Thursday, June 23, 2022

Puma Run XX NITRO Multi Tester Review

Article by Dominique Winebaum and Renee Krusemark

Puma Run XX NITRO ($130)


Dominique: A new wave of running shoe brands is making quick strides and catching up with the more established competition.  As a contributor for RTR, my last 4 pairs of review shoes have been from brands not previously and/or typically associated with running: Diadora, On Running, Craft Sporstwear, and now PUMA.  An impressive line-up of running shoes distinctly different with each brand bringing its own innovative platform,  technology and design to the roads. 

With its female specific design, the Puma Run XX NITRO is a welcomed evolution in running shoes and sets itself apart from the market and the competition. The fit is tailored to “hug a woman’s heel, instep, and arch” and this is exactly what I have been experiencing running in my Run XX Nitro.  A snug fit that contours my feet with plenty of room in the toe box. It has a midsole made with a new firmer yet still supercritical processed  NITRO Foam that invites mileage.  

It includes a new technology, runGuide, to help keep your foot centered when running. This is a quick introduction to some of the Run XX Nitro features! Let’s see how they run.


NITRO foam  provides incredible cushioning – protective and comfortable Dominique Renee
PUMAGRIP outsole -versatile, all-surfaces traction Dominique Renee  

Female specific design Dominique

Extremely comfortable fit that hugs the foot yet with a roomy toe box Dominique

runGuide technology to help keep your foot centered when running –  the silver reinforcement on the outside of the shoe. Dominique

Engineered mesh upper and OPTIFIT shoelace system for a secure and extremely comfortable fit Dominique

Sharp design and attractive color options Dominique

Lightweight Dominique

8 mm drop Dominique

Fairly priced at $130  for an innovative design loaded with PUMA technologies Dominique


Not as responsive riding as some other shoes Dominique

Strong stability features won’t work for all: Renee

Fit is very specific to certain foot shapes: Renee

Requires some break in Renee


Approx. Weight  women's 8.7 oz / 247 g (US8)

 Samples: 8.5 oz / 241 g (left) US W8, 8.9 oz / 251 g (right);  9.14 oz / 259g US W9

Stack Height: 23mm forefoot / 31mm heel, 8 mm drop

Available June 2022.  $130

Tester Profiles

Dominique has run for over 40 years, consistently about 25 miles per week at paces between 10 and 11 minute miles. She races rarely, but always surprises more hard core runners in her age group when she does. She has a 1985 marathon PR of 3:16 in her second marathon which at the time put her on the top 10 Swiss all-time women’s lists. She is the mother of two grown children, both runners post college, and enjoys nordic and alpine skiing, hiking and trekking, and gardening. 

Renee is a former U. S. Marine journalist, which is when her enjoyment of running and writing started. She isn’t that awesome of a runner, but she tries really hard. Most of her weekly 50-60 miles take place on rural country roads in Nebraska, meaning mud, gravel, dirt, hills, and the occasional field. She has PR’s of 1:30:59 for the half marathon and 3:26:45 for the marathon.

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Dominique: This is my first pair of PUMA running shoes and until the RUN XX Nitro came my way, I knew nothing about PUMA’s innovative technologies in running.  I was not on familiar turf, yet it took only one run for me to appreciate the differences.  

A female specific design, the Run XX Nitro’s fit contours the narrower shape of a women’s feet and “hugs” them in place.  The toe box is noticeably roomy adding to the comfort level of the shoe.  As I have experienced lately, it is not always a given that a running shoe is true to size with a perfect fit and it is here.  I am giving it a top score for the sizing and the fit. 

From a design perspective, the Run XX Nitro is sharp looking and is available in an array of  colors (4). I received mine in Deep Orchid-Metallic Silver-Puma Black, which is very attractive and dirt resistant as well.  Very stylish, mine doubled as “sneakers” when traveling to Geneva, Switzerland, for their comfort and for walking through airports.  

The engineered mesh upper is extremely well designed and comfortable.  It is reinforced by PUMA Formstrip on the lateral side to help cradle the foot along with the runGUIDE technology which helps keep the foot aligned with every stride.  The shoelace system features OPTIFIT PUMA technology to keep the foot securely in place.  

