The Puma Liberate Nitro 2 is ideal for a runner that wants to go fast!
The shoe is lightweight and has a minimal amount of cushion, yet is still quite responsive. Whether you’re wearing the PLN2s for speed work or on race day, you won’t be disappointed.
The shoe also works as a daily training for a runner that is ok with a shoe without a lot of cushioning to it.
The Puma Liberate Nitro 2 isn’t necessarily for everyone. If you prefer a supportive shoe, or a shoe with more than a minimal level of cushioning beneath your feet, you might want to take a pass on the Liberate Nitro 2.
And while I wouldn’t call this shoe exceptionally narrow, if you prefer a wide shoe or one with a foot-shaped toe box, the LN2 is also not for you.
The Puma Liberate Nitro 2 is the second iteration of this lightweight road shoe. The major change from the original version of the shoe is that the foam is a bit firmer, which makes this shoe perfect for pushing the pace in a workout or on race day.
The PLN2 reminds me a lot of some of the older versions of Altra’s Escalante. Lightweight, very comfortable, and a shoe that can do just about anything up to, and including, the marathon distance.
My first impression of the Puma Liberate Nitro 2 was a good one. Immediately apparent to me was how lightweight and comfortable this shoe was, in both the upper and the sole.
I did notice the toe box to be a bit more snug than I’d prefer, but not so narrow that I was concerned that this shoe would be an issue.
My first run in the Puma Liberate Nitro 2 did nothing to take away my original positive first impression.
The upper fit like a glove, and I had no issues with the toe box being a bit narrower than I would have found ideal.
The sole struck a nice balance of cushioning while also still allowing my feet to “feel” the ground beneath me.
The upper of the Puma Liberate Nitro 2 is a seamless mesh that fits almost more like a sock than a shoe. It’s snug, but not tight, and feels like it almost molds to the shape of your foot.
The mesh upper of the PLN2 breathes incredibly well. If you come across any sources of moisture out on a run while wearing these shoes, your feet are going to get wet as a result. But as you’d expect with a breathable shoe, the PLN2 dries out really quickly.
The only issue I had with the upper of this shoe is that the tongue rubbed on my ankle a couple of times. Perhaps I had tied the shoe too tightly once or twice, as most of my runs had no issues. But it was definitely a thing on more than one occasion.
The sole of the Puma Liberate Nitro 2 isn’t overly complex. The midsole is made up of Puma’s nitrogen-injected foam which is designed to be firm and responsive without being too thick or clunky. The outsole of the PLN2 features Pumagrip, which is a performance rubber compound designed to provide good traction on any road surface.
This midsole/outsole would definitely be classified as a low-cushioned shoe. As such, the PLN2 really has a smooth and responsive ride for the wearer.
Your feet will be protected in this shoe, but you’ll still be able to feel the ground beneath your feet from the first step of your run to your last.
The PLN2 has a 6mm heel-to-toe drop. I typically try to find zero drops, or as close to zero drop as possible, yet I didn’t notice the drop in these shoes at all.
All things considered, the sole unit of the Puma Liberate Nitro 2 is as good as just about any shoe I’ve ever worn.
The Puma Liberate Nitro 2 falls just short of perfection in my book.
Incredibly lightweight and comfortable. Good ground feel. Responsive ride.
For me, that’s quite the trifecta of positive attributes in a great shoe.
If you’re looking for a lightweight road shoe that can do a bit of everything, but really shines for hard workouts and races, the Puma Liberate Nitro 2 is a shoe you should absolutely consider!