On the heels of really enjoying the Puma FAAS 500 S we requested Puma send us the zero drop FAAS 100 R and the trail version the FAAS 100 TR. Here is our teams take on the shoes.
Thomas: Let’s get superficial. The shoes look pretty damn cool. I will start with the road version the FAAS 100 R. They weigh 6.4 oz for a size 10.5, and feel light and airy on the foot. The overlays are welded to the single layer mesh creating a very breathable upper. My narrow foot had plenty of room in the toebox. The FaasFoam+ was the right amount of cushioning for the minimal design of the shoe. It provided flexible protection for the foot, and still allowed you to get the minimal feeling out of your run.
Now for the FAAS 100 TR (trail.) With a glove like fit from the upper, I actually think the upper fit and felt a little better than the road version. The integrated tongue was a well thought out design. Like the road shoes, they are super light. On the trails they felt very nimble. Traction up and down the technical single track was pretty good. On our favorite trail there is a whip like downhill. When you are in the groove it can feel like a roller coaster with roots, rocks, and loose dirt all covered by leaves this time of year. If you don’t trust the traction of the shoe you are wearing you can’t bomb down it. I was able to bomb it with confidence.
Meaghan: The road version of the Puma Faas 100 is one of the most flexible shoes I’ve worn. You can easily bend the shoe in half and touch the forefoot to the heel. These shoes are super light and breathable. You can actually see through most of the upper. I appreciate when shoes don’t have a whole lot of extra material or fancy looking overlays. But the coolest part about these shoes? They glow in the dark! They’re perfect for the winter days when it seems like there is little to no daylight.
I preferred the fit of the trail version of the Puma Faas 100. They’re comfortable. I like the welded tongue which also came with some light padding. I avoided taking these through streams in the dead of winter, but I can image this would help significantly keep out debris. The traction on these shoes was good. I took them on some steep down hills and felt confident in them. The minimal design of this shoe gives you great ground feel and control over the terrain. Despite their super light built, they’re pretty sturdy.
Jenny: Not even sure how to categorize this unique trail shoe…it’s featherweight. We’re talking make-you-feel-fast light. The mesh over the toebox is thin, breathable and thickens with overlays where support is needed in the midfoot, lightens up again just past the arch and structured once more with a cool external heel counter made of the creative placement of heat welded seaming. I have yet to find a 0 drop trail shoe that i really like. Altras are *cough* ugly and wide and if Saucony has one, I’m unaware. Since I run the roads in a zero to 4mm drop, this wasn’t a stretch for me and even felt familiar. There is a really good amount of traction in the midfoot/forefoot and again on the heel toward the back. I don’t know what kind of voodoo is in FaasFoam+ but it is weightless. It was easy to pick my feet up on the trails even when fatigue set in. Where some trail shoes have a rugged upper and abrasive tongue, the Faas 100TR’s was cushioned and finished off with a soft piping…details that you just don’t think about but really appreciate when done right.
Stein: Super light and flexible. Decent traction in normal and “easy” conditions. I ran miles of single track, with varying conditions from gravel to rock to leaves to grass. They drained well and never felt heavy, even after a couple soakers. The integrated tongue was great; no bunching at all and it stayed in place by definition. As an experiment, I ran about 15 miles on the road and the shoes felt surprisingly good. In fact, I liked them better as a light road shoe than as a trail shoe.
Thomas: I will start with the Puma FAAS 100 R (Road.) It is all about the upper. The tongue while light and suede like is not really secured well and can shift around a bit. The heel counter comes up too high and too severe and can cause irritation. The fit was off in the front of the shoes, neither form fitting or loose, kind of a fit limbo.
On to the FAAS 100 TR. This shoe needs to figure out its personality. Is it a minimal trail shoe like the Merrell Trail Glove, or does it want to be like the other side of the minimal trail coin, the New Balance MT1010? If it wants to go full minimal it needs to work on getting more feel under foot. I found myself wishing the 100 TR had a rock plate like the MT1010 has. There also needs to be some adjustment to the lacing to lock your foot in. On one run I ran through some fairly shallow mud and before I knew what happened I heard a sucking noise and the shoe was pulled clean off my foot. I had them laced up pretty good too.
Meaghan: My first run in the Puma Faas 100 R left me with blisters on the back of my heels. The collar of the shoe is thin and doesn’t quite hug the foot like it should. I think some light padding in this area could make a world of difference.
The Puma Faas 100 TR never truly felt like a trail shoe to me. I was actually more comfortable wearing these on the pavement. I wanted some more outsole and maybe a rock plate. I wouldn’t recommend these shoes for any serious technical terrain.
Jenny: I did not love that the tongue is fused. If a manufacturer is going to do that, it better fit my foot like a freaking glove–like melt onto my foot. You can’t do that for everyone, so it’s a bold move. I’m super particular about the way I tie my shoes and there’s not a lot of play when your foot is already locked in up top. I get the reasoning behind it–to keep debris out but that hasn’t really been a huge issue for me. I also found the toebox to be a little wide. Had it fit a little snugger, it would’ve been perfection. Maybe it’s my own sizing issue. I’ve been teetering between a 7.5 and 8…would love to try the 7.5 to compare the fit.
Stein: Not made for muddy or slippery conditions. Descending technical and rocky trails I stepped on a couple rocks that reminded me there was no rock plate. My heel stayed in place but due to floppy material and gaps around the heel, debris easily collected in the shoe.
Thomas: I like the direction Puma is going with these shoes, but this version is lacking in both models. The 100 R is flexible, light, and stylish. The issues with the heel counter and the fit were my biggest problems with the 100 R. It could possibly be a good shoe for CrossFit. The trail version would be a fine shoe for fire roads and packed trails. Without a rockplate and more structure in the upper it is not the right shoe for more technical terrain.
Meaghan: The Puma Faas 100 is a cool looking shoe. I wear them all the time (not necessarily for running). I found that if I wore these shoes with some thicker socks, I didn’t have any issues with the heel. I wouldn’t run distances over 10 miles in these shoes, but I could see these as an option for a 5 or 10k race.
The Puma Fass 100 TR has a lot of great features. They’re light, flexible, and responsive. But much like the road shoe, I wouldn’t take these out for long distances. It’s a good option for shorter distances over non-technical terrain.
Stein: The Puma Faas 100TR is definitely a light weight shoe. It’s a good option for anyone with a light stride and a conviction that less is more, but they’re really not cut out for gnarly trails or extreme conditions.
Jenny: While I wouldn’t attempt an ultra in this one, I totally dig it for training runs or shorter trail races. It is comfortable, lightweight, flexible responsive and fast…don’t forget sassy. Purple is always sassy.