Puma Faas 300 Trail General Info:
The Puma Faas 300 Trail is a trail shoe built in the minimalist style with moderate cushioning and features.
Puma Faas 300 Trail First Impressions:
Puma entered the minimal running category with its Faas line of shoes which brought back the looks of classic Puma shoes such as the Cabana Racer and H Street with updated technology.
Having tested the Faas 300 when it first came out these original Faas 300s did not have the durability or up to date technology of an updated running shoe. They were advertised as lifestyle shoes and endorsed by Usain Bolt rather than a distance runner.
When I first heard about the Faas 300 trail I was hopeful that Puma had used materials consistent with todays trail shoes that would provide a great performance in a simple and lightweight package.
Puma Faas 300 Trail Upper:
Puma utilizes a dual density mesh throughout most of the upper reinforced by a Translucent Webcage technology, which is basically glued on rubber overlays built to reinforce the lacing system and reinforce the eyelets. The mesh is “closed” on the inside which does restrict breathability but also keeps a lot of dust out of the shoe and makes the interior fairly plush.
Traditional lacing is used throughout the shoe and is complimented by a well padded tongue and heel collar. Protection is fairly minimal in the toe bumper which is constructed of synthetic leather.
Overall the upper of the Faas 300 Trail fits well and I didn’t notice its faults. But after a brief run in them I felt the toe box was tapered and constrictive and the mid foot fairly sloppy.
Puma Faas 300 Trail Midsole/ Outsole:
I’m going to give Puma some props here for keeping things really simple. Faas foam is used throughout the entire midsole and it offers a pretty enjoyable ride which is both light and responsive.
What the Faas 300 Trail is missing is a rock plate of any sort and very early on in my runs I learned to avoid any rocky trails in the Faas. Flexibility is substantial in the Faas due to the lack of rock plate and the pliability of the Faas foam.
Which, is really a pity, as the outsole features a basic and very effective lug pattern reminiscent of vintage fell running shoes (for those of you who don’t know what fell running is, its British Isles cross country on steroids). The outsole rubber is fairly sticky and seems to wear well, the only downside is that it does pick up mud and clay fairly easily.
Puma Faas 300 Trail Overall Impression:
As a reviewer I can be hard on shoes which don’t impress me. The Puma Faas 300 Trail does have some strengths in its midsole foam and outsole lugs. Unfortunately these features were not fully enjoyed due to a narrow toe box and features that seem cheap and common compared to what most companies are considering trail shoes these days.
While the price is a bargain, comparing the Faas to the similarly priced New Balance MT110 is laughable from a performance perspective and the Faas 300 seems more like an antique meant to impress on a college campus rather than the trails.
I think that Puma has the right blueprint with the Faas 300 Trail, and if they make some tweaks in the upper fit and update materials then it could be a legitimate, durable trail shoe.
We thank the nice people at Puma for sending us a pair of Faas 300 Trail to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.