Weight: 8.5oz/ (241g) (men's size 12),
Heel Drop: 8 mm
Shoe Type: Lightweight Minimal Trainer (fast shoe)
Running Terrain: Road
This shoe has a simplified yet beautiful upper. The low-volume upper fits true to size. It has a fair width size at the forefoot, thus not as constrictive as the previous version.
- Beautiful and snug-fitting upper
- Gound-contact feel
- Compact fitting not suitable for wide-footed runners
While most shoe brands are focused on releasing high-stacked super shoes, Puma has broken the trend by releasing the iteration of Puma Liberate Nitro to satisfy runners looking for low-stacked lightweight shoes for speed runs. Puma Liberate Nitro 2 is a minimalistic, lightweight daily trainer shoe that suits runners who also prefer a significant ground contact feel.
The new Puma Liberate Nitro 2 is a low-stacked shoe for speed run sessions over short distances.
What is New?
Puma Liberate Nitro 2 has a heel drop of 8mm, 31mm in the heel, and 23mm in the forefoot for men’s size 12. Hence, there is an increase of 2 mm heel drop.
Puma Liberate Nitro v1 was overly lightweight, with little foam in the forefoot area. Hence racking up a half marathon was challenging, and Puma has rectified the problem by adding more foam in the forefoot. There is also significant softness in this area despite using similar foam. The platform has a good measuring 8.5mm in the heel and 10.2 centimeters wide in the forefoot. Hence, this shoe is somewhat compact.
Puma Liberate Nitro 2 Upper Design and Fitting
The upper construction is simple and classy. Puma Liberate Nitro 2 looks like a fast shoe out of the box. Puma utilizes a simple mesh material and a sock-like construction, especially in the front area.
While the toe box looks narrow and pointed like in the previous version, the mesh around this area is stretchy. There is also a minimal heel counter, almost similar to what we have in the Puma Fast R Nitro. I love the lacing system, which is not really functional. For instance, the laces aren’t stretchy; at the same time, the fitting is just correct.
The reason is that the upper has less volume, the width is compact, and the thinly gusseted tongue creates a sock-like fitting.
Liberate Nitro 2 fits excellently even without dialing in the lockdown. The fitting is similar to the Adidas Runfalcon 3.0, but the overall design of the Puma Liberate Nitro 2 has a striking similarity with the Nike Zoom Streak.
Overall, Puma Liberate Nitro 2 has a nice tight-fitting upper. My only issue is with the tongue, which has thin padding and a little slippage in the heel, which I corrected by adjusting the laces. Besides, the mesh is highly breathable. The minimal heel counter will favor sensitive runners, while those who love a solid heel counter may complain about heel lockdown.
Puma Liberate Nitro 2 Midsole Design and Performance
The Liberate Nitro 2 has a low-stack midsole. The distance between the foot and the ground is minimal. Therefore, there is a profound ground feel.
Liberate Nitro 2 utilizes the almost Nitro foam. It is less soft than Nike’s ZoomX, New Balance Fresh Foam X, or Fuel cell midsole foam. Therefore, it is firm with no significant bounce. But it is the way a first shoe should be. That is lightweight, low drop, and race-ready. The turnover is quick, so it works for me. This shoe weighs 8.5 ounces (241g) in US size 12 or UK size 11, up from 7.7 ounces or 223g in the previous version.
Note that the firm midsole foam is not unforgiving, but I have experienced that it is firmer than the average midsole foam like the Fresh Foam or Cloudfoam. Still, it is sufficiently conformable, nimble, and stable for racing and training.
The outsole features the traditional PumaGrip outsole rubber with deep lugs and familiar Puma outsole patterns. The deep lugs bite into the running surface to provide the utmost stability.
The exposed midsole foam between the heel and forefoot areas offers some flex and snap, especially for midfoot and forefoot strikers.
There are no durability concerns; this is a common feature with PumaGrip outsole rubber. Hence, this shoe is for hammering hundreds of miles.
Who Is Puma Liberate Nitro 2 For
Liberate Nitro 2 has a firm midsole that doesn’t suit easy running. Hence, it is for those looking forward to race day training. It also fits someone doing repetitions like several tempo pace intervals or speeds during fartlek training.
Puma Liberate Nitro 2 is amazingly lightweight on foot despite being a bit heavier than its predecessor. I enjoy short speed bursts and marathon paces with Liberate Nitro 2.
This shoe can also perform in light trails since the Nitro foam is durable.
You can also swap the insole with cushioned insoles to get extreme comfort, but that will affect the true performance of Liberate Nitro 2, which is speed but not distance running.
Who Shouldn't Buy Puma Liberate Nitro 2?
Puma Liberate Nitro 2 lacks supporting features, thus making it unsuitable for overpronators or supinators.
Puma Liberate Nitro 2 is less versatile than the Endorphin Speed 3, Saucony Tempus, Adidas Adizero SL, or New Balance Fuel Cell models. However, it can be added to the rotation since it offers an entirely unique experience. Liberate Nitro 2 falls in the lower tier of fast, lightweight running shoes. The price range is good, and the durability and running experience offers value for money. I recommend going true to size in standard shoe size.
Reviewed by Dick Harrison
Harrison is an Australian who lives in Sidney. He trains for fitness and does it like a pro. Harrison has running experience in various running shoes and understands the technology behind each shoe model he has worn.