Puma Velocity Nitro Review

Built for comfort, the Velocity Nitro still offers enough speed to tackle all your training

Puma Velocity Nitro running shoes
(Image: © Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

Our Verdict

One of the standout new shoes of 2021, the Velocity Nitro is a comfortable and versatile shoe that offers fantastic value to runners of all levels.


  • Superb value
  • Versatile and comfortable ride
  • Outsole provides great grip


  • Not the most cushioned shoe
  • A touch heavy for all-out speedwork

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In all honesty I was a little disappointed when the Puma Velocity Nitro turned up at my door for testing. This was because another shoe in the company’s range – the Deviate Nitro – seemed that little bit more exciting, and it hadn’t turned up at my door.

The Deviate Nitro has a carbon plate in the midsole, along with a wedge of Puma’s new nitrogen-infused EVA foam, the aptly-named Nitro, and promises to be a fast daily trainer in the mould of Saucony’s Endorphin Speed.

For its part, the Velocity Nitro I received is Puma’s shoe for easy days, with a midsole that contains the Nitro foam plus a layer of another foam called ProFoam Lite – a set-up designed to make it more comfortable and durable than the Deviate.

It only took one run in the Velocity Nitro to dispel any disappointment, purely because of the enjoyment its ride offers. There’s enough squish and softness in the foam to feel comfortable, but not so much that I felt like I was sinking and having to work harder to keep my legs turning over. There’s a decent amount of bounce in the Nitro foam, which is softer and springier than the other nitrogen-infused foam I’ve tried. That’s Brooks’s DNA Flash, found in the Hyperion Tempo and Elite 2 – both shoes I like a lot, but they are firmer options built for faster running.

Puma Velocity Nitro running shoe

(Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

The extra softness in the Velocity Nitro makes it far more comfortable to use on easy runs, and since this is how Puma is selling it, that’s what I started using the shoe for. But after trying it for a progression run finishing at around 3min 45sec/km I started to rate it as a solid all-rounder option – in fact I pressed it into service for a hefty session the next day, running six rounds of 3km at 3min 40sec/km.

This was a key session in my marathon training and one for which I’d normally use a carbon plate racing shoe or a dedicated fast trainer like the Endorphin Speed (which has a nylon plate in the midsole). The Velocity Nitro once again exceeded expectations, providing a comfortable and speedy ride throughout, protecting my legs enough that I was able to kick up the pace in the final set.

I’ve now logged over 80km in the shoe across a range of run types from very easy 8km recovery efforts up to that 29km session, and I’ve been impressed by how it's performed on each of them. Even before taking the price into account, I’d rate it up there with my favourite versatile training options. The performance it offers is similar to the Hoka One One Mach 4 and just slightly behind the Endorphin Speed, which has more snap at faster paces.

On top of this, the Velocity Nitro is cheap for a new running shoe at £100. I’d rate it as easily the best shoe I’ve tried that costs £100 or under: it’s more versatile and comfortable than my previous favourite, the Adidas SL20.

Puma Velocity Nitro running shoe

(Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

The Velocity Nitro should also prove durable, thanks to the ample amount of rubber on the PUMAGRIP outsole, which I have found provides no shortage of traction on wet pavements. Despite all that rubber the Velocity Nitro weighs 276g in my UK size 9, which is fairly light for a shoe built primarily for easy training. At this stage I can’t speak for how well the midsole will last since this is the first time I’ve tried a shoe which contains it, but I haven’t seen or felt anything to make me worry on that front yet.

Puma Velocity Nitro running shoe

(Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

The upper is a breathable mesh that looks exactly the same as the one on the Deviate Nitro. It’s actually a bit odd that the shoes look virtually identical, but that’s probably the only decision Puma made with the Velocity Nitro that I’d take issue with. There’s ample padding around the heel, which is noteworthy because there isn’t on the Deviate Nitro and some runners have found its collar design irritates the achilles.

The size of Velocity Nitro runs a little long, but I was comfortable in my normal size. If you have a very narrow foot you could go a half size down.

If you are after a shoe just for easy running, there are some softer options out there like the Nike Invincible and Brooks Glycerin 19, but the Puma has more versatility and performs well at faster paces. It is a fantastic all-round option and one of the best budget running shoes as well as one of the best running shoes. The only other thing to bear in mind is that the Deviate Nitro has the same foam in the midsole plus a plate. It could be even better.

Buy men’s from Puma | Buy women’s from Puma | £100

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

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.