Thursday, December 08, 2022

Puma Running 2023 Previews: FAST-FWD NITRO, ForeverRun NITRO, Magnify 2 NITRO

Article by Sam Winebaum

The Running Event in Austin had Puma standing out with a blue on foot red on the other colorway in several key styles coming this summer. 

We loved it but wanted to get at what was under the hood in Big Cat land and Puma did not disappoint! 

We got a much closer look at the radical FAST-FWD NITRO. No explanation neede of what it intends to be and what it is all about based solely on the name! We first saw it on display before the Boston Marathon. 

Puma also introduced a new “guidance” shoe, the ForeverRun NITRO with some pronation control, when and if you need it, and without firm plastic pieces or firmer foam.

We also were shown the Magnify NITRO 2, Puma’s max cushion shoe now with a single density all Nitro midsole. Please read on for all the details.

ForeverRun Nitro ($150)

The ForeverRun Nitro is a new guidance (suppert) shoe coming March 2023. Its spec. weight is a very reasonable 9.67 oz  / 274g for its big 36mm heel / 26mm forefoot stack height and support design.  It has a dual density supercritical Nitro midsole. Softer 43C Nitro is used as an inner core with the outer carrier a moderately but not over firm 47C Nitro foam. 

The construction reminds me of the Craft CTM Ultra 2 and Topo Specter with their PEBA cores and EVA outer carriers, although both are more neutral shoes. A closer comparison is the Saucony Tempus with its inner PEBA core and outer more skeletal frame of EVA.

The support or guidance is supposed to adapt to the runner in the sense that it will keep the pronating foot more gently aligned in the direction of travel, as much as needed, via the foams, the wide platform and its platform and the outsole. This approach is instead of more prescriptive support such as a firmer medial plug of very firm foam or plastic pieces at midfoot as in classic support shoes that try to “kick” you back into line. The

To assist with its guidance, the ForeverRun also has a plastic clip around the heel as well as an extensive coverage outsole anatomically designed to support and guide the foot in stride.

The entire guidance system was created and tested with the assistance of the biomechanical labs at the University of Portsmouth in the UK and is called Run Guidance. 

Magnify Nitro 2 ($150)

With a 40mm heel / 30 mm forefoot and weight of 9.67 oz  / 274g in a US9, the Magnify is Puma’s max cushion daily trainer to recovery type shoe  It loses a solid  about 0.67 oz / 19g over its first version while gaining 2 mm of stack at the heel and 1mm at the forefoot over the first Magnify.

 It differs from its first version (RTR Review) in having a single slab of Nitro Foam instead of a Nitro foam top layer and then an  EVA type foam layer below and concentrated at the heel.

The outsole remains the excellent Puma Grip with more decoupling and less extensive and we think unnecessary coverage than the v1’s outsole shown below which made the shoe quite stiff and rigid in transitions.

We expect removing the glue interface between layers, eliminating the quite firm lower layer EVA, as well as a more decoupled less massive outsole will smooth what was a bit ponderous ride in v1 to make v2 a fine slower and longer run option competing with shoes in its general price range such as Endorphin Shift 3, New Balance More v4, and Bondi 8 with as a key difference its 10mm drop vs. 4-5mm for the others. I find lower drop high stack shoes harder to transition vs higher drop options especially if no plate is in the mix. Available July 2023. $150

FAST-FWD Nitro ($250)

The FAST-FWD is described by Puma as a “track spike” for the road. Designed for fast shorter races, it has a 35 mm “heel” / 25mm forefoot with the US9 sample we weighed coming in at 6.3 oz /195  US9  making it one of the lightest shoes on the market. yet one at the same time with considerable cushion stack to place it in the near max category if not there. 

To give you a sense of just how light for the cushion stack it is, the New Balance SC Pacer with a 28/20 stack comes in at 6.81 oz / 193 g (US9). The weight savings obviously come from removing the heel and forefoot mass and focusing the shoe on a forward strike at fast paces. 

It features Puma’s Nitro Elite supercritical foam, a PWRPLATE carbon fiber plate, mono mesh upper and always excellent Puma Grip outsole.

Even at fast paces for the more “recreational” fast runner it remains to be seen what its distance range and ultimately value is for the non elite but it sure is one of the most radical shoes we have ever seen 

FAST-FWD will release  in February 2023 with  the Run Phoria colorway, one red shoe and one blue shoe colorway, releasing in July. $250

Watch Puma Present FAST-FWD, ForeverRun, and Magnify 2 at The Running Event

Check out our other 2023 Run Previews from The Running Event


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