Puma Deviate Nitro 2 review

9 expert score
9.4 user's score
As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples. We purchased this pair at Running Warehouse with our own money.
Review written on 17th February by Brandon Law Marathon Runner and Shoe Expert
157 other reviews

Puma Deviate Nitro 2 Verdict

The Puma Deviate Nitro Elite 2 is a soft-riding, plated training shoe which can be used for everything from easy runs to uptempo runs, to races. It has a high level of cushioning, decent stability and first-class grip. In version 2 of the Deviate Nitro, they’ve fixed the uncomfortable heel tab issue which was present in the first version. It’s also been given a softer ride due to the new Nitro Elite foam in its midsole.

The pros

  • Excellent foot lockdown
  • Improved heel tab
  • Outstanding grip
  • Durable outsole
  • Softer ride

The cons

  • Snug toe-box

Where to buy

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Rating breakdown

Build quality
Sole unit
Value / Price

Facts / Specs

Deviate Nitro 2
9.2 oz (261 g)

30.5 mm.
38.5 mm.
Heel drop
8 mm.
Carbon plate
Full length carbon plate


True to size
Heel fit
Midfoot fit
Toebox fit

Cushioning & ride

Type of cushioning
Amount of cushioning
Highly cushioned
Some stability


Daily training  
Long distance racing
Ultra distance racing

Who should buy the Puma Deviate Nitro 2 ?

If you’re looking for a more durable training companion for the Deviate Nitro Elite or you want a versatile speed shoe for training/racing, the Deviate Nitro 2 is an excellent choice. The Deviate Nitro Elite 2 is softer and more lively than most of the plated trainers on the market.

Who should not buy the Puma Deviate Nitro 2 ?

If you like a firm ride or you have high volume feet, the Deviate Nitro 2 might not be for you. The Deviate Nitro 2 is also a relatively rigid shoe so if you like a very flexible trainer, don’t buy it.

Puma Deviate Nitro 2 Introduction

The Deviate Nitro was one of the pleasant surprises for me last year. I had never tried a Puma running shoe before and the Deviate Nitro was really impressive. It had a carbon composite plate which was propulsive but forgiving and its energetic supercritical midsole was a delight.

It was softer than most plated trainers with only the Endorphin Speed 2 and FuelCell TC being softer. The big difference with the Deviate Nitro was that it had a very stable ride compared to its competitors.

The Deviate Nitro suffered from one big flaw which prevented me from recommending it: the hard heel tab dug into my achilles and made runs uncomfortable. I had to loosen the laces so that there was a space between my achilles and the heel tab but then I experienced heel slippage which made the ride less engaging. I wasn’t the only one who had this problem- some runners even developed blisters because of the badly designed heel tab.

This year’s Deviate Nitro 2 has received substantial upgrades. It now has Nitro Elite foam in its midsole which is the same foam that’s in Puma’s flagship racer, the Deviate Elite. It also has new upper and outsole designs.

V2 weighs 260 g (9.2 oz) which is a slight increase over the original version which came in at 257 g (9.1 oz). Puma doesn’t specify how thick the heel and forefoot are but they state a 6 mm drop on their website.

Puma Deviate Nitro 2 First Impressions

Picture of Puma Deviate Nitro 2

My first run was a 17 kilometre easy run at 5:37 minutes per km (8:36 per mile) and I was very happy with the updates. The most noticeable thing was the redesigned heel tab which was comfortable and caused me no issues.

The ride was slightly softer than the first version but not as soft as the Deviate Elite with a full Nitro Elite midsole. The plate in the midsole was about the same rigidity as the original, with enough flexibility to make slow paces comfortable.

I did notice that the toe-box felt a bit snug and constricting due to the low toe-box ceiling. I stopped a couple times to try to loosen the laces at the bottom of the lacing area. I was wearing thick socks but I only wore thin socks in the Deviate Nitro 2 on runs after that one and it didn’t bother me anymore.

It had just rained and the ground was wet but the Deviate Nitro 2’s outsole gripped spectacularly well. My first impression of V2 was excellent.

