The Puma Deviate Nitro Elite 2 is a carbon plated running shoe that has a couple of notable differences to other shoes in this category. At £175 it’s significantly cheaper than its rivals, with many carbon race shoes pushing through the £200 mark.
It’s not just its price tag that will have you wondering whether it packs the punch you’re looking for – it also doesn’t have that exaggerated super shoe look that we’re becoming familiar with. From the outside, it looks like a regular (but very nice) running shoe. But how does it perform?
Puma Deviate NITRO Elite 2 Technical details
Special features: Nitro Elite Foam and PWRPlate (carbon plate).
Puma Deviate NITRO Elite 2 pro
- Lightweight, fast and bouncy
- Reasonably priced for a carbon shoe
- great grip
Puma Deviate NITRO Elite 2 cons
- One-piece upper is a little stiff
- Not as propulsive as other shoes
- a little narrow
Who is this shoe for?
This is a cushioned, neutral road shoe for runners looking for a speedier shoe for training and racing up to marathon distances. It has a carbon plate but is a little less expensive than other shoes in this category.
How does the Puma Deviate Nitro Elite 2 fit?
The shoe fits true to size. My size 6 fitted as I expected. While the upper is one-piece and not a stretchy material, I was able to get a good fit. If you have wider feet, you may find it a little snug in the toe box.
Check out our advice on how to make sure your running shoes actually fit.
Is the Puma Deviate Nitro Elite 2 comfortable?
I was surprised when slipping it on by how comfortable the shoe was. I was expecting the sole to be a lot firmer than it is. Size can be deceiving. While the upper fabric is a little stiff, I found it comfortable once I got running. There’s a good wedge of padding on the inside of the heel and a little padding on the tongue to add comfort without adding bulk. I found the heel padding rubbed a little on corners but was generally fine.
Puma Deviate Nitro Elite 2 running review
My first run in these shoes was a few days before a half marathon as a test to see if I was going to race in them. In the end I didn’t but this test run meant my legs were feeling fresh from the taper and I got a real sense of how you might feel on race morning when the gun goes off and the shoes spring into action. I was surprised by how soft and bouncy they felt from the off.
Puma’s PWRPlate (the carbon fiber plate) offers good propulsion giving your run a boost and the nitrogen-injected Nitro Elite Foam midsole has a good balance of cushioning and energy return. While I was holding myself back on this run, the shoes would make it very easy to run that bit faster.
My next run in the shoes was a week later, after the half marathon and they definitely helped my weary legs pick up the pace a bit. But what stood out on this run was the grip. It had been snowing on and off for a couple of days but the PUMAGRIP outsole – a performance rubber compound designed for all-surface traction – stuck to the wet road and paths. I can see these being a great choice for wet races.
They might not be as propulsive as other carbon plate shoes, but that also makes them an easy shoe to run in and I could see myself reaching for them on more than just race days or speed sessions.
Puma Deviate Nitro Elite 2 race test
It would be wrong to give a verdict on these shoes without giving them an opportunity to race. So I headed to parkrun to see how fast I could go in them. My parkrun is two miles away so I jogged down there and lined up near the front. I was feeling brave.
The shoes definitely gave me an extra spring in my stride and they gripped the surface as I rounded the corners. I felt in control and managed to run my fastest 5k time in several years. While I like to think I played a part in the result, the shoes definitely helped.
How does it compare to other carbon shoes?
While these aren’t as aggressively speedy as something like the Saucony Endorphin Pro, they’re much cheaper and more versatile. You would find yourself doing training runs in the Deviate Nitro Elite and at the lower price you could afford to wear them out a bit.
Where can I buy them?
You can buy them directly from Puma.