There was once a time where traction, comfort, responsiveness, breathability, and presentation all meant their own singular design when searching for golf shoes. As technology improves, so too does the ability for a company to bridge the gap between these concepts and introduce shoes that meet nearly all the requirements of a golfer’s checklist. Enter the Puma Ignite PWRADAPT golf shoe. A shoe that on the surface looks more comfortable than a running shoe, yet boasts a variety of golf centric technologies that puts us one step ahead (yeah I went there early) of the competition. Recently, we took an in depth look at what PWRADAPT brings to the table.
First, I want to discuss the evolution of Puma’s idea here, which seems to have started with Biofusion a few years ago. This combination of comfort and flexibility in the golf shoe was pretty much unrivaled at the time, and for me personally was an absolute staple for walking 18 holes in any conditions, especially with their leather uppers. Fast forward one year, and Puma introduced the Ignite spikeless sport golf shoes, which welcomed a performance mesh that were deemed waterproof for a full year (with mixed reviews). That continued to blossom into the ignite extreme that made slight changes to the mesh profile, but it was clear that this was only a stepping stone for Puma. Coming into 2018, we gained exactly that with PWRADAPT and PWRSPORT redefining comfort and traction as a collective idea.
The first element of design to focus on has to be PWRFRAME. Where some of the previous iterations fell short on foot control through the swing, Puma has introduced a more durable exoskeleton that strongly supports the foot as it moves through the swing, especially on the outer portion of the pad where the softer mesh material could really bend outside the confines of the foot. That always seemed to be a weaker point while I wore my ignite extreme shoes, and seeing that being handled in this latest release it a great relief for longevity.
Despite the various components of the PRWADAPT shoes being outstanding, it seems like the pure comfort from the IGNITE form is really what brings this entire package together. Putting them on is like strapping your feet into made-for-you pillows that wrap around your entire foot, locking them into place with obvious comfort. Add in the limited heel collision feedback and it becomes one of the easiest shoes to walk that late evening nine without substantial fatigue. The padding really does provide that extra cushion without the foot feeling like it is compressing into the heel.
The upper includes a high finish tongue and heel section, both which softly rest against the ankle. While some shoes require a substantial break-in period in order to feel comfortable on the foot, elements like this, which support the foot in various ways, do not require any real break in to loosen the material. This speaks volumes for the product when they can go straight from the box to the course and produce exceptionally low foot fatigue. Adding into the tongue profile is a leather loop that helps to put the shoe on, however there still requires some lifting of the material to let it sit flush to the foot.
For a long time, spikeless shoes meant a reduction in real traction, however combined with the fairly stable traction that comes with the shoes already, they have managed to incorporate a 3-D tornado cleat that adds bonus traction to a shoe that probably needs wet conditions to show any real slippage from the turf. Not only is this a welcome addition from a traction standpoint, but also from a longevity standpoint as they can be removed and replaced with relative ease.
The one real drawback to a softer material spikeless shoe is the potential for precipitation to breach the walls and enter the footbed. It is something that Puma has worked on for a number of years in this lineup, and one that continues to challenge selectively. Personally, I have experienced water breaches in the last two models in this lineup, and unfortunately that trend continues with PWRADAPT despite the two year waterproof guarantee that comes with purchase. During the testing phase, I took to the THP forum to discuss the soaked toe/feet I acquired while playing in a morning round with heavy dew. The feedback I received back was a bit mixed, however most claimed that wearing these shoes in wet conditions meant they were the least likely part of the body to get wet which provides some confidence that the shoes leaking during this review is uncommon for this shoe.
In terms of overall wear, over the course of ten to twenty on-course experiences, the PWRADAPT shoes held up very well, showing little signs of wear on the sole and maintaining a fairly clear presence (albeit not often taken out in rain or muddy conditions). One of the biggest differences visually between the PWRADAPT and PWRSPORT (I have owned and wear these regularly) is the way the material creases, especially on the trailing foot which has a big pivot in the swing. Where the PWRSPORT creases along the bottom of the lacing area where the two materials change, the PWRADAPT creases a fair bit lower than that, making for a more obvious visual. So far as can be seen, no wear is present that would impact the effectiveness of the shoe.
What is great about Puma for 2018 in the Ignite series is the freedom to select between what is most valuable to the golfer wearing the shoe. Isolation on traction, comfort, material, performance and presentation will most certainly land someone on a preferred look and style, while maintaining the extreme comfort that comes with this lineup. The biggest takeaway is that Puma has really refined this particular profile over the last few years, and has produced a shoe that not only rivals the comfort and control of a running shoe, but one that is soft enough to withstand hours on the course without foot fatigue. For more information on the Puma PWRADAPT, visit www.Puma.com.