Easily adjustable, the round shaped laces glide smoothly through the webbed eyelets along the tongue and two punched eyelets at the top.  The silver edge on the tongue adds a nice accent.  In case you were wondering about breathability, the tongue which is exposed beneath the shoelaces is designed with tiny slits to allow air to circulate.  The collar is well padded keeping the foot comfortably and securely in place. I give the upper a high overall score. 

Renee: My experience with the RUN XX is a bit different than Dominique’s, so thank goodness RoadTrailRun tries its best to feature more than one runner in each review. While not for me, I think the RUN XX has some qualities that will appeal to the needs of many runners.

The RUN XX has many design features targeted directly to female-specific running and foot needs. After a few weeks running and walking in the RUN XX, I’ll concur that many women (and men) will enjoy the fit and stability features, that is IF.. they actually need and like stability features. I don’t think I’m one of the runners whose natural foot shape and running style makes the RUN XX appealing, but I did start to enjoy the shoes after some significant breaking in. The NITRO midsole and PUMAGrip outsole are positive aspects, but the upper fit and ride just aren’t for me. For sizing, I suggest true to size (see our Comparisons section for sizing comparisons). 

The upper did not work for me, but I’m not saying that will be the case for everyone. The toebox volume and width is generous (good!). The midfoot volume is a bit too generous for me, although the lacing system does okay with security, especially considering the RUN XX is not a speed day or fast shoe. The heel and heel collar have a decent amount of padding. 

I had issues with the tongue slipping down (it’s a bit on the short side). The tongue is gusseted on both sides, but my foot is not voluminous enough to fill the space, and the gusset material folded down underneath my foot ( but was not an issue on short runs less than one hour). The foot opening sits high and prevents the natural rotation of my ankle. 

I’m not sure the plastic strip that starts along the outsole and wraps around the heel is doing anything much for stability. Across the heel, it might help with firmness, but the sides are not connected to the shoe itself. The rear plastic piece shouts “lifestyle” shoe rather than running shoe to me.  


Dominique: Here comes NITRO Foam, an advanced foam technology that is infused with nitrogen gas to create a more responsive ride, better cushioning, and a more lightweight feel.  

The Run XX Nitro features a firmer NITRO Foam (as per specs) than as found in say the Velocity Nitro’s main Nitro layer .This being my first PUMA, and first exposure to NITRO foam, I cannot compare the firmness of the midsole to other PUMA models.  However, the feel of the NITRO Foam as my feet land is pretty amazing with just the right amount of firmness.   

As a long time runner (over 40 years) I have shortened my runs over the years to 5 milers 4 times a week.  When running in the Run XX Nitro, my feet are so well cushioned by the NITRO infused foam and lightweight feel that I could easily run longer.  This is indeed a prime trainer midsole designed to help you go the distance. 

Renee: PUMA’s NITRO foam is the real deal, and second to Molly Seidel, it is one reason PUMA’s running shoes should not be ignored. While I did not like the fit of the upper, the midsole feels great underfoot for daily usage. The midsole does a great job of absorbing shock/landing, which I assume will be great for runners who need that feature or who are recovering from injury. The firmer NITRO foam here is not very responsive, as it is in the Velocity 2, for example, but in a daily trainer for easy/moderate paces, I think it feels great. The insole is well structured, which helps with stability. 


Dominique: Another PUMA trademark, the outsole is made with PUMAGRIP rubber and is designed for all-surfaces traction.  All PUMA models feature a PUMAGRIP rubber outsole.  This allows for running on different types of terrain, which is always a plus.  I noticed a little bit of wear and tear on the outside of the heel probably because of the outsole’s profile, which is on the flatter side, not very rockered and I tend to heel strike.  Below is a picture (with the Salève above Geneva  in the background) with some wear showing on the outside of the heel after 50 miles of road running. 

Renee: I’ve enjoyed PUMAGRIP in the Velocity 2 and FAST-R, and I think the grip and durability of the outsole under the mid and forefoot will be long-lasting. I had some wear under the heel in the same place as Dominique. My wear is much more mild (hardly noticeable), and I’m wondering if it’s from my doing heel walking as a warm-up. 


