Puma Deviate Nitro 2 Review (2022): Most Versatile Carbon Pick?
Published on: 11/23/2022Puma's second go at soft-feeling carbon shoes for everyday training combines comfort, stability, and grip for do-it-all road running excellence.
The new Puma Deviate Nitro 2 offers fast, grippy, and comfortable riding for everyday training and runners of all levels
Don’t have time to read the full review? Here’s what you need to know.
Achieving the first goal of correcting its design flaws from the first Deviate Nitro, Puma goes above and beyond with the Deviate Nitro 2. These all-around delightful road running shoes combine speed and cushioning with a composite carbon plate that gives them more flexibility than other models in the same range.
The Deviate Nitro 2 is surprisingly soft, snappy enough for fast runs, and durable and grippy at the same time. With great reviews from first runs to 20-mile outings, it seems there’s almost nothing these shoes won’t do… except perhaps be your ultimate race shoes.
Featuring a combination of Nitro Elite Foam (nitrogen-infused PEBA) and Nitro Foam (nitrogen-infused EVA) in its midsole, the new edition of the Deviate Nitro gives a firmer heel landing, getting softer in the midfoot and forefoot. This extra heel support, combined with new heel collar padding, gives the shoe a soft feel and a comfortable ride. There’s also an extremely good grip with the outsole thanks to the Pumagrip compound and clever “water droplet” lugs on the forefoot that will not let you slip.
The only gripe anyone could have with these trainers is the snugger-than-most fit caused by a low ceiling. The upper cradles the feet very closely, which gives a great lockdown but could be considered maybe a bit too tight for comfort by those with wider feet.
A versatile shoe with great all-around credentials and a softer-than-expected ride that benefits from added pop from the carbon plate, we’d recommend the Puma Deviate Nitro 2 to most runners for most runs! Read the complete review below to find more details.
Please read our full review of the Puma Deviate Nitro 2 for more information.
- Excellent outsole grip
- Amazing foot lockdown
- Soft ride
- Good heel comfort
- Very versatile shoe, meaning good value
- Tighter upper not suitable for wider feet
- Snug toe box
Puma Deviate Nitro 2 Complete Review Analysis
With the launch of the first Deviate Nitro shoe, Puma aimed to compete with top brands offering fast and lively carbon-plated shoes in the range of the Saucony Endorphin and Asics MetaSpeed, and Magic Speed, among others. However, despite its best intentions, the Nitro was rather uncomfortable and caused many people to swear off it with Achilles tendon pain and blisters!
Puma redeems itself with the Deviate Nitro 2, correcting initial design flaws, changing the foam, and improving the shoe’s outsole and upper. Delivering better, faster, and more comfortable runs, these everyday trainers tick lots of boxes. Should you rely on them as your go-to road running shoes? Read our complete review to find out!
One of the best features of the Puma Deviate Nitro 2 is the way the shoe combines two different types of midsole compound with the S-shaped composite carbon plate that gives it a snappy ride without being too rigid. Like the Asics Magic Speed 2, there’s a firmness that makes faster runs feel fast, but without the lack of responsiveness that many similar carbon shoes have.
The midsole is made up of the Nitro Elite Foam (same as used by Puma in their racing shoe, the Deviate Elite), which is a nitrogen-infused PEBA, in the midfoot and forefoot area, followed by the Nitro Foam, a nitrogen-infused EVA, in the heel. This makes the heel slightly firmer, which will be welcomed by less experienced athletes or those looking to take these shoes on longer distances.
This combination of foams supports forward transitions, making it more natural to simply roll ahead if you land on your heel. The difference between the foams is noticeable, too, which adds dynamism.
Finally, the composite carbon plate is made up of 70% carbon and 30% TPU. You will therefore get more flexibility from the Deviate Nitro 2 but still benefit from stiffness and propulsion.
All in all, the combined softness and carbon plate make these shoes versatile and fun to run in, supportive enough, and with a smooth transition and toe-off that will delight in any context.
Foot lockdown (upper)
With a lighter and thinner engineered mesh than its predecessor, the Deviate Nitro 2 is more breathable. This adds to its versatility, making it a good shoe to run longer distances in, as well as fast-paced workouts where your feet will be sweating.
Another important and welcome improvement from v1 is the added padding to the heel tab and collar, relieving the Achilles tendon pain lots of athletes complained about with the first Deviate Nitro. Thanks to the redesign, reviewers all agree that this shoe has no problems with heel slip while not hurting them either.
