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Puma Velocity Nitro 2 Review

A daily trainer with lightweight cushioning and a responsive ride, all at an affordable price
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Puma Velocity Nitro 2 Review (We love the Puma Velocity Nitro 2 as a do-everything daily trainer.)
We love the Puma Velocity Nitro 2 as a do-everything daily trainer.
Credit: Nathaniel Bailey
Price:  $120 List
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Manufacturer:   Puma
By Nathaniel Bailey ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 9, 2023
  • Cushioning and Landing Comfort - 25% 7.5
  • Responsiveness - 25% 7.0
  • Stability - 20% 6.0
  • Upper Comfort - 15% 7.0
  • Weight - 15% 6.1

Our Verdict

The Puma Velocity Nitro 2 is a great daily trainer even before considering the price tag. Smooth and lightweight cushioning makes for a pleasant ride regardless of pace — we love the versatility of this shoe. It's comfortable enough for longer runs and is light enough to feel good at faster paces. The upper is well-considered with great lockdown, and the Puma Grip outsole is among the best we've tested on every surface. The upper can get a little stuffy on hot days, but it's a small price to pay for a shoe that can do everything well at a great price.
Smooth and responsive ride
Great grip
Affordable trainer
Upper can be warm
Fit runs long and narrow

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Puma Velocity Nitro 2 is everything we want in a daily trainer. It's well-cushioned without being too heavy, comfortable enough for long runs, and responsive enough for faster work. It has great grip and is stable over uneven terrain. The upper is comfortable, with good lockdown over the midfoot and heel. It does get a little warm on hot days, but that's one of the only drawbacks to this affordable trainer. Sure, there are shoes that are lighter, faster, or more cushioned, but very few are this good all around, and none are this affordable.

Performance Comparison

puma velocity nitro 2 - we love this shoe as an all-around daily trainer.
We love this shoe as an all-around daily trainer.

Cushioning and Landing Comfort

Puma uses a combination of EVA and their supercritical NITRO foam to create a smooth and somewhat plush cushion. The Velocity Nitro 2 does a good job of absorbing impacts on pavement at a range of paces. The distribution of plush NITRO foam with stiffer EVA creates a smooth transition through the foot on each stride. This also helps create a snappy feel but means that runners who land towards their heel will likely find the Nitro softer than those who land more mid/forefoot. In our testing, we found that to be the case.

We measured a 10mm drop on this shoe, standard for a daily trainer. However, because of the way the foam layers function, we found that it felt like it had a lower drop, particularly at easier paces when we had more weight on the rear of our foot. For heavier runners, this could mean that the shoe will place a bit more strain on your lower legs than other 10mm drop shoes.

The Puma Velocity Nitro 2 is a great daily trainer, outperforming many shoes that cost significantly more.
Credit: Nathaniel Bailey

The Velocity Nitro didn't have our favorite cushioning in the test, but as a daily trainer, we wouldn't expect its cushioning to rival the most heavily cushioned models. It has more than enough squish to leave you fresh on longer runs while also being comfortable at fast paces, something more cushioned shoes often struggle with.

The bounce of the NITRO foam is especially pleasant during faster-paced runs or during strides. It manages to provide good compression and energy return without feeling unstable. The layering of foam compounds gives a great toe-off while protecting the forefoot better than many other daily trainers. We think this shoe strikes a great balance of cushioning and landing comfort that allows it to be very versatile, as a daily trainer should be.

One area where the Velocity Nitro 2 is outstanding is grip. Puma Grip is generally among the best road traction available, and the iteration on this model is no different. The lugs do a great job of biting on loose surfaces, and the compound sticks to cold and wet pavement better than any other shoe in our test.

The gentle rocker provides a bit of snap, while the ample forefoot cushioning is appreciated on daily runs.
Credit: Abriah Wofford


In case you haven't heard enough about the NITRO foam in the Velocity Nitro 2, we'll talk about it a bit more here. This model combines good cushioning with excellent responsiveness. As you roll through your foot, the shoe gives a snappy toe-off that we aren't used to in a trainer without pronounced rocker geometry or a carbon plate. It feels especially good on hill sprints, where the lack of a plate allows for good mechanics, and the responsive foam gives good energy return.

The Velocity Nitro 2 was one of the more responsive models in the test, which is particularly impressive considering it isn't designed to be a speed or race day shoe and doesn't have a plate. That doesn't mean it can't thrive on speed days; we loved it for strides and hill sprints and found it did well over 5K-paced sessions. As responsive as this shoe is, it also does well at easier paces. It isn't a shoe we'd go out of our way to choose for days when our legs are very beat up and we want a pillowy ride, but most days, it does the job just fine.

puma velocity nitro 2 - this is a very capable all-around shoe that can handle threshold...
This is a very capable all-around shoe that can handle threshold efforts, or even faster.
Credit: Nathaniel Bailey


In terms of lateral stability, the great lockdown from the upper and “lower” stack height does a decent job of giving a confident ride over uneven terrain. However, the Nitro is narrower than others, and we found it to be fairly middle-of-the-road for this metric.

The placement of a thicker section of EVA near the midfoot arch gives some support for foot motion. However, we wouldn't suggest this shoe to most runners looking for support and stability, or any type of motion mitigation.

puma velocity nitro 2 - we love the puma velocity nitro 2 as a do-everything daily trainer.
We love the Puma Velocity Nitro 2 as a do-everything daily trainer.
Credit: Nathaniel Bailey

Upper Comfort

The upper is both a high and a low for this shoe. First, it provides excellent lockdown throughout the foot. The laces are solid and easy to adjust for a good fit. The tongue is fine and does a good job of preventing hotspots, although we thought it was a bit stiff. The heel fit is excellent, not allowing any slippage and providing a confidence-inspiring fit.

The upper of the Velocity Nitro 2 looks much nicer than most other shoes in our lineup, and it comes in at a more affordable price point. Unfortunately, the upper struggles to breathe on hot days, leaving the feet sweatier than we'd prefer. This could be a downside for runners logging summer miles, but we appreciate the warmth on cooler morning runs. This shoe could make a great winter running companion.

puma velocity nitro 2 - the upper is very comfortable, if a bit warm.
The upper is very comfortable, if a bit warm.
Credit: Nathaniel Bailey


This is a daily trainer and, as such, isn't the lightest. A good portion of the weight comes from the comfortable upper (that also happens to be pretty warm).

While we wouldn't mind a lighter shoe, the Velocity Nitro doesn't necessarily feel heavy, and we rarely noticed it on our feet. Plus, the grip from the outsole is well worth the weight penalty it comes with.

puma velocity nitro 2 - at 9.91 ounces per men's size 10.5 shoe, this shoe isn't ultralight...
At 9.91 ounces per men's size 10.5 shoe, this shoe isn't ultralight but we like the balance of weight and features it provides.
Credit: Jessica Riconscente

Should You Buy the Puma Velocity Nitro 2?

We recommend this shoe if you're looking for an affordable, highly versatile daily trainer. It has responsive cushioning, which is great for getting in the miles or ripping a hard workout. It also boasts a great fit and phenomenal grip. This shoe can handle most surfaces and conditions and is one that would thrive logging winter miles. The Velocity Nitro 2 is also one we feel comfortable burning through because of its affordable price, and we love it for travel because of its versatility. We really think it gives you the best bang for your buck.

What Other Running Shoes Should You Consider?

For runners seeking something a little plusher or faster, the Puma Deviate Nitro 2 is very similar, with slightly more cushion and responsiveness. The Saucony Kinvara 14 is another affordable option that performs well across most metrics.

Nathaniel Bailey