Best Nike Running Shoes
Depending on where you live in the world, chances are you’re familiar with the Nike brand of running shoes. Incorporated in 1971, this company has grown into a powerhouse of athletic gear and is known throughout the world as a leader in the industry. With all their changes over the years, however, Nike has remained true to what started it all for them – the running shoe.
The Nike company provides thousands of different choices, and finding the best one for you can be a bit daunting. Don’t worry, though; we’ve taken a look at what’s on the market today and hand-picked the best Nike running shoes available.
This is the best product on our list that is currently in stock:
Allows for natural movement
Top Ten Nike Running Shoes
1. Air Max BW OG
Sizing is true to size
Traction and durability could use improvement
This top entry on our list is a lightweight contender for the best overall athletic shoe from this respected brand. Designed for a comfortable fit that keeps your feet moving and well protected.Read more
Of the people who bought this Nike running shoe, everyone who had something to say indicated that it was true to the size that they were expecting.
This shoe is made from a combination of synthetic and natural materials that provide for a great deal of ventilation and overall support. The rubber sole provides great strength, and the combination of mesh and suede in the upper portion help to keep the shoe lightweight and flexible.
The tread on these shoes are what you’d expect from Nike, providing a great deal of gripping power and traction overall. Nothing extraordinary, though.
While not the longest lasting running shoe we’ve ever come across, with proper care and effort, this shoe should last at least a hundred miles of running.
When asked what they love about this sneaker, most say that they enjoy how comfortable it is. By combining the mid-sole and out-sole in one lightweight material, Nike provides fantastic overall strength at a fraction of the weight. This allows the foot to move in a more natural way, since it doesn’t have to carry unnecessary weight.
While the treads and overall durability are nothing special, this Nike running shoe excels in the departments of comfort, size and overall materials used. It’s little wonder that it tops our list.
2. Air Zoom Pegasus 32
Very comfortable to wear
Good overall support
Sizing may be a bit small
If you were to ask runners what they thought the best Nike running shoe would be, chances are quite a few of them would answer with the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32. It’s simple and lightweight design has stood out over time as a great way to keep your feet protected while running long distances.Read more
Over 85% of the people who bought this shoe found it to be a comfortable fit, with only a small minority indicating that they should have bought a larger size.
These shoes combine a natural rubber sole with a synthetic mesh upper portion and synthetic foam material strategically placed in the heel area to provide great overall comfort and protection while running.
Perhaps the one area that these shoes could use improvement is in the tread. There is a minimal amount of gripping power, and if used in adverse running conditions, they may be prone to sliding.
For some runners who used these shoes, the overall durability and longevity didn’t quite match up to what they were expecting. While previous iterations of this Nike running shoe lasted well into the 500 mile or more range, most found that they started to deteriorate around the 200 mile mark. It is certainly an area that could use improvement.
If properly sized, this is one of the most comfortable Nike running shoe on the market today. A number of unique features, including an air unit in the heel, specially engineered mesh upper with Flywire cables, and a crash rail for extra support means that running with these shoes is a very comfortable option.
The Nike Pegasus line of running shoes has long been known as a go-to choice for many runners, and this example is no exception. While we would like to see improvement on the durability and traction aspects, the overall comfort and lightweight construction can’t be beat.
3. Revolution 3 Kids
Allows for natural movement
May be too narrow for some feet
In case you thought that the best Nike running shoes were only regulated to the adult section of the store, we have the Kids Revolution 3. Designed to allow children to do what they do best, these running shoes are perfect for a kid who is just learning about the freedom of running.Read more
Most kids found that these shoes fit fairly well, and allowed more than enough room in the toe box area for wiggling and minor size change due to swelling of the feet. They come in sizes that can fit kids ranging in age from 4 to 12 years, and the no-sew overlays help to keep everything comfortably snug.
These shoes are made from a combination of a natural rubber sole and synthetic mesh materials, including a foam mid-sole that allow for a more natural movement overall. They are lightweight, and the flex grooves that carved out of the entire length of the shoe allow for rapid flexing and turning when needed.
