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Puma Launches Hybrid Cushioning With The Rocket

By Sneaker News

Over the last few years, PUMA has made major splashes to position themselves as a true force in the industry. They recently launched PUMA Hoops with top-flight NBA rookies while naming Jay-Z as Creative Director for that category. On the style side, they’ve collaborated with famous faces such as Rihanna, Selena Gomez, and Kylie Jenner to name a few. Now, the brand is ready to engage the running world with the new Hybrid technology and the Puma Hybrid Rocket.

 
 

The stylish Rocket model officially launches the Hybrid technology in an eye-catching manner, merging IGNITE Foam and NRGY beads into one cohesive unit. Hybrid foam, along with the other original design traits of the Rocket, shakes up the crowded running space with a disruptive, attention-grabbing performance shoe. Chris Vella, Senior Designer for Running/Training Footwear at PUMA explains, “The Rocket was born out of this need to disrupt the market. The technology came from our innovation team in Germany. They’re constantly working on new technologies whether it be foams or fit systems, or materials. We work closely with that team and we wanted to implement the technology into the running/training product first. We were able to take the foam and repackage it into a disruptive offering. We were looking for something that would highlight the foam, but be able to launch in an unexpected way. We decided to segment the sole into different sections which breaks things up and disrupts what people are used to seeing.”
 
 

  • Puma Hybrid Rocket

  • Puma Hybrid Rocket

  • Puma Hybrid Rocket

  • Puma Hybrid Rocket

  • Puma Hybrid Rocket

  • Puma Hybrid Rocket

  • Puma Hybrid Rocket

 
 

PUMA has been a staple in the footwear world for decades and they’ve evolved to bring a variety of products to the table with a focus on style, and this shoe is no different, with several PUMA designers collaborating on the Hybrid Rocket. Their focus first and foremost was performance, but that didn’t deter them from bringing brilliant touches of style to the new

This was such a big initiative that everyone sketched on it.

  Chris Vella, Senior Designer

running shoe. Vella elaborates, “This was such a big initiative that everyone sketched on it. We had a whole team working on it in the design huddle room, putting things on the wall, trying to figure out the direction to go with the Rocket. We went through a lot of sketches and it was a really strong group effort, focusing on keeping the product honest. I have to call out the development and 3D modeling teams. Our development team was huge with this. We had never done something super segmented with the sole and we wanted to make sure the feel was amazing. Our team worked closely together to come with the best finished product possible. The shoe is super flexible, but there is some rigidity in it to naturally transition from heel to toe. There are a lot of really great internal performance features in the shoe which I think are pretty cool.”

 
 

  • Puma Hybrid Rocket

  • Puma Hybrid Rocket

  • Puma Hybrid Rocket

 
 

In order to really serve the running world, the PUMA team closely examined the running process and made sure to reverse engineer the placement of the materials when crafting the shoe. Kohei Hagio, Senior Head of Product Line Management at PUMA, who worked on the Hybrid Rocket broke it down: “The NRGY beads provide instant cushioning, while the IGNITE foam provides

..it can be fun to dress up the shoes, as well as change them out for performance capabilities.

  Kohei Hagio on NETFIT

the responsiveness. To get really technical I’ll talk about the three phases in a running gate cycle – heel strike, mid stance and toe off. Where you need the most cushioning and energy return in a running shoe is in the heel during the heel strike and in the forefoot during toe off. The combination of the foam and beads – Hybrid foam, is on the heel to help you absorb the force and help you push forward. The mid stance phase, there is lightweight EVA in the midsole with the TPU lacing plate on the upper to stabilize the foot during mid stance, the TPU also helps stabilize the foot during heel strike.”

 
 

  • Puma Hybrid Rocket Netfit

  • Puma Hybrid Rocket Netfit

  • Puma Hybrid Rocket Netfit

 
 

The Hybrid Rocket has two different versions that truly encompass some original design traits. Hagio talks about the upper designs, “The shoe has two upper options. One has a TPU lacing system that provides more stability during mid stance in the running gait cycle. This is a lacing system that has one way of lacing. The second lacing option is through our NETFIT technology. This offers fully customizable lacing and allows wearers to customize the fit of their shoes to their own specific performance needs. For example, wider lacing will aid in foot lockdown and stability, while a shallow lacing is more comfortable for those with narrow feet. Most of the Hybrid shoes come with two styles of laces too, so it can be fun to dress up the shoes, as well as change them out for performance capabilities.”

 
 

  • Puma Hybrid Rocket

  • Puma Hybrid Rocket

  • Puma Hybrid Rocket

  • Puma Hybrid Rocket

 
 

Several colorways of the Hybrid Rocket are available now on Puma.com. Additionally, the Hybrid foam will be seen in basketball and training shoes in early 2019 as the technology will carry over into future seasons and will be seen in several other categories within Puma as well.

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