Verdict from 9 experts and 5 user reviews

9 reasons to buy

  • Lightness: The Liberate Nitro, according to experts, is one of the "lightest running shoes" they've ever run in. 
  • Ride: It's soft but has loads of energy return. To put it in perspective, it's less stiff than the ZoomX, livelier than the PWRRUN foam, and has more flexibility than the Boost
  • Comfort: Runners claim that the cushion has kept their legs feeling fresh after each run. 
  • Flexibility: The midsole allows for natural foot bend. Its softness and the cuts on the outsole are responsible for its pliability. 
  • Fit: The toe box is roomy and the heel clutch and midfoot hold are excellent. It's "not sloppy" in any sense. 
  • Breathability: "It's great!" The upper also wicks moisture effectively, allowing quick drying in hot or rainy runs. 
  • Gusseted tongue: It stays in place, does not cause irritation, and adds to the overall security of the shoe. 
  • Grip: Reviewers have tested it on wet pavement, dirt roads, gravel, rain, and cobblestones. They all agree that the shoe bites really well into the ground, keeping them upright and confident. 
  • Durability: After 50 km, the outsole still has NO trace of wear. 

2 reasons not to buy

  • Not for high-mileage efforts: There's just not enough cushion underfoot. After testing the shoe in an 8-mile run, runners report that their legs feel fatigued.
  • Noisy outsole: The shoe's rubber sole makes a "noisy banging" on the ground. 

Bottom line

The Liberate Nitro from Puma is almost like a plateless version of the Deviate Nitro Elite, meaning that it can handle your tempo runs. Whether you're training for your upcoming race day or just looking for a racing flat, this is a shoe for you. It's a shoe with zero frills, is versatile, fun, and affordable. 

So, what's the catch? It may handle a variety of paces, but it's only suited for short distances. Heavy runners might also struggle because of the lack of upper reinforcement and minimal cushion. 

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Puma Liberate Nitro: A steal

A cheap tempo trainer that has the makings of a top-notch, modern-day training flat — this is how the Liberate Nitro is best described. It's responsive when you pick up the pace, driving you forward. And it's just as comfortable and enjoyable during easy runs. 

Ensuring that bang-for-the-buck purchase, here are some of the qualities you'll love about the shoe: 

  • propulsive ride owed to its Nitro foam 
  • featherlight composition for speed
  • excellent grip on various surfaces 
  • flexible midsole for unrestrained foot motions

A stripped-down tempo shoe

This is the essence of the Puma Liberate Nitro. Unlike its tempo shoe contemporaries, it doesn't have any fancy feature. This allows the Nitro foam to shine, which is responsible for its explosive performance. And most importantly, it's the reason why it's SO light. 

Liberate Nitro: What is it for? 

  • Tempo runs
  • Progressive runs
  • Easy-paced runs 
  • Fartlek sessions
  • Intervals 

Note: The Puma Liberate Nitro is best used in short-distance endeavors. With that in mind, experts agree that it's a shoe "for all outings at all speeds." 

The Nitro collection 

Puma is presenting the running world a lineup that caters to all activities. Here are the Puma Liberate Nitro's siblings: 


How Puma Liberate Nitro ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 5% road running shoes
All road running shoes
Top 5% Puma running shoes
All Puma running shoes
Top 4% neutral running shoes
All neutral running shoes


The current trend of Puma Liberate Nitro.
Compare to another shoe:
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.