Our verdict

For a moderately-priced basketball shoe, the PUMA Rise Nitro proved to be an excellent value for money. We found it to be a well-balanced option that suits various types of players. Based on our wear tests, there is no shortage of comfort, cushioning, or support in this PUMA shoe. Add to that the shoe's clean and minimalist aesthetic and you get a hoop shoe that's hard to ignore.

Pros

  • Great impact protection
  • Good court feel
  • Very comfortable step-in feel
  • Effective grip (on clean courts)
  • Breathable upper
  • Dependable support and lockdown
  • Durable materials
  • Futuristic look
  • Reasonable price

Cons

  • Not for the outdoors
  • Dust-sensitive outsole
  • Heavier than average

Audience verdict

84
Good!

Who should buy

In our opinion, this basketball shoe from PUMA is a good match for players who:

  • usually play indoors, on clean courts
  • love a snug, one-to-one fit
  • want as hoop shoe that matches their modern style

PUMA Rise Nitro review

Who should NOT buy

The PUMA Rise Nitro is not for hoopers who are fond of playing on asphalt and other types of outdoor courts because the outsole rubber is way too soft. For that purpose, we recommend the Jordan Zion 2 instead.

And if you are in dire need of dust-resistant outsoles, it is far better for them to get the Adidas D.O.N Issue #4 or the Nike Zoom Freak 4.

PUMA Rise Nitro lab test

Breathability

The PUMA Rise Nitro is one of those few basketball shoes with an actually breathable upper.

Based on a smoke-pumping test illustrated in the video below, we evaluated the shoe's ventilation capacity as 4 out of 5. This is one of the most aerated shoes in our basketball catalog.

Perforations in the upper become even more apparent when putting the shoe against a bright light.

Here is a close-up view of the shoe's breathability cells taken through our microscope.

PUMA Rise Nitro upper microscope

Test results
Rise Nitro 4
Average 2.4
Compared to 40 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

Seeing how soft the knit fabric of the PUMA Rise Nitro is, we never expected it to survive our Dremel test. But the shoe managed to surprise us by heroically withstanding the 12-second torture.

This PUMA shoe ended up with pretty moderate damage whereas the fabric on another shoe was torn completely. Due to its high resistance to abrasion, the Rise Nitro earned a solid 3 out of 5 for toebox durability.

PUMA Rise Nitro vs. Nike Precision 6 toebox durability comparison

PUMA Rise Nitro vs. Nike Precision 6

Test results
Rise Nitro 3
Average 3.7
Compared to 31 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

Another pleasant surprise was the shoe's heel padding durability. Given how much rubbing is going on in this part of the shoe, we anticipate that the PUMA Rise Nitro will not break down that easily.

Assessing how much wear and tear the Dremel left on the shoe's heel padding, we rated its durability as 3 out of 5. That's an average result among our lab-tested hoop shoes.

Test results
Rise Nitro 3
Average 3.6
Compared to 28 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

WARNING: This is the softest rubber in the history of basketball shoe rubbers! Stay away from outdoor courts!

We strongly recommend limiting the use of this PUMA shoe to indoors only because the rubber compound that composes the outsole is REALLY soft.

Pressing our durometer against the outsole, we found that it is only hard by 68.4 HC. This is 17% softer than our average lab result!

PUMA Rise Nitro Outsole hardness
Test results
Rise Nitro 68.4 HC
Average 81.5 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 40 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
59.5 HC
Outsole hardness
91.0 HC

Outsole thickness

It seems like the brand tried to compensate for the soft rubber by making it thicker than average. Measuring the outsole thickness with a caliper, we got a reading of 4.6 mm. This is nearly a millimeter thicker than average.

PUMA Rise Nitro Outsole thickness

But we honestly don't think that this is going to help make the shoe more durable for outdoors. The grooves making up the shoe's tread pattern are quite thin too.

PUMA Rise Nitro outsole tread pattern

Test results
Rise Nitro 4.6 mm
Average 4.0 mm
Compared to 40 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.9 mm

Weight

Despite its seemingly minimal design, the PUMA Rise Nitro turned out to be heavier than average. We weighed the shoe at 15.0 oz (426g) in a men's US size 9. This is more than an ounce heavier than our lab-tested basketball shoes on average.

It is about the same weight as the Nike Lebron 20!

PUMA Rise Nitro Weight
Test results
Rise Nitro 15.03 oz (426g)
Average 14.18 oz (402g)
Compared to 40 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
11.29 oz (320g)
Weight
17.46 oz (495g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

Measuring its stack height with a caliper, we found that the Rise Nitro is 29.5 mm thick in the heel. It's about the same as the average.

PUMA Rise Nitro Heel stack

Impact protection is definitely NOT lacking in this PUMA basketball shoe.

PUMA Rise Nitro heel cushioning

Test results
Rise Nitro 29.5 mm
Average 30.0 mm
Compared to 40 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
25.2 mm
Heel stack
38.4 mm

Forefoot stack

There is also an ample amount of cushioning added under the toes. We measured the shoe's forefoot stack height at 21.4 mm which is the same as the average of our lab-tested hoop shoes.

PUMA Rise Nitro Forefoot stack
Test results
Rise Nitro 21.4 mm
Average 21.9 mm
Compared to 40 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
18.2 mm
Forefoot stack
29.2 mm

Drop

The difference in stack heights gave us a heel-to-toe drop of 8.1 mm, which is about a millimeter taller than average.

PUMA Rise Nitro Drop

Based on our experience with the shoe, the full-length Nitro foam has a highly efficient shock absorption with a nice touch of court feel.

