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Tried and tested: Puma Run XX Nitro

We put Puma's women-only shoe (named after the woman-specific double X chromosome DNA sequence) to the test

Puma Run XX Nitro
Puma puma.com

  • Type: Cushioned/stability
  • Price: £105
  • Weight: 235g (for UK 4.5)
  • Drop: 8mm

    The shoe

    The Run XX NITRO is Puma's first women's running shoe for which there is no male equivalent. Engineered specifically for the female foot and gait (and named for the woman-specific double X chromosome DNA sequence to reflect this), the Run XX NITRO has a female-specific design that's built on a female last (foot model). This offers a closer fit than that of traditional women’s running shoes, which are typically built on a unisex last (or even a male last that's simply been reduced in size).

    The fit

    The Run XX has an updated fit, designed to hug the heel, instep and arch, and this certainly delivered a greater sense of security around the Achilles, as well as better lockdown, during our test runs. For those who worry about cramped toes though, fear not: the toebox is still super roomy, allowing for comfortable foot-striking all run long. The shoe also felt very true to size, so you should be fine to order your usual running shoe size.

    Cushioning and stability

    With Puma’s RUNGUIDE technology (a firm density rim that encourages proper alignment and helps to keep the foot centred), plus a TPU heel piece for increased stability, the Run XX NITRO sits firmly in the stability/support shoe category. So, if you overpronate (which tends to be the anatomical norm for women) this could be the shoe for you.

    It's also well-cushioned, featuring a firmer version of the brand’s NITRO midsole foam for increased durability, and has a grippy PUMAGRIP outsole, made from durable rubber. We certainly felt the benefits of this during our test runs.

    Comfortable upper

    The breathable mesh upper, coupled with the roomy toebox, means there's plenty of room for the feet to spread during impact, which we enjoyed during our test runs. The tongue (also constructed of mesh) seems a little on the short side, so there were worries it would slip down, but we're happy to report it stayed snugly in place and, while it's padded, it thins out to a comfortable foam where it makes contact with the ankle, so it didn't rub.

    How it feels to run in

    For all its cushioning and support, we were pleasantly surprised at how light this felt for a stability shoe out on the road, and it's also fairly (but not super) responsive. This is definitely a great daily shoe, best suited for easy miles and longer training runs, and it had us feeling comfortable and well supported from the first mile to the last, every time.

    RW verdict

    A great, everyday stability shoe that offers excellent cushioning and support, without feeling bulky or sluggish. Available in four colourways, it's also priced slightly more reasonably than most, at £105.

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