Our verdict

The Puma Magnify Nitro 2 steps up as a formidable shoe, boasting an energetic ride at a reasonable price. Based on our lab tests, its knit upper might not be the best pick for hot weather runs, and it carries a bit more weight than some of its competitors. Yet, for the majority of runners, it excels in essential qualities expected from a reliable workhorse, and we were really impressed with its exceptional PUMAGRIP outsole, making it a wonderful daily trainer for running in wet conditions or dirt roads.

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

Audience verdict

86
Good!

Who should buy

We believe that the PUMA Magnify Nitro 2 excels for:

  • Runners who frequently train on tarmac or dirt roads in rainy or even icy conditions. The PUMAGRIP outsole simply ensures excellent traction.
  • Heel strikers looking to experiment with a different brand trainer beyond the most common options like Nike or ASICS.
  • Beginners seeking their first running shoe that need a versatile all-rounder, capable of handling various paces and distances effortlessly.

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2

Who should NOT buy

The main drawback of this shoe is its limited breathability. It's not an issue in cold—we actually find it beneficial—or mild weather, but it becomes problematic in hot conditions. For a daily trainer with better airflow, we recommend options like the Brooks Glycerin 20 or the Saucony Triumph 21.

Although this shoe is versatile, its slight heaviness is noticeable. If the budget allows, the ASICS Superblast offers an unrivalled weight-to-performance ratio. In a similar price range to this PUMA, the ASICS Novablast 4 is a lighter option with comparable bounce, though it offers less grip.

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2

Breathability

Knit uppers generally offer less breathability than mesh due to their thicker yarns. There are some exceptions like the Adidas Ultraboost 1.0, but PUMA hasn't quite mastered this yet.

We used our smoke-pumping machine to test airflow. We noticed minimal air movement through the tongue, but almost none in the toebox. As a result, we rated this shoe with a subpar 2/5 in breathability.

This makes the Magnify Nitro 2 suitable for winter training but potentially too hot for summer days.

Our light test showed the knit is very thick, as barely any light passed through, especially in the toebox. Curious about the lack of airflow in this area, we turned to our lab's microscope.

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2 microscope

Under the microscope, we discovered why the toebox has near-zero airflow. Although there are some holes, a second thin knit layer traps the air.

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2 microscope 2

In summary, this stretchy, knit-based upper is excellent for cold weather running or if you prefer a cosy feel. However, be aware that breathability is significantly compromised.

Test results
Magnify Nitro 2 2
Average 3.8
Compared to 236 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

On the bright side, after our rigorous Dremel test, the knit impressively compensated for the lack of breathability.

This was a delightful surprise, as knit uppers usually fall short in this area. We were thrilled to award the MN2 an outstanding 5 out of 5—the highest possible score and a rare feat among road running shoes.

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2 Toebox durability
Test results
Magnify Nitro 2 5
Average 2.4
Compared to 170 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

In the heel, we faced a letdown. Typically, most shoes perform better in the toebox than the heel, as brands often use sturdier materials in the back. But PUMA—always keen to be different—did the opposite—created a robust toebox and a weak heel area.

After putting it through the Dremel test, we had no choice but to score it a dismal 1 out of 5.

While this might sound alarming, it's mainly a concern for those who wear down the heel area quickly. If that's you, we recommend skipping this model and opting for something more durable in the heel, like the Saucony Axon 3.

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2 Heel padding durability
Test results
Magnify Nitro 2 1
Average 3.2
Compared to 166 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

Seeing "PUMAGRIP" on the shoe's rubber, our expectations for the outsole soared. We've always been fans of the incredible grip provided by shoes with this compound.

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2 PUMAGRIP
The rubber boasts various patterns, ensuring top-notch grip on both dry and wet surfaces. Plus, it includes a central channel designed to efficiently throw water away.

Our first test was to measure hardness. We found it to be 78.5 HC, which is on par with most shoes. That's good news!

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2 Outsole hardness
Test results
Magnify Nitro 2 78.5 HC
Average 80.5 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 287 running shoes
Number of shoes
52.1 HC
Outsole hardness
93.0 HC

Outsole durability

While the shoe shines with its exceptional grip, that's just one aspect of its greatness. Outstanding grip means little if the rubber wears down after only 100 miles. Luckily, that's not what we found.

In our third Dremel test, the shoe showed good durability with only a 0.9-mm indentation. Considering the amount of grip the Magnify Nitro 2 provides, we view this as a highly positive outcome.

