PUMA kicked off the year by impressing everybody with the Deviate NITRO, but lo and behold there is an entire lineup sitting behind that ready to just build on a really solid midsole platform. For today’s review, we are looking at one that is made for everyday runners, the PUMA Velocity NITRO. It uses the same great NITRO midsole technology but is an easier running shoe that can be used for recovery, distance, and everything in between. We are really impressed with the reemergence of Puma onto the scene in such a big way and all on top of some great tech.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- Max cushioned long runner with solid responsiveness.
- Pairs really well with other NITRO shoes – new Deviate (distance race) and Liberate (speed day).
- Weighs in at 9.1oz or 258g for a US Men’s 9, 7.4oz or 210g for a US Women’s 7.
- Features 33mm of cushion and has a 10mm heel/toe drop.
- Retails at $120.00 USD and comes in 2 colors for Men and Women (for now).
So first PUMA surprised us all with the Deviate NITRO which is a really solid shoe, but then they dropped the rest of the lineup on us including the Velocity, Liberate, and the Eternity all based on their new NITRO midsole. The Velocity NITRO is our focus today and you can think of this as the gateway shoe into the new PUMA lineup. It is a jack of all trades shoe that can handle any distance and is easy on the legs, this is definitely the best place to start in the lineup.
The best part about the Velocity is its simplicity. It features a multi-layer breathable mesh upper that has just a touch of structure to it. The gusseted tongue provides a nice bootie-like fit and due to its internal padding provides additional comfort to the top of your foot preventing any sort of lace bite. The collar and heel are well padded and then the shoe ends in a nice rigid heel counter that holds you really well. The midsole we spoke about prior, NITRO, their new nitrogen-based supercritical foam really works and reminds us of technologies like Hyperburst from Skechers or DNA Flash from Brooks. It is different of course as they all have their own interpretation, but the goals are the same. These midsoles allow for lighter overall shoe weights, but still offer tremendous cushioning and responsiveness.
The Velocity NITRO has a sock-like fit when you put it on especially because of the tongue design. The gusset is really nicely done and the additional padding on the underside of the tongue really cradles you nicely and supports you internally within the shoe. We will note that it does cause it to run a little narrow as historically most Puma shoes have. That will be the one downfall for a portion of runners a who like a little more width especially in the forefoot. The Deviate actually seems to have more room upfront then the Velocity does, so would love to see that improved. Under foot is where the shoe shines and that extends both from the NITRO midsole into the PUMAGRIP outsole. It tracks really really well on the roads as there’s plenty of rubber down there and the midsole has a very nice level of cushion and responsiveness to it. It does not have the heavier rocker we found on the Deviate NITRO so they are backing off a bit of the performance element here in the favor of comfort, ease of run and longevity of run.
Overall, it is a really truly pleasant overall run experience and it is hard to find a lot of negatives here. The biggest issue obviously is the width of the shoe and the snugness of the gusset. It isn’t bad, but we can guarantee some folks will find they just want a bit more room in that forefoot. There is plenty of cushioning here though and you can handle almost any distance without a problem yet it can easily be an everyday shoe as well. It truly shows how PUMA is thinking through their entire lineup top to bottom.
The only other knock we will give it is on the styling side. We don’t know what they’re going to do with the color pallet here, but every one of the shoes in the line looks very similar. The variation in colors is really low so would love to see them change it up a bit, but this will happen as the line catches on.
The upper is a dual-layer breathable mesh but the high point is the interior where care has been taken to provide a soft finish against the foot. The gusseted tongue, while lightly padded, actually provides a nice top-of-foot experience, but not much up as it hits the ankle. It does offer that bootie-like fit so wider feet may struggle a bit with entry. The collar and heel are well-padded and it features a very rigid heel counter to hold you in place. Note the female version has a women’s specific last, so these are designed differently by gender.
The Velocity uses their new NITRO midsole which is a supercritical foam they have run through a nitrogen infusion process. As we have discussed before these types of midsoles definitely encourage a balance between cushion and responsiveness while keeping overall weight down. In this case, it is both plush and fast, it is a very well-balanced shoe.
The outsole on here is probably way more than necessary and totally fantastic. They have used their new PUMAGRIP rubber and quite a lot of it leaving only a small portion of midsole exposed, but this will grip under any condition so perfect for wet roads here in the Pacific Northwest. This new rubber blend is 20% grippier than prior iterations.
Style & Aesthetics
Styling on here is both a positive and a negative. The shoe looks cool and feels very classic PUMA, but there is very little variation across this line up at least as far as we have seen, most have only two color variants, the orange/pink and the grey. We would love to see this color palette broadened a bit especially between the models, but for now, it seems like we’re only getting these two colors on the shoe.
PUMA is definitely bringing it full force here in 2021 giving us some great shoes across the NITRO lineup and the Velocity NITRO is no exception. This shoe is a fabulous everyday runner that most people will find plenty of enjoyment in and can be worn for a variety of distances. It is a very easy shoe with a nice amount of pop from that midsole and it grips the roads really really well. The biggest caveat is the width of that forefoot and that snug gusset which will feel snug for some, but overall it is hard to complain about these. We said it with the Deviate and we will say it again here, welcome back PUMA!
Check Out Other Reviewers Thoughts
As always, we gather together some of our favorite reviewers so you can get a well-rounded view of the shoe. Here are our favorites.