With a new soccer season upon us match fitness is of the utmost importance. As we hit the roads, tracks and trails to work on speed and stamina good running shoes are essential. Here is a world exclusive look at a new trainer of choice from PUMA in the form of the ground breaking Orbiter (available at PUMA’s online store).
Before we give you our thoughts on the Orbiter, see below for an overview of the technology featured in the shoe courtesy of global sportswear giant PUMA.
According to PUMA:
Built on the fundamentals of a great running shoe, SPEED Orbiter is the pinnacle performance running style. The essentials you expect—cushioning and responsiveness—combine to form PUMA’s street-shattering HYBRID FOAM. With a sock-like upper and 3D-engineered propulsion plate, SPEED Orbiter is fully stacked with everything you need to go the distance. And look good doing it, of course.
FIT: Engineered knitted upper creates a sock-like feel
CUSHIONING: HYBRID FOAM combines two of PUMA’s most innovative technologies—IGNITE FOAM and NRGY beads—for instant cushioning and responsiveness
PROPULSION: Engineered PROPLATE offers a reflex toe-off to propel you faster
GRIP: PUMA’s DIN40 performance outsole rubber offers max traction and durability
Stability: Outsole built for stability and smoother gait cycle transition.
PUMA’ designers have outdone themselves with the design of the Orbiter! Wear this shoe on a running path, at the track or at the gym and we guarantee that you will have stares of awe. People will ask you about it and some will even ask to touch its colorful, innovative IGNITE FOAM /NRGY beads sole since it is unlike anything ever developed for or seen in a running shoe before!
The sole aside, the upper of the Orbiter is brilliant in appearance and is indeed quite ahead of its time. PUMA has based this part of the shoe on its famed evoKNIT technology used for the company’s compression and athletic performance gear. While it is completely modern it does have touch of retro shoes via its front box grooves. This is clearly an ode to the classic 1980s and 1990s sneaker revival going on nowadays.
Ventilation is strategically placed on the tongue, front and sides of the Orbiter to keep the feel cool on the go. Pull tabs ensure ease of slipping the shoe on and provide reflectivity for nighttime running.
The iconic PUMA Formstripe is colorfully applied on the outsides of the Orbiter for even more appeal while the brand’s Big Cat logo adorns the heel counter.
The end result of all of this is a brilliant-looking piece of footwear that will have admirers wherever you wear it.
The PUMA Orbiter does fit true to size. We recommend getting them in your normal shoe size. You will find two welcome things if you do so.
- About a quarter of an inch of extra room in past your big toe at the front of the shoe. This is always suggested in a trainer.
- Zero slippage towards the heel area of the shoe.
If you get the right size on the Orbiter you will enjoy a glove like fit thanks to the shoe’s socklike upper once it on is your foot. There is also great padding from the tongue which is held in place well by flat laces.
The PUMA Orbiter does take a little while to get used to. We recommend walking around in them for a couple of days before hitting the road in them.
Given that the Orbiter uses a completely new piece of running shoe technology, its feel is slightly different from your standard soled footwear at first. While this is negligible, our testers thought that this could be because of the newness of the HYRID FOAM that comprises the sole of the shoe. Afterall, it is not something that we had ever tried out before. This may have been psychosomatic as well given the unique appearance of the shoe. However, after two days of walking and working out at the gym in the Orbiter our testers were ready for our first run in it.
On the Run
Following a break-in period in the PUMA Orbiter our testers took it on several runs on rubberized tracks, asphalt, grass, grass and concrete surfaces. Their distances ranged from 5 km to 10 km. Here is what we found.
Cushioning and Support – The Orbiter offers a level of cushioning that is extremely high and expected from the shoe’s appearance. The cushioning provided is greater than you’d find in a high-end cushioned running shoes using an EVA-based sole and covers the entire foot during your stride from heel to toe. One of our testers who recently recovered from a knee injury thought that the Orbiter offered a better level of support shock absorption than any other runner shoe he’d ever tried.
We particularly like the toe-off and extra propulsion that the PUMA Orbiter provided. The rebound that you get on each stride with these shoes is quite amazing and can help you get a few extra miles into your weekly fitness regime.
Weight – At 11.9 ounces in weight, the PUMA Orbiter is of average weight for one of today’s running shoes. This was a bit heavier than we preferred but sufficed for mid-paced training runs. If you are doing speed work or running in a race then we suggest going with a lighter shoe.
Ride – The ride of the Orbiter is unlike anything that our testers have experienced before. There is definitely an extra push-off / spring effect because of the IGNITE FOAM / NRGY bead / PROPLATE combinate making up the sole of the shoe. Our testers found this moving in all directions with the Orbiter – forward, laterally and backwards. This effect made for a nice bit of assistance during difficult portions of runs when our testers’ legs were tired.
Ventilation – The PUMA Orbiter’s use of modern knit for its upper results in the shoe providing fantastic ventilation for the feet. Even while running with them in the heat of summer, you’ll find that your feet are kept remarkably cool. There are no hotspots on the Orbiter and no areas of the shoe that cause blistering.
After over 30 miles of running, the PUMA Orbiter has held up extremely well. The upper hasn’t even creased at all and the sole shoes absolutely no signs of wear or losing its shape. These will be good for many more miles in the future.
Our only complaint in terms of the durability of the Orbiter is that they pick up dirt and debris in midfoot area of the sole if you use it on dirt or trail surfaces. This may be unavoidable given the shoe’s design and split in the Proplate sole section.
In the Gym
Our training often involves both running and gym work that includes weightlifting that may occur before or after a run. Since it’s impractical to change footwear during the same session we’ve donned the PUMA Orbiter quite a bit while doing a host of weight exercises for both upper and lower body.
We found that the shoe provides good support across the board in the gym. This is particularly so for upper body moves such as bench presses, bicep curls and shoulder presses. The sole is a bit too thick to get the full feel on leg moves such as squats and calf raises though. We suggest a cross trainer for them instead of the Orbiter.
The initial MSRP of PUMA Orbiter is $175. This is average for a high-end running shoe nowadays but slightly lower than you’d pay for the likes of similar kicks from adidas, Asics or Nike.
If you want to wear a comfortable running shoe that can be a game-changer then it the Orbiter definitely worth a look at. As with all shoes, wait a few months for new colorways to be released and you can get the initial colorways of it at discounted prices.