Monday, May 15, 2023

Puma Magnify NITRO 2 Multi Tester Review: 5 Comparisons

Article by Sam and Dominique Winebaum

Puma Magnify NITRO 2 ($150)


Sam: The Magnify 2 is a max cushion (40mm heel / 30mm forefoot), higher drop (10mm) daily to recovery and long run trainer with a full supercritical Nitro foam TPEE midsole and a durable and extensive coverage PumaGrip outsole.

Designed to be a more neutral complement to the inherent "light stability" ForeverRun Nitro, both shoes are part of what I would call Gen 2 of Puma’s renaissance in performance running after their successful relaunch a few years ago.

RoadTrailRun attended Puma’s Run Summit in Boston in April and heard that going forward all performance Puma shoes will have supercritical Nitro foams , one of the first brands we know of to do so, and likely signaling the “end" of old school EVA and EVA blend foams. 

The newer supercritical foams such as Nitro are lighter, softer, more energy returning and increasingly more cost effective.  Going all Nitro in the Magnify 2 allowed Puma to bring the shoe in at 10 oz / 283g in a US9 for a reasonable $150. 

That is the same price with 2mm more stack height of cushion of now all Nitro foam and at a slightly lighter weight than the Magnify 1 which had a lower EVA layer and was a stiffer less exciting riding shoe for me than the Magnify 2 proved to be.


Energetic, forgiving softer cushion and lots of it: Sam / Dominique

Smooth flow, never bogged down despite big stack height, 10mm drop &  geometry sure helps

Comfortable secure upper: Sam / Dominique

Ideal recovery runs, long slow distance and slower paces daily trainer.: Sam / Dominique

Durability & grip: lots of PumaGrip rubber : Sam / Dominique

Reasonable weight at about 10 oz / 283g  for such a big shoe at 40mm heel / 30mm forefoot : Sam / Dominique


Wish for a touch more response/snap from front outsole rubber, as ForeverRun Nitro and a slightly narrower more agile platform.


Approximate weight: men's 10 oz  / 284g (US9) 

  Samples: men’s 9.74 oz / 275g weight US8.5

Stack Height: men’s 40mm heel / 30mm forefoot (10mm drop) 

$150. Coming July 

Comparable shoes:

Saucony Triumph 20, ASICS GEL-Cumulus 25, Puma ForeverRun Nitro

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

The upper is an engineered mesh that is relatively dense but also pliable. Support is provided by Puma's PWRTAPE overlay system. 

The tongue is lightly and appropriately padded and doesn't overdo the plush and puffy as is the heel hold. Lace up is effective and requires few adjustments.
The toe box is quite broad and accommodating 
As in other Puma  we have a somewhat pointy very front although it gave me no issues.

The fit is true to size for my narrower to medium feet. 

I think moderately wide feet will be fine as well as the mesh has some give.

Dominique: Back in June 2022, I tested the Puma Run XX Nitro (RTR Review), a female specific design shoe that I very much enjoyed but for its Nitro foam that was not very responsive and on the dull side.  

Fast forward to October 2023, I received a pair of Puma Magnify Nitro 2, which has superseded my experience with the Run XX Nitro and has become my favorite road shoe of the year.  A maximalist shoe designed with novel midsole technology that weighs less and delivers more rebound along with an outsole that smoothly plows through gravel.  And it is reasonably priced at $140.  

The fit is perfect. In comparison to the Run XX Nitro, the fit is a bit more roomy as opposed to being a tad too snug as the XX was.  

The engineered knit upper is extremely comfortable, lightweight, breathable, and thanks to Puma PWRTAPE overlay technology, very supportive.  The shoelace system is well designed to keep your foot comfortably in place.  Slightly padded, the gusseted tongue has an additional pad of soft foam to absorb the feel of the knot when tying the shoelaces.  

The padding around the collar is not overly bulky, nor rigid, yet the foot is comfortably secure.  Likewise, the heal counter does a good job at optimizing the foothold.  

Attractive looking, the Magnify Nitro 2 for women is available in two calming colorways – Icy Blue-Ultra Blue and Ash Gray-PUMA White-Yellow Burst-Vivid Violet.  In comparison to my recent tester, the New Balance 1080 v13 in the colorway “Starlight with marine blue,” it is a crisper blue and more elegant.  After 50+ miles of running in them, they still look fresh from the box which I am very happy about! 


Sam: The midsole is a single density slab of TPEE Nitro supercritical foam. This is unlike the Magnify 1 which had an upper layer of Nitro and a lower layer of firmer EVA foam making the shoe (in combination with its fuller coverage outsole) firmer and stiffer if a bit more stable. 

