Perhaps the best thing about running is that you don’t need a lot of gear. But, having the right gear can make all the difference. For many runners, hitting the open road feels like the ultimate freedom. When you’re really in the zone, your mind and body join forces, and you can slip into an almost meditative state, where solving the world’s problems seems possible. Of course, it doesn’t take much to knock you out of that runner’s high and bring you back to reality — especially when it’s your gear letting you down. A too-tight shoe, ill-fitting sports bra, or even your tights slipping down is usually enough to distract you and ruin a perfectly good run. Which is why Puma is focusing so heavily on re-launching its running range.
Whether you’re a beginner, an experienced amateur runner, or a pro marathon athlete, Puma’s new running range is designed to help you run better. Built to help you run worry-free and focus on the scenery, your goals, or the race route ahead, this range of running apparel and shoes is sure to delight any runner.
If the shoe fits
On the shoe front, the new running-centric line launched with five fresh silhouettes that work to rebuild Puma’s running category from scratch. The line-up launched with the Deviate Nitro as the flagship launch running shoe alongside the Deviate Elite, Velocity, Liberate, and Eternity — all featuring Puma’s new Nitro foam technology, whereby nitrogen is injected into the sole in order to soften and cushion the foam further, but Puma emphasises that while other brands have similar processes with their soles, it’s the superior quality of the raw materials which sets the new line apart.
To add further support to the ultra-lightweight shoes, a carbon fibre plate, known as the ‘Innoplate’, is also inserted into the sole, giving a lot more stability while still remaining responsive and durable.
Find out more about the full running shoe line-up here.
Hands-on with the Puma Deviate Nitro
I’ve been testing the new Puma Deviate Nitro for a few weeks now, and it’s truly something special. If I could describe these running shoes in one word it would be ‘bouncy’. Slipping on these runners for the first time I immediately felt like I had more of a spring in my step (quite literally) and more cushioning. Designed as a daily training shoe for serious runners, the Puma Deviate Nitro aims to make your long runs, easy runs.
While these shoes weren’t designed as a speed race shoe, they feel and fit more like a race shoe than my usual everyday running shoes. Pros who have more than one pair of running shoes will no doubt train in these Deviate Nitros and race in the Deviate Elite, but for us mere mortals with a few marathons under the belt, but no trophies to show for it, the Deviate Nitro will be ideal for both training and race day.
Running in the Deviate Nitro my runs feel comfortable and easy. I noticed that the extra bounce and quick feedback you get from the shoe made me pick up the pace during my runs without even noticing and it even felt like the shape of the shoe and Puma’s Nitro foam improved my form too. Whether it’s a placebo effect from the extra bouncy feeling or the stellar technology crammed into the Deviate Nitro, the bottom line is, I feel like a better runner in these shoes.
While many similar running shoes on the market have quite a pronounced forefront rocker designed to give you the edge during speed workouts, the carbon-fibre plate in Puma’s Deviate Nitro shoes is sandwiched between the foam and is flatter than in other carbon plated models. This allows you to follow your more natural footstrike for more comfort on long runs.
The cushioning in this shoe is unreal and the improved efficiency on long runs is unquestionable. The fit is great too; I was able to lace-up and go from my first run with no need to break them in. Whilst many of the carbon plated shoes on the market right now are very narrow, I found my not-so-narrow feet were able to fit comfortably into the Nitro with enough space in the toe box. You will have to rest the laces before slipping them but once you’ve got the right lace tightness for your liking they feel like a dream. The shoes provide a great balance between performance and comfort. They’re soft, but stable underfoot, giving you a strong push off and a cushioned landing with each stride.
Apparel to match
Having the right shoes is often the most important ingredient to a good run but, having good gear to match can be just as important. To go along with the new line-up of running shoes, Puma has also released a range of running apparel to help keep you focused during training sessions and on race day.
I’ve also been testing out a few pieces from Puma’s new running apparel line and have been super impressed. This gear is so comfortable and has all sorts of great tech built in to help support your run and help you stay focused on the task at hand. For the last few weeks, I’ve been wearing the Ultra Women’s Running Jacket (R1,900), Women’s 7/8 Running Leggings (R1,300), Fast Launch High Impact Bra, and CoolAdapt Running Tee (R800).
The high impact sports bra is one of my favourite pieces I’ve been testing. It’s the ultimate runner’s sports bra and is brilliant for high-intensity interval training as well. The bra’s adjustable thick straps offer an impressive amount of support and stability while an adjustable side-closer ensures the perfect fit. It may seem like a small detail, but the side closer clip is absolutely genius, especially for gym workouts where you’re doing a lot of abdominal work and don’t need the pain of a bra closure stabbing in you in the back with every rep. Made with super lightweight fabric, with CoolAdapt technology, the bra helps keep you cool and comfortable throughout your run or workout.
The women’s running leggings are another winner of note. Powering your run with Puma’s signature DryCell: moisture-wicking technology and flatlock stitching for less friction and higher comfort, these leggings are the go-to gear for regular runners. Reflective side trims enhance visibility and the back envelope pocket adds secure storage for your run. The leggings also feature a tunnelled drawcord on the waistband to easily adjust the fit and the 7/8 length is ideal for running in winter. They’re super comfortable and feel oh-so-soft on the skin, making them a dream to run in.
For a comfortable running tee that won’t itch, scratch or annoy you while you run, you can’t go wrong with Puma’s CoolAdapt running tee. The super stylish, loose fighting T-shirt is made from ultra-lightweight jersey material and also features flatlock stitching to minimise friction while you train. The material contains both dryCELL moisture-wicking and CoolAdapt cooling technologies, to keep you fresh while you sweat it out, and with 360 reflectivity you will stand out from the crowd, even in low light.
Every runner needs a good jacket for winter sessions and Puma’s Ultra Women’s Running Jacket is as good as it gets. It’s been designed with your training in mind. The jacket features protective WindCell technology and clever vents offer breathability, for durable yet breathable protection against wind chill while helping maintain body temperature during exercise. Reflective features offer enhanced 360 degrees of visibility in low light conditions so you’ll always be spotted on the road. The jacket is made from a lightweight fabric to allow for freedom of movement and has plenty of handy zip-closure pockets to keep all your valuables close and safe.
Puma has really outdone itself with this new running range. The brand has paid careful attention to the needs of runners with both the shoe lineup and the apparel, and it’s great to see that the range caters for all level of runners, from elites to beginners.
Shop Puma’s latest running shoes and gear online or at Puma stores now.
After years of working as an Editor and writer for popular websites like Joburg’s Darling, Cape Town’s Darling and Joburg.co.za, Crystal left her sanity and an established career in lifestyle journalism behind to follow her dream of creating a website for the intellectual and discerning woman. Today she spends her time chasing the thrill of being the first to know about ‘the next big thing’. She’ll try anything once and has been known to put her body, hair and health on the line – all in the name of research.