I took these sneakers out shopping a lot, and strangely, I even wore them on my moving day. This is the ultimate test of a walking sneaker, if you ask me.
The full criteria and test recommendations for running shoes can be found here. Below are my thoughts on how the Puma Calibrate Runners fared for each of our expert-informed criteria for the 2020 SELF Certified Sneaker Awards.
These sneakers are true to size and fit like a glove. I tend to get nervous, distracted, and uncomfortable when sneakers feel either too tight or too roomy, although I know active sneakers are supposed to have a full half-inch toe space. These have enough space – probably just under half an inch ̵
Shape of the shoe
I have a pretty normal foot shape. My arches are unproblematic, my feet are of medium width and I have no balls or other foot problems. I’m like Goldilocks – too much support disturbs my feet, as does too little support. I can’t make sneakers that are too wide or too narrow either. If, like me, you’re just a normal foot person then this pair might be great for you. I also liked that the Calibrate Runners have a naturally elegant look regardless of your foot shape.
As I mentioned earlier, these sneakers have some sock-like properties that I really love for active walking – be it a running workout or just a busy day where you need to rely on a pair of shoes that won’t slip, rub, or walk anywhere . The top edge around the ankle is soft and stretchy and will hold tight to your skin without irritating it – another rare feat! It’s hard to find a shoe with such a light upper that isn’t too light in the sole either, which I really appreciate. It offers the best of both worlds.
Feeling of the shoe
The shoe feel is moderately padded. Unlike many foam sole options, these don’t sink at all. At the same time, the shoe has a bit of flexibility – they are certainly not rock hard. Instead, it just feels like the shoe is doing what you need it to do: it adapts well to your sole and thanks to XETIC technology, you still get a good jump and rhythm while walking.
How my body felt during and after the activity
The first time I wore the Calibrate Runners, I wore no-show socks – the kind that only cover your toes and something on the back of your heel. For this reason, after this first long walk, I had a small hot spot on both of my Achilles. However, I didn’t notice or feel the discomfort for about 45 minutes, which luckily made it unremarkable. I let the blisters heal a few days later – both of them scratched quickly and were small. The next time I wore these sneakers, I wore socks with standard coverage and no more hot spots or blisters afterwards. Other than that, these shoes made my bodies feel great. I didn’t have any foot pain or physical discomfort.
Company’s right of return
In accordance with Puma’s online return policy, the company accepts free online returns within 45 days of purchase. They assume that all products are in their “original, unused condition for a full refund”. So make sure you really love these before you start taking them down the trenches. Unless you’re buying directly from the brand, be sure to check the return and exchange policies of the retailer you choose.
The bottom line
If you want to create a sleek, sporty look no matter what level of activity you’re actually participating in, the Puma Calibrate Runners are for you. You can take them to town and then exercise without stopping at home and changing clothes. They are comfortable, reliable and perfectly reflect the aesthetics of a currently trending sneaker. If you’re intrigued but not sold, especially given the not inconsiderable $ 140 price tag, I’d recommend looking for more styles and colors with Puma’s XETIC technology due to be released later this year and next To keep an eye out.