TPEE foam is great stuff with a pleasant and never sloppy softness and lots of energy return. I really enjoy this family of midsole foams with the Craft Pro Endur and many of the Xtep having a similar TPE foam which is a bit more flexible in nature and not quite as stable in feel as the TPEE here.

There is plenty of stack height of deep cushion at a full stack height of 40mm at the heel and 30mm at the forefoot. Even with the 10mm drop, the 30mm upfront is plenty of cushion without being so much to make the Magnify overly stiff even with its extensive front rubber. 

I tend to prefer high drop big stack shoes for training as a heel striker at slower paces as they are easier to roll than stiffer lower drop big shoes such as the NB More and latest Endorphin Shift.  And if there is no plate in the mix I appreciate some flexibility up front which the Magnify has and more of it than in its first edition.

All in all the midsole is super pleasant in feel and nearly ideal for easier paces daily miles.

Dominique: The high stack height, 40mm heel/ 30mm forefoot, of the midsole comes with a high drop (10 mm) and is made with nitrogen-infused NITRO FOAM™.  The infusion of nitrogen in the foam boosts responsiveness and is lighter than regular old EVA foam.  The difference is notable when moving away from traditional EVA foam to the Nitro super critical foam.  A maximalist shoe with a high drop for a super cushioned and protective ride that is responsive as well.


RTR testers think PumaGrip rubber is about as fine as it gets for grip and durability and here there is plenty in a well arrayed design with very decent lugs for some light off pavement use as well as of course slippery road conditions, a heel crash pad and a decoupling groove to move off the soft heel and enough rubber all around for both some front response/stability (could have more) and plenty of miles of wear. 

Dominique: PumaGrip rubber creates a durable platform with firmer rubber in the heel and blown rubber in the forefoot.  A decoupling groove enhances the forward motion of the foot upon landing on the firm rubber in the right lateral side of the heel with a toe-off on softer and bouncier rubber in the left forefront of the foot.  

Ride, Conclusions and Recommendations 

Sam: The Magnify’s big shoe ride is pleasant and energetic. Not a speed shoe but one with a supercritical foam midsole stacked up and toned down a bit, but not to much, for max cushion comfort and move along rebound. 

The 10mm drop and flexibility allows for a smooth flow at all paces for me, unlike some other max cushion lower drop trainers such as its flatter riding predecessor (RTR Review) and the lower drop New Balance More v4 or Endorphin Shift 3 are at slower paces for me, ending up ponderous to turn over.

It feels most similar to me to the ASICS Cumulus 25 and Saucony Triumph 20 but with a somewhat more energetic quicker returning foam feel.

At faster paces, the relative softness of the platform and its breadth lacks some response, but never so much so to feel bogged down. I do wish for a touch more front snap and pop as its sibling ForeverRun (RTR Review) has on the same 40mm heel and 10mm drop with a touch of inherent rear stability from its geometry and a slightly more performance oriented upper. 

For a bit more snap and pop and for faster daily training, Puma has the plated Deviate Nitro (RTR Review) with a 38 mm heel / 30 mm forefoot for faster paced efforts and even racing and the Velocity Nitro (RTR Review) with a 33.5 mm heel / 23.5 mm forefoot combination of Nitro and EVA as its lower stacked somewhat faster daily trainer. 

With its lineup of ForeverRun (light stability), Velocity (more classic lower stack daily trainer), and Deviate (plated uptempo), Puma has all the bases of run training very well covered with Deviate Nitro Elite and FAST-R their racing options.   All have state of the art supercritical Nitro foam midsoles and outstanding uppers and present a coherent easy to understand set of choices for runners of all types.

If you prefer a softer yet lively ride that moves along for your moderate pace daily training, recovery and long runs Magnify 2 is a great choice. You will pile on the miles in great comfort and step lively as you do so. It is also a solid choice for the beginner runner who is looking for a versatile, protective and fun shoe.

Sam’s Score: 9.5/10

Solidly and well executed I score the Magnify 9.5 across the board for Ride, Fit, Value and Style

Dominique: A cushiony ride that is stable, pleasant and responsive.  In comparison to my well worn Run XX Nitro, the Magnify Nitro 2, has a higher stack height for a more cushioned feel and more responsive ride, especially as the midsole features the Nitro supercritcal foam.  

A comparable maximalist shoe is the ASICS Nimbus 25 with a similar high stack height though a slightly lower drop (8 mm) delivering a super cushiony and comfortable platform.  However, my heart goes to the Magnify Nitro 2, a maximalist shoe minus the bulkiness and which delivers a more energetic ride in comparison to the Nimbus 25.

Another shoe that I favored recently is the New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080v13, a shoe trending towards a maximalist feel with plenty of soft cushioning and smooth riding.  However, the ride lacked a bit of “pop” and it is a pricer option at $165. 

