We Tried It: Kylie Jenner's Puma Fierce
"We Tried It" is a column where stylist and occasional athlete Megan Ann Wilson tries new, innovative or weird fitness products. Have a product you want her to test before you buy? Let us know at @shegotgame and @espnW.
Sportswear companies keep signing endorsement deals with famous non-athletes. Adidas has taken ownership of the lifestyle market, nabbing Kanye West and Pharrell from the music industry, as well as fitness aficionado Hannah Bronfman. Jordan Brand has a deal with Drake. And Puma made huge news when it signed Rihanna in 2014 as a creative director and global ambassador.
Puma's push in the women's market continued when Kanye's sister-in-law and world's most famous teenager (according to social media), Kylie Jenner, inked an endorsement deal with the German brand, fronting its new Fierce training collection.
There has been some backlash against bringing Jenner on board and the Fierce shoe that looks a lot like a stripped down version of Rihanna's signature model. But being that it's labeled as a "game-changer" that's ready to take sports to the "extreme," I had to put it to the test.
The shoe is a slip-on with no laces or internal booties to secure the foot and lock down the ankle. There's a mesh overlay on the tongue to try to hold the foot in, but it's not nearly tight enough to truly support the foot properly. The Fierce is made of plastic, rubber and mesh and, in all black, looks streamlined. It's a very lightweight but cheap-looking shoe.
It's easy to get in and out of thanks to exaggerated tabs on the tongue and heel and it's comfortable enough to wear casually. The cushioning midsole is extra exaggerated to help promote stability and does provide some support.
To truly test the limits of the Puma Fierce from a performance perspective, I decided to emulate the workout that Jenner did in the press photos, as well as some Kardashian-approved booty building exercises. My initial issue with the shoe is the lack of support in general, as the arch is a bit low. Despite the exaggerated midsole, I immediately had pain in my ankles from having to brace my foot during activities like deadlifts and squats.
While on the stair machine, my foot slid around in the shoe and did not have enough grip, which made me overcompensate to keep my feet stable. My speed slowed as a result. The front foot is wide and soft and there is no real energy return from the sole, so I immediately felt fatigue in my feet when I jumped rope.
Overall, I felt in worse shape after wearing the Fierce than before. My feet, ankles and knees all ached for days and I felt like I could not perform as strongly as I like in my workouts because the shoes were a distraction.
Worth the money?
The Puma Fierce retails for $90 -- half of what Rihanna's model is priced at -- so it's a more affordable choice. However, the Fierce is not made for the gym, despite the performance promises.
If you want something easy, light and interesting for a style perspective, the Fierce fits the bill. But for any endeavors that are remotely athletic, get a real fitness shoe because the only flexing you can do in this shoe is on Instagram.