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Puma Deviate Nitro 2 - Women's Review

A great middle-ground between responsive energy return and comfort, this shoe is a pace pusher's race-day dream sidekick
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Puma Deviate Nitro 2 - Women's Review (For a speedy sidekick with enough comfort to keep your feet happy, look no further.)
For a speedy sidekick with enough comfort to keep your feet happy, look no further.
Credit: Ally Arcuri
Price:  $160 List
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Manufacturer:   Puma
By Ally Arcuri ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 9, 2023
77
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 19
  • Cushioning and Landing Comfort - 25% 7.0
  • Responsiveness - 25% 9.5
  • Stability - 20% 7.0
  • Upper Comfort - 15% 7.0
  • Weight - 15% 7.4

Our Verdict

The Puma Deviate Nitro 2 has the potential to be your new, speedy best friend. While not perfect for all types of running, this shoe allows you to really hit the gas as you strive for your PRs. Its propulsive plate provides exceptional rebound, and its stack is thick enough to protect your joints as you bound through your races. If you want a traditional shoe that emphasizes cushion and support over long-term training, the Nitro Deviate isn't it. But if “pushing paces” is your middle name and you're ready to lay down some seriously speedy miles, look no further because this shoe kicks.
REASONS TO BUY
Very responsive
Good overall comfort
More affordable than many racing shoes
Stable
Versatile
REASONS TO AVOID
Heavy for a responsive shoe
Toe box is slightly cramped

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Bottom Line With strong responsive bounce and enough comfort for long runs, this shoe will suit marathon hopefuls and speed demons alikeThis running shoe offers the performance technology and comfort needed to be your go-to shoe, no matter your running goalsThe structure and comfort of this shoe make it a highly recommended option for long distance runners who want a reliable road running steedFor incredible comfort with a side of responsiveness, this redesigned classic is ready to tackle serious mileage with youWhile not a race-focused shoe, this affordable and bouncy option will keep your legs turning over quickly and easily
Rating Categories Puma Deviate Nitro... Asics Novablast 4 -... Brooks Adrenaline G... Asics Gel-Kayano 30... Saucony Kinvara 14...
Cushioning and Landing Comfort (25%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
7.5
Responsiveness (25%)
9.5
7.5
6.5
7.0
7.5
Stability (20%)
7.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
Upper Comfort (15%)
7.0
8.0
9.0
7.5
7.0
Weight (15%)
7.4
6.9
5.8
6.1
9.3
Specs Puma Deviate Nitro... Asics Novablast 4 -... Brooks Adrenaline G... Asics Gel-Kayano 30... Saucony Kinvara 14...
Weight (per shoe, size 6.5) 7.02 oz 7.36 oz 8.21 oz 8.01 oz 5.55 oz
Style Neutral/race Neutral Supportive Neutral stability Neutral
Sizes Available 5.5 - 11 US 5 - 12 US 5 - 13 US 5 - 13 US 5 - 12 US
Measured Heel-to-Toe Drop 8 mm 9 mm 12 mm 11 mm 5 mm
Measured Heel Stack Height 34 mm 40 mm 34 mm 37 mm 30 mm
Measured Forefoot Stack Height 26 mm 31 mm 22 mm 26 mm 25 mm
Claimed Heel-to-Toe Drop 6 mm 8 mm 12 mm 10 mm 4 mm
Claimed Heel Stack Height Not stated 40.5 mm Not stated 39 mm 31 mm
Claimed Forefoot Stack Height Not stated 32.5 mm Not stated 29 mm 27 mm
Measured Outsole Length 10.31 in 10.65 in 10.50 in 10.44 in 10.13 in
Measured Outsole Width 4.00 in 4.32 in 4.25 in 4.17 in 3.96 in
Upper Mesh Engineered knit mesh Engineered air mesh Knit mesh Mesh
Midsole Nitro/Nitro-Elite FF Blast Plus Eco DNA Loft v2 FF Blast Plus Eco PWRRUN, PWRRUN+
Outsole PumaGrip ATR Rubber AHAR outsole Rubber PureGel XT-900 rubber
Measured Outsole Hardness 65 HA 59 HA 47 HA 70 HA at outer heel, 65 HA rest of shoe 63 HA at inner toe/outer heel, 35 HA rest of shoe
Heel Tab Type None Finger loop None None Finger loop
Width Options Regular Regular Narrow, medium, wide, extra wide Regular Regular, wide
Heel Compression Stiffness 35 lbf 44 lbf 52 lbf 42 lbf 40 lbf
Toe Compression Stiffness 40 lbf 38 lbf 56 lbf 38 lbf 42 lbf
Toe Box Volume 6.7 in^3 6.2 in^3 6.5 in^3 6.4 in^3 6.7 in^3
Rocker Angle 12.5 deg 22.0 deg 26.5 deg 13.5 deg 26.0 deg

