Puma Deviate Nitro 2 Review
The versatile carbon-plated shoe
Our hearts were won over by Deviate Nitro's first edition as an affordable carbon plated shoe. For many runners including me, it was a gateway to experience what a carbon plated shoe felt like. However, the first edition was not all that great. It had a harsher ride and heel slip issues (our review here).
Puma has launched the Deviate Nitro 2 in India simultaneously with its global launch. The shoe received some significant updates from the first edition.
- Does the update address the shortcomings of the first edition?
- How does Deviate Nitro 2 ride?
- Is the Deviate Nitro 2 a speed trainer, a long run shoe, or a racer?
Read the rest of the review to find out.
What makes up Deviate Nitro 2?
At a first glance, Deviate Nitro 2 appears to be very similar to its predecessor. However, there is more to it than meets the eye. The midsole and the heel got major updates, which are covered in detail below. The weight has increased by 10g (from 274g to 284g for UK 10). Heel to drop is 6mm, down by 2mm from the first edition. Stack height has remained the same. Like the first edition, it retains the traditional shoe geometry (not a rocker).
When compared to shoes in the same category in terms of stack height & weight, Deviate Nitro is most balanced of all of them.
This edition features a major upgrade to the midsole. This updates takes a hint from Velocity Nitro's dual layer design. The upper layer is made of Nitro Elite (PEBA based) which provides added softness and bounce at midfoot & forefoot, while the bottom layer is Nitro Foam (Nitrogen infused EVA) that offers stable base at the rear. The Nitro Elite foam softness is about 24 on Durometer, while the Nitro foam softness is about 30 on Durometer.
A carbon plate is sandwiched between the two layers of the foam. In addition, carbon plate has been upgraded from INNOPLATE to PWRPLATE. PUMA claims PWRPLATE offers better stability than INNOPLATE, but the exact difference is unclear.
The upper is engineered mesh and is very similar to the first edition. The material is very breathable and keeps its shape very well. To keep the structure, the upper also has few overlays (branded PWRTAPE). They do a great job. There wasn't much padding on the gusseted tongue, but it's very comfortable and holds in place well.
Heel is another area that got a major update in this edition. The heel collar is now generously padded, making the shoe easier to run in. The TPU spoiler from the first edition has also been removed, similar to what happened with the Velocity Nitro upgrade. TPU spoiler removal does not seem to have any effect, and the heel feels equally stable as before.
With the new PUMAGRIP ATR, my love for PUMAGRIP outsoles has only grown. ATR stands for All Terrain Rubber, and it is one of the best on the market. Tread pattern is a lot more aggressive when compared to the earlier edition.
Why did I buy it?
I've just started my next marathon training block, and currently in the base building phase. I was looking for carbon plated trainer for my long runs. Given I also race in a carbon plated shoe, it is logical to have carbon plated trainer. Puma Deviate Nitro 2, at an offer price 30% of the MRP, seemed a very sensible choice.
Ride in Deviate Nitro 2
Over the last one month, I have run 190+ kilometers in this shoe. In addition to long runs, I have run easy runs, intervals, and tempo runs. I couldn't run any race effort runs in the shoe given the phase of training I'm in.
It quickly became a favorite in my rotation, especially for long distance runs. As of now, I have run four times longer than a half-marathon distance. This shoe has the perfect balance of bounce and softness for longer runs. Its breathability and high stack make it perfect for long distance runs.
I have used it for a few long interval sessions, and also a few tempo runs. The shoe really comes alive, when you hit paces below 5 min/km. The softer Nitro Elite foam in the mid and forefoot adds the bounce, and also takes the ground impact very well. I see only one downside here: the shoe's weight. Especially for shorter intervals and faster paces, the weight is really felt. The toe-spring is okay, but not aggressive enough for a plated shoe.
As compared to the previous edition, this edition is much better at handling easier paces. However, I still feel they are a bit aggressive for recovery paces.
Fit and Comfort
Overall, the shoe fits perfectly. Most people will find the toe box to be just the right width. PUMA also released a wide version of the Deviate Nitro 2 in India if you prefer a roomier toe box. I use UK size 10, and it is true to size. If you are used to running shoes from Nike, Asics, Saucony, then Puma's sizing will fit perfectly. Those who prefer Adidas sizing may find it a bit bigger.
The shoe's forefoot fits securely. Additionally, the midfoot and rearfoot fit well, and the shoe works well for forefoot, midfoot, and heel strikers alike. Lacing stays in place, and there are enough eyelets for flexibility.
Stability & Road Grip
Despite the high stack, the shoe feels quite stable because of the wide base and relatively hard heel foam. As for road grip, I have run on tarred roads, loose gravel, muddy trails, and even in the rain. The shoe has perfect grip no matter the terrain. In spite of wearing the shoe for about 190km, the tread pattern shows no signs of wear.
Aesthetics & Ergonomics
Quite a mouthful, but its "Sunset Glow/Sun Stream/Puma Black" colorway is what I bought. This is my favorite colorway from Puma so far. Every time you run it, it turns heads. It has a beautiful bottom sole with colorful rubber patterns and lugs shaped like water drops. Through the slit in the middle of the midsole at the bottom, you could see the carbon plate. As I run before the sun breaks, the reflective elements on the tongue and heel makes it noticeable to oncoming traffic. The shoe is also easy to clean.
RECOMMENDATIONDeviate Nitro 2 offers the best ride experience for long runs, tempo runs, and even aerobic runs. It has an outstanding grip, and can work on any terrain. It is one of the most versatile carbon plated trainers out there. There is nothing that we know, comes closer.
As a max-cushioned shoe, it offers plenty of cushion and softness, while being light in that category. As a tempo trainer, it has an excellent bounce, and is fun to run on. It is soft and stable enough to handle easy runs.
In summary, it is an excellent all rounder, offering a bit of everything to every type of run. That said, I would have loved it to shed a few grams of weight.
If looking for an affordable carbon-plated shoe, this is one to go for. Though it is priced at Rs. 15,999/-, thanks to Puma’s aggressive marketing, you can find one under Rs. 10,000/-.
SHOEGEEKS SCORE 98