In truth, the tread is adequate for most of the activities seen in childhood, but may wear out rather quickly in rougher terrain. This is a great running shoe for sidewalks and paved park trails, not deep forest trail runs.
Unfortunately, considering the abuse that kids will often put their shoes through, the durability of these shoes is less than we would have hoped. With proper care that can last few quite a few seasons, but with normal kid use and care, they’re probably only last a year or two at the most.
The majority of kids found these shoes to be relatively comfortable, provided that they were sized correctly when making the purchase. Some found that the shoes were actually too narrow to wear comfortably.
If you’re looking for a running shoe for the younger members of your team, the Nike Kids Revolution 3 should definitely be on your short list. While we feel that they can certainly up their game when it comes to durability, the levels of comfort, fit and overall traction are quite respectable.
Great overall construction
Treads not designed for trail use
This second entry on our list of the best Nike running shoes could have easily been our top contender. It’s level of comfort and performance is hard to beat.Read more
Just about everyone who tried on these shoes marveled at how well they fit. Some even compared it to wearing a second skin.
Unlike our top contender that had a mix of natural and synthetic material, this shoe is designed using only synthetic material. The top portion is made from a mesh material that allows for great overall ventilation, and the sole is synthetic rubber to provide great protection.
The treads on this shoe are clearly designed for urban use, providing an anti-slip and anti-skid design overall. While it’s great on concrete or asphalt, it most likely will wear out quickly on a dirt trail.
Overall the durability of this shoe is pretty good. The seams are tight and well stitched, and the materials themselves are of high quality. With proper care, these shoes should last through quite a few seasons of running.
Comfort is so important when it comes to a running shoe, and this one delivers in that area very well. Quite a few reviewers have raved about how comfortable the shoe is, and how supportive it can be while running.
If you’re worried about being comfortable during your morning run, these Lunarglide sneakers from Nike is certainly something to consider. Their lightweight design and anti-skid tread make it a perfect pair to help you take on the urban jungle without hesitation.
5. Men's Revolution 3
Great overall traction
Good comfort level
Not designed for wider feet
These shoes aren’t just a larger version of the previous shoes listed in our number seven slot. This shoe is designed to promote natural movement and comfort while running above all else.Read more
The majority of people found these shoes to be a good fit after a period of breaking in. People with wider feet did find them to be a bit narrow overall, so if you need a wider shoe naturally you should consider other options.
These shoes feature a blend of synthetic and natural materials that are designed to offer support and structure while running. While it could use a bit more arch support, overall the materials do a fine job of helping your run be an enjoyable one.
The treads and traction on these shoes is adequate for the typical running enthusiast. However, it’s important to watch for an increase in wear, especially if worn on the back country trails.
Generally speaking, these shoes will last for quite a few seasons with regular care and maintenance. There were instances where the upper portion of the shoe or the heel wore through rapidly, but in most cases, these running shoes will last for a few hundred running miles.
Nearly everyone who reviewed this sneaker online said that it was a joy to wear and very comfortable indeed. The only exception were the people who had wider feet, as the instep area was often a little on the narrow side.
If you don’t have wide feet, and you are looking for an all-around great running shoe, this example from the Nike brand is certainly one to consider.
6. Fingertrap Max
Great support to prevent overpronation
Good traction overall
Could be more durable
If you’re familiar with Nike running shoes, then you know that they are often at the forefront when it comes to innovation. The Nike Fingertrap Max Running shoe is no exception. The design features characteristics that make it a great choice for running.Read more
Approximately 85% of the customers who bought these shoes found them to be a good fit, with the small minority indicating that they were a tad small for their tastes.
These shoes are made entirely from synthetic material and feature a number of design characteristics that make it a great fit for an active runner. The sewn-in tongue, for example stays easily out of your way, and allows for a quick lace up prior to your running start. In addition, the cushioning provides great neutral support, so overpronation isn’t much of a problem.
Most people found this shoe to have adequate traction when it came to running on both concrete and the trail
For the most part, people found these shoes to not only be great for running, but also good for the long haul. While they may not be suitable for multiple marathons in a row, chances are they’ll do just fine for your day to day workout.
