Over the past two years, Puma has released a wide range of new shoes catering for all types of runners. At one end of the spectrum are some of the most innovative new carbon plate race shoes available, at the other sits the max-cushioned Magnify Nitro 2.
When it comes to soft easy day shoes, Puma has always been up against some stiff competition from other brands. Companies like Saucony and Brooks have dominated the market with long-standing favourites such as the Triumph and Glycerin lines. Until recently, Puma has been playing catch-up.
That all changed with the release of the original Magnify Nitro; a high-stack shoe designed for comfort over easy and long runs. It was a shoe that became popular due to a smooth transition and a slightly firmer ride than many of its competitors, and as a result, offered more versatility than many cushioned options.
The Magnify Nitro 2 takes learning from the original but improves on it with additional foam in the midsole and a revamped knit upper to improve the overall comfort of the shoe.
Weight 287g (Men 8) | Drop: 10mm | Price: £130
- Impressive level of responsiveness for a cushioned shoe
- Comfortable knit upper
- More stable than many alternatives
- A firmer midsole than some other options
The Puma Magnify Nitro 2 combines some of the brand’s leading technology to produce an experience that balances comfort with an efficiently smooth ride. The most important feature is the thick layer of nitrogen-injected NITRO foam that runs the length of the shoe.
It’s a foam Puma uses across the majority of its shoes due to its versatility and comfort. Unlike some high-stack shoes, which can feel overly soft for some people and are often sluggish when training at a faster pace, Nitro foam is noticeably more versatile.
The Magnify Nitro 2 also sees a big overhaul to the upper design, opting for knitted material that stretches with the foot. The new sock-like design still includes plenty of reinforced sections to add structure and lockdown but allows the foot to move around comfortably without feeling restricted. The other bonus of the new design is an improvement in breathability when training in hotter conditions.
There’s also plenty of padding around the ankle collar and tongue section of the shoe to improve the plushness and provide a soft, cushioned feel when ticking off a lot of miles.
Finally, there’s a generous layer of PUMAGRIP outsole; one of the best rubbers available, providing a high level of grip in any road conditions and maximising the durability of the shoe.
How does it feel?
With the additional midsole foam in the Magnify Nitro 2, there’s a clear improvement in the level of cushioning over the first version. However, despite its stack height, it’s a shoe that still has a good balance between softness and responsiveness, making it an accessible shoe for runners who want a more stable ride than many of its competitors.
For easy and recovery runs the Magnify Nitro 2 works extremely well. The cushioning protects the legs nicely with a supportive feel that puts it up there with the best that other brands offer.
Although it’s a long way off a speed shoe, that foam actually makes the shoe surprisingly versatile for days when you want to pick up the pace.
The real sweet spot for the shoe is long runs. The 10mm drop works alongside a subtle level of bounce for a consistently smooth transition when you need it. For marathon training, the shoe quickly became our go-to, with the added stability of the denser foam helping to hold the foot in place over the later miles when tiredness kicks in.
In wetter conditions, we found the PUMAGRIP outsole to be excellent, providing some of the best traction we’ve experienced in a road shoe. Due to the generous layer of rubber, we also found the shoe could even be used for lighter trails on dry days.
Who is it for?
Despite being a max-cushioned shoe, there’s a lot more to the Magnify Nitro 2 than easy day runs. For beginners, it’s a shoe with a lot going for it. The mix of softness, responsiveness and stability makes it an accessible option that could easily be used for anything from short-distance training runs all the way up to a marathon – if the focus is crossing the finish line in comfort.
For those seasoned runners aiming for race PBs, the shoe is a bit on the heavy side, but as part of a rotation, it’s easily one of the best options out there to cover all of your easy runs and long sessions.
The Puma Magnify Nitro 2 is an impressive cushioned shoe that excels in its versatility. The NITRO foam midsole is a perfect balance of cushioning and responsiveness which, combined with a more stable ride than many of its competitors, makes it one of our favourite easy day and long run shoes currently available.