5 Best PUMA Running Shoes in 2024

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
5 Best PUMA Running Shoes in 2024
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The cat didn’t come to play. PUMA is lesser known than other brands in the running world, but it sure isn’t lesser when it comes to performance. Whether it’s on the road, trail, daily training, or racing, it’s going great guns. 

And we say this because we’ve examined them ourselves through our independent shoe testing lab. Moreover, we tested them out on our feet and during our runs. We didn't let any facts or features pass by without us noticing and commenting about them. 

As a result, we selected the real greatest running shoes from PUMA in different categories. 

How we test running shoes

We love to go through the nooks and crannies of each PUMA shoe we try and to do so, we keenly and thoroughly carry out the following: 

  • Purchase the PUMA shoes we test with our own money to avoid brand bias and loyalty
  • We run in each shoe for 30-50 miles in various terrain and conditions. 
  • In our lab, we cut each shoe open with our saw, and measure all parts of it with our callipers, durometers, scales, etc. to give you concrete data. We also place these data in comparison with the average values, to make the results more contextual and easier to describe.

Best PUMA running shoes overall

What makes it the best?

Unbeatable in all fields, the Deviate Nitro 2 is our ultimate pick from PUMA’s arsenal. This do-it-all kick boasts a divine comfy lockdown coupled with a spicy plate, all while oozing an otherworldly traction game standing as the icing on the cake.

What an exhilarating ride! Constantly urging us to clutch up, the full-length plate nestled within the midsole is the star of the show. Following the supershoe formula, it adds a firm and stiff feel to our toe-offs, acting as an insatiable power source. We locked the Deviate 2 by its tip to assess its 90º pliability. Our force gauge measured a vigorous 58.8N resistance, ranking this shoe as 91.5% stiffer than our average data. 

Its foot feel is where the magic truly unfolds. The ethereal midsole preserves the spring-off momentum on top of a lovely and silky-smooth stride. Pushing our durometer against it confirmed the foam’s gentle nature, placing it as 32.5% softer than average. Remarkably, it doesn’t feel all over the place, greatly thanks to a 92.3 mm wide heel platform, 2.4 mm above average, that ensured a stable ride - numbers checked with our calliper.

Another highlight of the Deviate 2 is the Pumagrip, the underfoot rubber that grips the ground with gravitational force. Testing at a near-average 77.0 HC hardness on our durometer, it remains phenomenally sticky for ages.

However, we do not recommend this PUMA as a personal best obliterator. We found its 257 grammes (9.1 oz) way too bulky and uninspiring for race day.

Pros

  • Great all-rounder
  • Super-smooth and responsive ride
  • Plush cushioning
  • Comfy upper
  • Grippy outsole
  • Above average durability
  • Fairly priced

Cons

  • Heavier than other similar shoes
  • Not many colours available
Full review of PUMA Deviate Nitro 2

Best PUMA running shoes for daily running

What makes it the best?

After rigorous lab tests and actual runs, Magnify Nitro 2 stood out as PUMA’s best daily trainer. We simply enjoyed its all-around performance—handling any run effortlessly regardless of pace or distance. It boasts an energetic ride and sails through all road conditions with its one-of-a-kind traction.

This trainer is the best companion to burn daily mileage with its pleasant in-shoe experience. We measured a generous 37.1/27.8 mm stack, which means it has exceptional cushioning for long miles. The PUMA Nitro midsole feels very responsive, offering a lot of bounce in our runs. It has a steady and comfortable feel, which led to zero instances of bottoming out. Our durometer confirms a balanced 19.3 HA measurement.

MN2 has a world-class PUMAGRIP outsole to boast, which translates to exceptional grip and durability in our experience. We trained on dirt roads, wet pavements, and even icy conditions, and it delivered top-notch traction. We have no worries about premature wear as PUMA provides a solid 4.2 mm of rubber vs. the 3.2 mm average.

However, its knitted upper feels like a sauna on summer days. With a low 2/5 rating on our breathability test, this trainer is better off in colder seasons.

Pros

  • World-class PUMAGRIP outsole
  • Durable and comfortable upper, perfect for winter
  • Surprisingly stable despite its height
  • Energetic ride due to the Nitro foam
  • Fantastic at gravel paths and dirt roads
  • A fantastic all-rounder
  • Ideal for long runs

Cons

  • Not suitable for summer running
  • Could benefit from being slightly lighter
  • The heel counter could be more durable
Full review of PUMA Magnify Nitro 2

Best PUMA running shoes for race

What makes it the best?

DNE 2 redefines what it means to be a supershoe. It’s a light speedster with a grippy, durable outsole and a comfortable platform. Our lab numbers and actual runs have no doubt that it’s our top PUMA racer.

