This year, Puma Running relaunched with four new running shoes. The Puma Deviate Nitro is their flagship everyday running shoe. And it’s clear from the Deviate Nitro and other models (Velocity, Liberate, and Eternity) that Puma invested a ton in research and development for the new running line, which is probably why the Puma Deviate Nitro made our best Puma running shoes list and our list of the best running shoes for high arches.
How does all the new tech and innovation pay off in the Deviate Nitro? Really well. Keep reading for all the details. The Puma Deviate Nitro did make our list of the best neutral running shoes and our list of the best long distance running shoes for what its worth.
The midsole is two layers of Nitro foam sandwiching a full length composite carbon plate. Nitro foam is a supercritical (nitrogen-injected) foam. It’s snappy and similar to the foam in the Brooks Hyperion Elite 2. It’s also similar to, but firmer than New Balance’s FuelCell cushion. I felt the Nitro foam and plate combo provided a really nice bounce that’s elite among everyday running shoes.
The stack height is 28mm in the forefoot and 38mm in the heel thus providing a 10mm drop. The amount of cushion is perfect for a do anything shoe. You can get easily get speedy or sit back and run some easy miles.
As good as Nitro foam is, the best innovation on the Deviate Nitro is the Puma Grip outsole. Puma Grip is AMAZING. It’s great in all conditions. Cold, hot, rainy, snowy…it doesn’t matter. And I’m not the only reviewer to say that. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this rubber compound. And to top it off, the outsole is extremely durable and wears evenly. Puma made the right move creating their own compound. It’s definitely my new favorite outsole rubber.
The heel of the Deviate Nitro has a fairly normal internal heel counter and big achilles pillows on both sides of the foot. You also sit slightly inside the midsole at the heel. Along with the gusseted tongue and the wide base of the forefoot, I always felt securely planted on the footbed. Quick corners often pose problems for other high cushion shoes but the Deviate Nitro has no issues handling them or any uneven ground.
The Puma Deviate Nitro fits true to size. Lengthwise Puma Running shoes feel similar to Nike and Brooks so use your size from one of those brands. While the shoe narrows at the midfoot, you’ll have plenty of room for toe splay up front.
And that brings us to the shoe’s biggest issue, the heel. The slight heel slip is evident right out of the box. I’ve seen other reviewers/runners deal with heel or achilles blisters. The synthetic suede collar and the exposed seams inside the heel can tear you up. I got some irritation on my first run but avoided blistering. It took some experimentation, but I was able to find a lace tightness level that negated the heel slippage and prevented the collar from bugging me. If you can find that happy place with the lace tightness, you shouldn’t get heel hot spots.
The engineered mesh upper is eerily similar to the Nike Pegasus Turbo 2. That shoe was awesome so I won’t complain about similarities to something so good. It’s super breathable with fuse at the eyelets and a thin but well-padded mesh tongue. And as I mentioned previously, the collar area is rimmed with synthetic suede. These are the materials I’ve come to expect at the $160 price point. They do the job well.
The Puma Deviate Nitro is a super bouncy shoe that’s great on long runs, fast runs, and everything in between. It’s right priced at $160 and provides good value versus something like the $180 Nike Invincible Run. It’s a do everything shoe that shines whether you’re running long or uptempo. If you can solve the heel fit issues, this is a really fun and versatile shoe. It’s a great first effort from Puma and I’m really excited to see what they do next.
How to Buy the Puma Deviate Nitro
The Puma Deviate Nitro is currently available for $160 at Puma.
Thanks to Puma for sending a pair to test. Puma was not given any editorial control of the review. This review is based on our weartesters’ experiences using the shoes for speed workouts, trail runs, treadmill training, long runs, casual wear, and more.