Physical Therapists Using Clinical Analysis To Discuss The Art And Science Behind Running and The Stuff We Put On Our Feet

Post Page Advertisement [Top]

Puma Velocity Nitro 2: A Controlled Upgrade
By Chief Editor/Founder Matt Klein and Senior Contributor David Salas

PUMA made a strong push back into the running market in 2021. The debut of a new Nitro foam compound combined with several well-thought-out and executed shoes took them to new heights at incredible speed. Molly Seidel, one of our favorite running pros, won an Olympic medal as a Puma sponsored athlete wearing their racing flat, the PUMA Deviate Nitro Elite (a favorite among the team). An incredible first year for PUMA, which has us anxiously waiting to see what they do in 2022. That time has come and the first of new line, the Puma Velocity Nitro 2, showed up on our doorsteps recently. Changes are already apparent as the whole shoe has been redesigned. The removal of the heel clip, a redesign of the nitro and EVA foam interaction, the addition of a heel bevel, a redesigned outsole and a new upper are some of the many things that take a great shoe and move it forward in version 2.

PUMA Velocity Nitro 2
Price: $120 at Puma (Releases 2/27)
Weight: 8.8 oz, 249 g (men's size 9), 7.3 oz, 207 g  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 33.5 mm / 23.5 mm
Drop: 10mm with sockliner, 8mm without sockliner
Classification: Daily Trainer


Matt: The PUMA Velocity Nitro 2 is a lighter weight daily trainer with a comfortable fit, stable ride for a neutral shoe and plenty of NITRO cushioning for longer mileage. The addition of a gentle heel bevel and toe spring add efficiency to the ride, while the NITRO foam provides pleasant, mildly bouncy cushioning underfoot. A redesigned upper provides structure in the rearfoot and adaptability upfront, allowing it to work for a moderate variety of foot types. The PUMA Velocity Nitro 2 is a solid shoe with enough cushioning for long runs, daily runs and light enough for some uptempo work.

The Puma Velocity Nitro 2 is a daily workhorse trainer that is able to do a little bit of everything. While leaning more on the daily trainer side of things the shoe is still light weight enough to handle some uptempo work if needed as well as some off road work if needed. The shoe is a swiss army knife of daily trainers. The shoe also uses NITRO foam which seems to soften the platform slightly while also giving the shoe some bounce through the forefoot. This is a shoe I have a had a pleasant all around experience with surfaces and paces. 


Matt: The PUMA Velocity Nitro 2 fits me true to size in my normal men's US size 10. The fit is fairly normal through the heel and midfoot, leading to a slightly tapered forefoot. The forefoot opens up after a few runs and the upper is soft enough that is stretches fairly well. The fit is best for those with normal width fit feet with enough stretchiness for those with slightly wider feet and lockdown for those with slightly narrow feet. The heel has additional padding around the heel collar that locks the foot in. I did not have to lace lock this shoe at all and had no slippage even during longer or steeper efforts. There is a solid heel counter that comes 3/4 of the way up the heel and runs the entire length of the heel. I did not notice it with the mild cushioning, but those with sensitivities should approach cautiously. It does lock the heel in well, which is important given the higher flexibility of the upper in the midfoot. The midfoot fits slightly wider than the heel and forefoot. The laces do a great job of interacting with the mesh to lock things down as much or as little as you want. The tongue is padded, gusseted, stays in place well and features a notch for the ankle. The forefoot continues into a mild taper that was slightly noticeable at first. This broke in after a single run and I have not noticed it since the initial impressions. The reflective panels and internal toe guard provide some mild structure upfront. These do rub a little against my foot and for that reason, I would suggest wearing socks with this shoe. Overall a comfortable upper for normal width feet for longer miles, daily miles and mild uptempo work. This upper works well both for training and casual use, but the slightly wider midfoot makes it better for easy and long mileage.

Puma lasts have always worked pretty well for me. They tend to have a normal width through the heel and midfoot with a slightly wide forefoot and toe box. The engineered mesh is pretty plush and comfortable for the weight. The tongue is lightly padded along the dorsal aspect of the foot and provides enough protection if you need to lock the shoe down well. The Velocity Nitro 2 is true to size in my normal men's 9.5. There is a semi rigid heel counter present with plenty of cushioning around it. The upper holds its structure well and I had no problems with taking turns or putting it in unstable situations. I'm quite impressed with the upper for there really aren't any overlays and it seems to hold its structure really well. The Puma Velocity Nitro 2 might be just a tiny bit long but otherwise fits quite well throughout. The material does have a slight stretch initially and once broken in is quite comfortable throughout.


