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Puma Electrify Nitro 2 Review: More Than a Budget Shoe
By Content Manager Bach Pham and Chief Editor/Founder Matthew Klein

While the majority of running shoes have continued to increase in price, a few shoes have been able to provide great rides at the $100 mark. This category of shoes sits on the line between a budget shoe and a premium shoe, bringing features from both sides. Surprisingly, many of the shoes in this category have been excellent, bringing incredible value for those hesitant to spend more money or newer runners getting into the sport. The Puma Electrify Nitro 2 is one of those shoes. Coming in at only $100, the Electrify Nitro 2 brings higher-level design and comfort to a shoe for new runners running short to moderate distances at a variety of paces.

Puma Electrify Nitro 2
Price: $100 at Puma
Weight: 9.4 oz, 266 g (men's size 10, measured)
Stack Height: Not Provided
Drop: Estimated 8-10mm
Classification: Daily Trainer


Matt: The Puma Electrify Nitro 2 is an affordable daily training shoe for newer runners wanting a consistent and durable shoe for short to moderate miles. A snug upper provides a secure fit with a stretchy forefoot. An EVA midsole and extremely durable PUMAGRIP make up the sole, providing a slightly firmer, lower, and snappy ride. A great shoe for those just getting into running and wanting a small dose of higher tech without breaking the bank. The Puma Electrify Nitro 2 works great for daily miles, mild uptempo work, and especially for those who want a more traditional stack height training shoe. 

Bach: The Puma Electrify Nitro is their $100 offering, and the shoe you'll likely find in-person at your local chain sporting good store from the brand. That's not to say that's a bad thing; their PROFOAMLITE midsole is a surprisingly responsive EVA blend that pairs well with their proven, super sticky PUMAGRIP outsole to create a snappy little trainer.

SIMILAR SHOES: Adidas SL20.3, ASICS Dynablast 2, Nike Winflo 9


Matt: The Puma Electrify Nitro 2 fits me true to size length-wise in my normal men's size 10. The width is normal in the heel, snug in the midfoot and snug in the forefoot. Although the toebox does taper, the mesh upper is quite flexible. This provides a stretchy fit that maintains the snugness but hugs the foot. The midfoot features a gusseted tongue that is on the thinner side. The laces are elastic and interact with the tongue to securely hug the midfoot. Interestingly, there is no secondary lace hole at the end. Instead, there are loops that laces go through that further lock the foot in. The heel collar is well padded with a flexible heel counter. The counter only runs halfway up but makes up for this by wrapping farther forward on both the medial and lateral sides. Those sensitive to heel counters should approach with some caution, but I had no issues. While the upper is mostly comfortable wearing sockless, the flexible toe guard material is on the inner side of the upper and caused me some mild hot spots. For that reason, I would stick with socks. Overall, the upper of the Puma Electrify Nitro 2 fits on the snug side, but does have a secure and close fit. 

Bach: The Electrify Nitro 2 fits true to size in my men's size 9.5. It's got a very performance fit throughout, with a snug midfoot and secure heel. The forefoot is width wise is normal, but with a fairly amount of tapering from the lateral side in and lower volume. Those with wide needs will likely need to size up at least. The material does have some stretch though, which helps. A slight snugness can be present on my lateral forefoot when first starting a run, but it always goes away once I get shortly into things.

The heel collar is well-padded, but also mostly flexible which is a unique combination to find. There is a lower heel collar that wraps around the heel. I found the collar in general to be very comfortable and mostly disappear on foot. The tongue is very thin, similar to the Puma Deviate Nitro, but also soft and unobtrusive. It did a good job of just sitting on the foot without riding into the heel like the version one of the Deviate Nitro did. I did not have to lace lock the shoe at all - not that there is an option due to the lack of holes to do so - and felt it did not need it in any way.


Matt: The Puma Electrify Nitro 2 is a lighter performance shoe in the budget category. The midsole features full-length PROFOAMLITE with a rearfoot section of Nitro. This provides a snappier and slightly firmer ride underfoot. The forefoot flexibility is on the stiffer side. While the toe-off is fairly smooth, that stiffness helps to pick up the pace. The heel drop was not listed but feels on the higher end. The heel is a little clunky despite a heel bevel present. This may be due to the more centered heel bevel as I tend to land more lateral. The moderate stack height and slightly firmer cushioning make the Electrify Nitro best for short to moderate distance runs and easier to uptempo efforts. I have used this shoe for shorter fartleks and it has performed adequately. The heel gets in the way when trying to run consistently faster/tempo paces. This smooths out when you land farther forward. The firmness and relatively lower stack height (compared to most shoes) tend to become more apparent after 7-8 miles. Thus, the Puma Electrify Nitro will work well as a double-duty budge shoe for those wanting to get into running and experiment with some mild pace changes.

