Best Nike Running Shoes Reviewed & Rated for Performance

Whether you are running your sixth marathon or you’re just sitting on the couch, eating a bag of Doritos, and talking yourself into that first step ( because you you’ve been watching all 7 seasons of Game of Thrones in three days and think it’s time for a change in your life) , you know that you need a good running shoe.

Best Nike Running Shoes - display of shoes

Nike’s been producing quality since it’s 1974 Waffle Trainer. The name “Waffle Trainer” is not an innuendo of some sort like I originally thought but the company’s founder was having breakfast one morning and the idea was right in front of him. The grooves in the waffle iron became the first Nike design inspiration and at the expense of his waffle machine Bill Bowerman made history.

Featured Recommendations

Nike Revolution 3
  • Nike Revolution 3
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Mesh/Phylon Foam
  • Price: See Here
 
Nike Free Rn Flyknit
  • Nike Free Rn Flyknit
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • One-Piece Flyknit Upper
  • Price: See Here
 
Nike Flex 2017 Rn
  • Nike Flex 2017 Rn
  • 4.2 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Dynamic Fit Technology
  • Price: See Here

Every runner knows proper running shoes are crucial for a productive workout. Not only do they help avoid injuries like ankle sprains and fractures, they help your foot feel lighter hence increasing your chances of hitting that extra mile or just, you know, finishing the actual workout . Those of you set on the Nike brand will enjoy this top 10. The rest of you will change your mind when you read our in-depth review.

 

10 Best Nike Running Shoes

 

1. Nike Revolution 3

Nike Revolution 3 features soft and responsive cushioning. It’s mesh upper is incredibly lightweight and it’s rubber sole provides fantastic traction.The top mesh allows air to enter the shoe, and we all know that will make you happier when you take the shoe off after your workout. Nike Revolution has a minimalist design that provides a more natural feel to the runner. The modern aesthetic and comfort make this shoe the top of our list.
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Breathable Upper
Smooth lining, cushioning insole, padded collar and lace up front make for this upper’s quality. It’s this shoe’s best feature. The upper also has cooling knit panels that promotes extra breathability.

Cushioned Comfort
Traction outsole with effective grip patterning while providing comfort in the responsive cushioning makes the Revolution 3 stand out in the world of running shoes. When your foot hits the ground the midsole pushes it back with equal force making running effortless.

Cost and Value
Having in mind the comfort, design and overall aid to your workout the cost is very low compared to the benefits you receive from this shoe.
Pros
  • Cushioned sole for comfort
  • Extremely lightweight
  • High breathability  
  • Modern design
  • Easy to wash and pack
Cons
  • Not adaptive to extreme weather conditions
  • Might be too narrow for some runners

2. Nike Free RN Flyknit

A new version of Nike’s 4.0 with a new 8 MM drop that makes a difference in the angle of the shoe making it more comfortable for running. The springy outside and 8 oz weight help runners feel comfortable even in longer distances. The design is a little further up the ankle than it’s previous version, however, this makes for a tighter fit while running.
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Breathable Upper Coverage
Flyknit upper is extremely comfortable and lightweight. The flyknit adapts to many different foot shapes. Design of the upper makes it breathable and firm on the foot.

Flexibility
The shoe goes in all directions allowing the foot to adapt to any surface you’re running on. Contributes to the shoe’s natural foot feel which is what this running shoe is meant to do.

Cost and Value
It’s an affordable shoe compared to some other on the list especially with the flexibility and comfort it offers. The overall value justifies the cost.
Pros
  • Extreme flexibility perfect for running up hill
  • Breathable flyknit design
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Adaptable to all surfaces
  • Natural feel
Cons
  • Narrow in the middle
  • Not very receptive to water

3. Nike Flyknit Racer

Another Flyknit on the list, this unisex model also has a very flexible and lightweight upper that feels almost like second skin. With 5.6 oz weight even the world's best runners are wearing them in competitions. Form fitting and seamless upper as well as well as its vibrant colors make this shoe a good choice.
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Lightweight
The shoe’s entire weight comes to 5.6 ounces with the upper of only 1.2 oz. It’s tremendously light on the foot and it’s perfect for marathon running. It is also a good choice for runners that want to integrate a speed workout in their routine.

Targeted Support
High areas of support and breathability where you need it the most without the added weight of overlays. The shoe fits as snug as a sock would while adding support needed for those long marathon runs.