Matt: The PUMA Velocity Nitro 2 is a daily trainer but leans into the lightweight trainer category due to the NITRO foam and sub 9 oz weight. The NITRO (nitrogen-infused foam) sits on top of traditional EVA. This provides a cushioned underfoot feel that does not bottom out. The cushioning level is mildly soft but resilient. The midsole responds when pushing the pace, although there are better options for running fast. The cushioning remains consistent over mileage. This was clearly experienced as my second run in these was 17 miles. The shoe felt well cushioned at the beginning and end of that run, further cementing how well this shoe does for general mileage. The heel is clunky the first few miles as the shoe breaks in. There is a new heel bevel, but it is angled slightly more medially giving it a mild lateral flare. This breaks in, but the heel still has a bit of clunkiness with transitions. There is a 10mm drop listed (with the insole) and with the NITRO foam compression, it can feel closer to 8mm. The drop is noticeable but not in a negative way. The forefoot is stiff initially then breaks in to provide moderate flexibility. This combined with the toe spring makes for a solid transition off the forefoot during both easy and quicker mileage. The outsole has been completely redone, featuring more outsole rubber and PUMAGRIP. There are additional lugs in the middle and medial forefoot, which provide excellent traction particularly on dirt or wet pavement. The forefoot design is slightly reminiscent of the Nike Pegasus design with more lugs on the medial side.

The durability is fairly normal for a lighter-weight training shoe. I have 37 miles on my pair and have some solid abrasion on the usual spots (left posterior lateral heel). However, I have yet to wear through the outsole rubber, so I expect average durability for most runners. Overall, the PUMA Velocity Nitro 2 is a daily training and long run shoe with a bit of reach into uptempo running thanks to a well-cushioned NITRO midsole.

The Puma Velocity Nitro 2 is a lightweight daily trainer that does well in a decent variety of categories. The ride definitely feels smoothest when running daily mileage paces but the NITRO foam does allow you to pick up the pace a little bit. The shoe did require a little breaking in for me initially but after my first run was quite pleasant. The 10 mm drop does feel a tad lower because of the suspensive nature of NITRO midsole. The traction underfoot is quite good and I have been able to take it in runnable trail situations. The dual density foam feels pretty balanced throughout riding right in between those firm and soft categories. The NITRO topsole softens the landing a tad and the firmer EVA midsole gives the shoe a little rigidity. There is a slight bevel in the heel and toe spring in the forefoot. This does seem to help with some transitions, though the forefoot still has some flexibility throughout as well. I wouldn't necessarily classify it as a flexible forefoot but it has much more flexibility than some of the more rockered shoes that many people are running in currently. The ride does have a small speed bump feeling for me in between the rearfoot and midfoot. As the shoe broke in that settle in much better but if you look at the midsole there is a little bit of a curve upwards with the EVA midsole up into the NITRO midsole right at the junction of the heel and midfoot. Initially I did notice a little firm spot there that felt odd and then followed through pretty smooth from the midfoot going forward after that. I think They probably could keep the amount of NITRO level through that region rather than lessening it and then re-establish it through the forefoot. Otherwise this has been a shoe that I have been reaching for a decent amount in recent history as many of my runs are multi-terrain. 


Matt: The PUMA Velocity Nitro 2 is a neutral daily training shoe. However, there are a few things that add mild stability elements to the shoe. The NITRO foam being cradled by additional elevations of the EVA bottom layer on the medial and lateral side of the anterior heel create extra guidance/structure in the heel. This combined with the slight heel bevel and heel counter creates a surprisingly stable heel for a neutral shoe. The midfoot is slightly wider than many traditional training shoes, making for a more straight last and a little more structure. The forefoot shape is a touch wider but also features a lateral guideline through the outsole. This provides subtle guidance laterally through the forefoot and may add just enough for those need a modestly more stable forefoot. Overall the PUMA Velocity Nitro 2 is a neutral shoe but seems to sneak into the stable neutral category thanks to the above-mentioned features.

