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Puma ForeverRUN Nitro Review: Missing the Mark
By David Salas, Bach Pham and Matthew Klein

Puma came back in a big way in 2021 with the introduction of the Nitro line, reigniting their running line with all-new footwear. We've had nothing but good things to say about the majority of this big brand reboot; the Deviate Elite Nitro remains one of our favorite racers, the Velocity Nitro a staple recommendation for everyday runners. For 2022, Puma continues to build on their success with new innovations like the ForeverRun which aims to bring a new stability model to the table. Designed with the experts at Kaiser Sport & Ortop├Ždi, the shoe is a kitchen sink of stability concepts in one unique model.

Price: $150 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 9.6 oz, 274 g (men's size 9), 7.9 oz, 224 g  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 36mm / 26 mm
Drop: 10mm
Classification: Stability Trainer (per Puma), Neutral Daily Training Shoe (Per DOR)





RUNNING SHOE SUMMARY

Matt: The Puma ForeverRun Nitro is a highly cushioned neutral shoe with some stable elements in the heel and forefoot. It features a low volume but a slightly wider fit throughout. The heel features sidewalls and an external counter that provides some centeredness at the heel. A small metatarsal lift sits in the forefoot of the insole, providing a mild proprioceptive lift to the forefoot. The midfoot narrows and is less stable with the tall platform, so those who do not need anything there will do best. Best as a daily training shoe for easy and slow miles, the ForeverRun Nitro attempts to be a stability shoe but instead ends up as a cushioned neutral shoe with some stable elements. 

David: The Puma ForeverRun Nitro is a new training model with aims of creating some stability and guidance. The shoe uses the Nitro midsole that is consistent with some of the other training models in their line. The foam rides a tad firmer than some of the other midsoles out there but does give a little bounce. The shoe uses an external heel counter and a "RunGuide" system to create transitions forward and centered. The result feels a little short of a stability shoe, though still has some nice elements. 

Bach: The ForeverRun brings together many elements we've been slowly seeing over the years, from the dual layer midsole with firmer Nitro foam on the outside and softer Nitro foam atop to a RunGuide system around the heel aimed at centering the runner. On paper, all of these elements along with the generous forefoot and heel, sole flare, and more should create a dynamic stability trainer, but instead the ForeverNitro delivers a compelling ride with less stability than expected.

SIMILAR SHOES
: Brooks Glycerin 20

VIDEO REVIEW



FIT


Matt: The Puma ForeverRun Nitro fits me true to size, if slightly long, in my normal Men's US Size 10. The width is on the wider side, but the volume is low especially at the forefoot. The mesh does have some mild stretch to it, although the lower volume put a decent amount of pressure on my toes. Combined with the slightly longer fit, this caused some creasing in the upper that put pressure on my MTP joints. I found this annoying at first, but I have not had any issues besides that. The midfoot fits normal to wide with a thin gusseted tongue. The tongue stays secure but I found the laces on the thin side. The heel fits slightly wider with a little heel collar cushioning. I have had a large amount of heel slippage in this shoe that I have been unable to lace lock my way out of because of the thin laces putting excessive pressure on my anterior ankle. There is a heel counter that is stiff in the rear portion and more flexible on the sides. The internal mesh is a bit scratchy, so would definitely use socks with this shoe. Overall, this shoe will work best for those with a lower-volume forefoot and a wider heel.

David: The Puma ForeverRun Nitro fits true to size in my Men's 9.5. The upper is a little polarizing for me. The lacing system almost locks down a little too well, mainly due to low volume through the midfoot. I will get some biting or pressure to the top of my foot because of this. This is one of the rare shoes I have to loosen my laces. The width in the heel and forefoot are normal with the midfoot slightly narrow with a slightly snug hold. The mesh material is very breathable throughout and feels reinforced pretty well. The tongue is thinner than most training shoes but does have some padding at the top.

Ironically I feel that the padding is most needed in the midfoot halfway up the lacing system to prevent that excessive pressure. With that said the upper does its job and keeps you on the platform. The shoe does have an external heel counter that reinforces the heel cup region. It is relatively flexible and feels like it holds the structure of the shoe more than anything. 

