Puma Deviate Nitro vs Deviate Nitro Elite [A-Z Review]

Written By Sunny

Puma Deviate Nitro and Puma Deviate Nitro Elite are two of PUMA’s powerhouses. They are like siblings, training buddies by day and racing rivals by dawn.

As both are sleek, fast, and loaded with tech, which Deviate will dominate your race day?

I have used the latest Puma Deviate Nitro Elite and Deviate Nitro, and here I will provide a high-speed showdown between these running shoes.puma-deviate-nitro-vs-puma-deviate-nitro-elite

Let’s dive in.

Overview of Puma Deviate Nitro Elite and Puma Deviate Nitro

Puma released the original Deviate Nitro Elite back in 2021. It was comfy yet fast.

But after two years of experience, PUMA unleashed the Deviate Nitro Elite 2 in 2023, which can handle intervals, long runs, and even marathons. Puma shifted the focus from laid-back cruising to aggressive efficiency.

The v2 dials up the firmness with a new carbon plate and foam combo. Though it gains weight from the v1, the cushion, durability, and grippy PUMAGRIP outsole are unmatched.

Similar to the Nitro Elite, the og Deviate Nitro was also released in 2021.

As it was a mixed bag, Puma released the Nitro 2 in the last quarter of 2022 in pursuit of perfection.

With the new Nitro Elite foam, responsive carbon plate, and grippy outsole, Puma has nailed it.

Moreover, the annoying v1’s heel tab is gone. The Nitro v2 features an enhanced heel construction that offers a smooth and comfortable adventure.

The versatility prepares the shoe for easy runs to tempo runs and races.

Attribute Comparison of Puma Deviate Nitro Elite 2 and Deviate Nitro 2

A quick head-to-head comparison table of the Puma Deviate Nitro Elite 2 and Deviate Nitro 2 can enlighten where they differ.

Here is a Puma Deviate Nitro Elite 2 vs Deviate Nitro 2 comparison table:

AttributePUMA Deviate Nitro Elite 2PUMA Deviate Nitro 2
Release YearFebruary 2023October 2022
UpperRevamped engineered mesh upperPWRTAPE, mesh upper
MidsoleNitro Elite foam (PEBA+EVA)Nitro & Nitro Elite foam
Tongue TypeNon-gussetedSemi-gusseted (Both sides)
Stack Height (Approx.)Heel: 36mm, Forefeet: 28mmHeel: 32mm, Forefeet: 26mm
Heel-to-Toe Drop~8mm~6mm
Weight (Approx.)7.5 ounces (men's size 9)9.1 ounces (men's size 9)
Heel TabNoneNone
Reflective ElementsGoodBetter

Let’s move on to the detailed comparison of elite running shoes.

Key Differences Between Puma Deviate Nitro 2 and Puma Deviate Nitro Elite 2

Several changes exist between the Puma Deviate Nitro 2 and the Nitro Elite 2.

Breathability, stack height, tongue construction, etc., are just a few aspects that cater to diverse runner needs and styles.

Here is the Puma Deviate model comparison between the Nitro 2 and Nitro Elite 2:

1. Upper Constructions and Design

PUMA didn’t disappoint with the Deviate Nitro 2’s upper as the mesh upper is excellent in looks and function.

When I stepped into the shoe, the upper felt thinner and lighter than its predecessor. The outer layer also looks cool aesthetically.

The new PWRTAPE overlay on the medial side finely provides structure and support without sacrificing comfort.upper-constructions-of-puma-deviate-nitro-elite-2-and-deviate-nitro-2

On the other hand, Deviate Nitro Elite 2 features a revamped engineered mesh upper.

When I wore this shoe, the new upper felt light and comfortable. It felt less plastic-like compared to the original Elite.

The mesh leans towards structure and support but does come at the cost of some flexibility.

I saw some creases near the eyelet chain after some runs. However, this doesn’t necessarily indicate damage or performance issues.

2. Low-light Solutions

What about after-dark workout safety?

The nighttime visibility design is satisfactory on the Puma Deviate 2.puma-deviate-nitro-2-reflective-element

Whether you do late-night runs or early-morning jogs, a subtle reflector at the forefoot and a large, eye-catching reflective patch at the heel ensure visibility from every angle.

Meanwhile, Puma Deviate Elite 2 also features a reflective element at the heel with a Puma logo.puma-deviate-nitro-elite-2-reflective-elements

3. Tongue and Comfort Supremacy

While the Deviate Nitro v1 had a full-gusseted tongue, Nitro v2 features a semi-gusseted tongue on both sides.