The Velocity Nitro 2 is not designed to be a stability shoe but does seem to do pretty well in this category. The traction underfoot and EVA midsole seem to firm up the ride and give pretty good ground feel underfoot. The traction is good and reliable in a many situations. The upper is reinforced pretty well throughout as well. For a neutral shoe stability is quite good. The NITRO midsole does soften the platform slightly which does take a tiny bit away in unstable situations off road but the stability is quite good. 


I am recovering from an irritated posterior tibialis, so am pronating more and am more sensitive to excessive medial motion. I was surprised that the Velocity Nitro 2 actually ended up being stable enough for me to not only get daily training miles in but also for a 17 mile long run.

My first experience with the shoe was fairly mediocre. The heel was clunky but at least the cushioning felt nice. As the NITRO foam has broken in, I began to notice that the shoe felt more stable. Right now I need stability in the anterior heel and the shoe provided it to me. I began to pay more attention to the midsole sculpting between the NITRO foam and the EVA foam. There are elevations of the EVA foam at the anterior heel at both the medial and lateral side. My suspicion is that as the NITRO foam compresses, my foot runs into the elevated medial aspect of the EVA foam. This is second density foam technically and through geometry actually provides some mild resistance to medial and lateral motion. This idea is not new and has been used more overtly in many stability shoes that advertise dual-density foam designs. Typically though those designs run for much longer lengths and will often featuring wedged or large blocky posts. The design in the Puma Velocity Nitro 2 is more similar to posting, but makes it current age by having this design on both sides of the shoe. This provides more guidance forward instead of pushing the foot a certain way. Thus it will work well for those who need mild stability in either direction.

I was concerned with the removal of the rearfoot plate from version that the stability would decrease, but Puma has retained this well through midsole sculpting. To be clear, the PUMA Velocity Nitro 2 is not a stability shoe. It is not even a mild stability shoe. These elements are subtle, which puts this in the category of "Stable Neutral" shoes. That being said, I encourage PUMA to continue to develop and experiment with this (Note: I have not yet tried the Puma Eternity Nitro, which is their true stability shoe).


Matt: I have enjoyed the Puma Velocity Nitro 2, but have a few subtle suggestions. The first is to move the heel bevel more lateral. Given that the majority of people land on the posterior lateral heel, this will help the heel transition better and feel less clunky (although it does break-in). The other suggestion is to move the reflective elements from the forefoot to another place (like the heel). These seem to cause the forefoot to taper a bit more than necessary and while they add some structure, there is already enough from the mild toe guard. Overall this is an excellent upgrade though and I am excited to see the remaining 2022 PUMA line.

The Puma Velocity Nitro 2 has been a solid addition into the daily training category. The weight is very competitive and the ride is balanced well throughout. I have two recommendations though pretty small. The shoe does seem to run a tiny bit long, but still riding within the true to size range. The midsole also has a portion where the EVA moves superior/dorsally at the rearfoot and midfoot transition. For the first run or two that gave me a little bit of a speed bump sensation at that transition point. Once I broke the shoes in the feeling went away but it is something to look into. I think leveling off the NITRO and removing that uptick of the EVA would do pretty well for that transition point. 


Matt: The PUMA Velocity Nitro 2 is for someone with an average width foot looking for a slightly lighter stable neutral shoe with good cushioning for easy and long mileage. The 8.8 oz weight (men's size 9) feels great on foot over longer mileage. The NITRO foam provides plenty of cushioning and a little pop when the pace picks up. The sculpted EVA in the heel provides subtle guidance, making this a stable neutral shoe for those who need just a hint of guidance there. The upper fits fairly average with a slightly taper in the forefoot (that does open). Despite that, the upper mesh is comfortable and fits well for both training and casual use. The PUMA Velocity Nitro 2 sees some big changes, but manages to be a controlled upgrade that those coming from the original version and those new to this model should enjoy.