Puma Deviate Nitro 2 Upper

Picture of Puma Deviate Nitro 2

The most important change to the upper is that the heel tab and collar are padded for extra comfort so the heel tab doesn’t dig into your achilles anymore and there is no heel irritation whatsoever. The internal heel counter provides a good, secure lockdown and I didn’t experience heel slippage.

The engineered mesh feels lighter and thinner than version 1, so it’s more breathable and it conforms to your feet better. There’s a new PWRTAPE overlay on the medial side which provides structure and support but you don’t feel it while running.

The tongue is flat with a small amount of padding to protect from lacing pressure. It’s gusseted and one of the few flat tongues which don’t slide around. There are large reflective panels on the back of the heels for low-light visibility.

The Deviate Nitro 2 has a true to size fit with a narrow forefoot and toe box so it’s not suitable for wide feet. The toe-box ceiling is also very low so if you have a high volume feel, I suggest trying it on first before purchasing.

Puma Deviate Nitro 2 Sole Unit

Picture of Puma Deviate Nitro 2

In my opinion, the Deviate Nitro 2 has a just-right ride when it comes to cushioning softness. The supercritical foams in the midsole provide a really energetic and fun experience which makes me look forward to running in it. At slow paces the midsole feels bouncy while at fast paces it feels snappy.

The midsole of the Deviate Nitro 2 consists of a dual foam setup of Nitro Elite which is a nitrogen-infused PEBA and Nitro which is a nitrogen-infused EVA. The firmer Nitro foam is situated in the heel, with softer Nitro Elite foam in the midfoot and forefoot so the heel has firmer cushioning than the forefoot.

This setup allows for natural, forward-rolling transitions as you land on your heel and transition through to the midfoot, then forefoot; the Deviate Nitro 2 feels more efficient because of this setup. There’s a big difference in densities between the 2 foams, unlike in the Magic Speed 2 which has 2 firm foams, so the Deviate Nitro 2 feels a lot more dynamic and engaging.

The Deviate Nitro 2 has a carbon composite plate which is S-shaped so it dips down in the forefoot for more propulsive toe-offs. The plate is stiffer than most plates in training shoes- stiffer than trainers such as the Endorphin Speed 3, Tempo Next% and the KD900X. It’s about the same stiffness as the Magic Speed 2 which gives it a fast, racing feel.

When it comes to versatility, the Deviate Nitro 2 is king and you can really use it for anything. I found it soft and stable enough for easy paces above 5 minutes 30 per km as well as zippy enough for anything faster. It would also make an excellent marathon racer due to its high level of cushioning and its propulsive plate. The longest run I did in it was 30 kilometres and it was really comfortable throughout the run.

Picture of Puma Deviate Nitro 2

The Pumagrip outsole is my favourite component of the Deviate Nitro 2 and it’s the best outsole I’ve tested all year. It has new, “water droplet” lugs in the forefoot and with each footstrike, you can hear and feel the rubber lugs gripping the surface like claws. There is some exposed midsole foam in the midfoot but durability is still great and there is very little wear showing after 80 kilometres so you can get high mileage out of it.

Puma Deviate Nitro 2 Conclusions

Picture of Puma Deviate Nitro 2

The Deviate Nitro 2 is a superb update. Puma has managed to fix the heel tab issue as well as make it softer and more comfortable. It’s also the same price as last year which makes it cheaper than the Endorphin Speed 3 (arguably the leader in this category).

The Deviate Nitro 2 is a really versatile trainer which can also double up as a racer because the soft Nitro Elite foam provides an energetic, cushioned ride for slow or uptempo paces. The carbon composite plate has enough flex to make it comfortable during easy runs and it is stiff enough to provide a punch during tempo runs.

I use my pair for moderately-paced, steady runs as well as long runs so it will definitely stay in my rotation. What I enjoy most about the Deviate Nitro 2 is how well-rounded it is: it’s stable, durable, cushioned, lively and it looks great as well.

