Skip to main content

Puma Velocity Nitro 2 Review

The original Puma Velocity Nitro was one of our favourite shoes of 2021 – and the updated version is even better

Puma Velocity Nitro 2
(Image: © Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

Our Verdict

The Puma Velocity Nitro 2 offers fantastic value at £100, with a comfortable and versatile ride and a durable outsole. It’s not just a great-value shoe though, it’s one of the best cushioned shoes available full stop.

For

  • Great value
  • Bouncy, comfortable midsole
  • Outsole grip is excellent

Against

  • Not as stable as original
  • Upper can be warm

The first Puma Velocity Nitro was one of the most pleasant surprises of 2021. The midsole offered an enjoyable soft and bouncy ride, and it was great value at its RRP of £100 and could often be found in sales for even less. Not only did it feature in our best budget running shoes, but it immediately became a fixture in our best running shoes round-up.

I expected minimal updates with the Velocity Nitro 2 because the original was such a success and brands tend to play it safe. Credit to Puma, it has changed the composition of the midsole to make the shoe even better, though it does lose stability at the heel as a result.

Puma Velocity Nitro 2 Review: Price And Availability

The Velocity Nitro 2 is available now and costs £100, which is cheap for one of the best cushioned trainers. Puma also has the stripped-back Liberate Nitro available for £90, which is another great-value option, though geared towards shorter runs.

Buy men’s from Puma UK (opens in new tab) | Buy women’s from Puma UK (opens in new tab)

Design And Fit

The Puma Velocity Nitro 2 has a mesh upper with a thin tongue, but plentiful padding around the collar of the shoe. The upper is not the thinnest or most breathable you’ll find and that, combined with the amount of padding at the heel, can make it feel warm when running on hot days. 

I was happy going true-to-size in the Velocity Nitro and the Nitro 2 has a similar fit to the original shoe. Slightly more lockdown around the heel was the only change I noticed.

There are two foams in the midsole, which has a 10mm drop with a stack height of 33.5mm at the heel and 23.5mm at the forefoot. The top layer of foam is Puma’s nitrogen-infused Nitro foam, which is softer and bouncier than the EVA layer beneath. 

Puma Velocity Nitro 2

(Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

That firmer layer of EVA adds extra stability to the ride though, which is important as Puma’s changes to the midsole have made the Velocity Nitro 2 less stable overall. The plastic heel clip on the original is gone, and the composition of the midsole has been changed to have more soft Nitro foam at the heel. This creates a softer landing and is in general a change I love as a neutral runner, but heel strikers who like a little stability even from a neutral shoe may find the changes lessen the appeal of the Velocity.

The outsole is made from Puma’s PumaGrip rubber, which offers reliable traction on wet roads and even light trails. You can treat the Velocity Nitro 2 as a road-to-trail shoe in my experience, such is the quality and durability of the grip. The outsole pattern has been changed from the original to facilitate a smoother transition onto the forefoot.

The Velocity Nitro 2 weighs 271g in my UK 9, which is lighter than the 280g the original weighed. It’s not a featherweight, but given the padded upper and thick outsole that’s still surprisingly light, and it doesn’t feel cumbersome on the foot.

How I Tested This Shoe

I ran more than 200km in the original Velocity Nitro, which lodged itself in my rotation as my favourite cushioned shoe to use when not testing new releases. I’ve logged 51km in the Velocity Nitro 2 across a range of runs, including a testing fartlek session to check out its speed, and plan on doing many more.

Puma Velocity Nitro 2

(Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

Running Performance

The reconfigured midsole means that the Velocity Nitro 2 has a softer ride than the original, especially if you’re a heel striker like myself. The extra Nitro foam around the heel makes for a well-cushioned landing, and as you sink in to hit the firmer EVA layer beneath and roll through your foot strike you get a satisfying rebound forward.

It’s simply an enjoyable ride for long and short runs, at whatever pace you’re running. It's a versatile ride, too – you can cruise around all day at slow speeds enjoying the cushioning, but when you up the pace you feel the bounce in the shoe.

While the Velocity Nitro 2 is not an out-and-out speedster, I enjoyed using it in that long fartlek session running two sets of 5/4/3/2/1 minutes on, with a minute recovery. I ran to feel and found my pace was quicker than expected, running sub 3min 20sec/km pace on the reps, and I got stronger through the session helped by the extra protection offered by the shoe’s cushioning. 

Puma Velocity Nitro 2

(Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

The versatility of the shoe shone on a hour progression run where I started running at an easy pace in my local forest, where the soft feel and stellar grip came to the fore, before hitting the road and ramping up the pace to around 3min 40sec/km, where the bounce in the midsole helped the pace to come easily.

The Velocity Nitro 2 is a great daily trainer that you can use for a variety of runs, and it works either in a rotation with a dedicated speed day/racing shoe or as an all-rounder you can use for everything, especially if you’re a newer runner.

Is The Puma Velocity Nitro 2 Worth It?

The Puma Velocity Nitro 2 is the best cushioned daily trainer I’ve tested this year and it’s replaced the original in my rotation as I prefer the softer ride that the midsole changes have created. Even if it cost £140 it would come highly recommended, so the fact it is relatively cheap for its category is a plus.

In terms of the competition, you could look at the even-cheaper Reebok Floatride Energy 4 as another great daily trainer. It costs £75 and has a firmer, more traditional ride than the bouncy Puma, which may work well for those unsure about the stability of the Velocity Nitro 2.

There is also the Nike Pegasus 38, which comes in at £104.95. The new Pegasus 39 has just come in for testing, but in recent generations the shoe has morphed to be more of a cushioned shoe for easy runs than a versatile option, and I prefer the more sprightly ride of the Velocity.

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.