Bach: I received a women's pair of the ForeverRun Nitro in my typical men's size. This version of the shoe did fit true to size in my women's pair; a little snug volume-wise in the the toebox, but with a bit of room to breath. I did find the fit to be secure throughout and comfortable for longer efforts. The heel in my model was secure. There is some foam padding in the rear of the heel which provided some nice cushioning. This is a rigid heel counter in place.

The area where I did have some issues with the heel collar though which has some rough material exposed on the lateral and medial sides. On my last testing run, wearing no-show socks, I did get a touch of a small cut around my ankle bone. With quarter length socks I didn't have any issues, but with no-show socks, I did notice it rubbing on a couple of occasions and would advise caution there.

The heel was also not fully secure for me, though not to the extent of David and Matt in their men's pairs. The foam in the heel is comfortable and appreciated, but also leaves a little wiggle room that felt a touch loose. I also didn't want to lace lock the shoe heel collar was already a little sensitive for me. I ended up going for a more relaxed lacing here as a result, which was fine for easy runs, but not secure enough to give confidence for faster efforts.

Despite that, I had no issues during my easy and longer runs. The upper in general breathed fine and gave me no hotspots. I mostly felt like it was out of the way, which is all I could ask for.

Lastly, I love a pull tab. Though a bit wonky, it serves it's purpose well here.




PERFORMANCE

Matt: The Puma ForeverRun Nitro is a daily training shoe with a cushioned ride, especially in the heel. It is on the lighter side, but runs like a more cushioned and heavier shoe. The full-length Nitro foam provides a cushioned ride that sits on the slightly softer end in the rearfoot and slightly firmer in the forefoot. A majority of the foam is in the heel, which combined with a slightly medially biased heel bevel and a large amount of lateral heel flare makes for clunky landings in the back. This transitions to a weirdly narrowed midfoot and then to a slightly firmer, slightly stiff but more stable forefoot. The forefoot rocker transitions you forward decently at even speeds, but with the rest of the ride works best for easy miles. The larger heel and slightly clunky ride works best for training miles but feels sloppy at anything faster than that. There is a 10mm drop and it feels at that level or higher. This shoe feels better the farther forward you land, but the larger heel still pulls you back. Those who land farther forward or like a chunky heel will enjoy this shoe.

There is extensive rubber coverage in the heel and forefoot. I am seeing some wear at my usual spot (posterior lateral heel) after 25 miles, so expect an average number of miles out of these. I am not as adventurous as David, but have tried to take this shoe on trails. Unfortunately, I had several rocks get stuck in the outsole "holes", so would suggest that most people keep these on road type surfaces. 

David: The Puma ForeverRun Nitro had some promise, though was not a home run for me. The shoe has a surprisingly lively ride if you push it thanks to the firmness of the foam and rigidity through the forefoot. The rigidity seems to come from the foam itself and from the thicker outsole. Though the snappiness shines in the forefoot I struggle to find joy in the rearfoot and midfoot. I felt the shoe was too rigid through these regions and the shoe came off very slappy. The nitro foam saved it some, easing the transition, but not enough to look past. The shoe feels like it is rounded okay through the heel, but has zero flex through the midfoot. Once I get past that loading response and initial stance transition the the shoe performs pretty well otherwise. The traction underfoot is actually really good. I felt sticky even with slick conditions with the recent rains here in Santa Barbara. The Run Guide System isn't really that noticeable to me. I do notice the rigidity and sole flaring. The platform itself feels inherently stable, though the transitions don't feel great to me in the early phases. With that said I don't really feel a sense of guidance or centering with this shoe outside of the sole flaring. The external heel counter doesn't feel like it is doing too much for me. The ForeverRun does have a lot of promise though. If that midfoot is cleaned up I could see this being a shoe I reach for much more frequently. 

