First run: Puma Mobium Elite v2 review
Running shoes are moving in new directions, exploring new technologies and materials, and Puma isn't going to be left behind with its new Puma Mobium Elite v2.
The new shoe is the result of two years of research at Puma, looking to create a shoe that's responsive to your foot, aiming to support a more natural running style.
As such, this is a shoe aimed at those mid-to forefoot strikers with a neutral style, as there's little to no support for those with a heavier footfall prone to pronation. If you're a heel striker the shoe aims to encourage you to move to the mid foot for a more efficient foot strike.
It's designed primarily as a lightweight training shoe and once you slip your feet into them, they certainly feel light, with our size 10 samples weighing 278g each.
The upper design adopts the same sort of principles as we've seen from the likes of Nike and Adidas, moving away from stitched panels to flexible bonded sections that grip your foot and expand and contract with it, with an elasticated mesh overlay.
Rather than your foot expanding into padding, you're stretching the fabric of the shoe. Puma calls it "adaptive running" and the shoe moves to support your foot, changing shape through each stage of the foot's motion.
One benefit in having a shoe that adapts to your foot on each stride, like compression apparel, is that there isn't the feeling of sloppiness when you lift your foot. Despite the heel cup being rather shallow in comparison to some heavier training shoes, we didn't feel it moving around as everything stays in place.
In that sense, the Puma Mobium Elite v2 fits more like a glove than a shoe, moving with you. We found that the size we had didn't quite have the width in the toe box to accommodate the spread of our toes when running - but that's very much a personal thing.
This idea of expansion and flexible, responsive, movement underpins the whole shoe and the sole has been designed in exactly that way. That's nothing new for a running shoe, but Puma has introduced a couple of elements to try and differentiate it from rival models.
An interesting detail is the Mobium band on the bottom. This cord is designed to expand and snap back into shape; Puma likens it to a tendon. It's difficult to tell whether it's actually doing anything over any other sole material, but it makes for an interesting detail.
The grip on the sole is described by Puma as "pods", which it says is inspired by a cat's paw. We found there was plenty of grip for road running and enough protection when we got onto uneven ground too, so those odd sharp stones on your favourite trail aren't going to hurt, even if you can feel them underfoot.
There's plenty of ventilation in those uppers to keep your feet cool and help move the sweat away and despite the tongue not feeling like there was much padding in it, we didn't find that to be a problem thanks to the adaptive nature of the shoe.
There are versions of the Mobium Elite v2 for men and women, as used by Susan Partridge, GB athlete and marathon runner.
Better suited to neutral runners because of the minimal support for anyone whose foot rolls on impact, the Puma Mobium Elite v2 are light and comfortable and we really like the way the shoe moves with your foot when running.
There are a range of colour designs and as you'd expect from Puma, they are pretty loud and really stand out. The blue we sampled was probably the most sedate option.
If you're looking for a training shoe that's light, full of flex and will hug your foot, then certainly consider the Puma Mobium Elite v2, available for £85, although Wiggle.co.uk have them for a little less.