Dominique: All the PUMA technologies: female specific design, Nitro Foam, runGuide, and PumaGrip outsole in the Run XX Nitro, along with a snug fit and comfortable upper, create a super enjoyable ride. 

I am literally loving running in them with my feet staying cushy throughout my runs – at some point I need to increase my mileage!  What’s more with an 8mm drop, the offset of the shoe is in the perfect range for me with no adjustment required.  I would characterize the ride as being slightly responsive but not incredibly responsive. 

Renee: The ride is most definitely stable. For me, the overall fit of the shoe affects the ride, which is probably why I didn’t enjoy it at first. The foot opening across the front of my ankle is high and too tight, so I had issues striding fast from a forefoot landing without some discomfort while landing and striking on the heel, that’s not an issue. The firmness of the NITRO midsole (firm, not hard) and heel system guides the foot and prevents overpronation. For very neutral runners, I think the ride  might suck away some of the fun factor, but runners who know they need stability and structure may benefit. The stack height is not “high cushion” but given the weight and stability, I think the shoe will work fine for short to mid/long runs because of the comfortable and firm NITRO midsole. I probably could run a 20-miler in them  but I think they work best  for me at 15 miles or less at moderate to easy paces. 

Conclusions and Recommendations

Dominique: I have already recommended the Run XX Nitro to one of my friends who was not familiar with PUMA running shoes.  An excellent stability shoe and prime trainer, this is a shoe that should appeal to female runners given its specific oriented design (XX).  Testing and reviewing this shoe has given me great appreciation for the brand!  I plan to keep running in them and will keep an eye on the wear and tear on the PumaGrip outsole at heel.  Likewise, I am hoping to increase my mileage - longer distances than 5 milers - something for which the shoe has been designed for.  

I think this shoe is great for both walking and running for beginners and runners who are looking for a solid stable and comfortable trainer, for short and long distances.  My feet are very comfortable when running in them which is an important factor for me.   

Dominique’ Score 9.6 / 10

RTR Smiles Score: 😊😊😊😊

The midsole is not very springy yet my feet are so well cushioned that running in them puts a smile on my face. 

Renee: While not for me, I think the RUN XX will appeal to runners who have a very female-specific foot shape, a need for a stability shoe, and a preference for a heavily-guided ride. Over time, I did enjoy the midsole feel, and if I needed a stability shoe, I could see myself spending all day with the RUN XX on my feet. 

From a design standpoint, I’m not sure why the plastic strip is included, and I think the next version of the RUN XX can improve and reduce weight. The cost is very reasonable for a stability shoe with such a great midsole. 

Renee’s score: 8.2/10 (-.50 sliding tongue/gusset, -.60 high-seated foot opening, -.50 voluminous midfoot hold, -.20 heavily guided stability features)

RTR Smiles Score:😊😊


Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

PUMA Velocity NITRO 2 (RTR Review)

Renee:Also featuring the fantastic NITRO midsole in a softer flavor with a firmer layer of EVA below, the Velocity 2 is a neutral daily trainer with a 10 mm drop as compared to the RUN XX’s 8 mm drop. I thought the Velocity 2 had a stable heel hold, although it runs very much like a neutral shoe otherwise. The Velocity 2 is clearly a performance daily trainer, and I don’t think the “performance” factor is matched by the RUN XX. 

ASICS GT-2000 (RTR Review)

Renee: The stability features of the GT-2000 are far less controlling and intrusive as compared to the RUN XX (for me). The GT-2000 guides more from the heel while the entire fit and design of the RUN XX is for guidance. For a lighter amount of stability, I’d choose the GT-2000. The midsole of the RUN XX is more comforting and suitable for longer distances. Sizing is comparable. 

Saucony Tempus  (RTR Review)

Renee: The Tempus is the neutral runner’s stability shoe. While the stability features are noticeable in the Tempus, I think it runs as “neutral” as a stability shoe possibly can. I had no fit or comfort issues with the Tempus, and it is (and runs) much lighter than the RUN XX. Runners who need a dramatic amount of stability and have a female-specific foot shape may prefer the RUN XX. Sizing is comparable. 

The Puma Run XX NITRO available July at PUMA here as well as at our partners below

Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes.RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'

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