Cost and Value
With a lot of different options to choose from and it’s built for marathon running, the Racer proves to be a good return of investment.
Pros
  • Targeted support for the natural feel
  • Upper breathability assured by the Flyknit Design
  • Snug fit perfect for marathon runners
  • Improved cushioning
  • Plenty of color options
Cons
  • Some find it to be very tight in the middle

4. Nike Lunar Epic Low Flyknit 2

4. Nike Lunar Epic Low Flyknit 2
Neutral long road running shoes, the revised version of the comfortable Lunar Epic Low Flyknit, as the name suggests. The main difference is in the tongue and updated laser-cut pods and these made the shoes more comfortable. Many agree it is an improvement from it’s previous version.
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Comfort
Weighing 8 oz these Lunar Epic’s are flexible and contain your foot surprisingly well. These shoes have everything necessary for a pleasant workout. In fact, they are so comfortable they can be used without socks. The cushioning feels like walking on clouds, isn’t that exactly what you want from your shoe?

Breathability
Laser perforations weaved into the upper with Flyknit technology added to the shoe’s overall breathability. Durable mesh is an upgrade from the last years version and runners agree the ventilation of the shoe is better in this new version.

Cost and Value
A bit pricier shoe on the list but Nike is lowering the price, for a runner that cares about design this is the perfect option.
Pros
  • Comfortable for long runs
  • Elegant design
  • Breathability good for long workouts  
  • Smooth transition through the gait cycle
  • A definite upgrade from it’s previous version
Cons
  • The outsole gathers rocks
  • Reduced heel collar height

5. Nike Flex RN

5. Nike Flex RN
A combination of synthetic and mesh, the multipurpose design of the Flex RN is good for all your running needs. The fit of the upper is slightly more structured in comparison to the 2016 model. The mid-sole works great if you want to take advantage of your natural feet movement. Breathable fabric lining offers a great overall feel. Nike Flex Rn weigh around 8.5 Oz.
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Structure
Laces run through the middle but the tongue is constructed in the shoe making it fit very sturdy on your feet without the fear of slipping. Inside is a one-piece wrap on your foot through the mid-foot area. The structure prevents your foot slipping on the inside of the shoe while you’re running.

Versatility
The combined design makes for a very versatile shoe. Good for those just starting as well as the running veterans. The breathability makes it good for hot areas and the synthetic soles are waterproof for those living in the colder areas. Number of color options makes this shoe good for those interested in design as well.

Cost and Value
This is the most affordable shoe on the list making and it’s versatility provides a good investment especially for new runners.
Pros
  • Shoes fit excellent
  • Tie nicely, no need to double knot
  • Great support
  • Good for different stages of running
  • Comfortable and easy on the knees
Cons
  • Outsole wears away quickly
  • Can be narrow to wide feet

6. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34

6. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34
The latest in the long line of Pegasus. The original Pegasus debut in 1984 so they had plenty of time to try out what works and what doesn’t for this make. These shoes are built to handle long distances and many different surfaces. Biggest change in this version is in the upper and the hidden laces, which make Pegasus 34 aesthetically pleasing.
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Secure Lockdown
Flywire cables wrap the arch for a tight and comfortable support while providing a snug feel. There will no issues with your feet moving around and the internal heel counter does a good job of locking your heel in place.

Responsive Feel
10 ml drop and the little air bubbles under the heel and the forefoot aid the great bounce back . The shoe has a responsive, stringy feel and raised rubber sections provide good traction.

Cost and Value
Not insanely high price tag and for the quality, won’t be too hard on your wallet or your joints.
Pros
  • Lightweight and fast
  • Stable - good for walking or running
  • Comfortable and responsive
  • Traction allows for great foot control
  • Lightweight yet durable
Cons
  • Irregular padding
  • Laces difficult to adjust

7. Nike Air Zoom Vomero 12

7. Nike Air Zoom Vomero 12
With updated outsole this is a complete 180 from the Vomero 11. You’ll be treating your feet with this new version. Flywire cables presence makes the fit snugger and a comfort fit collar provides ankle support.
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Comfort
The softest shoe on the list. Air zoom units in the heel and forefoot create a springy step. The foam technology is very responsive. The soft Lunar core promotes soft transitioning.

Cushioning
Nice thick mid-sole with a 10 MM drop and a really soft traction rubber on the bottom. Heel cup very similar to Pegasus. Around 11 oz, a bit on the heavier side but it doesn’t feel as heavy.

Cost and Value
The value is in the comfort. This shoe is good for anyone with joint problems or injuries. The price is well worth for the product.
Pros
  • Comfortable for long and intense workouts
  • Outsole strong and efficient
  • Reflective coating good for low-light conditions
  • Responsive cushioning
  • Feel fast
Cons
  • Toe box might be tight for some

8. Nike Lunar Tempo 2

8. Nike Lunar Tempo 2
Light in weight while still offering good cushioning with just a splash of rubber on the outsole. This shoe is able to last long and many like it’s look. Lunar Tempo 2 has a full contact outsole with good ground feel. This shoe is very flexible and it has good traction even on wet surfaces.The shoe is lightweight at 7.5 oz.
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Stability
The biggest change in the Lunar Tempo 2 is the outsole and you’ll notice increase in traction, durability but most of all, stability. The foam is Lunarlom foam and it’s directly connected to the shoe’s mid-sole.