Bach: I'm going to get a bit ahead of myself by saying this isn't a stability shoe in my eyes. It borders stable neutral in the forefoot, but not in the midfoot. That being said, as just a ride on its own I really enjoyed the ForeverRun Nitro. The forefoot feels very cushioned. It's a bit clunky when you first hit the road each run, but as you get into mile two, three and more it has a really lovely bounce and just rides really nicely. Puma uses a dual layer midsole with a firmer Nitro as the chassis and a softer Nitro foam atop. I honestly felt miles were passing by with no thought and could feel the unique interaction that this creates. I even found the shoe enjoyable for destroying up and downhills, making it one of my favorite trainers for elevation this year. With the weight being relatively light on foot, the ForeverRun is just a pleasure. I wouldn't pick the pace up in this model or even really do strides, but for easy day and long runs, it's honestly been delightful for me. 

The outsole has the excellent PumaGrip which does a great job with traction and was no issue on wet roads. I wouldn't really want to take it offroad because I don't feel it's the most stable, but if you had to go on some light dirt road this should handle it fine. I'm pretty light on my feet, so durability-wise it has been perfectly fine for me. I took the original Velocity Nitro 100 miles and had more wear than I expected for that model, but there seems to be a bit more rubber on the ForeverRun to burn through.




STABILITY

Matt: The Puma ForeverRun Nitro is a neutral shoe that borders on stable neutral in the heel and forefoot. Although it is marketed as a stability shoe, it does not make the mark due to a narrowed midfoot and a large amount of heel sole flare that ends up pitching me medially through that area. This sole flare comes from the above-mentioned centered/slightly medial-facing heel bevel. There is more lateral than medial sole flare, so this shoe will work better for those with lateral stability issues than medial. The sidewalls and external heel counter on the medial and lateral sides of the heel do provide some guidance at the rearfoot, but do not completely offset the lateral sole flare. The midfoot narrows as mentioned and has little in the way of stability or guidance. Although there are two foams with a softer core, this is not really noticeable in regards to a guidance sense. The forefoot features a wider fit, sole flare on each side and a metatarsal lift as part of the insole. The metatarsal lift is flexible and not rigid, so serves as more of a proprioceptive cue that true stability. It is mild, but combined with the sole flare and wider shape definitely moves it toward being stable neutral. The stable forefoot is not enough to pull this shoe to a stability rating as it is offset by narrowed midfoot and the slightly medially biased heel. However, those that do well with metatarsal lifts and need some lateral heel stability will do well in this shoe. 

David: The Puma ForeverRun Nitro is marketed as a stability shoe. The shoe does some things well. The platform underfoot does feel very trusty. It is wide and contains inherent stiffness and rigidity. The sole flaring makes you feel planted without rolling medially or laterally. The things that could be improved is the guidance and the heel counter. The heel counter feels like it is just there. It does not feel like it gives a hold or sense of support. It feels like it just maintains the shape of the shoe. The guidance system feels a little non existent. There are not much deep grooves or sidewalls that make me feel like I am transitioning forward in a linear fashion. There are some deep hole punches throughout the foam but it seems more aesthetic to me. The upper lock down is pretty good throughout and from a security and stability standpoint I had no issues. I just wish the volume was better through the midfoot or the tongue was more padded. The stability in this shoe is okay, but runs more like a stable neutral than a true stability shoe. 

Bach: Puma identifies the ForeverRun Nitro as a stability shoe due to its width, RunGuide, and other elements, but I ultimately just didn't feel any of them. There is maybe mild, mild guidance going on with the RunGuide, but in general this is a neutral shoe with stability elements. The midfoot is deceptively narrower than it looks, concaving inward and creating a much slimmer midfoot than it appears from a distance. Between the upper which was a bit insecure in the heel and the slimmer midfoot, I found it hard to call this a stability shoe.

The forefoot is excellent though. A widened base with generous sole flaring and some unique guidance elements underfoot in the outsole design helps generate a very enjoyable landing pad that feels excellent when you are on your form and up on your upper mid to forefoot. The midfoot is just narrow enoug thoughh that while the wide forefoot and rearfoot might keep you from collapsing, it's an awkward, somewhat counteracting sensation if you are a heavy pronator that may feel clunky.

