Review: Puma Deviate Nitro

Puma makes a serious return to the running scene with this eye-catching carbon-plated everyday trainer.


Photos: Puma and Jonathan Tan

Puma might have dropped off the performance running scene in recent years, but it’s made big strides in re-establishing its pedigree and heritage with a new running range in 4 key styles – Deviate, Velocity, Liberate, and Eternity – featuring its latest NITRO midsole foam technology.

Leading that resurgence, is the Deviate Nitro you see here. It’s Puma’s latest flagship, and designed to be light yet comfortable, well-cushioned yet efficient, so runners feel empowered to run more, go further, and do so quicker.

At the heart of that, is Puma’s use of a TPU foam midsole that has been infused with nitrogen for greater shock absorption and responsiveness while keeping the weight off. Befitting the Deviate Nitro’s flagship status, Puma also sandwiched a composite carbon fibre plate (Innoplate) between two layers of that Nitro foam midsole to give it a mild rocker shape with a propulsive character for greater efficiency on the go.

First Impressions

The first thing you’d notice about the Deviate Nitro, is how it’s fresh, bright and welcoming the shoe is. Our review pair’s Lava Blast orange with black highlights offered strong visual contrasts in a well-ventilated breathable upper with an inner liner that fits snug like a sock. While most carbon plated running shoes overtly communicate their racy, high performance characters, the Deviate Nitro cuts a more amiable, understated character that invites you to slip it on. It feels plush underfoot, but with the right degree of softness to feel comfortable in, yet firm and springy.

On The Run

The Deviate Nitro may be unassumingly pretty, and easy to get used to. That unassuming nature is what makes it most appealing, much like that training buddy who is always there for you, accompanying you along with neither pressure nor complaint.

Over a mix of fast tempo runs, long easy runs and track sessions, the Deviate Nitro makes getting into a comfortable rhythm, and maintaining a steady pace a natural affair.

The pairing of carbon plate and a (slight) rocker shape made each stride forward feel like so intuitive. It’s a lively, propulsive sensation, and runners will notice that as a slight bouncy spring with each footfall. This is great for longer runs where the focus is on the road ahead rather than how strictly you’re keeping to pace.

But the Deviate Nitro is no slouch, with a quick enough toe-off for a fast turn off pace, and an ability to match, and hold, any need for speed. Of course, one could also opt to dial it back, and the shoe will gladly happily agree to keep things as relaxed as desired.

As for grip, the PUMAGRIP outsole performed well on a range of surfaces that included road, park connector pavements, the track and even slightly damp concrete. Evident in its tallish stack, this is a shoe meant for going the distance. While it competently reacts to directional changes, don’t expect corner-slicing sharpness.

What you can expect, is a neat balance of support, response and cushioned comfort that lets you worry less about what’s underfoot, and prioritise the joy in running, along with in the sights and sounds around you.

The Last Word

It’s shoes like Puma’s Deviate Nitro that will allow you to fall in love with running again. With versatility in mind, runners will get to enjoy immense value of a shoe that is suitable for both distance racing and everyday running.

Exceptionally comfortable, responsive and well cushioned, the Deviate Nitro will fit most feet without niggles like overheating in the toe box, tight spots, numb toes or blisters. The only knock on the shoe would be how the supportive pads in the heel may actually cause some heel lift, or slip. Thicker socks may help, otherwise consider sizing down and assessing if that helps better.

The Puma Deviate Nitro is available for $229 on and selected PUMA boutiques.


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