Design
Straightforward and simple, with the setup of blocks on the outsole mixed with exposed Lunar foam. The design is modern and colorful, a nice cosmetic change from Lunar Tempo 1.

Cost and Value
The cost is on the lower spectrum and for the upgrade not too high. The stability and design of the shoe justify it's cost.
Pros
  • Lightweight, especially for cushioned shoes
  • Plenty of designs to choose from
  • Flexible for different kinds of terrains
  • Durable outer fabric
  • Reflective material for night running
Cons
  • Mid - sole a bit stiff
  • Flywire can wear out early

9. Nike Free RN Distance 2

9. Nike Free RN Distance 2
Free RN Distance is a natural feeling shoe with a bit of cushioning for the concrete. The breathable nature helps in those intense runs while the durability ensure you’ll be able to have many intense runs without having to break the bank. Flywire technology and natural flexibility and a perfect balance of a natural feeling with cushioning make this running shoe a good investment.
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Cushioning
Squishy mid-sole made with the dual-density Lunarlon technology while not sacrificing its flexibility. Free RN Distance 2 is made with the low 4 mm offset. They have a nice impact to the ground and runners say they have a feeling of speed.

Supportive Fit
Dynamic Fit technology guarantees for a secure, supportive and adaptive fit. Unlike the first RN Distance, the new version is a sock - fit with no tongue. The outer sleeve is redone so now it wraps around outside the bootie and attaches to the laces.

Cost and Value
One of the most affordable on the list. If you’re looking for good balance of natural feel and cushioning while still staying on budget this shoe is good choice for you.
Pros
  • Secure and adaptive fit
  • Soft cushioning
  • Good flexibility for cushioned shoes
  • Breathable comfort
  • Speed
Cons
  • Some runners find the arch painful
  • Tend to scuff

10. Nike Lunarglide 9

10. Nike Lunarglide 9
The outline looks identical to last years Lunarglide 8 as well as Nike Lunar Epic series, but smoother and softer than its previous version. The stability, flexibility and breathability are just some of the upgrades in this new version. The shoe is better for runners that are just starting because of it’s comfort and stability.
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Stability
Upper is made out of one piece Jacquard constructive upper which provides extra stability, ventilation and support. Sole thickness works well with all kinds of surfaces and intensity. Flywire cables guarantee a secure and stable fit.

Comfort
LunarGlide Lunarlon foam provides a soft experience. This is especially good for different surfaces and intense workouts. Neutral cushioned and intended for runners with higher arches.

Cost and Value
Affordable, especially if you’re just starting and don’t want to spend too much but still want to have a decent running shoe. The cost is good for the value.
Pros
  • Stability for long runs
  • Lightweight and soft
  • Secure the foot well
  • Good ankle support
  • Sole thickness
Cons
  • Low durability
  • Unappealing design

In conclusion, if you are looking for the right running shoe and are flirting with the idea of Nike, consider the durability, flexibility, support, comfort and, of course, price.
Those of you that need running shoes and have joint problems should choose a shoe with good cushioning and support. Those of you that are more into marathon running need a nice lightweight and breathable shoe… unless you’re planning making sure everyone leaves the room when you take your shoes off. If you’re just starting out try to pick a lightweight shoe with good support, so your running feels effortless. Other criteria to keep in mind is the surface you are most likely to run as it is a big factor for your shoe. The right shoe for straight concrete roads might not be the right shoe for a beach.  Nike has been around for some time and they know what they’re doing. Take a look at our Nike list and pick something for yourself, you know you want to.

 

Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Nike Running Shoes

 

Breathable Upper

Heat must be able to escape from the feet while you’re running. Else, unnecessary wetness will be caused due to the collection of sweat. Nike makes sure that every running shoe pair they make is capable of breathability. Especially via their Flyknit Technology.

Overall Weight

Minimalist shoes were, are, and continue to be “a thing” when it comes to running shoes. But the sock-like feel doesn’t go well with a noticeable percentage of people. Still; a pair of running shoes shouldn’t be heavy. Nike’s running shoes weigh between 5 & 8.8 ounces. That’s a load off your mind, huh?

Flexibility

You want a pair of running shoes that can move when your feet moves? No problem. Do you have problems with high-arched feet or flat feet? Not a problem. Nike’s running shoes of today are the results of innovation and listening to the people who buy and wear them. The results, if not the end results, are running shoes that flex and move with you.

“Targeted Support”

Nike adds extra cushioning in the insoles where it counts. And they strengthen spots in the uppers that usually fall apart in less-innovative shoes. Reviewers of Nike’s running shoes can agree that the company went an extra mile to put in some extra comfort; making it possible for runners to go a few extra miles.