In its current state, I would call it a well-cushioned neutral trainer with a really solid forefoot design.



Thoughts as a DPT: Heel Counters and Stability
By David Salas

There are so many ways to design shoes. Some people are going to like minimalistic designs, while others are going to favor more materialistically involved shoes. One branch of shoes that tend to involve more materials would be the stability category. This category of footwear has evolved many times throughout the years. Philosophically stability shoes usually have been geared towards decreasing the calcaneal eversion or subtalar pronation moment through the stance phases (Nishiwaki & Nonogawa, 2015). The idea is to prevent the amount of collapse you have through the longitudinal arch so that you can resupinate and push off through the toe off phases of running. A case study from Nishiwaki & Nonogawa (2015) did find that motion into calcaneal eversion was reduced with a Polyurethane heel counter compared to a conventional heel counter at 10% motion through the gait cycle with 0% being heel contact onset and 100% being toe off with a rigid medial heel counter. There are some limitations to this as this does not document the rest of the gait cycle and is only at the calcaneus, though we can infer that some of the velocity decreased. In the Puma ForeverRun Nitro there is an external heel counter, though it is highly flexible and seems to only hold the structure of the upper. Support to the calcaneus in this region is wide and is not very noticeable. It seems as though if you are going to commit to a heel counter, it should be something that has impact on motion through the rearfoot and has some natural rigidity or control. 

Sources: 
Nishiwaki, T., & Nonogawa, M. (2015). Application of topological optimization technique to running shoe designing. Procedia Engineering 112. 314-319.



RECOMMENDATIONS

Matt: The Puma ForeverRun is an interesting shoe, especially with the flexible metatarsal lift in the insole. However, it misses the mark as a stability shoe. I see where the attempts are, but several things need to be improved. The upper volume and fit needs to be adjusted. The combination of low volume forefeet and wide heel is a rarity. I would snug up the heel and change the volume in the forefoot to comfortably accommodate different size feet. The lateral flare in the heel and what feels like a medially biased heel bevel needs to be fixed. For a stable neutral shoe, the flare needs to be even between each side. People tend to land at the posterior lateral heel and not the posterior medial, so the bevel needs to be moved laterally to easy people's transition in. After that point, it is fine to have some flare and sidewalls. The midfoot should not be narrowed in a stability shoe. There are other ways to sculpt the midsole for weight reduction but this is not one that should be utilized for what the shoe is marketed as. This shoe has real potential, but needs to be refined to actually be where it is being advertised. Whatever the "RunGuide" is I don't feel it, so my final piece of advice would be to somehow integrate this better. 

David: The Puma ForeverRun Nitro could improve in a couple of ways. I think a big opportunity is looking at the platform. The heel and the forefoot feel pretty good, though the transitions in between through the midfoot are very slappy. If they can create some flexibility through that region to smoothen the transition it will greatly improve the experience of the ride. The upper also has a very low volume through midfoot and I had pressure from the laces consistently. More volume would benefit the shoe as well. I think refining the guidance system would be good as well. The shoe isn't bad, but it doesn't feel like what is marketed or written on the shoe. 

Bach: Puma doesn't have to have a real stability shoe. There, I said it. It's totally okay Puma. However, it could certainly do a few things to make this a stable neutral shoe. The first would be truly widening the midfoot so it is wide throughout. The second would be to - this is rare for me to say - further build out the heel further to secure the foot in the way their other models like the Velocity does well.

I believe the heel collar needs some kind of padding or softening to help prevent irritation as well. The current material is just a bit too rough.

WHO THIS SHOE IS FOR

Matt: The Puma ForeverRun Nitro is a daily training shoe for those who want a highly cushioned shoe with a lower volume forefoot, wider forefoot, a flexible metatarsal lift and lateral stability at the heel. It is not a true stability shoe despite being advertised as one due the medial bias, especially at the midfoot. I am disappointed in how this shoe was executed as there are some interesting elements here. Unfortunately, a shoe is a system that is the sum of all of its parts and not just one or two. It is still a decent trainer with plenty of heel cushioning for some mileage, but the population this may work for is narrower than Puma is probably hoping for. 

