflective, but it is minimal. Those running in the evening
need to consider their gear and a head lamp
with front and back lights is recommended.
These shoes excel in the responsiveness category. The outsole is crafted with a patented synthetic material called thermoplastic polyurethane that provides terrific bounce back. The more energy one puts in, the more spring is outputted.
The Puma Nrgy is a neutral running shoe
. That means it is not meant to correct gait or pronation issues. There is nothing on the outsole that changes the way a foot strikes the ground. In addition, the sharp swoop beneath the ankle bone means it actually has less support than other neutral shoes
. It is not recommended for those who might be prone to ankle injuries
The Puma Nrgy is recommended for running on paved roads
or treadmills. It doesn't provide ankle support or traction that would be needed on dirt or rocky trails. The shoe would also be suitable for general training at a gym.
The price of the Puma Nrgy varies widely depending on the color, material, and retailer. Those who are looking to buy the shoe as a simple option to sport around town, and not wear on serious runs, would be advised to go with the lower price tag, as they will still need to spend money on shoes for long runs. And the price is a relatively low amount to spend on running shoes, which speaks to the quality.
The grip on the shoes is meant for paved trails or treadmills. The design on the bottom of the shoes is simple triangles made of rubber. It is not advised to go on unpaved trails or mountains in the Puma Nrgys. Small pebbles easily get stuck to the bottom of the shoes.
Given the mesh and knit construction of the Puma Nrgys, these are a flexible shoe. One can easily point and flex their foot, which is also possible due to a wide toe box. In addition, there is some give in the arch. The outsole is squishy to the touch and looks similar to the Styrofoam one would use to package an item.
These shoes provide almost no stability. They are more for a fashion statement than a serious option for running. Due to the low swoop below the ankle bone on some versions, there is significantly less support for the ankle.
- Stylish with a range of color options
- Laces that tie under the tongue
- Affordable for the running shoe category
- Breathable with mesh and knit options
- Comfortable due to a synthetic material called thermoplastic polyurethane
- Responsive, great bounce back and spring
- Pull off tab for easy removal
Those looking for an affordable, comfortable, and stylish shoe have found their match with the Puma Nrgy. They come in knit and mesh options and have a wide variety of colors. The styling is unique and they don’t look like other shoes on the market. That said, they are not advised for serious running due to the lack of support and low production quality. They do not correct gait issues and do nothing to help prevent injuries.