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Puma Magnify Nitro Multiple Tester Review

By Chief Editor/Founder Matthew Klein and Contributing Editor David Salas

Puma has been making huge strides in the short time they have seriously returned to the running scene. They have debuted everything you could possible want, including the Deviate Nitro Elite as a carbon fiber plated racer (my current favorite racer), the Deviate Nitro as a carbon plated daily trainer (review soon) the Velocity Nitro as a daily trainer, the Eternity Nitro as a stability shoe and the Liberate as a lightweight trainer/plateless racer. The only thing they were missing was a maximalist trainer. The Puma Magnify Nitro fills this gap, providing a highly cushioned ride with a maximal stack height. Using two different foams, this shoe provides protection with a touch of performance.



Specifications (per PUMA)
Weight: Men's size US 8.5 / UK 8: 10.5 oz / 299 g Women's size 6.5 / UK 4.5: 8.6 oz / 244g 
Measured Weights: Men's US 10: 10.9 oz
Stack Height: 38 mm / 29 mm
Drop: 9 mm
Classification: Maximal Daily Trainer


RUNNING SHOE SUMMARY

Matt: The Puma Magnify Nitro is a maximalist training shoe with a protective and responsive ride. Layers of NITRO and PROFOAM LITE provide a maximum stack height, while the lack of a plate maintains a comfortable ride. The NITRO makes the Magnify feel lighter than its listed weight, providing a smooth ride particularly up front. The upper is a little thick, although there is plenty of room to accommodate swelling. Best for daily mileage, easy runs, recovery runs and some uptempo work, the Puma Magnify Nitro is for eating up miles.

David: The Puma Magnify is a highly cushioned neutral training option that brings more versatility than appears to the eye. The shoe rides incredibly smoothly throughout but also provides enough responsiveness to handle some uptempo pacing as well. This has quickly become one of my go-to trainers very quickly.



FIT (LENGTH / WIDTH / COMFORT)

Matt: The Puma Magnify Nitro fits true to size, if not slightly long in my normal men's US size 10. The upper is fairly thick, which can run warm on hotter days. The width is fairly normal to slightly wide. The upper does stretch and is accommodating.  The heel is normal width, featuring a flexible heel counter. The heel collar has a large amount of cushioning consistent with the thicker upper, so I have not noticed the counter at all. The midfoot has average to slightly wide width, although this is easily locked down with the laces and the thicker tongue. The forefoot has plenty of width, but the toe box is slightly tapered. This stretched out within half a mile, providing a front with a generous, but not sloppy amount of room. The upper is quite secure and I have not needed to lace lock the shoe. However, there are no major reinforcements outside the heel counter. There are overlays along the length of the upper, which provides good security front to back. Side to side there is less structure, so this shoe is best for running in a straight line and not taking curves. The inner liner is extremely soft and is an excellent choice for sockless wear. However, I have not gone sockless very often due to the wider fit.

David: Puma lasts just seem to work for my foot. The shoe is normal width throughout with a slightly wider midfoot and forefoot. The upper is a tad thick but plenty breathable for most conditions. The tongue is very padded and does good with cushioning the dorsum of your foot if you like to lace your shoes down tight. The heel counter is pretty flexible but holds the structure of the region well without being flimsy or unstable. There are some sidewalls through the medial and lateral aspects of the shoe that are integrated very well. The platform of the shoe easily molds to your foot and it feels natural to let your foot sit in. Overall a tad thick with a slightly wide midfoot, but true to size and should work for a lot of people. 




PERFORMANCE (RIDE / SPEED)

Matt: The Puma Magnify Nitro is a maximalist trainer with a smooth and cushioned ride. The NITRO foam sits right under the foot, with a small slab of PROFOAM LITE (EVA) on the bottom. This creates a softer/responsive feel underfoot, but a solid base underneath. The significant amount of Nitro foam makes the Magnify feel and ride lighter than the measured 10.9 oz weight for my size 10. The forefoot also adds to this as there is toe spring that starts fairly early. This provides a very smooth transition during toe off, especially when combined with the mild flexibility up front. Getting up on the forefoot/midfoot of this shoe feels best. The heel is beveled with a slight lateral bias, although the bevel is not large. There is less NITRO at the very back of the shoe, but heel landings still feels smooth. Warming up in them feels the best of any trainer I have tried, which is odd to me since the bevel is not large. There is a 9mm heel drop, but the actual amount feels lower. This may be due to compression of the NITRO foam while I heel strike and I have not found the heel to get in the way. The heel transition is a conundrum because it does look like it should be smooth, but it is. There is a TPU plate/insert in the heel that also seems to add some guidance. This may be what is helping with the transition. The durability has been fantastic. I have 90 miles on my pair with very little wear on the outsole. I expect an extremely high number of miles out of these, which is great because I keep reaching for them. Use wise these are designed for long runs, easy runs and recovery runs. The NITRO foam does allow for fartleks and moderate paced runs. However the weight and size of the shoe makes it better for consistent paced runs where you want some protection. Overall this shoe has a surprisingly smooth ride with solid cushioning with some responsiveness due to the NITRO foam. A great transition throughout the length of the shoe makes the ride comfortable, particularly landing farther forward.