Although the extensive PUMAGRIP outsole likely contributes to the midsole firmness, it adds durability and traction to the ride. I have over 30 miles on my pair without a dent in the midsole. Thus, I expect this shoe to last far longer than most budget shoes. The grip also works well on wet surfaces and mild trails thanks to the lugs in the forefoot. While this is a road shoe, the Puma Electrify Nitro will also be able to handle some mild to moderate weather conditions. 

Bach: The Electrify Nitro 2 is just flat out better than it should be. The PROFOAMLITE midsole has a lot of surprising responsiveness to it that I just wasn't expecting from this model. The forefoot is fairly flexible, but also due to the decent amount of PROFOAMLITE midsole here, feels like it snaps down and turns over very quickly. The shoe on my first runs felt a lot faster than it should be. There is some slight stiffness throughout as well from the large slab of midsole that makes it a little less like the more relaxed Puma Velocity Nitro and more akin to the slightly stiffer, quicker Deviate Nitro in the feeling of how it turns over, but of course not as rigid or bouncy.

All that being said, the midsole has its limits, and I felt like daily training miles were the right sweet spot. Anything longer and further, it just feels a bit lacking all-around and the limitations of the midsole become present. It can handle strides very well, but even a moderate workout feels a bit sluggish. It is absolutely best as a daily mileage grinder for those looking to do short to 40-45 minute sessions.

This is where the decision between the Velocity Nitro and Electrify comes up: if you are in the market for a do-it-all for a more intensive training with long runs or workouts, the Velocity is definitely the pick. If you are a newer runner looking to just log some miles weekly and build yourself up or just pick up some recreational miles, the Electrify could be a good budget pick that gives you plenty of protection for easy miles without hurting the bank too much.

The outsole is really what helps make this an interesting pick over other budget models. The PUMAGRIP is super sticky and part of what helps you really tackle the road and pick up for a few strides here and there. It's also a bit of a softer rubber, helping the shoe not feel too firm underfoot. Overall, the outsole provides you with a durability that will likely last longer than the foam itself. The PUMAGRIP also performs very well on wet terrain.


Matt: The Puma Electrify Nitro 2 is a neutral shoe. There are no traditional methods of stability. However, for those that need some mild rearfoot guidance, the Electrify Nitro 2 may work for you. In addition to mild sole flare, the rearfoot features a plastic piece/clip that creates additional rigidity. The lower heel counter travels farther forward than most, which combined with the mild sidewalls in the rearfoot provide gentle/mild guidance. There is also a guidance line that runs throughout the outsole. How much it contributes to guidance I do not know given how shallow it is. The shoe shape is narrow overall, particularly at the midfoot. Thus, those who want a little guidance in the rearfoot with a neutral ride in the midfoot and forefoot will enjoy the Electrify Nitro 2. 

Bach: This is a neutral shoe through and through. The shoe has a very straight last and a traditional midsole that sits right in the middle cushioning-wise; it's is neither firm enough to give a lot of resistance against collapsing, but also not not soft enough to be too unstable at the same time. The majority of the stability is in the rearfoot, where the heel is well-locked in thanks to the structure of the shoe. There is a little bit of guidance through the outsole that Matt mentioned that I also felt, helping gently direct you through the tapered forefoot.

In general, this is a neutral shoe that will offer a little bit of rearfoot support, but not much more than most budget models it competes against if that is a point of contention in your purchasing decision.


Let's Talk Lacing
By Chief Editor Matt Klein

The Puma Electrify Nitro 2 does not feature an additional eyelet for the laces like many shoes. Instead, it features additional loops for the laces to go through. This feels like the "Runner's Loop" I normally use to secure the rearfoot of a shoe whenever I experience heel slippage. This technique requires an additional lace hole to perform. The additional lace hole is there for several reasons, including the ability to customize the lacing of a shoe to adequately fit each individual's foot/feet.

There are many different lacing techniques out there, many of which are well outlined by our friend Jens Jakob Anderson over at Run Repeat (LINK). Shoe shapes, lasts, and other components that contribute to fit are based on certain runners prior to the production of a shoe. Whether this shape matches your foot can vary and may not be given how much variety there is in human foot shapes. We have begun talking about shoe volume more, as the width is only part of the equation. Whether you have a wide, narrow, high volume, low volume, etc type of foot, there are many different ways to adjust your shoe to fit your feet better. Although we advise runners to look for a shoe that fits their feet right away, that isn't always possible when factoring in other things a runner may want about the shoe (foam, design, shape, competition level, etc).

