The Puma Deviate Nitro is the company’s first crack at a marathon (or distance-racing shoe) in a long time. It has a carbon-composite plate that runs the length of the midsole, and the midsole cushioning material is a nitrogen-gas-infused foam, suitably named Nitro. This approach to a performance marathon trainer (or even racing shoe) gives it a notably different ride than some of its competitors – this is the plushest carbon-plated shoe I’ve worn, and if you’re a person who finds most carbon-plated shoes a little firm, you’ll love the Deviate.
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Availability: May 2021
Drop: 8 mm
Weight: 257 g for men’s size 9
Stack: 32 mm
The Deviate’s upper is very minimal, with small amounts of cushioning where runners tend to experience hot spots. Made of a tightly woven mesh, with reflective details that are great for low-light runs, the upper is breathable and comfortable.
In the world of racing and high-performance training shoes, women are often left purchasing a small men’s size, as opposed to having models made distinctly for their feet (which are considerably different from men’s). Puma created a women’s last, designed with their specific needs in mind. These considerations include a narrower heel and shorter instep.
The Deviate has a carbon-composite plate, which they call Innoplate, that runs the length of their shoe. This plate, along with the Nitro foam, is what gives the Deviate its spring. On first wear, you immediately notice the shoe is pleasantly built up in the front and extremely bouncy – it’s like you’ve got a pillow, attached to a diving board, under your toes. The feel at the front isn’t far off the feel of Nike’s Air Bag technology, but what distinguishes the feel of the Deviate from, say, a Nike carbon-plated shoe, is its plush feel and lack of rocker. This shoe lets you move quite naturally, and has a softer landing than other carbon-plated shoes.
With a 32 mm stack height and an 8 mm drop, this shoe sits a little lower to the ground than some of its competitors, which can help runners feel more stable around corners.
The outsole is made of PUMAGRIP performance rubber, which held up well on some wet-road runs. The outsole on the Deviate is more substantial than what you find on most carbon-plated trainers, and significantly more substantial than lots of racing shoes. With deep grooves and almost a full tread of rubber (it tapers off at the heel and transitions to a lighter material) this shoe can handle a slick surface.
Overall, this shoe rocks. I’d gladly use it on my long tempo days and could see it as an ideal buy for someone training for a road race. It would make a great workout shoe for any runner, and even a race-day shoe for someone who likes a plush ride. (If you’re someone who likes a firmer shoe on race day, go with a slightly more aggressive option like the Deviate Elite when you toe the line.) The shoe will be available in Canada in May.