David: The Puma Magnify has a very responsive ride for a highly cushioned training shoe. It by no means is a speed demon but the NITRO foam and PROFOAM LITE provide a nice cushioned yet bouncy ride to the shoe throughout. I actually like that the shoe does not have a plate because it gives the sole a little bit of flexibility throughout for training miles. The PROFOAM LITE (EVA) gives just enough rigidity to the shoe to give a sense of propulsion. Overall the transitions the shoe feel pretty dialed in with a traditional neutral trainer, meaning slight bevel to the heel and minimal toe spring with a slightly flexible forefoot. The difference is the components of new age foams that are integrated very well throughout. The soft platform allows the foam at initial contact to feel like it sinks you in transition into the midfoot and then rolls you up into a bouncy forefoot. There is a little bit of instability through the midfoot, but this is pretty normal with highly cushioned neutral shoes. I think it is done pretty well to be honest. 



STABILITY 

Matt: The Puma Magnify Nitro is a neutral shoe, however there are a few elements however that do add natural stability. The NITRO foam does come up slightly along the midfoot, creating gentle sidewalls. The last is wider, although the midfoot does narrow. This is not common for max stack height shoes outside of racers, however there is still plenty of width. The heel is the most stable; the midfoot is less stable and the forefoot seems to sit between the last two. The NITRO foam, which is softer, sits on top of PROFOAM LITE. This creates a more stable base, which further adds to the stable ride. There is a guidance line that runs the length of the shoe that may influence your progression. The heel is only mildly beveled, but the toe spring starts fairly early. There is a visible TPU piece under the heel that seems to provide some extra rigidity. Per Puma, it is supposed to provide additional proprioceptive input. This does seem to add to stability in the heel along with the mild sidewalls. So for those with neutral to mild stability needs, this shoe will do well for you, particularly if you need this in the heel.  I do generally need stability and this shoe has worked well for me up to 10-14 miles. Beyond that I start to fatigue, so those with stability needs should find something more stable for longer runs.

David: You certainly have to have good proprioception (joint awareness) and good ankle and intrinsic foot stability with this shoe. The platform is soft and the stability demands are a little bit higher. The PROFOAM LITE firms up the platform a tad, but the ride is still overall really soft throughout. The full contact outsole helps a little with stability throughout and the midline flex groove does help keep things feel more linear. As stated before there is a little bit of instability through the midfoot, but not horribly. I think a a little refinement to the upper hold on that region could fix that up. 



MAGNIFY VS. VELOCITY 

Nathan: The drop of the Magnify has drawn questions from many runners about where this fits in the PUMA line-up and how it compares to the other trainer-oriented option, the Velocity Nitro. There are a number of things that differentiate them from one another.

Let's start with fit. The main construction is similar, with a slightly longer overall fit and has the gusseted tongue that extends throughout the toe box to provide a soft contact with the foot. The mesh is relatively similar with a combination of security and breathability. The main differences are found in the heel, where the heel counter and collar of the Magnify are much more padded and stuffed to provide a softer experience around the heel. I typically prefer a more streamlined heel, but the Magnify heel does a few things well compared to the Velocity. First, the heel was more secure and there was no slippage for me. Additionally the Velocity collar sat a bit higher and given it was a bit more narrow, I could feel it pushing into the side of my ankle. The softer nature of the Magnify's collar provided a more comfortable experience and I did not have any of that pressure on the sides of the ankle. In the end, the differences in fit come down to preference. Those who like a more plush experience in the heel will lean towards the Magnify, where those wanting a streamlined heel will prefer the Velocity.

Next let's talk about ride. I'm glad to report that there are two unique running experiences between these shoes. The Velocity, as I wrote in my initial review, provides a relatively natural/typical running shoe experience with a little extra flare from the Nitro midsole, which is soft and has some rebound. The Magnify is starkly different. The extra amount of Nitro midsole moves it from a traditional trainer feel to a very soft, highly cushioned, and plush feel from heel to toe. The Magnify is much farther on the soft end on the spectrum, whereas the Velocity sits closer to the middle. The higher stack and bottom layer of EVA also provide a bit more of a rigid toe off compared to the Velocity, which is more flexible. Compared to other maximal trainers, the Magnify does not offset the stack and more rigid (it's still flexible) with more rocker like other examples like the NB 1080 or Endorphin Shift. This does mean that the Magnify doesn't have the quickest toe off, but it is still smooth and plush. So when it comes to speed, the Velocity is going to have more versatility in being able to pick up the pace, whereas the Magnify is going to do better at eating up long, slower, and daily miles. 

