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PUMA DEVIATE NITRO REVIEW

Puma Deviate Nitro Review

THE BUZZ

Puma returns with a vengeance in 2021 with a new line of advanced, performance-oriented shoes, starting with the Deviate Nitro.

It’s a lighter-than-average, neutral daily trainer that offers maximal cushioning with a lively and forgiving sensation. This offers a good blend of softness and energetic pop with a smooth ride and a secure fit.

The four styles in the new Puma Nitro collection all offer a different running experience:

Read on for all you need to know on the key Deviate Nitro.

Puma Deviate Nitro - What's new

WHAT’S NEW

Every aspect of this uniquely constructed shoe is new. The PUMA Deviate Nitro has moderately thick single layer of advanced foam enhanced with a premium footbed plus a rocker geometry.

It’s punctuated by a stabilizing plate embedded in the back half of the midsole plus a carbon-composite propulsion plate in the forefoot.

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The PUMA Deviate Nitro fits true to size with a narrow heel, medium-volume midfoot and slightly wider forefoot. It’s all brought together with a locked-down, wrap-around sensation. This is made possible by the lightweight, flexible upper, fully gusseted tongue, cushy footbed and unique heel-locking system.

There’s only a little room for the toes to wiggle and splay, but enough to make it functionally comfortable. The step-in feel is a combination of comfortable softness and wrap-around security. It gives an immediate sense of firmness in the chassis of the shoe.

The firm feeling stems the stability-enhancing plate in the heel and the forward-momentum plate in the forefoot.

Puma Deviate Nitro - Running

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

The PUMA Deviate Nitro is a lightweight, energetic modern training shoe serving up loads of long-haul comfort and modest capability for up-tempo running.

Runners who appreciate the coziness of maximally cushioned trainers and the energetic pop of their go-fast racing shoes will really appreciate what Puma has created in the Deviate Nitro.

It’s not quite fast enough to bring out your top-end speed, but it’s agile and versatile enough to tackle long runs, recovery runs, tempo runs and other quick-turnover training runs.

Puma Deviate Nitro - Pros

PROS: PUMA Deviate Nitro

What makes the Deviate Nitro special is the unique combination of the midsole foam, dual-plate system and the locked down upper feeling from comprehensive fit system. The nitrogen-infused foam is super soft, slightly bouncy and compliant. The rigid plates give the shoe a semi-firm, structured feel. This contributes to the propulsive feeling that emanates from heel-strike to toe-off. This combines for a comfortable, stable and controlled ride that’s ideal training and slow, moderate and slightly faster paces.

There’s a unique heel-locking system in the rear of the shoe. This is comprised of a small, semi-firm internal heel counter and thick wedge of foam padding on each side of the heel just below the thin, form-fitting collar line. It keeps the foot in place while maintaining a plush feeling around the ankle. This tie nicely into the overall comfort and security of the upper.

The upper fabric provides both firmness to keep the foot in place and stretchiness to allow the foot to move naturally during the gait cycle. There’s a smooth interior mesh layer in the forefoot integrated into the fully gusseted tongue, creating a quasi-bootie system. This keeps the foot from slipping while still allowing maximal breathability.

The outsole has a bit of a split personality with durable rubber at the high-impact areas of the heel, exposed foam under the arch and an expansive section of soft, energetic blown rubber. The sole features 18 low-profile lugs for advanced traction. These are separated by a matrix of flex grooves and small cutaway sections for optimal flexibility.

Our wear-testers give Puma high marks for making its noteworthy comeback with this shoe. It’s a uniquely constructed shoe, but the fit, feel and ride are exceptional. If this is the first of several new shoes from this venerable brand — and, wink, wink!, we know it is — Puma will be worth keeping an eye on in 2021!

Puma Deviate Nitro - Cons

CONS: PUMA Deviate Nitro

Unlike some shoes with carbon-fiber propulsion plates, the Deviate Nitro is perfect for training. It’s not however for all-out racing or speed workouts. It’s probably not going to be a race-day choice if you’re aiming for a PR. However, there is more than plenty to like in this shoe as an everyday trainer on your way to your next race.

TECH SPECS

Puma Deviate Nitro - Tech Specs

SHOP PUMA DEVIATE NITRO

Puma Deviate Nitro Shoe
MEN’S DEVIATE NITRO
Puma Deviate Nitro - women's
WOMEN’S DEVIATE NITRO
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PUMA: BUILT ON SPEED

PUMA: Built for Speed

PUMA’S LONG HISTORY OF INNOVATION, SPEED AND SUCCESS

In the beginning.

It’s hard to believe that two of the world’s major running shoe brands could evolve from the same family. Or that a dispute among brothers could cause a rift that would shake up and invigorate the athletic shoe industry.

Believe it or not, Puma got its start when a falling-out came between German brothers Rudolf and Adi Dassler. This resulted in Rudolf (or “Rudi”) leaving their family’s successful athletic shoe business (the Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory, aka “adidas”) to start his own brand in Herzogenaurach, Germany in 1948.

A LEGACY OF SOCCER SUCCESS

Although Rudi had to start from scratch, it didn’t take long for Puma make its mark. They launched new soccer shoes that were smartly functional, innovative and fashion forward. Known as the Atom, that first Puma shoe was proudly worn by many of West Germany’s players in the country’s first post-World War II match against Switzerland. When they won 1-0, the new brand began to soar.