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2 Outsole durability
Test results
Magnify Nitro 2 0.9 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 148 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

The news gets even better—regarding durability—with our last measurement of the outsole.

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2 outsole

PUMA chose to play it safe by providing a solid 4.2 mm of rubber thickness, which naturally means a bit more weight. You just can't have everything.

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2 Outsole thickness
Test results
Magnify Nitro 2 4.2 mm
Average 3.2 mm
Compared to 306 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.6 mm

Weight

We just mentioned that the rubber would impact the shoe's weight, and that's exactly what happened.

We believe that with a bit less rubber, the shoe could still be durable and possibly shed about half an ounce. However, at 9.9 oz (281g), it remains a fair deal for a well-cushioned daily trainer, especially for those who prioritise durability over lightness.

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2 Weight
Test results
Magnify Nitro 2 9.91 oz (281g)
Average 9.38 oz (266g)
Compared to 307 running shoes
Number of shoes
5.26 oz (149g)
Weight
12.56 oz (356g)

Cushioning

With those two measurements, we got a 9.3-mm drop, right in the expected range of 8 to 10 mm for a daily trainer.

This design may favour heel strikers and those with calf or Achilles issues, but it's a safe choice for anyone, unless you specifically prefer low-drop shoes.

Heel stack

We measured an impressive 37.1 millimetres in the heel, placing the Magnify Nitro 2 among the most cushioned daily trainers on the market. It's a dream-come-true shoe for heel strikers!

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2 Heel stack
Test results
Magnify Nitro 2 37.1 mm
Average 33.7 mm
Compared to 306 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Heel stack
45.7 mm

Forefoot stack

The forefoot is also exceptionally cushioned, with our measurements showing a plush 27.8 mm.

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2 forefoot

This makes the shoe a fantastic option for forefoot and midfoot strikers looking for comfort underfoot. It also offers a solid guarantee against bottoming out, which is great if that's a concern for you.

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2 Forefoot stack
Test results
Magnify Nitro 2 27.8 mm
Average 25.0 mm
Compared to 306 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Forefoot stack
36.9 mm

Drop

With those two measurements, we got a 9.3-mm drop, right in the expected range of 8 to 10 mm for a daily trainer.

This design may favour heel strikers and those with calf or Achilles issues, but it's a safe choice for anyone, unless you specifically prefer low-drop shoes.

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2 Drop
Test results
Magnify Nitro 2 9.3 mm
Average 8.7 mm
Compared to 306 running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.8 mm
Drop
16.1 mm

Insole thickness

PUMA definitely didn't hold back on cushioning. The Magnify Nitro 2 features a generously padded insole that's 5.5 mm thick and adds to the overall comfort.

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2 Insole thickness
Test results
Magnify Nitro 2 5.5 mm
Average 4.5 mm
Compared to 302 running shoes
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Insole thickness
7.3 mm

Midsole softness

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

Now, let's explore the midsole. PUMA Nitro, a TPE blend similar to Nike's React, has proven to be a huge success. It offers outstanding responsiveness, outlasts traditional EVA, and provides a lively ride for a being mid-tier foam.

In terms of softness, it teeters between plush and balanced (19.3 HA), depending on the runner's taste.

It's neither too firm nor overly squishy, and we believe it's perfectly suited for a daily trainer, offering a bouncy ride at a wide range of paces, from easy runs to fartleks.

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2 Midsole softness
Test results
Magnify Nitro 2 19.3 HA
Average 21.4 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 234 running shoes
Number of shoes
8.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
41.5 HA

Secondary foam softness

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

Knit uppers generally offer less breathability than mesh due to their thicker yarns. There are some exceptions like the Adidas Ultraboost 1.0, but PUMA hasn't quite mastered this yet.

We used our smoke-pumping machine to test airflow. We noticed minimal air movement through the tongue, but almost none in the toebox. As a result, we rated this shoe with a subpar 2/5 in breathability.

This makes the Magnify Nitro 2 suitable for winter training but potentially too hot for summer days.

Our light test showed the knit is very thick, as barely any light passed through, especially in the toebox. Curious about the lack of airflow in this area, we turned to our lab's microscope.

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2 microscope

Under the microscope, we discovered why the toebox has near-zero airflow. Although there are some holes, a second thin knit layer traps the air.

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2 microscope 2

In summary, this stretchy, knit-based upper is excellent for cold weather running or if you prefer a cosy feel. However, be aware that breathability is significantly compromised.

Difference in midsole softness in cold

In cold temperatures, the Nitro's performance was just average, becoming 30.8% firmer—a change you'll definitely feel, though it doesn't turn the foam rock-hard.

