“Less weight, more faas” has been the backbone of the Puma Faas line since its inception.
The line is primarily known for its lightweight minimalist racers and neutral daily trainers. However, the Puma Faas lab has taken its natural philosophy of shoe construction and created the new Puma Faas 800.
The 800 aims to prevent overpronation through the use of geometry driven stability rather than the use of dual densities or inserts. This use of geometric stability hopes to create the most lightweight natural feeling stability trainer possible.
Puma Faas 800 First Impressions.
First glance at this shoe it is very simple and reminds me a little of the throwback shoes of the 70’s like the Saucony Jazz, Nike Elite, or NB 420. The shoe is very brightly colored as those of us familiar with the Faas line have come to expect. As promised the shoe possesses virtually no plastic other than overlays at the heel and the eyelets (of course!). The big shock came when I picked the shoe up out of the box and how light it was for a stability trainer. So, upon first glance the Faas 800 seems to make good on its claims.
Puma Faas 800 Upper Unit.
The entire upper of the Faas 800 is constructed of open breathable air mesh. The mesh not only helps keep the shoe light but very flexible as well. The overlays are kept very very simple and functional. Synthetic suede caps the toe and is laid midfoot from the laces down to the sole.
The midfoot overlay is one piece so it also extends back and into the heel. Overlaying the midfoot Suede from the heel to just posterior of the toebox is a reflective TPU foam stripe bearing the Puma logo. The combination of the overlays creates stability and structure for the upper along with protection where it is needed.
The toe box of the shoe was roomy and allowed for ample movement of my toes. In my few initial runs I did notice some stiffness and rubbing near the rear of the toe box where the overlays come close together. However, this did subside after a few 5 –7 mile runs and never seemed to be an issue after that.
The heel of the shoe continues on with the same theme as the rest of the shoe remaining very minimal. The structure of the heel comes from an exoskeleton plastic overlay as opposed to a rigid plastic heel cup hidden inside the shoes layers. The overlay is very flexible but does provide good stability and structure. The lining of the heel is surrounded in a comforting layer of memory foam that held my heel in place without causing any discomfort or pressure.
Tubular oval laces secure the whole upper and remained tied on all my outings with the shoe.
Puma Faas 800 Sole Unit.
The sole of the 800 is engineered around the Faas Bio Ride technology, which is comprised of three basic elements: rocker, flex, and groove.
The lack of a groove to the medial side helps to naturally support against overpronation. The medial side of the sole is also built up slightly higher that the lateral to also aid against overpronation. This slight build up was not uncomfortable or awkward during running.
All of these features put together did give a more natural movement, as opposed to a stiff ride that some stability shoes have been guilty of in the past. I am a slight overpronator and did feel that the shoe helped to correct this rather than control it, which is what I think Puma is trying to achieve.
The midsole is one piece and comprised of lightweight Faas foam. I found the ride to be very plush and comfortable and not overly stiff. The sole has a traditional 12mm drop that consists of a 29mm heel and 17mm forefoot. The additional heel cushioning was noticeable, and should be appreciated by those runners out there that are moderate to heavy heel strikers.
Puma Faas 800 Outsole
The outsole is comprised of blown rubber and one uniform piece.
Puma Faas 800 Opinion
I must say that I was initially skeptical if this shoe would hold up to its claims. After my first couple of runs my worries were erased, and I was really impressed that a stability shoe could be so plush and flexible.
It is nice to see that there is finally a paradigm shift of what a stability shoe should be.
Puma has done a great job of constructing a lighter more flexible stability shoe that should also be fairly durable. I logged approximately 40 miles in the shoe over primarily paved and concrete surfaces, and found them to be comfortable and enjoyable.
We thank the nice people at Puma for sending us a pair of FAAS 800 to test. This did not influence our review of the shoes, written after logging more than 40 miles in them