Nearly all of the reviewers that we encountered said that these shoes were perhaps some of the most comfortable that they’ve owned, with the exception of those who didn’t like the stationary tongue design. Overall, though, most found the shoes to be as easy to take on and off as they were to wear.
If you’re looking for a great pair of running shoes that have a great innovative design geared towards comfort and performance, this example from Nike is well worth a second look.
7. Zoom Winflo 3
Comes in a variety of styles
Traction could be better
Sometimes the shoe you wear can make all the difference in how you run. If you tend to overpronate, this is one running shoe that can really help solve your problem.Read more
The majority of people found this shoe to be true to their expected size, with only about 15% indicating that they should have bought a size larger.
This shoe is created using a synthetic mesh upper portion, a natural rubber sole and synthetic cushioning in the mid-sole area. The cushioning and lining is designed to promote stability.
The tread is a great choice if you’re traveling over smoother terrain where it’s anti-slip traction features are a great boon. We wouldn’t suggest it for deep woods running, however.
For the most part these shoes will last through quite a few running miles with proper care and maintenance.
While the majority of people found these shoes to be comfortable overall, they did have a fairly narrow design. This didn’t make for a very comfortable run, especially if you have wider feet.
If you tend to overpronate when you run, you’ll want a shoe that helps to provide comfort and stability. While it may not be comfortable for those with wider feet, for the average runner, this shoe delivers in spades.
8. Nike Tanjun
Made to last
Tread designed for smooth surfaces
The fifth entry on our list of the best Nike running shoes is the first that is specifically designed for a woman. The lightweight and simple design makes them a great choice for everyday training runs, or a simple jaunt around the block with friends.Read more
The majority of people who bought this shoe found that it fit well, with a small minority indicating that a half-size in either direction would be a better fit.
This simple design uses a natural rubber sole with a mesh upper portion to create a lightweight running shoe that is both flexible and supportive.
While the rubberized sole does provide fantastic protection and support, the treads on the bottom of the shoe does leave a bit to be desired. These shoes are a good choice for running on smoother surfaces, but we wouldn’t suggest using them to tackle the gravelly mountain trail.
Overall the durability of these shoes is adequate, and will last through quite a few miles without question and with proper care.
Considering the simple design overall, a few people found the shoe to be a bit uncomfortable, especially if their feet were a bit wider or a bit narrower than average. This is definitely one shoe that you’ll want to try one before buying.
These lightweight running shoes provide great overall protection and durability for your runs. While the tread and overall comfort could be improved, this is still a great overall choice.
9. Air Huarache SE
Very durable construction
Combination of synthetic and natural materials
May run a bit small
When it comes to longevity in a running shoe, it’s hard to beat the Nike Air Hurache Run SE. Made from a combination of natural and synthetic materials, this is one shoe that can easily withstand even the toughest marathon.Read more
Nearly everyone that purchased these shoes found them to be a great overall fit. Only a small minority of 5% found them to be a size smaller than expected.
These shoes feature a combination of leather upper portions with strategic ventilation areas and a synthetic sole that is designed to be lightweight and flexible.
There is a nice variation on the treads of this running shoe, so the potential running environments that it can handle is varied. This shoe will function well in both a urban and rural setting, but it excels in the concrete jungle for sure.
Overall this shoe will certainly go the distance, and is a great choice overall for training or your daily runs. While we wouldn’t suggest using it for back to back marathons due to tread wear, there is little chance of these shoes wearing out any time soon.
If sized correctly, this shoe is both flexible and lightweight, allowing for great overall movement and comfort. While some found the heel area to be a bit too snug for their liking, this was most likely a sizing concern.
The Nike Air Hurache Run SE shoe from Nike should certainly be a contender for your favorite shoe for both running and training. The quality construction, tread and materials used combine to create a shoe that can go the distance.
10. Nike Free 5.0
Not designed for wide feet
The last entry on our list may be lightweight when it comes to the actual weight, but it will definitely hold its own when it comes to performance. Designed with the runner in mind, this shoe feels great on the feet and during the run.Read more
Most of the people found these running shoes to be a great overall fit, with only about 20% indicating that a smaller size would have been a better choice.