Some uppers like the Electrify Nitro 2 start fitting snug and break into the shape of the runner's feet with some wear. This took 10-15 miles for the mesh to adapt to my feet. At that point, they continued to provide a snug fit but it was stretched to accommodate my specific foot type. Some break-in with any shoe is required.  However, this process should not involve pain. If you are having fit issues repeatedly or with a certain shoe you want to like/enjoy, we encourage you to look at the above link regarding different lacing techniques. It takes a little extra time to optimize this but it will be worth it in the long run (also literally during long runs when any fit issues can become abrasions). 


Matt: The Puma Electrify Nitro 2 is a solid shoe for being in the budget category. The lighter weight and snappier ride bring it to the level of a performance trainer at an affordable cost. It is on the firmer end, which may be challenging to some individuals not used to the impact forces associated with running. For that reason, I would encourage Puma to lengthen the heel bevel to make heel transitions a little easier. With the NITRO heel insert, I would also like to see an additional insert at the forefoot for additional cushioning at the metatarsals. These are small recommendations that may bump this shoe further up in quality, making it attractive for newer runners or those wanting a simple and dependable shoe. 

Bach: The Electrify Nitro 2 is a surprising performer despite being in the budget category. It's got a midsole that has more pop than anyone might expect and plenty of durability and grip. One of the things I feel Puma could consider is actually removing even more stack and making this a very light trainer that is still springy and competitive to something like an Asics Hyperspeed or Skechers Horizon. I could see the combination of a lighter Electrify with the super sticky PUMAGRIP being an exciting option at a budget level, especially for high school athletes looking for something nimble to train in - which can be difficult to readily find at a price point under $100.


Matt: The Puma Electrify Nitro 2 is a budget performance trainer with a snappy ride and a snug fit. A mesh upper sits up top with a snug fit that will work best for those with narrow feet or those with normal-width feet that want a close fit. The sole is on the firmer end with a stiffer forefoot that makes transitions into uptempo work easy. The heel is a little clunky, so those landing a little farther forward may find the ride smoother. Best for newer runners wanting a slightly firmer ride that can handle short to moderate distances and normal to uptempo paces, the Puma Electrify Nitro 2 is a solid entry-level running shoe.

Bach: The Electrify Nitro 2 packages a surprisingly responsive trainer at the $100 level. Yes, the rest of the Nitro line is far more exciting and well-rounded for more veteran runners, and the go-to if you are able to choose between the Electrify and the Velocity or Deviate Nitro or other shoes. If you are looking for an affordable entry shoe as you start your running adventure or just a durable trainer to rotate with your more explosive shoes for workouts, this could be a really fine option to check out. It's softer than budget shoes under $100 and more responsive than some shoes well over.

Like Matt says, the rearfoot is a bit clunky, but the shoe otherwise rides well and offers a more fun, more viable option than a lot at and under its $100 price point. If you are shopping in a retail store like Dick's or Academy or DSW, you'll be very hard pressed to find a better option at this exact price point currently barring more expensive options being on sale.


Fit: B+ (Secure, snug and low volume fit)
Performance: B/B-
 (Clunky heel with snappy forefoot. Ride is slightly firmer. Best for moderate to short runs)
Stability: B/B- [Neutral] (Guided rearfoot, less stable at midfoot. Narrow shape)
DPT/Footwear Science: B (Well-designed performance budget shoe. Could use a longer bevel to ease the transitions of newer runners. Wider midfoot would also be a good idea. Additional cushioning may be needed and could easily be achieved with a piece of NITRO foam in the forefoot)
Personal: B/B- (Solid ride for a budget shoe. Snug/Narrow fit a bit too much for me. Heel is clunky, but feels decent at uptempo efforts)
Overall: B

Fit: B+ (A bit snug volume wise, but very secure)
B (Though responsive, somewhat limited to shorter, easy runs with some strides)
Stability: B- (Though stable in the rear, the heel flare is a little clunky. Not much to help stabilize the midfoot here. A neutral shoe overall)
DPT/Footwear Science: B (Puma was able to pull some fun out of what should be a relatively normal midsole)
Personal: B (Still surprised by the shoe's responsiveness, but ultimately a bit limiting outside of logging miles)
Overall: B


Price: $100 at Puma

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Find options $100 and under via our Affordable Shoe Guide.
Adidas SL20.3 - A simple recycled upper update this year to this daily trianer
New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3 - Redesigned throughout, but still a soft and versatile ride
Mizuno Wave Neo Collection - We talk with Mizuno about the Wave Neo Ultra and Wind
adidas Adizero Adios 7 - The snappy performance trainer returns with a recycled upper
Newton Running Distance+ - A fast and fun performance trainer for track and road
Find all Shoe Reviews at Doctors of Running here.

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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 USA 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 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.

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