If you can't deal with that and require a PUMA shoe that maintains its softness in the cold, your best shot is the pricier Deviate Nitro 2, which also comes with a PEBA-based foam and also packs a carbon plate.

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2 Midsole softness in cold
Test results
Magnify Nitro 2 30.8%
Average 25.4%
Compared to 233 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Stability

Lateral stability test

In terms of stability, this shoe is geared towards neutral runners. It doesn't have medial posts, large sidewalls, or other features to guide the feet.

However, those with mild stability issues might find it suitable. Surprisingly, once you start running, the shoe feels more stable than expected, especially considering its high stack height. Let's find out why!

Torsional rigidity

A major factor in the Magnify Nitro 2's improved stability is the shoe's rigidity.

While this might not appeal to runners who prefer a more natural, flexible shoe, it undoubtedly adds to a stable ride. We manually assessed the shoe and it earned a 4 out of 5.

Test results
Magnify Nitro 2 4
Average 3.3
Compared to 285 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The heel counter also feels slightly stiff, though not as much as in the previous test.

It's just what you'd expect from a daily trainer—a balanced approach for everyday runs. That's why we rated the shoe a 3 out of 5 in this aspect.

Test results
Magnify Nitro 2 3
Average 2.8
Compared to 269 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

While the heel counter didn't add much stability, the midsole width certainly did. Measuring 118.1 mm in the forefoot, it's impressively wide compared to the standard among daily running shoes.

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Magnify Nitro 2 118.1 mm
Average 113.8 mm
Compared to 307 running shoes
Number of shoes
100.5 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.5 mm

Midsole width in the heel

The heel tells the same positive story, complementing the wide forefoot and boosting overall stability.

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2

That's why we previously mentioned that it's a fantastic shoe for heel strikers. With a width of 96.9 mm, it really deliver confidence during heel landings.

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2 Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Magnify Nitro 2 96.9 mm
Average 90.5 mm
Compared to 307 running shoes
Number of shoes
74.9 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.6 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

We measured the force needed to bend the Magnify Nitro 2 to a 90-degree angle. Our tool recorded exactly 30.0N, aligning with the average and typical of most daily trainers.

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2 flex

This makes it more flexible longitudinally than torsionally, which is great for everyday activities like going to the gym or walking the dog.

Test results
Magnify Nitro 2 30.0N
Average 29.1N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 289 running shoes
Number of shoes
2.2N
Stiffness
94.4N

Difference in stiffness in cold

Contrary to its performance in softness, the Nitro foam excelled in maintaining stiffness under cold temperatures.

After spending 20 minutes next to our ice creams, it only became 8.3% stiffer. This is a fantastic result!

Test results
Magnify Nitro 2 8.3%
Average 35.8%
Compared to 289 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
148%

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

When we first tried on the shoes, we felt the fit was more performance-oriented and slightly narrow.

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2 upper

This is due to the knit upper, which hugs the foot more than mesh and has a break-in period. After a few runs, it expands and feels roomier. This aligns with our measurements, showing an average width of 97.7 mm.

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Magnify Nitro 2 97.7 mm
Average 98.4 mm
Compared to 307 running shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
109.1 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

The big toe area is neither particularly narrow nor wide, just average. We measured it at 76.7 mm.

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Magnify Nitro 2 76.7 mm
Average 78.2 mm
Compared to 181 running shoes
Number of shoes
60.4 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
92.5 mm

Tongue: gusset type

The tongue is impressively well-ventilated and semi-gusseted, a feature not always found in £150 shoes. 

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Magnify Nitro 2 Both sides (semi)

Comfort

Tongue padding

Using our calliper, we found the tongue to be 8.5 mm thick. It gave excellent comfort across the instep during long runs and protected against biting.

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2 Tongue padding
Test results
Magnify Nitro 2 8.3 mm
Average 5.6 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.5 mm
Tongue padding
14.2 mm

Heel tab

The designers of the Magnify Nitro 2 chose not to include any heel tabs.

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2 Heel tab
Test results
Magnify Nitro 2 None

Removable insole

The insole isn't glued and looks normal, except for some saw-like cutouts in the big toe area. But these shouldn't cause any issues if you switch to your own orthotics.

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2 Removable insole
Test results
Magnify Nitro 2 Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

Unfortunately, PUMA missed the mark by not including reflective elements in the Magnify Nitro 2. Perhaps they'll consider it for version 3?

PUMA Magnify Nitro 2 Reflective elements
Test results
Magnify Nitro 2 No