This shoe is created from a combination of a synthetic mesh upper portion, a rubber sole, and synthetic overlays and a combined mid-sole and out-sole. They combine to create an ultralight, yet strong shoe.
This shoe features a hexagonal pattern when it comes to the tread which helps provide the sensation of running barefoot. However, it offers little in the way of anti-sliding or skidding features.
Sadly, these shoes weren’t always shown to be the most durable in the Nike brand of running shoes. There were quite a few reports of the overlays becoming unglued, or the seams falling apart.
As it is normal for the Nike brand, a person with wider feet may have trouble adjusting to these shoes as they have a fairly narrow instep area. However, for the average consumer, these shoes are fairly comfortable.
If you prefer to run with a shoe that provides the minimum amount of weight, but still a good deal of protection, this is a great overall choice. While it isn’t as durable as we would have liked, and it’s not suitable for wider feet, the overall comfort and traction is hard to beat.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
As you can imagine, having a pair of sports shoes that fit properly is essential. A well fitting shoe can help to prevent blisters, sore spots and discomfort overall, but they can also help to prolong the life of your shoe. Often if a shoe doesn’t fit the way it should, the tread and even the shoe itself will begin to wear unevenly, leading to potential stress points.
As a brand, Nike is fairly well known for the fit of their shoes; the average person, large or small, will often find a shoe that feels almost made for them. While there are some instances where the shoes prove to be a bit too narrow, those instances are few and far between.
For the most part, these shoes from the Nike brand were created using either entirely synthetic materials, or a combination of natural rubber and synthetic material. This provides a fairly strong, yet lightweight shoe that can easily flex with the runner to achieve a great overall performance.
If you have ever worn a pair of Nike shoes then you know that the materials used are like no other running shoes. Most shoes you purchase from Nike will be durable and will last you many years to come with proper care.
The tread, or bottom of the shoe is often one of the most critical aspects of a running shoe, and with the Nike brand that is no exception. Many of their treads are designed for use on concrete, asphalt or other harder surface. There are a few on this list that provide the ability to transfer quickly from concrete to dirt or forest path, but for the most part, the tread is designed to be used on smoother surfaces.
If running is a true calling or passion, you’ll want the shoes you wear to last for as long as possible. There are quite a few factors that go into the durability of a running shoe, including the overall craftsmanship, the materials used, as well as the actual design. For the most part, the best Nike running shoes have been shown to have a great sense of pride in making their shoes some of the toughest and most durable on the market today.
The frequency of your runs matters when it comes to choosing the right shoe for you. If you’re a devoted morning runner, for example, or your training for a marathon, you’ll definitely want to consider both the overall comfort and the durability of the shoe. After all, you’ll want it to last through quite a few runs, correct? However, if you only run on an occasion, a shoe that provides great overall comfort and stability may be a better option.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Whether you’re training for you eighteenth marathon or lacing up for the first time, having the correct running shoe can make all the difference. While Nike isn’t the only brand available on the market today, it is one of the giants in the industry and has built its reputation over the years for quality, selection, and affordability.
Other Factors to Consider
Last, but certainly not least, we considered the overall comfort of the shoe. While each pair of running shoes are worn differently by each individual runner or athlete, there are a few characteristics that you can often find in a comfortable pair. For starters, the fit has to be correct, and each portion of the foot has it’s own needs. For example, the heel area of the shoe, along with the instep should be fairly snug but still allow for natural movement. The toe box area, however, should provide a little more wiggle room to account for some swelling while running, and movement of the toes overall.
For the most part, Nike is a brand that most people find comfortable to wear. Unfortunately, people with wider feet can sometimes feel a little pinched with even the best Nike running shoes on the market today. In many cases, the instep and heel area are a bit narrow for wide feet.
Believe it or not, where you run can have a significant impact on your choice of the best Nike running shoes on the market today. If you primarily run in an urban environment with relatively smooth streets and sidewalks, with only a few hazards along the way, you’ll definitely want to get a pair of shoes that provide anti-skid treads, and a shoe that provides proper support, especially in the heel area.