Waterproof (in some models)

Some models of Nike’s running shoes are made so they can avoid turning into a soggy mess when hit with water. It’s a great choice for those who run in areas known for rainfall.

Heel-To-Toe Drop

The heel-to-toe drop found within Nike’s running shoes are under 10 millimeters. 10 millimeters is about the same size as a fingernail. So take to hear that your feet and ankles won’t be placed in any awkward position when you’re standing or running in these shoes.

Arch Support

Some models of Nike’s running shoes have Flywire Cable technology built within the shoes’ middle area. Making sure that your arch is protected from anything that might cause it pain. Nike is one of the shoe-making companies that dedicate themselves to helping those with high arches walk and run better.

Insole Cushioning

Nike’s insole cushioning are already considered the best. But there are those of us who want to use our own customized insoles. Nikes insoles for their running shoes are removable. (Protip: Be sure to check and make sure first since some running shoes aren’t as forgiving.)

Outsoles

The durability and longevity of a running shoes’ outsoles depend on how a person runs. If the shoes hit the ground like the airplane’s wheels when they hit the ground, then there will suffer some wear and tear sooner. So it’s best to learn how to run properly.

Some of the later models of Nike’s running shoes feature the Lunarlom Foam; improving stability and durability of the outsoles.

Reflective Coating (in some models)

And of course there are people who like to take a brisk jog at night. The reflective coating on some models make sure that you can be seen from a motorist with the headlights on. (You should also probably wear clothing with reflective coating as well.)

Design

Some of Nike’s running shoes come in a dazzling display of styles and colors. Some don’t. And while practicality can triumph over looks, it’s nice to have a pair of runners that are uniquely you. Hey, though. You can go to Nike.com and get your shoes customized in several nice colors.

 

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are Nike trainers as good as people say?

People who bought them tell of the comfort, lightness of weight, and sturdiness they get from wearing them. “It feels like I’m walking on a cloud,” one reviewer said. Another reviewer said that he doesn’t suffer from the pain in his feet when he runs in one of Nike’s running shoes.

Q: Where can I buy them?

Nike’s running shoes are sold online (mainly via their webpage). They’re also sold at premium outlets and specialty shoe shops. They’re sold in stores throughout the world.

Q: Are there any for flat feet or high arched feet?

Yes there are. The Air Pegasus is one of Nike’s running shoes that help people who have high arched feet. The Air Zoom is one of their running shoes that help those with flat foot by adding more stability.

Q: How do I wash Nike trainers?

Well, you don’t just throw ‘em in the washer and dryer, that’s for sure.

First you get rid of the excess dirt by using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Secondly, you dip a sponge in a mixture of warm water and laundry detergent so you can clean the dirt out. Third, you use a dry sponge or cloth to remove the excess detergent. And finally, you let it dry in room temperature.

Q: Can I get them customized?

Yes you can. Go over to Nike.com and choose your colors. (It’s a little pricey, though.)

Q; How did Nike Incorporated Start?

On January of 1964, coach Bill Bowerman and athlete Phil Knight started Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS). They both went to the University of Oregon. Coach Bowerman didn’t like how running shoes at the time put too much weight on the runners’ feet. So he made efforts to try to remove the excess weight from them. None of the companies in America wanted to listen to his ideas.

Phil made a deal with Japanese shoe maker Onitsuka Tiger (now ASICS); and he and the coach were selling their shoes at track meets out of the athlete’s car. Coach Bowerman had gained his “Sir Isaac Newton Moment” when he tried to use a waffle iron to create rubber gripping that would work better on the ground. But he forgot to grease his waffle iron and it would stick close. The coach would fly to Tokyo, bringing his wife, and pitch the idea to the heads of Onitsuka. And then the “Waffle Windfall” would beat out the ubiquitous, German-made running shoes.

BRS was prepped to become an internationally rising star with its running shoes. But in 1971, the deal with Onitsuka Tiger would come to an end. BRS would rebrand itself, putting a patent on Carolyn Davidson’s “swoosh” logo, and becoming “Nike.”

Q: Did the company know that “Nike” was a Greek goddess of victory?

Since the original owners went to a university, they probably did. So here’s some trivial Greek mythology for you:

Nike (Victoria in ancient Rome) is also the goddess of strength and speed. She’s one of the four daughters of the Titan Pallas and the goddess Styx. The whole family would ally themselves with Zeus as he fought against the older gods. She helmed a divine chariot, but she has wings on her back. During war, she would fly around the battlefield and bless the victors with wealth and glory. And apparently, she and Athena (daughter of Zeus) are best buds; there was a statue of Nike standing in the palm of Athena’s gigantic figure.