Sunday, August 7

Puma Run XX Nitro Review: Puma’s First Women’s Specific Running Shoe

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For too long, running shoes have been made for men, then redesigned to fit a woman’s foot shape. Most running shoes for women were in effect just smaller versions of men’s running shoes.

Of course, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that women’s feet are not the same as men’s. As understanding of the physiological structural differences between men and women has grown, so running shoes have thankfully become far more female-specific. Recent research has shown that women have different gait patterns and lower-limb biomechanics than men. So, it follows that the way women run is significantly different from men.

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Puma Run XX Nitro

Stepping it up with the Puma Run XX Nitro

With that in mind, Puma is working on rewriting the narrative when it comes to women’s running shoes, and it’s kicking things off with the all-new Puma Run XX Nitro, a running shoe designed specifically for female runners. Named for the woman-specific double X chromosome DNA sequence, Puma says the Run XX stands behind the brand’s ‘Run for Her’ positioning to prioritise female runners’ needs in the way they build and engineer their products.

To truly understand the needs of female runners, Puma launched a research study in collaboration with the University of Massachusetts Biomechanics Lab. The study recruited 224 runners who logged more than 36,000 miles over eight weeks. 81 percent of women included in the study, said they preferred the Run XX over the control shoe, and said they liked the cushioning and responsiveness of the Run XX over the control.

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What sets the Run XX apart?

Puma’s Run XX running shoe was designed from the ground up to ensure the ideal fit for women. According to Puma, the shoe features a progressive, female-specific design. The updated fit of the shoe ensures it hugs a woman’s heel, instep, and arch, while the shoe’s new firmer Nitro Foam midsole offers the perfect balance of durability and a lightweight feel. What’s more, Puma says the shoe’s Run Guide further helps to promote proper alignment and increased stability for longer distances.

Puma Run XX Nitro

This exciting addition to the Puma running gear lineup was designed with the aim of improving women’s performance, comfort and safety when running. The design of the shoe takes into account not only women’s unique biomechanics, but also helps to address the cause of distinct injury patterns female runners often have.

Women often have a narrower heel in relation to their forefoot, so, wearing running shoes designed for men can often cause the heel to slip inside the shoe, leading to instability and chafing. Puma’s Run XX shoes are shaped differently, using a narrower last (the form used to craft the shoe). This gender-specific last helps to dramatically improve fit for female runners and prevents problems like heel slippage.

Puma Run XX Nitro

Another game changer in the design of the shoe is the gender-specific support. The shoe was designed to offer the right levels of support and flexibility for a woman’s foot as it moves through the gait cycle. The Run XX offers incredible support in all the right places, which makes the world of difference when you’re embarking on a long run.

Puma’s built-in footstrike guidance technology, RunGuide, was also included in the design to offer better stability. This piece of TPU runs from the heel to the midfoot, and when paired with the new Nitro foam, creates a firm ride with a great amount of cushioning.

Puma Run XX Nitro

What’s more, the brand has even gone the extra mile to address how its popular Nitro Foam technology can be used to better accommodate women. Women tend to be lighter than men, but the cushioning material in running shoes is often too dense for women. For the Nitro XX, Puma’s Nitro Foam features in a less dense form than its male counterpart. Puma’s Nitro Foam material offers female runners greater impact absorption and more rebound for improved performance when running. Weighing just 243g (for a US W 7.5), the shoe feels incredibly lightweight and has a great spring to it.

I really enjoyed the lightweight feel and ‘bounce’ of the Run XX running shoes and when coupled with the Puma Grip outsole, you get a very impressive running shoe that is perfectly suited for slippery winter conditions when grip and comfort are key.

Puma Run XX Nitro

It’s ideal for runners who like a firmer ride and want more stability and support in a running shoe. Overall, the Puma Run XX Nitro is comfortable, durable, and comes at a pretty decent price point for runners who are serious about improving their performance.

The Puma Run XX Nitro is now available at a retail price of R3,199.

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