By Patrick Tuttle
on 1.17.11

The new year always inspires a renewed determination to be healthier, fitter, and lead a more active lifestyle. The nine pounds of beef you had during the holidays certainly did not help. Perhaps a new pair of kicks is just what you need to help jump-start your motivation. The idea of clandestine ops goes out the door the moment you open a pair of “nuclear” orange Puma Cell Sorai ($80) running sneakers. Puma is especially known for their fashionable approach to athletic wear, but how do they perform?

Full disclosure, this author is not a pro runner — rarely running more than five miles at a time and generally only putting in several runs per week. That being said, the Cell Sorai have been a perfect fit. The air cushioning cell is comfortable and supportive on both the open road and treadmill. Plus they look fast. What wasn’t expected though, was how versatile the shoes can be. Generally, running shoes make terrible cross trainers. They’re designed to go in a straight line and often don’t have enough support or firm enough soles to function with a lot of change of direction. After a week of weight lifting and circuit training though they’ve proved the notion wrong, going from the treadmill right into a highly dynamic workout without a blink. The sole is firm enough that you can plant a foot (even under weight-bearing exercises like side lunges) without fear of the shoes giving way under you. The Puma Cell Soria might be classified as a running shoe, but can easily be an everyday active sneaker.

Setting the performance aside, it’s hard to ignore the aesthetics of this shoe. Puma isn’t shy about pushing the envelope with colors and designs and of course, the GP-theme colors are a hard temptation to avoid. Fear not, they offer more muted options, but for those of you who like to make a statement, this is literally a step in the right direction.

Buy Now: $80 (Available at Finish Line only)

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