Earlier this summer I was in the shoe store, Rogan’s by name, and I was looking at the different pairs of Puma they had.
One of them stuck out from the rest, which is no small feat considering Puma is known for its bright, eye catching (some might say garish) colors.
It’s the Bioweb Elite and as you can see on the upper there’s a website structure covering the fabric. Puma calls it a web-cage.
OK, I admit it. I’m a sucker for garish. So I tried on a pair and they seemed fine for the few minutes I had them on at the store.
At home, I decided to try to run in them. Well, let me tell you (and even if you won’t let me, I’m going to tell you anyway) they sucked.
Since then, I’ve read several reviews and they mostly seemed, if not rave, at least overly positive reviews. Makes me wonder if Puma isn’t paying them.
We’ll start with the so-called Web Cage. It was tight. So tight, that after a short time wearing them, my instep started to hurt.And I hadn’t tied them any tighter than any other shoe.
Second, they have a very high profile. Not Hoka One One high, which I’ve never tried, but high enough that they made me feel like Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s monster, tottering around on his big platform boots. I felt tall and I think that threw off my natural sense of balance because running in them made me feel unsteady, like I was going to step wrong and sprain an ankle.
Third, they seem rigid and stiff. Not much flex. And whatever the cushioning material of the midsole is, when combined with the hard plastic webbing surrounding it, the shoes felt like I had two bricks strapped to my feet.
One reviewer called them light weight, but they felt just as heavy as my Brooks Adrenaline GTS16.
And one final comment: they are noisy! What with the hard materials of the midsole and outsole making the shoe clomp like it’s a hard leather boot, plus all the creaking, groaning, and squeaking coming from the midsole plastic wrap, suffice to say no cat burglar is going to want these Pumas.
It should come as no surprise therefore that I did not enjoy that run and immediately relegated the Biowebs to walking status. I mean, they still are attention-grabbing.
Also, I hoped that several months of walking would “break them in.” No such luck. I still have instep pain so have to tie them looser than I like and a recent run in them hasn’t changed my opinion of them.
Get them for the looks if you must (they do have a wide range of colors), but if you’re looking for a decent pair of runners, look elsewhere. These ain’t them.
[FYI: Puma released the Bioweb Elite in 2013. The model I have is from that first generation, I believe. Puma remodeled the shoe as the Bioweb Speed with a lower profile. I don’t know if that model is an improvement.]