Puma Deviate Nitro Elite 2: Tried and tested

  • Stack height: 36mm (heel), 30mm (forefoot)

  • Heel-to-toe drop: 6mm

  • Type: Road (neutral)

Buy now – men's

Buy now – women's

The shoe

When you think of the flagship super shoes, Puma’s name doesn’t automatically spring to mind. But perhaps it should. Over the past few years, the company has made a concerted effort to reengage with distance running – and the Puma Deviate Nitro Elite 2 is testament to this. Complete with carbon plate, seriously responsive foam and head-turning colourway, it’s a super shoe with serious credentials. Here’s how it performed on the run.

The practical super shoe

By definition, super shoes are built with top speeds in mind. But often this comes at the cost of versatility. Not so with the Nitro Elite 2. I was seriously impressed by how comfortable the shoe felt over a variety of speeds and distances. It performed well on everything from a Yasso 800s session to a marathon-paced long run to a 10-mile race. The grip is phenomenal, too. It’s fine on slick roads and can even handle some hard, dry trails – not something you could say about a lot of super shoes.

Performance and pricing

Having done a fair amount of quicker running and racing in the Nitro Elite 2, I’m seriously impressed by how it performs. There’s a definite sense of propulsion from the foam and cushioning, but it still feels fairly natural, like your just running with a slight tailwind. Granted, there are arguably super shoes out there, such as the Vaporfly Next% or Adidas Adios Pro III, that edge it on the PB front. But it’s a close call and, given that the Nitro Elite 2 is £180, it represents something of a bargain.

Comfort and sizing

The lacing system is secure and provides a nice lockdown feel, which I prefer for quicker running. The shoe fits true to size: I’m a size 9 in most shoes, and I’m a size 9 here. The overall comfort is excellent: in many ways, the Nitro Elite 2 feels more like a standard shoe than lots of its carbon-plated peers. However, on a 5K time trial, the insole on my right foot began to slide back slightly. I was due to run a 10-mile race in the shoe in a couple of days’ time, so decided to superglue the insole in place, and have since had no slippage issues.

RW verdict

In terms of versatility and value for money, the Nitro Elite 2 is perhaps the best option out there. Yes, you’re compromising slightly on performance, but the margins are fairly small and you’re still getting a shoe custom-built for PB-bagging.

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