Only in its second edition, the Magnify Nitro more than measures up to offerings from brands like such as (Clifton 9), ASICS (Nimbus 25), and New Balance (1080v13) , as a maximalist shoe, and in my opinion, surpasses all 3 of those models.  It is also the most “affordable” option at $140. 

Dominique's Score: 9.7 /10

5 Comparisons

Puma Magnify 1 (RTR Review)

A bit heavier 9.91 oz / 281g  (US8.5) on a slightly lower stack of 38/28 the Magnify 1 had a lower layer of stabilizing EVA below its Nitro foam top layer and a more extensive outsole coverage that was not as well decoupled or as flexible as v2's leaving the ride flatter. 

While softer and more neutral in ride the Magnify 2 is a superior shoe all around with those seeking a touch more stability having the ForeverRun to replace it

Puma ForeverRun Nitro (RTR Review)

On the same stack height of 40/30 with a dual density Nitro foam midsole (softer core with firmer outer carrier), the Forever has a broader more stable heel, a plastic heel clip and somewhat more extensive rubber yet weighs 0.5 oz / less than the Magnify. 

How? It has a more performance oriented upper with less padding and for me a more secure fit and cored out areas of the underside of the midsole. 

While called out as having some adaptive stability, it does so without vertical medial side walls, plastic pieces or an over extended clip. It is as much a neutral shoe as a light stability for me. While a bit stiffer in flex and blockier at the heel, its ride has more snap and response. I prefer it. Both true to size.

Nike Invincible Run 3  (RTR Review)

The Magnify's better integration of midsole and outsole, flexibility and superior upper strongly challenge Nike Invincible Run 3. Yes, the Nike has ZoomX which, even though Nitro is fantastic stuff, is still tops for its springy airy feel. But.. the Invincible hampers its foam magic with a more rigid less flexible ride due to its outsole with only a mild rocker and not much flexibility. At faster paces it shines but slower it is not nearly as pleasant or smooth as the Puma. No contest in the upper department with a clear win for the Puma as the Nike Flyknit upper is quite rigid with for many poor rear hold. Both true to size

ASICS Cumulus 25 (RTR Review)

A very close comparison with both having softer energetic foam and broad platforms with front flexibility. The Cumulus 25 is a completely redesigned higher stack and cushion shoe. While the ASICS has a bit less stack height at 37.5 heel / 29.5 mm forefoot, it has a broader heel platform and weighs 0.4 oz less. FlyteFoam Blast Plus foam is similar in ride feel but does not quite match the more noticeable return of Nitro. While the Puma upper is certainly very comfortable, the ASICS upper is super plush and almost to much so for me. For all, all over out soft comfort the ASICS. For plenty of comfort and softness but a more energetic ride the Puma. Both true to size with the Cumulus toe box a bit less pointy

Saucony Triumph 20  (RTR Review)

Another close comparison, and I bet a shoe Puma benchmarked to create the Magnify 2, the Triumph has a few millimeters less stack height and weighs about the same as the Puma. Its new lighter and softer PWRRUN+ expanded pellet non supercritical foam in now lighter and more energetic and while excellent not quite as quick and pleasant in return as Nitro. The Triumph upper is more performance oriented than the Puma with both close in fit and comfort for me. Both are excellent trainers and one could choose either with confidence if you want a modern, highly cushioned, fun to run big trainer.

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Tester Profiles

Dominique has run for over 40 years, consistently about 25 miles per week at paces between 10 and 11 minute miles and once a week down in the mid 9 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 women’s lists. An avid hiker and trekker, she has been around Mont Blanc 3 times, hiked Chamonix to Zermatt, and completed the 48 New Hampshire 4000 footers. She is the mother of two grown children, both runners post college, and also enjoys nordic and alpine skiing, tennis, and gardening. 

Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 66 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. 2022 was Sam’s 50th year of running. He has a decades old 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range if he gets lucky,, training 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah be it on the run or nordic skis. He is 5’9” tall and weighs about 164 lbs, if he is not enjoying too many fine New England IPA’s.

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

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Anonymous said...

Appreciate this helpful review, Sam, but a question: Puma sometimes refrains from producing a U.S. Men's size 12.5, so in this shoe should I choose the 12 or the 13 (my perfect fit: U.S. Men's 12.5 / U.K. 11.5 / EU 47 / Jap 305)?

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Depends on your foot shape. Plenty of width volume all around and a fairly relaxed type fit but a bit pointy front of toe box

Anonymous said...

What's about if compares this Puma with Asics Novabalst 3?

Sam Winebaum said...

The Magnify 2 has a more stable broader natural platform, more secure upper, more energetic foam, a higher stack height and more drop (+2mm) and is heavier by 42g. It leans more towards easier paces than the Novablast 3.
Sam, Editor