The Puma Fast-R NITRO Elite is built for speed and responsiveness…

For a full roundup, check out the best gym shoes for 2023

Puma Fast-R NITRO Elite Gym Shoes


$260 / £230 /


  • Thickly cushioned midsole
  • Lightweight mono mesh material


  • Not the most sturdy
  • Very expensive

Fit: 4.5/5
Comfort: 4.5/5
Performance: 5/5
OVERALL: 4.5/5

Although the Puma Fast-R NITRO Elite is technically built for running, the fact that it’s fine-tuned for speed, with high responsiveness and a super lightweight feel, means it holds up well in the gym.

Versatility is aided by the quick, bouncy feel of the shoe, which makes it a solid choice for a variety of fast-paced movements – including treadmill and rowing work, or other aerobic exercises.

Related: 5 Of The Best Specialist Weightlifting Shoes

According to Puma, this shoe is built with ‘premium performance foam technology’. In short, this shoe is seriously bouncy, with a thick two-part midsole made out of ‘NITRO Elite Foam’ for improved responsiveness. A cushioned heel helps with propulsion, further enhancing your ability to move with speed.

Sole of Puma Fast-R NITRO Elite Fireglow gym shoe

There’s some serious traction going on underneath this fast and light Puma

There’s serious cushioning underfoot, too, and this shoe definitely feel durable. However, the upper, made of super-lightweight mono mesh, could feel too thin for some. The sock-like fit and streamlined shape of the shoe adds to its feather-weight design, but other options such as the Reebok Nano X2 are a little more solid and durable.

Related: Best Running Shoes For Smashing Your 5K PB

Overall, the shoe’s lightweight material and huge cushioned midsole is ideal for high-performance cross-training. If you’re after something that genuinely puts a spring in your step, the NITRO Elite offers exactly that. And if you want to catch the eye, it’ll certainly do the job.

We tested out the Fireglow version in a Sunset Glow colour scheme, which has now been replaced by mismatched red and blue shoes. And if you buy a pair of these trainers on the Puma website, they even chuck in a free pair of Fast-R performance running socks.

Used pair of Puma Fast-R NITRO Elite Fireglow gym shoes

The Puma Fast-R NITRO Elite Fireglows don’t struggle to make an impact…

Words: Fred Garratt-Stanley

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