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Puma Run XX Nitro Review

Do Puma’s ‘female-specific’ running shoes really fit and feel better?

A pair of white and orange running shoes against a blue backdrop. Credit: Reviewed / Tim Renzi

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  1. Product image of Puma Run XX Nitro

    Puma Run XX Nitro

    Pros

    • Supportive

    • Provides good stability

    • Great color options

    Cons

    • Short break-in period

    • Not as good for speed

As a former cross-country and track runner, I don’t have a great track record when it comes to sticking to one sneaker. In hopes of resolving recurring foot injuries, I’ve tried running shoes ranging from Mizunos to Hokas to my current go-to, the Brooks Adrenaline. Despite the extensive list of shoes I’ve owned, however, I’ve never tried anything from Puma.

So, when the company reached out about the Puma Run XX Nitro—a shoe Puma claims is made with women’s feet in mind—I was eager to give the brand a literal test run. Having previously tried and reviewed the Lululemon Blissfeel, another running shoe marketed for its “female-first fit,” I was curious how this design stacks up. Puma sent over a pair of the Run XX Nitro, which I put through its paces with a week of workouts.

What is the Puma Run XX Nitro?

A person ties the laces on a pair of white running shoes outside.
Credit: Reviewed / Tim Renzi

Puma launched its first “female-specific” sneaker in 2022.

The Puma Run XX Nitro is the first Puma shoe without a counterpart made in men’s sizes. The brand claims it created the sneaker with a “progressive, female-specific design” meant to “hug a woman’s foot at the heel, instep, and arch.” The name of the shoe also nods to its female fit-focused DNA, as the “XX” references the double X chromosome.

The running sneaker is categorized as a stability shoe (as opposed to a neutral shoe), meaning it’s built to stabilize the foot by limiting side-to-side foot motion, a.k.a. pronation. In keeping with that category, Puma claims the shoe “promotes proper alignment” and “keeps the foot centered through each stride.”

The Puma Run XX Nitro, which retails for $130, is sold in six colorways in women’s shoe sizes 5.5 to 12.

What I like about the Puma Run XX Nitro

A person grips the underside of a white running shoe.
Credit: Reviewed / Tim Renzi

My feet weren’t sore after running and walking in The Run XX Nitro.

It’s supportive

As a runner with plantar fasciitis (a chronic foot injury), I take supportive sneakers seriously. The Puma Run XX Nitro offered a firm, well stabilized feel for my runs. I’m not sure whether the female-focused fit made the difference, but the cushioning of the Nitro foam midsole provided significant arch support to keep my feet from getting sore after runs. I found the Run XX Nitro’s squishy-yet-substantial cushioning also helpful for cross-training and even long walks. I tested the Puma shoe shortly after trying the Lululemon Chargefeel, another shoe made with the female foot in mind. My feet felt sore after walking in the Chargefeel (which, to be fair, is a cross-training shoe, not a running sneaker), but felt fine going the same distance in the Run XX Nitro.

It has good traction

A person touches the black outsole of a running shoe.
Credit: Reviewed / Tim Renzi

The Puma Run XX Nitro’s rubber outsole has good grip.

The brand also touts the “high traction rubber” of the Run XX Nitro’s outsoles. In my experience, the sneakers have decent traction on pavement and keep a grip on any uneven surfaces I encounter. Though not specifically designed for trails, I didn’t try them on dirt-based terrain, so I can’t speak to how the traction fares there, but I would be surprised if it wasn’t adequate.

It offers great stability

I have a tendency to over-pronate, meaning my feet sometimes roll inward as I hit the ground. Although I don’t think a shoe alone can realistically—and universally—keep feet “centered through each stride,” Puma lives up to its claims of “promoting proper alignment.” While wearing the Run XX Nitro, I don’t feel my ankle rolling in.

There are plenty of color and size options

A pair of white Puma Run XX Nitro surrounded by a blue background.
Credit: Reviewed / Tim Renzi

The Run XX Nitro fuses style and support.

The shoes are true to size for me, as my feet felt comfortable in my usual size 8 (which I wear in all everyday shoes and most running shoes). The shoes are also a fit when it comes to personal style, as the light purple color I received is among the prettiest sneakers I’ve ever run in. Puma also offers more neutral style options, however, if you prefer less “statement" footwear for your workouts.

What I don’t like about the Puma Run XX Nitro

An orange rubber outsole heel on a pair of white running shoes.
Credit: Reviewed / Tim Renzi

The Run XX Nitro isn’t the best for speed.

It’s bulky for speed work

The Run XX Nitro is great for feeling supported on moderately paced runs, but it doesn’t fare as well for speed intervals. Although I love the foam midsole for distance, I felt my feet were sinking in too much during sprints, seemingly slowing me down a bit. Plus, as the Run XX Nitro weighs 8.25 ounces, there are plenty of lighter shoes available for track workouts and other speed-related efforts.

It was initially uncomfortable

A person loosens the laces on a pair of Puma Run XX Nitro running shoes.
Credit: Reviewed / Tim Renzi

There was a bit of a break-in period with the Puma Run XX Nitro.

While the size 8 was a perfect fit, the tongue of the Run XX Nitro dug into the top of my foot on my first wear. The break-in period didn’t last long, however. The toe box is wide and comfortable, and I never had a problem with blisters or discomfort after that initial try.

Is the Puma Run XX Nitro worth it?

A person leans against a brick wall wearing the Puma Run XX Nitro running shoes standing next to a white water bottle.
Credit: Reviewed / Tim Renzi

There’s a lot to like about the Puma Run XX Nitro.

Yes, if you’re looking for a solid stability shoe in a female fit

While everyone’s feet—and needs in a running shoe—are different, I found Puma Run XX Nitro’s cushioning both comfortable and supportive. If you’re looking for a stability shoe for pounding the pavement and don’t care about having a super lightweight shoe for sprints, the Run XX Nitro could be a solid choice. Plus, in case it’s not a good fit for your feet, Puma offers free returns within 45 days of purchase.

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

  1. Product image of Puma Run XX Nitro

    Puma Run XX Nitro

    Pros

    • Supportive

    • Provides good stability

    • Great color options

    Cons

    • Short break-in period

    • Not as good for speed