Who should buy the PUMA Deviate Nitro Elite

For athletes who want to up their pace, the Deviate Nitro Elite is a killer in

  • Races
  • Tempo runs
  • Short and long intervals

Who should NOT buy it

Everything about the PUMA Deviate Nitro Elite screams speed. If you're planning to use it for recovery runs, don't even bother. It's too bouncy; the ride will be awkward. 

Run fast like a cat! 

There are two distinct features of the Deviate Nitro Elite that take it to the ranks of the renowned Vaporfly, Alphafly, and Adios Pro. With this at hand, it gives you a clear picture of what the shoe is about — it will not only make you feel like an elite but will also make you run like one.

In other words, it's nothing short of fast, and here is what makes it a reliable race-day speedster: 

  • Carbon-fiber plate. Unlike other plated shoes, the Deviate Nitro Elite's carbon plate is flexible in the forefoot. This gives more spring during toe-off and contributes to the shoe's unobtrusive, comfortable feel.  
  • Nitro Elite foam. It's "soft and bouncy" and is reminiscent of Nike's ZoomX foam. It has excellent rebound, driving the runner forward. 

These two components complement each other very well. Given the ample bounce from the midsole, the carbon-fiber plate is there to balance it out with its semi-rigid properties. And what makes an effective speed shoe — the optimal balance between softness, bounce, and stiffness — the PUMA Deviate Nitro Elite has perfected. 

More controlled than the ZoomX

The Deviate Nitro Elite has some "solid bounce" comparable to the ZoomX but with more control. It offers a responsive yet smooth ride. 

Spacious room up front

It's wide and spacious, giving enough room for toe splay and swelling. 

Ride department: Not overkill

Unlike other plated super shoes, the Nitro Elite's carbon-fiber plate is not overdone. It has some flexibility, eliminating the sensation of rigidity while allowing seamless roll-through. 

The Deviate Nitro Elite has a solid heel clutch!

Despite not having a heel counter, runners report that there's no heel slippage. 

A reminder of what a race fit is like

It doesn't have a super snug race fit. It's accomodating, especially for runners with wide feet. For those with medium to slightly narrow feet, it has "terrific" security. 

It disappears on foot

According to experts, it's one of the lightest racing flats they've ever run in. 

Ready to take the heat

"It breathes insane." This is what athletes have to say about the upper. It's translucent, see-through, and very airy. 

Unbelievably tough

After 40 miles, the shoe still has NO signs of wear and tear on the outsole. The foam, meanwhile, is still as responsive. 

The PUMA Deviate Nitro Elite inspires confidence in your run

When taking on hard turns at high speed, testers never felt wobbly nor slipping. 

Synthetic-feeling upper

Multiple experts are not fans of the upper. The plastic-like texture feels coarse and rough.

Lesson learned: Gusseted tongues make a world of difference

It's not gusseted or attached to the midfoot straps, making it flop around. 

Facts / Specs

Terrain: Road
Weight: Men 190g / Women 162g
Drop: 8mm
Arch support: Neutral
Base model: PUMA Deviate Nitro
Forefoot height: 28mm
Heel height: 36mm

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PUMA Deviate Nitro Elite video reviews

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.