The shoe feels insanely responsive in our runs and works wonders on short to long fast-paced intervals. Its rocker geometry and stiff carbon plate launch us forward effortlessly. Our flex test confirms it’s 24.9% stiffer than average, explaining the pop of energy we experience. DNE 2 doesn’t sacrifice comfort with its luscious foam measuring 42.3% softer than average. This saves our legs from feeling tired and beaten up.

Running in this pair is a breeze at a light 7.6 oz (214g) — at par with other racers. Its perfect score on our breathability test exceeds the average. Upon checking with our microscope, its upper has countless ventilation holes that ensure airflow regardless of the heat.

This racer strikes the perfect balance of durability and unparalleled PumaGrip. At 74.8 HC or hardness, it’s soft enough to cling to the ground and hard enough to last longer than other racers. Its 2.5-mm thick outsole stands out when other supershoes are usually sub-2.0 mm.

Sorry, forefoot strikers. With more foam in the heel and a 9.1 mm heel-to-toe drop, this racer is better suited for heel-strikers.

Pros

  • Amazing durability
  • Plush foam
  • Excellent PumaGrip outsole
  • Better for heel strikers
  • Responsive PWRPLATE carbon plate
  • Accommodates medium-to-wide feet
  • Perfect for tempo runs

Cons

  • Heavier than v1
  • Still lacks race-day vibe
Full review of PUMA Deviate Nitro Elite 2

Best versatile PUMA running shoes

What makes it the best?

With impressive scores across the board, the Velocity Nitro 3 not only proves its reliability but exceeds expectations in real-world tests. Its unwavering traction, well-balanced cushioning, and lightweight, agile feel at any pace solidify its position as PUMA's most versatile shoe.

PumaGrip, known for its remarkable grip on many surfaces, proves its effectiveness once more. Our durometer reveals it’s 9.3% softer than average, boasting its adhesive power even on sharp corners we tested. 

Further boosting our nimbleness is its flexible midsole that gives a natural and forgiving feel. Our bend test confirms it’s 13.6% more malleable than average, making it versatile enough for walks and gym workouts. Lightweight by feel and reality, our scales confirm its airy 9.3 oz (264g) construction.

Velocity 3 boasts a dual-layered foam design underfoot. Upon landing, we experience a plush sink-in sensation transitioning seamlessly to a supportive base to enhance stability. Our durometer unveils a softer 17.9 HA top layer and a firmer 36.0 HA bottom layer, a blend that proves effective across our various paces from recovery to tempo runs.

However, we discovered a narrow 107.7 mm forefoot that may cause blistering and discomfort to wide-footed runners. Those who thrive in wider forefoot areas should try other shoes.

Pros

  • Versatile performance
  • Outstanding grip
  • Superb value for money
  • Suitable for long distances
  • Comfortable daily wear
  • Responsive Nitro foam cushioning
  • Reliable durability
  • Natural running feel

Cons

  • Slightly narrow forefoot
  • Firmer EVA carrier foam
  • Thin tongue
Full review of Puma Velocity Nitro 3

Best PUMA shoes for running a marathon

What makes it the best?

Highly competitive and daring on all fronts, Fast-R Nitro Elite 2 is a uniquely designed shoe that creates an unusual and dynamic ride that’s not for the faint-hearted. Combined with its maximum cushioning, breathable upper, and resilient PUMAGRIP outsole, it’s the ultimate marathon racer among PUMA running shoes we tested on foot and in the lab.

This racer's standout feature is its decoupled heel and extended PWRPLATE, delivering a uniquely fast experience alongside the energetic Nitro Elite foam. Our lab tests show the shoe is a remarkable 187.1% stiffer than average, ensuring seamless propulsion for long distances.

Beneath lies a tower of plush foam that delivers a protective ride from miles 1 to 26. Our calliper reveals the heel maximises the race-legal limit with its 39.7 mm heel. The forefoot doesn’t fall far behind and rises to a massive 31.9 mm. 

The Ultraweave upper is highly breathable, with our light test revealing its ultra-thin nature around the shoe, leading to a ventilation score of 5/5. Underfoot, is one of the best in the industry and this shoe proves it. The PUMAGRIP delivers excellent traction in all types of conditions, giving us the advantage of just focusing on our race.

If a heavy supershoe is a deal-breaker, better to look elsewhere. At 9.3 oz (264g), this racer is too heavy for modern standards.

Pros

  • Enhanced energy return
  • Ultra-breathable upper
  • Exceptional grip
  • Max race-day legal stack
  • Highly responsive
  • Works for all footstrikes
  • Great for marathons

Cons

  • Excessively heavy
  • Odd-feeling decoupled heel
  • Pricier than most supershoes
Full review of Puma Fast-R Nitro Elite 2
Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.