Finally there are some notable stability differences. The Velocity is highly stable with the lower stack, the C shaped EVA in the heel, and the wide guidance line through the midfoot. The Magnify certainly is less stable with the high stack and very soft platform. So people will need a little more intrinsic foot stability and being able to remain efficient on the softer platform of the Magnify. What the Magnify does well is to offset some instability with the wider platform (medial and lateral flaring) as well as the firmer, bottom EVA midsole. 



THOUGHTS AS A DPT / FOOTWEAR SCIENCE

Matt: The Magnify is a unique shoe. Personally, this shoe shouldn't work for me given the narrowed midfoot and high stack of soft foam. It does however for a few reasons. The base, or last of the shoe is wider. So even though the midfoot narrower than the rest of the shoe, it is still wider than most shoes. The heel bevel is present, but very small. However, it is biased laterally, where most people land. Additionally, this is offset by the NITRO foam sitting right underneath the foot that compresses and the PROLITEFOAM underneath doesn't need to. This is a great example of the fact that there is a balance between how much the sole compresses AND the heel bevel when it comes to initial contact at the rearfoot. Lastly, the TPU heel insert provides additional rigidity at the heel, which seems to set the foot up for a better transition through the rest of the gait cycle. None of these factors are truly intrusive or even new. Small heel bevels with softer foams have been around forever (most are just not done well). Inserts at the heel are common either as actual orthotic intervention or as plates (The Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 1 and 2 are great examples of this). Having a wide last is basically required for max stack height shoes as it is the only way to maintain stability.

The wide last requirement was one of my initial concerns regarding the Magnify Nitro's midfoot before trying it on. PUMA seems to have compensated for it well with the above mentioned factors. However, just because this shoe worked for me does not mean it works for everyone. Those who need stability in the heel or forefoot will do well here, but those who need it in the midfoot may need to be a bit aware before trying this shoe on. However, if you transition fast enough, the stability from the heel may be enough to carry you into the forefoot. This refers to something called ground contact time. Running at moderate to uptempo speeds will generally decrease ground contact time. This also (not always) improves stability as more force is being directed in the sagittal (front to back) plane than the frontal (side to side) plane. Runners going slower usually have increased ground contact time and those that run faster have decreased ground contact time (relative to each other). Thus, those who run at faster paces may find this shoe more stable and those who run slower may find this shoe less stable. There are many factors that go into this, but ground contact time and the speed of transition are a few that influence this. 




RECOMMENDATIONS

Matt: I only have a few suggestions as I really like this shoe. The upper is thicker than it needs to be, so I would suggest slimming it down while adding some extra security, particularly around the midfoot. To further increase stability, the midfoot could be just a hair wider (ie making a more straight lasted shoe). Overall PUMA has done very well with the Magnify in its first iteration.

David: I really like the Puma Magnify and this is in the running for daily trainer of the year for me, but there is always room for improvement. For me the upper could be refined. I don't mind that it is a little thicker and reinforced well throughout, but I do think the hold through the midfoot, medial longitudinal arch, and navicular could improve. There does seem to some slight translation in this region when running in the shoe. The midsole and outsole are great, so really an upper refinement would be my only recommendations here. 




WHO THIS SHOE IS FOR (Conclusion)

Matt: The Puma Magnify Nitro is for those wanting a cushioned/maximalist ride with a thicker but accommodating upper. The NITRO foam is responsive and protective, providing long lasting cushioning for miles. The PROFOAM LITE provides a firmer, stable base for this to rest upon. The upper is thicker, but does accommodate normal to wider feet well. There is no plate, allowing for a nice balance of mild flexibility and a well tapered amount of toe spring for a smooth toe off. This makes it best for long runs and easy runs with the option to pick up to moderate paces. Overall the Magnify is great for those with neutral mechanics, those that need very mild stability to eat up miles for base training or those who need a solid recovery day shoe.

David: The Puma Magnify is a highly cushioned neutral daily trainer that can do a little bit of everything, but leans towards the daily and longer efforts. For me this is great for daily mileage and long runs. The ride is certainly soft, but has a decent sensation of propulsion to a firmer portion of the midsole (PROFOAM LITE) and the full contact outsole. So... recovery day, daily training, long runs... yeah it can do a lot. It can handle some uptempo training if you are in a pinch but I do think I'd lean toward some other shoes. The option is there though. 




