There's nothing novel or exciting about the Puma Magnify Nitro 2, yet this is an excellent max-cushioned shoe that’s comfortable for easy and long runs, and is more versatile and a little cheaper than most of its rivals.
- Cheaper than similar max-stack shoes
- Great outsole
- Not the best for faster runs
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Max-stack cushioned shoes are all the rage, with many running brands now evidently confident that more cushioning in the midsole equals more comfort for your training runs. This tends to mean a higher price, and the best cushioned shoes can now cost around the same as the best carbon plate racers.
The Puma Magnify Nitro 2 isn’t a cheap shoe but, in this maxed-out category, it is a better-value option than most and provides a comfortable and versatile ride considering its size. I rate it as one of the best running shoes of the year for those looking for a cushioned daily trainer that doesn’t cost an excessive amount.
Puma Magnify NItro 2 Review: Price And Availability
The Puma Magnify Nitro 2 launched in May 2023 and costs $140 in the US and £130 in the UK. This is not cheap, but considering many other max-cushioned shoes, like the Nike Invincible 3, Saucony Triumph 21 and Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 cost more than $160/£160, the Magnify Nitro 2 is good value for its category.
How I Tested This Shoe
I’ve run 36 miles (57km) in the Puma Magnify Nitro 2, using it mainly for easy daily training, with a couple of progression runs and a 12-mile long run. I also tested the original Magnify Nitro, and have tried the majority of Puma’s current range, along with many of the most popular cushioned running shoes available.
Design and Fit
The first edition of the Magnify Nitro was a highly cushioned shoe, but Puma has upped the ante with the Magnify Nitro 2. It has raised the stack height to 40mm at the heel and 30mm at the forefoot (up from 38mm and 29mm respectively). This also increases the drop slightly, to 10mm.
Puma has also changed the midsole, which is now made entirely from its Nitro foam. This is nitrogen-infused TPEE, whereas the previous model had a dual-density midsole made from Nitro and ProFoam Lite EVA foam. The shoe has an engineered mesh upper with a padded tongue and collar, and added structure on the medial side through Puma’s PWRTAPE. In my normal running shoe size, I found that the Magnify Nitro 2 fitted well.
The outsole is excellent on the Magnify Nitro 2, with a thick layer of the brand’s Pumagrip rubber covering all the key impact areas of the shoe, though it does have exposed foam to reduce the weight a little. At 10.5oz/298g in my UK size 9, the Magnify Nitro 2 is not a lightweight shoe, but it is around half an ounce (15g) lighter than most max-cushioned shoes I’ve tested in my size.
I liked the first Magnify Nitro, though the second version is a clear improvement thanks to the redesigned midsole. The shoe is now softer and more comfortable, but also bouncier and lighter, and it runs smoothly at easy paces. It’s the kind of shoe you can imagine spending all day in, racking up big miles in comfort.
It also surprised me with how versatile it was. The Magnify Nitro 2 is best for cruising at slow speeds, but when I did progress my pace during runs I found it still felt lively and enjoyable, unlike some max-cushioned shoes that can feel like lead weights when you try to run fast in them.
I wouldn’t plan on taking the Magnify Nitro 2 to the track for all-out speedwork, or race in it myself, yet it handled tempo runs well and so could be a good long-distance racing option for newer runners.
The ride of the Magnify Nitro 2 is more traditional than many max-cushioned shoes, in that it doesn’t have a pronounced rocker. The 10mm drop and relatively flat geometry mean that your foot snaps through from the heel onto your toes rather than rolling through, though the softness of the foam still means it’s comfortable even when running at a faster pace.
As ever with Puma shoes, the outsole is of significant benefit, with the Pumagrip rubber gripping well on wet paved surfaces and light trails. I’m going to be running on these surfaces a lot over this autumn and winter, so the grip is a major plus for me.
Is The Puma Magnify Nitro 2 Worth It?
The Puma Magnify Nitro 2 is one of the best cushioned running shoes and right up there with the Saucony Triumph 21 and Brooks Glycerin 20 as among my favorites. It’s as good as anything in this category, unless you want a more rockered ride (in which case you should look at the Asics Gel-Nimbus 25).
All those other shoes are more expensive than the Puma, and if you are looking for a max-stack shoe it offers the best value, as well as a high level of performance. If you don’t feel like you need 40mm of foam underfoot, then there’s better value and more versatility to be found in shoes like the Puma Velocity Nitro 2 or Nike Pegasus 40, which are still comfortable for easy runs.
Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.
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