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:
- Puma Deviate Nitro: Max cushioning with improved efficiency for long runs
- Puma Liberate Nitro: Lightweight for tempo runs and competition
- Puma Velocity Nitro: Cushioned and responsive for every day running
- Puma Eternity Nitro: Support and guidance for runners who need stability.
Read on for all you need to know on the key Deviate Nitro.
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.
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.
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!
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.