Our Analysis and Test Results

With a carbon plate, measured drop of 8mm, and streamlined fit, the Deviate Nitro 2 was built with speed in mind. Its soft upper and fantastic weight distribution make it a go-to option for fast runs.

Performance Comparison


puma deviate nitro 2 for women - if you like the responsive kick of an underfoot plate but want to...
If you like the responsive kick of an underfoot plate but want to ensure long-term comfort, you've met your match in the Puma Deviate Nitro 2.
Credit: Prudence Amsden

Cushioning and Landing Comfort


The Nitro Elite underfoot foam of the Deviate Nitro 2 is lightweight and bouncy, providing plenty of cushion for your joints without overdoing it. We measured the heel stack at 34mm tall, and the forefoot stack at 26mm. Even with all of the goodies stuffed into its outsole, the stack of the Deviate Nitro feels thick and protective; its design is a far cry from minimalistic.


The embedded carbon plate feels quite firm underfoot, so if plush comfort is your jam, the Deviate might not feel super comfortable to you. The stack is made for shock absorption and overall landing comfort, but the Deviate simply wasn't designed as an ultra-plush shoe, so consider this as you shop. The 34mm of stack underfoot functions as intended and the scant amount of actual cushioning within the shoe provides just enough comfort where you need it. The cushioning is specifically placed to maximize comfort while maintaining a low overall weight.

The Puma Deviate Nitro is a semi-well-cushioned example of a shoe built for speed. The responsive kick will get you where you want to be quickly, and the extra bit of cushion will keep your feet comfortable.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Responsiveness


The Deviate Nitro 2 is built for speed, and its responsiveness rating clearly demonstrates this. With a full-length carbon fiber plate embedded between Nitro and Nitro Elite foam, the landing platform of this shoe provides an excellent launch pad.


Runners looking to explore the world of race-ready shoes will find that the Deviate is a nice point of entry. It is not the fanciest racing road shoe on the market, but it offers enough to allow you to chase PRs with ease and style. Its cushion is minimal but well-balanced with the firmness of the plate.

The rigidity of the embedded plate gives you a strong launchpad to propel you forward.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Each footfall seemingly rolls into the next while running in the Deviate. Not only does this rolling effect encourage speedier leg turnover, but the energy return provides some additional pep. The high energy return leads to bounding down the road or the track, even on tired legs. It is easy to feel the coveted pop, pop, pop of your feet rebounding with each footfall in this shoe.

puma deviate nitro 2 for women - this race-ready shoe is a great point-of-entry for runners who want...
This race-ready shoe is a great point-of-entry for runners who want to test their speed legs without fully committing to a racing shoe.
Credit: Prudence Amsden

Stability


Many highly responsive running shoes can feel tall and unstable, especially if your runs take you across even mildly uneven terrain. We are happy to report that the Deviate Nitro 2 offers strong stability balanced with responsiveness, further securing its standing as a highly recommended shoe.