The flat tongue is light, and its adequate padding protects from the lace bite. There is no tongue sliding, as well.

Another noticeable change I found is in the heel collar.heel-collar-of-puma-deviate-nitro-elite-2-and-deviate-nitro-2

While my friend got blistered with the Deviate Nitro version 1 for the thin collar, it’s not the case anymore in version 2.

It is now more padded to enhance comfort around the Achilles area.

In the test run, there was no heel irritation. Besides, the internal heel counter also protects from heel slippage.

On the contrary, Deviate Nitro Elite 2 shrinks some padding from the tongue to reduce some weight compared to its predecessor.

Shoe NameTongue TypeTongue Thickness
Puma Deviate NitroFull-gusset (both sides)~3.2mm
Puma Deviate Nitro 2Semi-gusset (both sides)~4.5mm
Puma Deviate Nitro EliteSemi-gusset (one side)~5.1mm
Puma Deviate Nitro Elite 2Non-gusset~5.0mm
Saucony Endorphin Pro 2Semi-gusset (both sides)~0.7mm
Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2Non-gusset~0.9mm

But, if you compare the Saucony Endorphin Pro 2 vs Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2, they offer ~1mm tongue padding, whereas it is ~5mm in the Nitro Elite 2. So, lace biting is not an issue.

It also ditches the unusual one-sided semi-gusseted design.

Instead, it went with the traditional non-gusseted design.

I like having a gusseted tongue, and this shift was unexpected for me. I hope Puma will return a semi-gusseted tongue on both sides in the v3.

Deviate Elite 2 also gets buffed in the heel collar for more comfort than the original model.heel-collar-2-of-puma-deviate-nitro-elite-2-and-deviate-nitro-2

4. Breathability Showdown

In terms of breathability, PUMA Deviate Nitro 2 is satisfactory. Perhaps it’s slightly better than the average.

The perforated mesh upper maintains good ventilation and keeps the feet sweat-free.

On a 0-10 breathability scale, where 10 is the most breathable, I can give this shoe a 7.5 rating.

In contrast, similar to the first Deviate Nitro Elite, the second iteration continues the flow.

The Deviate Elite 2 offers impressive breathability and is a top-choice option for summer conditions.

I can give this shoe a solid 9.0 out of 10 for breathability.

Thanks, PUMA!

5. Outsole Design and Traction

Deviate Nitro 2 uses Pumagrip in the outsole. The new lug shapes look like water droplets.

The traction is excellent, like the Puma claw gripping the surface.outsole-design-of-puma-deviate-nitro-elite-2-and-deviate-nitro-2

Meanwhile, Puma changed the Deviate Elite v1’s Pumagrip LT outsole to a thicker and more durable Pumagrip in the v2’s outsole.

The result?

Impressive on various surfaces and weather conditions. However, the changes sum up some weight.

6. Midsole Construction and Cushioning

The Deviate Nitro 2 features a dual foam setup in the midsole.

One is firmer Nitro (nitrogen-infused EVA) in the heel, and the other is softer Nitro Elite (nitrogen-infused PEBA) in the midfoot and toe.

The foams are energetic. It gives a bouncy feel at slow jogs and delivers responsive energy return at tempo run.

The stiffer, S-shaped carbon composite plate is placed in the forefoot, which gives a racing feel.

Deviate Nitro 2 has a 32mm stack height on the heel and 26mm on the forefeet with a 6mm drop.

Shoe NameHeel StackForefeet StackDrop
PUMA Deviate Nitro 2~32mm~26mm~6mm
PUMA Deviate Nitro Elite 2~36mm~28mm~8mm

On the contrary, Nitro Elite 2 incorporates the Nitro Elite foam in the midsole.

I liked the ride in my test run as it felt slightly firmer compared to its predecessor. This pair of shoes feels more snappy with the new flexible carbon plate than the Adidas Adios Pro and Nike Vaporfly.

Deviate Nitro Elite 2 has a heel stack of 36mm and a toe stack of 28mm.

Though the drop is 8mm, it feels slightly higher than that.

7. Fit, Size, and Durability

The Deviate Nitro 2 fits true-to-size in my US men’s size 9.

Though this 9.1oz weight shoe fits perfectly on me, it’s unsuitable for wide feet due to having a narrow toe box. In that case, you have to go for a half-size up.size-and-durability-of-deviate-nitro-2

For the snug fit, the toe has little to no wiggle room, which can be an issue for many.

