The Puma Repli Cat III is a fantastic shoe for “Elite-Fitness” and POSE running. They are extremely light-weight and have a flat, non-padded sole. However, they might be too narrow for wide feet and they have minimal lateral movement support, so any running requiring rapid direction changes is not recommended.
For POSE running in particular these shoes seem to be ideal. Their soles are just a flat piece of polyurethane outsole with some minimalistic padding. There are no arch supports, allowing your foot’s arch to develop its own support. The sole is thick enough to allow running over small gravel without discomfort.
The RepliCat III is also great for “Elite-Fitness” workouts. Because there is essentially no padding, you’ll notice that you get a very solid push off the floor while lifting. The heel is hardly taller than the toe, so you get a nice flat surface, a lot like you would with bare feet. I have noticed the advantages of a flat and hard sole, especially when rowing, as each push seems to more directly spring me backwards than with my previous well-padded shoes.
The RepliCats are also very stylish in appearance. I myself bought the white ones with the red pumas (the only one the store sold), and I have gotten more compliments about these shoe than any other, though, personally, I think mine look sort of like bowling shoes. I’d rather have gotten the black ones with the gray stripes and yellow pumas.
The Repli Cat is supposedly a race-car driving shoe, or at least inspired by race-car driving shoes. I have driven my Toyota Corolla while wearing these shoes and can attest that they give me more control and sensitivity with the foot pedals. You’ll notice from the image on the right that the rubber sole travels up the heel a bit. I believe this is to prevent your heel from slipping while driving, as well as to provide a smooth pivot point during pedal operation. In “Elite-Fitness”, I utilize the extra heel rubber during kipping sit-ups and against the wall during any hand-stand oriented exercise.
If you run in the traditional way, by landing on your heal first, then the balls of your feet, you will not want these shoes for running, since your ankles and knees will probably get very damaged by the impact. If you learn the POSE method (as I did, after I bought these shoes), their flat soles are great.
You’ll notice from the picture to the left that the soles are very narrow. This is fine for running in a straight line, but if you want to turn very rapidly or juke then the soles tend to stay put while your feet role an extra half centimeter. I’ve played basketball in mine, and I had to be rather sluggish the whole time.
The other problem with this shoe, and with Pumas in general (so I hear), is that they are all sort of narrow around the foot. If you’ve got a wide foot then these may not be your shoes. However, I can say that the leather top does stretch out, and I find their snug fit to be extremely comfortable.
I recommend the Puma Repli Cat III’s for anybody who does POSE style running and “Elite-Fitness” and does not have very wide feet. They have bad lateral support so they can’t be used for sports that require changing directions quickly. They also look really good and reap compliments from your friends and strangers, and they are great for driving a car.
If you want to buy a pair, then I recommend getting them online from Zappos, because they look like a good company and they have the shoes in multiple colors. Also, they have free shipping and are the only ones that seem to have the Repli Cat III’s in stock in multiple sizes.