The only other plated training shoe which I have enjoyed as much as the Deviate Nitro 2 this year is the SuperComp Trainer but that shoe is heavier and $20 more than the Deviate Nitro 2. The SuperComp Trainer does have a higher level of cushioning and is more stable than the Deviate Nitro 2 so it’s a better long run shoe but it feels more sluggish on shorter distances.

How does the Deviate Nitro 2 compare?

Saucony Endorphin Speed 3
Puma Deviate Nitro 2
Asics Novablast 3
Expert score
User score
Retail price
8.10 oz
9.2 oz
8.9 oz
Heel Drop
8 mm
8 mm
9 mm
Recommended for
Racing, speedwork, daily training
Racing, speedwork, daily training
Daily training
Cushioning type
Cushioning amount
Highly cushioned
Highly cushioned
Highly cushioned
some stability
some stability
very stable
true to size
true to size
buy half size smaller

Why you can trust us

As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples from companies.
We purchased this pair of Puma at Running Warehouse  with our own money.

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Puma Deviate Nitro 2 price comparison

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Reviewed by Brandon

This review was written by Brandon Law on 17th February.
Brandon is a South African who lives and trains in Malaysia. He is a marathon runner who eats, sleeps and dreams running shoes. While most people wear shoes to run, he runs to wear shoes.

User feedback (7)

  • avatar-comment-1035577
    2 months ago
    9 score

    The deviate 2 is a confortable running shoe. The carbon plate is not rigid, so can be used by anyone. It s an expensive shoe but if you get it aroud 100 usd is an exellent option. The hole in the sole will trap any solid material over the road like rocks.

  • avatar-comment-1034827
    Julius Dharmadi
    3 months ago
    9 score

    just bought it and yes this is versatile can be used for any type training. The max cushion is the big the difference compare to other carbon plate shoes which usually has stiff & firm ride experience. Deviate Nitro 2 definately will be underated shoe.

    • avatar-comment-1035578
      2 months ago
      9 score

      Hi Julius, did you tried any other Brand with carbon plate? I think Puma’s not rigid at all. So is not reactive as magic speed 2 of asics, for example. By the way I think its a nice shoe for trainning and will protect more from the impact. Someday carbon plates will be the reason of many injuries

  • avatar-comment-1031854
    7 months ago
    10 score

    I LOVE them!
    They’re cheap and they help me through my speed workouts, easy run, long distance run….

  • avatar-comment-1025590
    Jeffrey Lim
    1 year ago
    9 score

    I’ve been putting in some miles with the shoes and I have to say, I’ve been impressed. I’ve logged around 30k with them, mostly sticking to Zone 2 paces, and they’ve been a reliable Swiss-Army knife of shoes.

    What I appreciate about these shoes is their traditional feel on foot, especially compared to some of the other highly engineered running shoes on the market. They’re stable and grippy, and I felt comfortable in them right from the start. Unlike some of the super-stacked or highly cushioned shoes that can feel a bit unstable and force you to run in a certain way, these shoes let me run naturally.

    Now, they’re not as propulsive as some of the other high-performance shoes out there, like the Vaporfly. But that’s not really what they’re designed for. They’re a great all-purpose shoe that you can count on for a variety of workouts.

    My only real complaint is the sizing. They run a bit narrow, so I had to go up a half-size to get the right fit. But once I did, they felt perfect. All in all, I’d highly recommend these shoes to any serious runner looking for a reliable and versatile training shoe.

  • avatar-comment-1025266
    1 year ago
    10 score

    The PUMA Deviate Nitro 2 is a massively underrated shoe. It is my goto shoe for all my training – both on-road and off-road (fire roads and dry trails) due to the fantastic outsole. The cushioning is just what is needed without feeling unstable and the plate has enough give for it to still be comfortable at marathon miles. The heel is super-secure for me, without needing a runners knot. I concur that the toe box is not the roomiest so try before you buy if you can. I found the fit true-to-size.

  • avatar-comment-1022005
    Muhammad Imran
    1 year ago
    10 score

    Hi, I am puma Deviate NITRO 2 user. Just bought recently. And I happy about it. Nice to wear and very comfortable. When I run I don’t feel my feet hitting the ground.

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