Puma’s resurgence has a lot to do with releasing really good looking shoes. The Puma UltraRide is another slick looker that’s equal parts budget-friendly running shoe and fashionable summertime casual sneaker. And though it looks fresh, at WearTesters, our main focus is performance. Let’s review how the Puma Ultraride performs as a running shoe.
The UltraRide’s foam cushioning is the new ProFoam Lite. It’s a lighter, higher rebound EVA than Puma’s flagship ProFoam. ProFoam Lite is very similar to adidas’ Lightstrike. Lightstrike’s a good cushion for running (see our Adidas SL20 Performance Review) and ProFoam Lite is too. The only issue is the UltraRide’s implementation. The ProFoam Lite is super thin at the forefoot with only 12mm of foam. It’s not enough for serious runners, but will work fine for those that run a couple times a week for less than 5 miles.
Puma also includes a Proplate (TPU propulsion plate) that cups the foot through the midfoot and adds some snap at toe off. It looks similar to an Adidas Sprintframe like what was used on the D Rose 1 and other adidas basketball models. It feels and works a lot like the plate in the Under Armour HOVR Machina. The plate helps the ride be smoother and springier.
The outsole’s defining feature is the big cutouts at the midfoot where you can see right through to the strobel board. They look really cool, give water a place to escape, and probably make it easier for the ProFoam Lite to expand as the foot hits the ground. It’s not a traditional running setup but it adds some character.
As for the outsole’s rubber, it’s soft and doesn’t have much depth on the tread. It grips well and handles wet/dry transitions without any slippage. But the combination of the soft rubber and lack of tread depth means durability is an issue. I can’t see the UltraRide’s traction lasting beyond 200-250 miles.
The support on the Puma UltraRide is solid. You get both internal and external TPU heel counters to keep the heel locked down. The aforementioned Proplate wraps up around the midfoot, cupping the foot, and preventing any chance of sliding off the footbed while turning. Finally, there’s a fuse overlay at the toe, fuse surrounding the tongue, and some nylon-like material backing the mesh in various places throughout the shoe. For an extremely breathable mesh shoe, Puma has done a good job securely anchoring the wearer to the footbed.
The upper is a basic mesh with a few strategically placed fuse overlays. The mesh makes the shoe super breathable. You’ll even get some airflow through the bottom and its 5 holes (1 forefoot and 4 midfoot). You also won’t have any problem draining water on a rainy day or sweat on a steamy day. The UltraRide’s construction is perfect for summer running or walking.
The UltraRide fits true to size lengthwise but the forefoot and toebox aren’t very roomy. If you prefer ample room for toe splay, you’ll need to look elsewhere. Also, despite a lace loop on the tongue, it’s slippy. The tongue slipping to the lateral side doesn’t affect performance, but can be annoying to some.
The Puma UltraRide is a solid introduction to ProFoam Lite. It’s a light, bouncy foam that will win a lot of fans. I hope to see more of it on future Puma running and basketball shoes.
The UltraRide doesn’t feature as much ProFoam Lite as I’d have liked, but it’s a smooth riding, supportive shoe that’s perfect for shorter runs. At $90, the price is right for a good looking shoe that can handle some light running.
Thanks to Puma for sending a pair to test. Puma was not given any editorial control of the review. This review is based on our weartesters’ experiences using the shoes for speed workouts, trail runs, treadmill training, long runs, casual wear, and more.