With an internal heel counter that provides a secure grip, the Deviate Nitro 2 also features a new Puma’s PWRTAPE overlay on the medial side, aiming to add structure and support. These are not stability features, more like a firmer, foot-hugging design that feels good and isn’t overly noticeable when running.
Finally, the gusseted tongue is flat and cushy, with a little extra protection from pressure from the laces. It’s a welcome change from competitors’ shoes, whose tongues slip while running – this one stays firmly in place even on long runs!
While most will appreciate the level of lockdown, these shoes are not suitable for wider feet. They feel too snug, and this is especially clear in the toe box. Its ceiling feels low, and many reviewers mention trying to adjust the laces to get more comfortable during their first run.
Grip and durability (outsole)
Another shining star of the Deviate Nitro 2 is the PumaGrip outsole that provides excellent traction on wet roads and a decent ride on dirt tracks and light trails. The outsole design also features “water droplet” lugs on the forefoot, which many users have mentioned they can literally “feel” gripping onto the road.
It’s not often that racing shoes or fast road shoes are hailed for superlative grip. This adds to the Deviate Nitro 2 having the potential to become one of the most versatile running shoes on the market.
Additionally, most users have noted its sturdy and long-lasting potential, thanks to the design and the midsole compounds. After more than 50 miles run, the shoes display very little wear, which bodes well for their lifespan. Retailing at $160, cheaper than other similar shoes, the Deviate Nitro 2 seems like a good investment.
If you are a one-shoe runner or just looking for a good versatile shoe that you can easily wear in most situations, the Deviate Nitro 2 is ideal. Users report enjoying a cushioned ride but also feeling of snappiness when going faster. This means you can use this shoe for speed workouts but also get a good return from it on long distances.
Unlike the previous Puma Deviate Nitro, this edition is a lot more comfortable on the heel and Achilles tendon. Reviewers didn’t report a single blister, thanks to the padded heel collar, whereas before, the shoe design caused niggles, blisters, and pain. There is also, happily, no heel lift.
The second version of the Puma Deviate Nitro also offers a snug fit, with excellent lockdown, but a little too tight for wider feet. If you enjoy the shoe, you should go up a half size at least to be comfortable.
Finally, with a declared drop of 6 mm, these shoes are accessible for all types of athletes and workouts. Puma doesn’t disclose an official stack height, but the consensus seems to be that the drop is comfortable and the responsiveness of the shoe is good for a carbon model.
The Deviate Nitro 2 can be an ideal daily trainer for easy runs and tempo days, but also good for 20-mile training runs, even racing a first marathon. It is a little heavier than its competitors (9.2 oz/260 g in men’s size 42 vs. 7.7 oz/217 g for the same size as the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3), but that is due to the more comfortable, more stable ride comparatively. Ultimately, you might choose to switch to Saucony for race day and save some weight, but you’ll be well served throughout your training by the Puma.
Puma’s new shoe for all your road running needs, the Deviate 2, shines in almost any scenario testers have put it through. It has a unique and huge strength, being a carbon-plated shoe that features comfort, enough flexibility and snappiness to help it rival the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3, and a grip that lets you take it pretty much anywhere.
The Deviate Nitro 2 makes up for the failings of the original Deviate Nitro with extra padding and added heel comfort, a better cushion combination between the standard Nitro and the Nitro Elite, and a redesigned upper that feels good and keeps feet locked down while avoiding hot spots and blisters. It’s an almost perfect all-arounder!
|Heel height||32 mm|
|Forefoot height||26 mm|
|Weight (men)||260 g/9.2 oz|
|Weight (women)||216 g/7.6 oz|
|Midsole||Nitro Elite Foam, Nitro Foam|
|Upper||PWRTAPE, Engineered Mesh|
|Distance||Mid, 10K, Half marathon, Long, Marathon|
|Workout||Daily running, Racing|
Reference: Puma's official site
Comparisons – Puma Deviate Nitro 2 vs.:
Deviate Nitro 1
Thanks to improved breathability and a new upper design, the Puma Deviate Nitro 2 is more comfortable and versatile than the previous edition. Puma has also corrected the design issues around the heel collar that users hated with v1. Additionally, the v2 has an improved and exciting new foam combination in the midsole, making the ride both smooth and flexible. It’s gained a few grams compared to v1, but it’s a welcome improvement in almost all aspects and worth investing $160 into.