The Puma Clyde All-Pro proves to be a tough act to follow as the Puma Fusion Nitro drops the ball. Even so, the Puma Fusion Nitro still made our list of the best Puma basketball shoe available in 2022.
Puma Fusion Nitro
Release Date: 2021
Style Code: 195684_01
The traction featured on the Puma Fusion Nitro is one of two great aspects of the shoe’s performance. They bite the hardwood and black top well — really well — especially on lateral movements. However, the grooves are thin, so I’d think twice before choosing this shoe as your primary outdoor option. Unfortunately, the build couldn’t keep up with how awesome the traction was. That ended up leaving the shoe out of my on-court rotation.
Puma uses its Nitro cushioning as the midsole along with a top loaded Pebax puck at the heel. I’ve worn Puma’s Nitro cushioning from the running category before (it’s awesome by the way) but the basketball version feels much different. It feels more like a really plush PU rather than a Nitrogen-infused foam. They’re heavier than most other basketball offerings at the moment, but the added weight never bothered me due to the well-cushioned ride.
If Puma can continue to make its basketball shoes feel this good under foot then they have a real chance at gaining new customers.
The materials are awful and they don’t work well with the tooling used.
The traction bites hard which causes a quick stop. Momentum ensures the body continues to move a bit before coming to a complete stop and the knit build just can’t handle it. The pressure of stopping or changing directions caused the knit to stretch over the footbed more times than I’d like to admit. There is a thin layer of TPU that has been heat welded onto the knit to prevent stretching, but it just doesn’t work well.
If my foot was cupped by the midsole more than it is, then I think it would have helped greatly. But as things stand now, the shoe just offers a really unbalanced ride.
The Puma Fusion Nitro fits true to size. If you need to go up a 1/2 size for any reason I’d recommend you stay away from the shoe altogether. If the build couldn’t even contain my foot with a secure 1-to-1 fit, then any additional room you have inside the shoe will be a disaster waiting to happen.
Lockdown is decent, but the soft build just doesn’t cut it.
The support features are mostly there — heel counter and midfoot torsion shank plate — but the shoe is missing an outrigger. Something it desperately needs with the narrow base, rounder bottom, grippy traction and soft build. While you can have the basics added in the shoe, which this model does, it still has to work together ns a way that aids you on-court. Unfortunately, the Puma Fusion Nitro fails in that regard. And it fails miserably.
I still love the Puma Clyde All Pro. They’re in my gym bag as I type this and are my trusty go-to shoe for the past year and a half. I put them on the Best Basketball Shoes list a while back and they’re still on the list today. I was hoping the Puma Fusion Nitro was going to be an upgrade to the All Pro, but it just isn’t even close. I rolled my ankles without contact which is a huge letdown. Yes, the traction and cushion are great. But those aspects need to be able to work with everything else and that just isn’t the case this time around.
Initial Review and First Impressions
The Puma Fusion Nitro Spectra is the newest addition in the Puma basketball line and the follow-up to one of the best basketball shoes of 2020. When Puma Basketball wants to, they can do well with their cushioning. Cushioning was really was the biggest question when they first attempted to come back to basketball. This shoe is proof that they can compete with anyone in terms of soft, playable cushioning. They wanted to make these comfortable, and they freaking are.
Check out Chris’s thoughts on the Fusion Nitro Spectra in the article and video.
What’s in the video?
In the video, Chris provides detailed information from all the usual categories, providing the in depth information you need. He supplies expert level opinions on the materials, cushioning, traction, support, and fit. Here’s some of what he discusses:
- Potential bad boys
- Puma Clyde All-Pro love
- Feels bottom heavy
- Extreme comfort underfoot
- Very tacky outsole
- Thin tread
- Puma Nitro cushion
- Bouncy EVA/polyurethane feel
- Smaller, thinner Pebax heel puck
- Forefoot hexagon foam pattern
- Rubber heel piece
- Plastic-coated knit upper
- Traditional tongue
- Stretchy instep
- Weird lacing system
- Sizing recommendations
As an added bonus, Mrs. Wing gives her thoughts on the upper material and its coating.
Watch the full video by pressing play above or by clicking here to watch on YouTube.
How to Buy the Puma Fusion Nitro Spectra
- Colorway: Puma White/Sunblaze
- Release Date: 2021
- Style Code: 195684_01
- Retail Price: $130
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