Puma would dominate the soccer world in the 1950s and the brand’s popularity eventually exploded outside of Europe. When Brazil beat Sweden to win the 1958 World Cup, the entire time was shod in Puma soccer cleats — including a young budding superstar named Pelé. Brazil would repeat the World feat in Puma shoes in 1962 and win it again in 1970.

With Rudi at the helm, Puma would continue to be an international leader in soccer footwear. It would also go on to develop innovative shoes for basketball, tennis, golf, auto racing and sailing. But it’s true calling was always in fast, efficient running shoes.

Bikila PUMA shoe

OLYMPIC SPEEDSTERS IN PUMA SHOES

All along, Puma had been developing new track and field spikes that had always been close to Rudi’s heart. When West German sprinter Armin Hary set a new world record of 10.25 seconds in the 100-meter dash in the spring of 1960, he was wearing a pair of Puma’s innovative leather spikes that had sections of vulcanized rubber for support. The world’s fastest man lived up to his billing at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. He took home the gold medal in the 100-meter dash and anchoring West Germany’s victorious 4×100-meter relay.

At the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, three athletes wearing Puma shoes took home gold medals — Belgium’s Gaston Roelants (3,000-meter steeplechase), Great Britain’s Mary Rand (long jump) and Ethiopia’s Abebe Bikila (marathon). Bikila, of course, became famous for winning the marathon at the 1960 Olympics while running barefoot. Four years later, he repeated his title, lowering his own world record to 2:12:11. He was wearing a pair of featherweight and flexible Puma Osaka running shoes.

Tommie Smith - PUMA shoe

TRACK INNOVATION AND DOMINANCE

Puma athletes turned the track and field world upside down wearing innovative Sacramento “brush” spikes in 1968. The pioneering brush soles had 68 tiny plastic bristles under the forefoot and they were fast! Just a few weeks prior to the Olympics, numerous American runners set world records wearing the shoes.

Although those shoes were eventually banned from competition by the IAAF, American superstars Tommie Smith, Lee Evans, Willie Davenport and Bob Seagren cleaned up at the Mexico City Olympics that fall wearing other fast, next-generation Puma models.

In the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Mary Peters, Great Britain (pentathlon), John Akii-Bua, Uganda (400m hurdles), Randy Williams of the U.S. (long jump) and Klaus Wolfermann of West-Germany (javelin) all won gold medals to help solidify Puma’s position as one of the most dominant brands in track and field.

1970S: PLAYING A BIG PART OF THE FIRST RUNNING BOOM

Puma’s Easy Rider training shoes provided cushioning through the brand’s innovative knobby outsole and soft EVA midsole cushioning. The sole worked well as a shock absorber and was often used for cross country and marathon running.

Another shoe, the SAAS1, earned international patents for its unusual double-cone studs arranged in V-formations. As the foot hit the ground, the studs splayed out displacing energy and reducing the shock which your body would normally have received during foot-strike. Then as the foot lifted back off, the studs sprang back to their original shape returning stored energy and giving the runner’s foot as extra burst of forward momentum.

1985: UNVEILING THE WORLD’S FIRST DIGITAL SHOE

The engineers at Puma were so ahead of the game in 1985, they developed the world’s first digitally interactive running shoe decades before smartphones and digital training apps.

Based on the RS100, Puma unveiled the high-tech shoe with a built-in circuit board, microprocessors and an inertia switch that was triggered by the impact of a runner’s feet hitting the ground.

The $200 shoe could be hooked up to a Commodore 64 or an Apple II using a 16-pin cord to upload speed, distance and calorie burn data.

PUMA - Colin Jackson Disc Shoes

1991: REVOLUTIONARY DISC TECHNOLOGY

In 1991, Puma launched the game-changing PUMA Disc technology on a running shoe, the first lace-less sports shoe with a system of internal wires that tighten the upper for a perfect fit.

The technology proved successful as Heike Drechsler (long jump), Dieter Baumann (5.000m) and Linford Christie (100-meter dash) all won gold medals wearing Puma Disc spikes at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Following them was Colin Jackson who won the 110-meter high hurdles at the IAAF World Championships the following year in Disc spikes.

Usain Bolt - Fastest Man on Earth

2000s: USAIN BOLT, THE FASTEST MAN IN HISTORY

At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt wore Puma Complete Theseus spikes to win gold medals and set new world records in the 100-meter (9.69) and 200-meter events (19.30) while also helping Jamaica’s 4×100-meter relay to a record-setting victory.

That began Bolt’s amazing nine-year run as the world’s most dominant track athlete, a span in which he won eight official Olympic gold medals, lowered the world records to 9.58 and 19.19 and won 11 sprint and relay titles at the IAAF World Championships.

Along the way, he helped Puma recreate the Faas line of shoes. These were developed around a three-part system that allowed for a more natural running rhythm while improving strength and flexibility in the lower legs. With Bolt as the brand’s front man, Puma also relaunched the Disc system in 2016 with the Ignite Disc running shoe and EvoSpeed Disc racing spikes.

PUMA Modern Headquarters - Germany

2021: WHAT’S NEXT?

Coming soon Puma has some exciting new tech to share with the running world with JackRabbit as their lead partner in the US.

We’ll be sharing more news soon. Be sure to follow JackRabbit on social media to be the first to know.

PUMA Deviate Nitro - Women's