Hollywood is littered with sequels that crashed and burned. If only we could forget the likes of the Jar-Jar Binks-led Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, the underwhelming Godfather III, and the unfortunate Jaws 2, 3 and 4 flicks. Even the world of golf hasn’t been able to avoid a lame sequel, as Caddyshack 2 is still one of the worst follow-ups of all time. The one thing that all of these movies had in common was that they left audiences wanting more, and along the way, proved that it is difficult to capture the freshness and magic of an original.
So, what does any of this have to do with a pair of golf shoes?
Well, the Puma TITANTOUR was one of my favorite golf shoes of 2015. It was loaded with cutting-edge technology and it possessed a clean, sleek silhouette. Dare I say, it was the best golf shoe that Puma had created. In my opinion it made Puma a legitimate player in the world of high performance Tour-level shoes. That being said, you can understand my apprehension when Puma launched the TITANTOUR IGNITE less than a year after the original hit the market.
After lacing up the TITANTOUR IGNITE for a half dozen rounds, I can easily say that the footwear team at Puma has outdone themselves with this shoe. This shoes fits into the category of best sequels of all time (think The Godfather II, The Empire Strikes Back, and Terminator 2: Judgment Day).
The biggest technological advancement in the TITANTOUR IGNITE is the IGNITE Foam, and it has everything to do with one of the hottest buzz phrases in golf footwear – energy return. To create the IGNITE Foam, Puma pours a liquid polyurethane (PU) blend into a mold that is the same size and shape as the midsole of the shoe. This foam makes the shoe more responsive and it releases energy more efficiently than the EVA material that is typically found in most athletic shoes. You can actually see the IGNITE foam through the clear outsole. You can also feel it through diamond-shaped cutout in the outsole, which allows the foam to compress and rebound with each step.
The net/net of this technology is that the TITANTOUR IGNITE delivers out-of-the-box comfort and my feet and legs feel fresher and less fatigued after walking 18 holes. There really is zero break-in time required for these shoes.
Outlast & PWRFrame
Two of the holdover technologies from the original TITANTOUR are the Outlast sockliner and the PWRFrame outsole.
Outlast was the signature piece of technology in the TITANTOUR and it is truly a space age material. NASA used it in spacesuits to protect astronauts from the weird temperature fluctuations in space. Just as it helps to regulate astronauts’ body temperatures, Outlast helps to regulate foot temperature in the TITANTOUR IGNITE by absorbing, storing and releasing excess heat. In other words, say goodbye to swamp foot. The new dual-density sockliner is nicely cushioned and molds to your foot over time for a customized fit.
The biggest advantages of cleated golf shoes are traction and stability, and the PWRFrame delivers both of those. As someone who has been battling plantar fasciitis for the last year, I really appreciate the support and locked in feeling that the TITANTOUR IGNITE offers. The outsole is also more flexible than its predecessor thanks to strategically positioned flex grooves that Puma calls, Duoflex. These grooves allow the shoe to flex and move with the natural motion of the foot.
Another minor tweak on the TITANTOUR IGNITE is that it sits lower to the ground compared to the TITANTOUR. This is a result of the low profile design and the Champs Stealth cleats. They are manufactured from a durable K5 material, so you should be able to get a few extra rounds out of these before needing to replace them.
From a style standpoint, the TITANTOUR IGNITE is sleeker and sexier than the original. Part of this has to do with the low profile design, and part of it has to do with the improved toe down design. Last year’s TITANTOUR had a bit of a pointy, off-center toe. It was something that I got used to after a few rounds, but the nicely rounded, symmetrical shape of the toe on the IGNITE is certainly a style upgrade. The classic toe down design has the look of a finely crafted dress oxford. The pebbled texture and color coordinating IGNITE foam adds to the overall aesthetics and style of the shoe, while the tonal and contrasting laces give you the option of dialing up or down your look.
The TITANTOUR is available in three colorways right now. The White/Surf The Web/Green Gecko colorway (shown here) is sporty and modern, but it can be difficult to coordinate with other colors in your wardrobe. The White/Black/Drizzle colorway is the most neutral and versatile, and the Black/Steel Gray offers a very clean look when paired with black pants. Look for a White/High Risk Red/Black, and of course, a Rickie Fowler signature White/Orange/Drizzle to drop in mid February.
A top-shelf model of the shoe, the TITANTOUR IGNITE Premium, is expected to hit stores February 1st in a range of sophisticated tonal colorways. A rich aniline leather upper and a luxurious pigskin lining are just a couple of the first-class upgrades that the Premium version offers.
Puma also launched a spikeless version of the TITANTOUR IGNITE last month in three sporty colorways.