The Puma Velocity Nitro 2 is a daily training shoe for those that like to have a traditional training shoe feel with the versatility to move into some trail conditions and handle a little bit of uptempo work. The weight of the shoe is very competitive with the market being under 9.0 ounces in men's size 9. The NITRO foam topsole does balance well with the EVA midsole underneath and provide a moderately cushioned ride with a small amount of bounce. The last fits normal width throughout with a slightly wide forefoot and toebox. Overall, the Velocity Nitro 2 is a good daily trainer that gives a little bit of versatility thanks to weight and traction underfoot.


Fit: A-/B+ (Average fit with slight taper at toes. Comfortable mesh with good heel security but average midfoot security)
A-/B+ (Slightly clunky heel initially that breaks into consistent cushioning. Lighter weight feels fun and allows for pace to be picked up but flexibility of the forefoot makes it better for daily and long miles)
Stability: A- [Stable Neutral] (Excellent stability for a neutral shoe thanks to EVA midsole elevations and guidance line in forefoot)
DPT/Footwear Science: A-/B+ (Great use of midsole sculpting for subtle guidance. Guide line through forefoot is another method for subtle guidance in the forefoot. Heel bevel should be a bit more lateral give that heel strikers land at the posterior lateral heel)
Personal: B+/A- (A shoe I did not expect to like but has grown a great deal on me. I still wish there was a bit more lateral heel bevel however.)
Overall: B+/A- (A solid daily trainer for normal and longer mileage. Lighter weight that feels especially good with the NITRO foam underfoot)


Fit: A- (The upper is a lightweight yet still pretty plush mesh that fits well throughout while still being comfortable. The length may be a tad long.)
A- (Great at daily paces and can handle a good variety of terrain. I do get a small speed bump feeling at loading response with the transition moving from rearfoot into midfoot.)
Stability: A- (Traction is good throughout, usage of EVA midsole helps, supportive upper, though NITRO does still soften the platform and gives some deformation underfoot when loaded)
DPT/Footwear Science: B+ (The dual density midsole integration is pretty good. There are some subltle plays through the outsole and midsole geometry that also seem to help with linear motion.)
Personal: B+ (It took me a run or two, but the Velocity grew on me. Despite that speed bump feeling I get in the rearfoot/midfoot transition point the shoe is otherwise really fun to run in when broken in.)
Overall: B+/A- (A daily trainer that offers good versatility with a package including lightweight, good traction, and a dual density midsole that provides a balanced feel of soft and firm.)


Price: $83.88 at Running Warehouse

Shop Men | Shop Women

Using the following links to purchase helps support Doctors of Running. Thanks so much!

Check out Gear We Love
New Balance Rebel v2:
One of the most fun trainers of 2021 so far
Asics Metaspeed Sky: Chief Editor Matt Klein can't stop racing in it, even on trails (not advised)
Feetures Socks: Massively grippy socks that will make you feel more one with the shoe
Ultraspire Fitted Race Belt: The best way to carry your phone and goods on the run. No bounce and various sizes for waist
Skratch Recovery, Coffee Flavor: Mental and physical boost post run. Coffee flavor is excellent and goes great straight into a fresh brewed cup
Trigger Point Foam Roller: Help get those knots out post-run and feel better for tomorrow
Theragun Massager: This small version is great on the go for working tired legs
Ciele Hat: Our team's favorite running hat of choice!


Compare with Other Stable Neutral Trainers
Asics Nimbus Lite 3
Mizuno Wave Rider 25
Asics Noosa Tri 13

Recently at Doctors of Running
Hoka Tecton X - Double! platd trail shoe for long mileage
Brooks Hyperion Elite 2 - We dig back in time to take a look at Brook's current racing shoe.
Reebok Nano X1 - Our first look into cross training footwear!
Coros Pace 2 Watch - An excellent do-it-all watch at an economical price
Adidas RC3 - Keeping the traditioanl racing flat alive
Tracksmith Apparel - We take a look at the New England-based company that's taken the running apparel world by storm

Find all Shoe Reviews at Doctors of Running here.

Thanks for reading!


Facebook: Doctors of Running
Youtube Channel: Doctors of Running
Instagram: @doctorsofrunning
LinkedIn: Doctors of Running
Strava: Doctors of Running
Podcast: Virtual Roundtable
Pinterest: Doctors of Running


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.

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 *** 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

NEXT: Selecting Shoes for New Runners | DOR Podcast

Bottom Ad [Post Page]

// ]]>