GRADING (SHOE CATEGORY)

Matt
Fit: B+ (A thick upper still provides plenty of room. Those with narrow feet will want to tighten down the laces. Less stable when turning, but have not had to lace lock the shoe.)
Performance: 
A (Smooth ride, great transition at all points. Nitro foam can pick up the pace, which is unexpected for a shoe of this size)
Stability: B+ (Stable in the heel, less so in the midfoot, then transitions into a better forefoot. Good use of subtle sidewalls, unique use of TPU plate in rearfoot, dual layer midsole adds stability. Could be a bit better through the midfoot)
DPT/Footwear Science: A-/B+ (Well set up heel for stability with TPU plate and sidewalls. The use of dual midsole material creates a stable base with the responsive NITRO foam up top. Midfoot could be a bit wider for stability, particularly with a max stack height shoe)
Personal:  A (My trainer of the year so far. The transition is fantastic, the midsole/ride is smooth and this seems to work very well for my mechanics. Even though it looks like it shouldn't. I would like to see the midfoot a bit wider in the next version though)
Overall: A- (Excellent maximalist trainer with smooth/responsive Nitro foam. Upper is a little thick/warm up stretches well for normal to wider foot types. Best for Easy/Long runs with the ability to pick up the pace)

David: 
Fit: B+ (Relatively thick upper throughout, but reinforced well and dimensions are dialed in. Midfoot hold could be improved)
Performance: 
A (This is exactly what I want out of my daily trainer. Cushioned and protective, but still with enough bounce to keep me from feeling flat. The transitions are smooth throughout and the ride holds up mile after mile)
Stability: B (Stability isn't bad, but it isn't great. Softer platform makes it a little more unstable and the slight translation of my foot in the midfoot region medially decreases stability through that region as well.)
DPT/Footwear Science: A-/B+ (The dual midsole is done VERY well in this shoe and the sidewalls are integrated really well throughout. I just think the upper could be integrated with the midsole a little better through the midfoot)
Personal:  A (Like I said earlier this is in the running for trainer of the year from me (3 in the running at the moment), soft yet responsive, durable, and consistent throughout each run at all paces)
Overall: A- (A very good option to the highly cushioned training category. Many of these types of shoes feel like clouds that you are balancing on, but this shoe feels like a traditional training shoe that you can run almost every run in that has all of the maximalist qualities you could want in a shoe.)
      

SHOP | SUPPORT DOR

Visit Puma.com for a pair of the Magnify!

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Thanks for reading!

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TESTER PROFILES:


Matthew Klein, PT DPT OCS FAAOMPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists

Dr. Matthew Klein is a 150 lb male with notable PRs of 14:45 for 5k and 2:32:44 for the full marathon.  He typically runs 70-100 miles per week and trains at a variety of paces from 8min per mile recovery runs to 4:40 per mile 1k repeats.  He prefers firmer and responsive shoes with snug heels and medium to wide toe boxes.  The stability guy of the group, he also prefers a little stability in his footwear. However, as a researcher, clinician and running shoe aficionado, he will run in anything. 

David Salas PT DPT CSCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Dr. David Salas is a 135 lb male with notable PRs ranging from 3:54 in the 1500m to 1:08:36 for half marathon. He typically runs 60 to 70 miles per week and trains from about 7:30 recovery runs to fast shorter efforts at 4:30 pace. He normally prefers neutral shoes with a firmer ride, but is completely open to other types of shoes.  He is a footwear enthusiast at heart and will always appreciate a high quality shoe when it comes around. For updates on training or testing, 

Nathan Brown PT DPT MS
Doctor of Physical Therapy 
Masters in Anatomy and Clinical Health Science
Movement Performance Institute Certified in Advanced Functional Biomechanics 

Dr. Brown is a 155 lb male with notable PRs of 18:18 5K, 39:25 10K, 1:29:01 half marathon, and 3:54 marathon. He typically runs between 20-40 miles per week at a variety of paces from 7:30-8:30 min/mile for recovery runs to 6-6:45 min/mile for tempo runs. He typically prefers shoes that provide some cushioning underfoot but still maintain a more firm and responsive feel. Current goals for 2020 are to break the 1.5 hour half marathon and 3:30 marathon.

Bach Pham MS
Marketing and Social Media Manager
Master of Arts in Cultural Anthropology

Bach Pham is a 140 lb male with PRs of 23 5K, 52 10K. He typically runs between 25-35 miles per week at a variety of paces between 8:30 (tempo) -10:00 (recovery) min/miles. He typically prefers shoes that provide some mild to firm cushioning underfoot that is lightweight and responsive. Currently his goals are to complete the half and marathon distances.

Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your
local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the  people at PUMA Running for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run run as well as a warm up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

Please feel free to reach out, comment and ask questions!
Contact us at doctorsofrunning@gmail.com

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