This is a neutral runner, so it doesn't offer anything extra in terms of lateral supports, but it does provide a secure fit. The upper is strong, and the lace bed is soft and comfortable, which allows you to tighten everything to your heart's content, ensuring a secure and stable fit. The lateral sides of the upper lack supports, as mentioned, but the upper mesh is rigid enough to prevent feet from spilling over the edges of the platform if pronation occurs. The outsole has relatively grippy traction, which makes flying around corners in the Deviate feel perfectly secure. While not a shoe made for stability, it is secure enough to find confidence in your legs and speed.

puma deviate nitro 2 for women - while not the most stable road running shoe on the market, the...
While not the most stable road running shoe on the market, the Deviate Nitro offers more security than some of the other ultra-responsive shoes we've tested.
Credit: Prudence Amsden

Upper Comfort


The upper mesh of the Deviate is rigid enough to be supportive but flexible enough to cradle your foot and conform enough for ultimate comfort.


The midfoot runs slightly narrow, and a wide option isn't currently available for this shoe. If a wide, race-ready shoe is what you're after, you might find the midfoot of the Deviate to be a bit too snug. The lace bed has just enough cushion to stay comfortable during long runs, which is a huge asset if you want to test your speed shoes out during a marathon. The tongue is only 2.8mm thick, but its textile is soft and flexible enough for comfort. The heel cup is comfortably plush and ultra-lightweight, though this shoe lacks any type of heel tab. Its bit of extra cushion offers a secure and precise fit to prevent your heels from slipping. Overall, the Deviate is our go-to recommendation for a speed shoe because of the comfort it offers. It isn't as comfortable as a super plush, traditional trainer, but for a shoe with a carbon fiber plate built to be light and speedy, the comfort is fantastic.

puma deviate nitro 2 for women - the upper mesh of the deviate nitro is breathable enough for...
The upper mesh of the Deviate Nitro is breathable enough for warm-weather runs, and its lace bed offers just enough cushion for comfort.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Weight


The Puma Deviate did not score especially high in this metric because it weighs 7.02 ounces per women's size 6.5 shoe.


At just a hair over 7 ounces, though, the Deviate certainly isn't a heavy shoe; it is just heavier than most of the speed-focused options on the market today. For the support and responsiveness it offers, the weight falls exactly where we would expect it to. It feels light and fresh on the roads, with great weight distribution and just enough cushion to be comfortable.

puma deviate nitro 2 for women - this isn't the lightest shoe around. but since it has quite a bit of...
This isn't the lightest shoe around. But since it has quite a bit of tech built in and it has great weight distribution, it is worth checking out - even if you tend to favor ultralight gear.
Credit: Prudence Amsden

Should You Buy the Puma Deviate Nitro 2?


If speed, responsiveness, and PRs are what you are after, then yes, you should buy this shoe. While not as niche as other racing kicks, it is a great choice for speed-minded runners who also want comfort. Its tech is a bit stiff for those who are more interested in investing in a daily trainer — runners who seek support, plush comfort, and steady reliability should look elsewhere. But if a pleasantly balanced shoe with a carbon plate built for leg turnover sounds exciting, the Deviate Nitro comes highly recommended.

puma deviate nitro 2 for women - if you are a seasoned runner who is ready to test your limits, this...
If you are a seasoned runner who is ready to test your limits, this is the shoe that we encourage you to explore in.
Credit: Prudence Amsden

What Other Running Shoes Should You Consider?


If a speedy racing shoe sounds right, but the Puma Deviate is a bit heavy for you, check out the ultra-responsive Nike Vaporfly 3. The Vaporfly lacks the upper comfort and cushion of the Deviate but also has a full-length plate for speed. The Vaporfly weighs just 4.98 ounces per women's size 6.5, which is quite a bit lighter. If you want a shoe with some responsiveness that can also be worn as a daily trainer, the Saucony Kinvara 14 is a great choice. It has some sensations of being responsive but lacks an embedded plate and instead relies on peppy and more flexible foam for propulsion. The result is a shoe that doesn't offer a strong launchpad beneath it but provides wear-all-day comfort underfoot.

Ally Arcuri