Tried and tested: if there was ever such a thing as a 'stable neutral' shoe, then the Puma ForeverRun Nitro could be it.

·5-min read
puma foreverrun nitro
Tried and tested: Puma ForeverRun NitroHearst Owned

Price: £140

Type: Neutral/Max cushioned

Weight: 274g (UK M8) 224g (UK W4.5)

Drop: 10mm

In the last couple of years, a quiet revolution has been happening at Puma. The company has a long history in running - it was founded in 1948, and as all running shoe geeks will know, the founder was none other than Rudolf Dassler, brother of Adidas founder Adolf Dassler. What a family legacy.

Yet for many years Puma have been out of the endurance run game. To be fair, if you had Usain Bolt on your books, you’d probably concentrate on sprinting too. But at any rate, that all changed in 2021, with the launch of the Nitro range - Nitro being the supercritical foam featured in all the shoes in the new range. Alongside that, Puma started signing up some great elite athletes - from Olympic bronze marathoner Molly Seidel to Britain's own Rose Harvey - signalling that this is a long term commitment to be back into the long distance running game.

So the Forever Run Nitro is the latest release in what is already proving to be a really impressive new range. It’s billed as a stability shoe, though if that conjures up images of heavy, clunky trainers, think again. This is a modern, cushioned but lightweight stability shoe that also works really well for neutral runners. It comes with a chunky wedge of sole and a 10m drop (36mm/26mm stack height) but doesn’t feel bulky.

The shoe has a dual-density midsole - essentially two different versions of the NITRO foam. The outer layer is firmer, the inner core is softer, the idea being you get both the cushioning but a bit of responsiveness too. And with each footstrike, the foot sinks a little into that softer cushioning in a way that cradles it, helping with that crucial-but-subtle stability. But then, crucially, the firmer layer springs you back up again into your next stride.

What is the Puma Forever Run like to run in?

If I say that these are shoes you immediately forget about when you start running, then that is meant entirely as a complement. They are very comfortable from the off, cushioned enough to feel welcome on the hard surfaces of city streets and kind on tired legs, but also have enough responsiveness from that dual foam that you don’t feel you are having to work too hard to get an energy back.

Are they really a stability shoe? That, I’m not sure on. Possibly not for anyone who really does need some locked in, lateral stability. It’s perhaps more accurate - as I have above - to call it a cushioned neutral shoe with some stable elements, particularly in the heel and forefoot. If there’s such a thing as a 'stable neutral' shoe, then this is it.

The heel counter, slightly flared heel and extra cushioning in the heel area combine to give it a really nice feel, centering you in the shoe and minimising unwelcome lateral movement without forcing it. It's stability for people who need a touch of it, perhaps because their legs get tired or they lose form a little towards the end of a run (and who doesn't?) rather than full-on support.

The slight, subtle rocker construction transitions you nicely forward onto the mid and forefoot without ever feeling unstable. It’s definitely a shoe for easy days or long runs though - trying to run faster in it does feels slightly clunky. It does, however, have a lovely gentle unflashy bounce to it at those easier paces.

the outsole of the puma foreverrun nitro
The outsole: grippy and lightHearst Owned

Like all Puma’s new range, the outsole is great - this has some serious traction for a road shoe. The PumaGrip rubber really is amazingly grippy, as I discovered when inadvertently running around a corner into and through a patch of slick oil. I expected cartoon character disaster, but amazingly I stayed upright. A win for Puma right there.

With the decent stack height and cushioning, you’d actually expect this shoe to feel a lot heavier on the foot than it does. Some ‘holes’ in the outsole certainly help reduce that weight, and though they might look odd, you are certainly never aware of them on the run.

How does the Puma Forever Run fit?

The Forever Run fits true to size, has a good amount of room in the toe box, and feels comfortable from the off. If anything, it does run slightly on the narrow side, fit wise - and particularly in the midfoot - but nothing that would trouble you unless you are right on the borderline of needing a wider fit shoe anyway.

The shoe is particularly cushioned and comfortable in the heel area, but with the rigid heel counter providing stability and yet never intruding on the comfort thanks to a nice but not OTT amount of foam padding. I particularly like the tab at the back to help pull the shoe on - but then maybe I'm just lazy.

RW verdict

Some brands launch shoes with a fanfare and get the flashy looks right, but the basics wrong. You could, I suppose, say that Puma have done it the other way round. The colours can be a little eye-watering (particularly the women's pink) but that’s cosmetic - the actual shoe is really impressive, and anyway there are plenty of more subtle options.

Given the price - RRP of £140, which these days trends towards the 'reasonable' end of the shoe market - this is a great value shoe. Given you could wear it every day for all but pacy efforts (and as we know, that should be 80% of your training) and the grip and robustness mean it will last a long time, you get a lot of miles for your money. Puma really are back in the market, and it's a very welcome return.

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