That pretty looking blue soled shoe to the left is the Faas 400 PUMA recently sent me to review on Catapult Fitness Blog.
I GREATLY appreciate the folks at PUMA allowing me to be a test reviewer, as they're well aware that I speak my mind (I was not a fan of the first shoe I reviewed for PUMA).
Before I start my Faas 400 review, I wanted to take a step back and update you all on the Faas 250 (shown on the right hand side of the photo).
As CFB readers know, back in May I started running in my first minimalist shoe, the Faas 250. From the moment I put on the Faas 250 I loved the fit. Running in the shoe, which has a heel -to-toe-drop of 6 mm definitely took some getting used to however, and my calves and feet were screaming at me for quite some time.
In retrospect, going from a 12 mm drop differential (my trusty Mizuno Wave Riders) to a 6 mm shoe was not something I was necessarily prepared for. Live and learn.
Now, two months later, I can honestly say that my Wave Riders rarely come out of the closet. I'm loving the Faas 250. However, I should point out that in all fairness, I am not a long distance runner. I typically run intervals and all my 'distance' runs are under 5 miles. A marathoner, I'm not.
I believe this is why I'm enjoying the Faas 250 so much. It's a fast, super light shoe. If someone feels they can run a marathon (or half marathon) in them, more power to you but I really do feel they're built for speed.
If it could even be considered a negative comment, the one issue I have with the shoe is that it does limit most of my runs to 3 miles. I shattered my left foot (shattered, as in 12 pieces) 7 years ago and while I've healed exceptionally well, sometimes my foot complains a bit. It's at these times that I can use a little extra cushioning and hence my desire to test drive the Faas 400.
The Faas 400
With a heel-to-toe differential of 10mm, the Faas 400 has the look of a more traditional running shoe, but still borderlines on minimalist in terms of its flexibility, weight and cushioning.
My size US 7.5 weigh in at 7 oz (compared with my Wave Riders which come in at 9 1/8 oz).
Compared to the Faas 250, the heel has a snugger fit while the toe box is very wide. So much so that even with the socklike upper I felt like I needed to run in a pair of socks (I go sock-less in the Faas 250).
I'm not sure that these are the shoes for someone looking to run 10+ miles, but the heel cushioning in the Faas 400 is probably double what it is in the 250. Yet, I still find these to be a fast shoe.
If I have one issue with the Faas 400 it is that the heel is a bit squishy. If I test drove the 400 before the 250 I'm not certain this would be an issue at all. However, after 2+ months running exclusively in the 250, I've gotten use to having that connection with the ground.
Then again, I have an industry trade show coming up in a week, and I'm guessing I will be much more appreciative of that cushioning post show.
If you're looking for a light weight, neutral trainer for short to mid-distances, I really do believe that the Faas 400 is worth your consideration.
If anyone else is running in the Faas 400 or 250, would love to hear your input!