Test results
Rise Nitro 8.1 mm
Average 8.1 mm
Compared to 40 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
4.0 mm
Drop
14.8 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

The Rise Nitro offers a pretty comfortable underfoot experience with its Nitro foam. Pressing a durometer against it, we got a reading of 23.1 HA, which is around 20% softer than most shoes.

PUMA Rise Nitro Midsole softness

However, this PUMA shoe is not necessarily a plush one as the foam is locked inside a rubber carrier which dampens the softness a bit.

For that reason, the shoe may feel underwhelming. It lacks the fun and bounce you might expect from a shoe of with this much cushioning. But on the bright side, the Rise Nitro made us feel nice and grounded.

Test results
Rise Nitro 23.1 HA
Average 26.0 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 40 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
11.0 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
35.9 HA

Secondary foam softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

Under the heel, we found an additional cushioning unit. PUMA doesn't specify what type of foam that is but it is a bit firmer than the primary Nitro foam.

Measuring its softness with a durometer, we found that this component is firmer than the Nitro by 15%. We assume that its purpose is to make heel landings more stable and protected.

PUMA Rise Nitro Secondary foam softness
Test results
Rise Nitro 26.5 HA
Average 28.3 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.

Insole thickness

For added cushioning, the PUMA Rise Nitro features a well-padded insole. Measuring its thickness with a caliper, we found it to be 4.9 mm thick. This is a little thicker than average.

PUMA Rise Nitro Insole thickness
Test results
Rise Nitro 4.9 mm
Average 4.4 mm
Compared to 40 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Insole thickness
8.6 mm

Stability

Lateral stability test

Stability and lateral containment are exceptionally good in the PUMA Rise Nitro.

The support is coming from the shoe's sturdy base that's enhanced with a shank, the stiff and padded heel counter, and the strategically placed PWRTAPE on the upper. The latter kind of reminded us of athletic taping used on people.

Torsional rigidity

Thanks to the stiff asymmetrical shank embedded into the midsole, there is little-to-no twisting of the PUMA Rise Nitro. On a 1-5 scale where 5 is the stiffest, we rated the shoe as 4.

This is a major stability factor during all those fast and shifty movements.

Test results
Rise Nitro 4
Average 4.5
Compared to 40 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

In our manual check of the heel counter, we rated its stiffness as 3 out of 5. It also provided a solid lockdown to keep our heels and ankles steady during the playtest.

Once the shoe was laced up, our feet weren't going anywhere.

Test results
Rise Nitro 3
Average 3.6
Compared to 40 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

To further elevate its stability game, the PUMA Rise Nitro went for an extra-wide platform.

Our caliper shows a notably wider-than-average base in both the heel and the forefoot. The widest part of the forefoot comes in at 119.8 mm which is about 7 mm wider than average!

PUMA Rise Nitro Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Rise Nitro 119.8 mm
Average 114.2 mm
Compared to 40 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
106.2 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
122.2 mm

Midsole width in the heel

The same occurs in the heel. In the widest part of the sole, our caliper shows 95.2 mm. This is a good 5 mm wider than average.

PUMA Rise Nitro Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Rise Nitro 95.2 mm
Average 91.2 mm
Compared to 40 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
82.4 mm
Midsole width in the heel
105.1 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

With all that stability packed into the PUMA Rise Nitro, the shoe still remains fairly flexible. Using a force gauge, we measured that it takes 36.6N to bend the shoe to a 90-degree angle. That's 14% less than it takes a basketball shoe on average.

It helps to make the shoe's ride smooth and easy.

Test results
Rise Nitro 36.6N
Average 40.7N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 40 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
29.5N
Stiffness
67.2N

Grip / Traction

As long as the court is clean, the bite of this PUMA shoe remains solid.

PUMA Rise Nitro outsole

However, we must note that as soon as it gets dusty, the shoe loses its traction big time. So, you have to be prepared to do a lot of wiping with this PUMA shoe.

PUMA Rise Nitro side support

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

This basketball shoe from PUMA treated us to a very accurate true-to-size fit which required no size adjustments.

Checking the toebox width in its widest part, our caliper showed 102.1 mm. It's even a couple of millimeters wider than average.

PUMA Rise Nitro Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Rise Nitro 102.1 mm
Average 101.0 mm
Compared to 40 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
92.6 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
108.2 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

The shoe doesn't lose its roominess towards the toes either. We measured the toebox width around the big toe and found that at 79.4 mm, it is also a couple of millimeters wider than most shoes.

PUMA Rise Nitro Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Rise Nitro 79.4 mm
Average 77.2 mm
Compared to 34 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
71.2 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
85.1 mm

Tongue: gusset type

The shoe's gusseted tongue is a very welcome feature. We felt like it added an extra layer of foot lockdown.

PUMA Rise Nitro Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Rise Nitro Both sides (full)

Comfort

Tongue padding

With a thickness of 11.2 mm, we found that the tongue is extra padded in the PUMA Rise Nitro. It works together with the generous collar padding to provide a super cozy and secure in-shoe experience.

PUMA Rise Nitro Tongue padding
Test results
Rise Nitro 11.2 mm
Average 9.3 mm
Compared to 40 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1.3 mm
Tongue padding
15.1 mm

Heel tab

Heel tabs were not added to this PUMA shoe, so it takes a little bit of finger action to get it on.

PUMA Rise Nitro Heel tab
Test results
Rise Nitro None

Removable insole

The insole is super easy to take out in the PUMA Rise Nitro. The shoe accommodates custom inserts and orthotics.

PUMA Rise Nitro Removable insole
Test results
Rise Nitro Yes