David: The Puma ForeverRun Nitro is a training shoe for someone that wants a shoe that has a firmer ride while maintaining cushioning. The shoe has good sole flaring in the forefoot and heel but still feels very much neutral to me. Traction underfoot is really good. Those that are harder heel strikers might find this platform rigid and slappy, but if you are a little more forward the transitions may feel smoother. 

Bach:
This, to me, is a well-cushioned, neutral trainer that has a surprisingly fun ride that Puma has developed. I really enjoy the overall make of the design with the softer internal foam and more structured rim of Nitro. I'm disappointed to see that the stability design didn't really come together in the way I feel Puma wanted, but for what it's worth they still made a trainer that's extremely pleasurable. If you came for the stability, move on along, but if you are interested in a high stacked, slightly firmer, but bouncy cushioned ride that runs neutral, come onboard.

As far as how I would use it, the easy rotation would be to combine it with their Deviate Nitro v2 or Deviate Nitro Elite for an excellent 1-2 pairing that could get any neutral runner through a marathon training season. Basically any workout/racing shoe will be a great pairing to go with the ForeverRun. Four hour or more marathon runners may even find this to be an interesting option for their next race. It runs extremely well and is comfortable underfoot.


GRADING

Matt
Fit: C+/B- (Low volume forefoot with wide heel. Heel slippage that I cannot correct and a low volume forefoot that puts extra pressure on my toes and MTP joints)
Performance: B-
 (Highly cushioned but clunky/slappy heel. Odd midfoot transition with slightly stiff forefoot. Best for easy miles)
Stability: C+/B- [Neutral] (Metatarsal lift in forefoot with narrow midfoot and medially biased heel due to lateral sole flare. Not a stability shoe)
DPT/Footwear Science: C (Missed the mark on the majority of current concepts in stable neutral and stability.)
Personal: C (Honestly not a shoe I will continue to run in. I appreciate the attempt, but the fit, ride and stability do not work for me.)
Overall: C+

David
Fit: (Upper is pretty good throughout. Volume is just too low for me through the midfoot and I get biting from the laces. It is double trouble with the thin tongue.)
Performance: C+ 
(Not bad, not great. Room for a lot of potential. The foam and traction feel great. The transition through the midfoot is slappy and unenjoyable though. At slightly faster paces this cleans up.)
Stability: B (The sole flaring and traction on the shoe was done well. Though as stated before this feels like a stable neutral shoe. Nothing about this screams stability on foot. Guidance system could be improved, as I don't feel much.)
DPT/Footwear Science: C+ (The guidance system feels rather nonexistent. Despite the sole flaring I don't feel much influence from the shoe to keep me centered and rolling forward smoothly)
Personal: C+ (So much potential, though the midfoot does it in for me. The slappy transitions combined with the low volume through the midfoot make this a no go from me. There are some really positive components though and this will work for someone.)
Overall: C+/ B- (A decent, not great trainer. It has a slappy midfoot transition, but really good traction and sole flaring. Foam has promise for both daily and slight uptempo. Upper volume too low through midfoot)

Bach

Fit: B (Harder to say due to the model I received, but the women's mostly worked for me though could be more secure. I worry that the men's version would be too loose)
Performance:
A- (Puma pulled off a compelling daily training ride that feels cushioned and bouncy)
Stability: B- (Being meant as a stability shoe, the design just doesn't come together to provide enough stability in my book)
DPT/Footwear Science: B (I do feel Puma failed at it's goal of an advanced stability shoe, but the ride is still compelling)
Personal: A- (Despite its faults, I really enjoyed the heck out of this ride and will keep it in my personal lineup for everyday training)
Overall: B
 

SHOP | SUPPORT DOR

Puma ForeverRun Nitro
Price: $150 at Running Warehouse

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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 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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