However, if your running haunts are a bit more varied, or have uneven terrain, you want to make sure that you get a shoe that provides great neutral suspension and treads that have deeper grooves to allow you to grip the soil or rocks that you are traveling over. You also want to make sure that the instep area is snug, while the toe box area allows for the proper amount of toe movement. This will allow you to better navigate the uneven terrain as you run.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: How do I know when my shoes should be replaced?
It’s a good idea to inspect your running shoes on a regular basis in order to determine when they should be replaced. You’ll want to look for signs of uneven tread wear, areas of thinning in the upper portion of the shoe, especially in the toe box area, and an unnatural amount of flex in the sole.
Generally speaking, though, running shoes should be replaced every two to three years if used normally. If you are using them extensively, however, they will probably last a little bit less.
q: Who invented the first running shoe?
While people have been running or training to run for a very long time, the actual running shoe is a relatively new invention. It is about 200 years old and was brought about by the increased popularity of running during the 18th century. Quite a few attempts were made at fashioning a lightweight shoe that could grip well, but it wasn’t until Walt Webster developed a process where rubber soles could be attached to leather boots in 1832. For a while, these shoes, or Plimsols as they were called, were worn mostly by children. A few other innovations occurred over the century, but it wasn’t until Adolf Dassler started making the modern running shoe in 1920 that the product we came to know hit the market.
q: When was the Nike Shoe company founded?
The company that would become known worldwide as Nike, Incorporated was started by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight in 1964 and was called Blue Ribbon Sports. It wasn’t until May 30, 1971, when the partners incorporated their company into Nike. The company took its name from Nike, the Greek goddess of victory.
q: What does it mean when a shoe is a “neutral running shoe”?
A neutral running shoe is one that helps to stabilize the feet and ankles in such a way to prevent overpronation. Pronation is the body’s basic tendency to rock the foot from side to side slightly as a person runs. It’s basic body mechanics, and everyone does it to some extent.
For some people, however, this side to side rocking is more pronounced, which can lead to injury in the foot, ankle, and even problems with the knees back and hips. A neutral running shoe uses the strategic placement of cushioning, shoe structure, and adjustable lacing to help minimize this motion. This leads to a more efficient run overall.
q: What’s the best way to choose your first pair of Nike running shoes?
If you’ve never bought a pair of running shoes before, and your planning on starting your great adventure right, take your time. It’s best to go to a store with an expert staff who can help you find the style, size, and level of cushioning that you’re looking for. Don’t be afraid to try on multiple pairs of shoes until you find the one that fits just the way you want. And don’t feel that you have to buy from the first store you stop at. Think of these running shoes as an investment, both as an item of clothing and in your overall health.
It’s important to remember that your feet do swell as the day passes, so it’s a good idea to shop for shoes in the afternoon to take the bloating into account. Also, be sure to actually run around in the shoes in addition to walking. After all, running is the whole purpose behind the shoe you’re going to buy, correct?
q: How much cushioning does a running shoe actually need?
The amount of cushioning needed in a running shoe depends on a number of factors. The first, of course, is the style of running enjoyed, as well as how often a person runs. The second factor and one that many people overlook is the shape of the runner’s foot, especially the height of the arch.
Generally speaking, the longer the distance you run, and the higher your arch, the more cushioning needed to run comfortably. There are essentially five different levels of cushioning. Level one provides maximum flexibility but offers little in the way of cushioning or added comfort. Shoes like the Nike Free 5.0 that have a minimal amount of material would fall into this category. Levels two through four offer varying degrees of flexibility versus cushioning, with shoes like the Nike Women’s Zoom Winflo 3 falling somewhere around a level three to four. The fifth level is reserved for the maximum amount of cushioning available, and state of the art technology that is designed to keep your foot in a basic pronation stance while your running with minimal effort on your part. These shoes will often have cushioning in the midsole, heel, and instep areas.
For most people, a level three cushioning, which has a nice balance between comfort and flexibility will serve quite well. Often these shoes will have cushioning along the sides, in the heel, and some around the toe area. These shoes are often lauded as being quite comfortable, but still providing a good range of natural movement.
The exception, of course, is the runner with less than average feet, or one that enjoys the harder, more demanding runs. Often these runners need a bit more support than what a level three can provide, so a level four or even five may be in order.