The durability is top-notch on the upper and the heel collar. The durable outsole can handle multiple types of terrain.

In contrast, Deviate Nitro Elite 2 also fits true to size.

However, one of my friends told me it was slightly short for him during trials due to the narrow toe box, and he went for a half-size up.

While the v1 was not impressive with the toe box durability, v2 improved slightly. But the heel collar durability is noticeable and top-notch.

Besides that, the newly changed outsole increased the shoe weight to 7.5 oz. While it enhances the grip, the durability is now average.

8. Price and Value

Deviate Nitro 2 is affordable at ~$160 as a trainer shoe.

On the other hand, the race-day shoe Deviate Nitro Elite 2 comes at a premium price of ~$200.

The new features and performance they offer at their prices are justifiable. However, the Deviate Elite 2 could come at a slightly lower price, which would add more value.

Value-wise, Nitro 2’s price makes more sense to me.

Pros & Cons of PUMA Deviate Nitro 2 and Nitro Elite 2

These performance racing shoes have some advantages and considerations. A quick strengths and weaknesses analysis can help make the right decision before picking one.

Following are the advantages and disadvantages of Puma Deviate Nitro 2 and Nitro Elite 2:

PUMA Deviate Nitro 2

  • »Outstanding outsole traction and durability.
  • »Durable construction.
  • »Snug and secure foot lockdown.
  • »High-quality heel support.
  • »Smooth and responsive ride.
  • »Versatile with affordable price.
  • »Heavier than Nitro Elite 2.
  • »Average breathability.
  • »Tight toe-box.

PUMA Deviate Nitro Elite 2

  • »Lightweight than the Deviate Nitro 2.
  • »Enhanced durability.
  • »Improved cushioning for comfort.
  • »Unbeatable traction and grip.
  • »Designed for heel strikers.
  • »Comfortable for medium to wide feet.
  • »Excellent breathability.
  • »Heavier than its predecessor.
  • »Pricier than the Deviate Nitro 2.
  • »Lacks the same propulsion as the other top-tier race day shoes.

Deviate Nitro 2 vs Nitro Elite 2: Which PUMA Running Shoe is Best for You?

As both the 2nd version of Puma’s Deviate duo are high-performance contenders, picking one can be head-scratching.

The Deviate Nitro is a durability champ, stability king, and wallet-friendly warrior. The rugged outsole, resilient midsole, and $40 less than its Elite sibling make this footgear a top choice for speed lovers.

When it comes to the Deviate Nitro Elite, it’s a race-day rocket. The plush comfort and cushioning with breathable bliss will help you conquer the race day with a smile.

I’m slightly leaning toward the Deviate Nitro 2 due to its value and durability without breaking the bank. Moreover, I can use it on race day, which is a win-win.

But Nitro Elite 2 is also gorgeous.

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference, but you can’t go wrong with any.


What is the difference between PUMA Deviate Nitro 2 vs. Nitro 1?

The PUMA Deviate Nitro 2 received various changes from its predecessor. The v2 has a more comfortable upper, padded heel collar, and softer midsole than the v1. However, the v2’s semi-gusseted tongue is now slightly more padded, increasing the weight a bit than v1.

Are Puma Deviate Nitro 2 and Nitro Elite 2 suitable for racing or training?

You can use Puma Deviate Nitro 2 and Nitro Elite 2 in racing or training. The Deviate 2 performs better and more comfortably in longer races. The Deviate Elite 2 is excellent in short and fast races.

Which shoes are better in breathability and heel fit: PUMA Deviate 2 or Deviate Elite 2?

PUMA Deviate 2 and Deviate Elite 2 improved breathability and heel collar than the original. While Puma Deviate Elite 2 is great in breathability, Deviate 2 performs on average. While both shoes have improved heel construction, Deviate Nitro 2’s slightly thicker collar offers a more secure fit.

About The Author
Sunny is all about action and activities. He finds it difficult to contain himself. Be it motorcycling, playing football, or exploring the great outdoors, he loves to keep his legs busy.Sunny quickly realized the importance of footwear to keep himself going healthily. This was when he decided to share all his knowledge and expertise regarding different footwear and their significance.Now, he’s on a mission with this humble platform by his side. With time he plans on doing bigger and better things.Apart from his writing and other hobbies, he loves spending time with his cat Sophie. He loves to cook for his friends and family too.

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