At Daybreak, we get exposed to a lot of gear, supplements, equipment, etc., and we thought it could help our members if we’d start to reflect on our experiences with them. And why not start off with a bang by taking a look at the new Puma Fuse cross-training shoe. This is Puma’s first foray into true functional fitness, i.e. CrossFit, and I was prepared to be disappointed given we haven’t heard a peep from Puma during the 10+ years of CrossFit’s meteoric growth.

Make: Puma
Model: Fuse
Year: 2021
Retail: $90.00
Where to find: Puma Website

While one or two workouts do not maketh the shoe, they can certainly breaketh it. And we have to say, the shoes pleasantly surprised. When we evaluate our shoes we really look for a balance between comfort, function, and (we won’t lie) style. Let’s be clear, our evaluation bar is set at suburban-based, fit-for-life CrossFit… not Games-level, win-at-all-costs competition. We value safety, comfort and performance over the ability of the shoe to stand up to 20 successive rope climbs.

Mel and I subjected this shoe to a couple of fairly diverse WODs containing miles of running, moderately-heavy clean and jerks, burpees, rowing, and air squats. Here’s our first impression:

THE RUN: This is what stood out the most for me. These shoes ran great! I find that typical “CrossFit” shoes (e.g. Nike Metcon, Reebok Nano) tend to sacrifice cushioning for stability which makes them run like bricks. For the fuse, the run felt lightly-cushioned, not squishy. Legs, calves and feet felt great after a pair of 800m runs and this is where I’d give the Fuse their highest marks.

THE LIFT: And while the run felt cushioned, the lifting felt stable. No heel squish. Clean and jerks went up without a hitch and I felt connected with the ground with each and every pull from the ground.

THE BODY-WEIGHT: I hate doing burpees when there’s any “play” in the shoe… meaning, I don’t want my feet sliding around when I’m jumping to the back of a burpee or pushing to get my feet under me on the way up. Mel liked these for air squats as they felt stable under her.

THE FIT: Contrary to their website claims of a wider cut, we feel they run a touch narrow. Since my feet are a bit wider they were snug, but not uncomfortable…. same with Mel. I wear a size 10.5 in most shoes, and these were relatively true to size, Mel feels she would go up a 1/2 a size. The heel cup appears to be cut a little high, but wasn’t noticeable during the WOD… and in fact, the deeper heel cup helped the shoe stay connected to our feet. And the laces stayed tied (one of my peeves of the Nike Metcon) and I didn’t even double knot them.

THE STYLE: Style: Well, it’s Puma. They’re known for their style and these definitely have a bit of street flair. I liked the contrasting black/white and pink on my pair as they’ll stand apart from the crowd. Mel loved the all-white.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Puma comes out of their corner swinging with the Fuse. Their first foray into the hyper-competitive, functional fitness shoe market is a good one. We like the comfort on the run and the stability on the lifts. The shoe is snug with a very form-fitting heel and a slightly narrow toe box. There’s clearly a touch of their lifestyle DNA in these shoes and for our average Daybreaker, we don’t think they’ll disappoint.

Disclaimer: We are not affiliated with Puma, nor do we receive any affiliate credit through links on our site. We do have a good friend at Puma who asked that we give these suckers a ride. We liked them so much, we thought we’d post.