When it comes to choosing a running shoe, there are a sea of options and cool features to consider before buying—especially at Nike. With hundreds of styles floating around the retailer, each with its own unique specs and high-tech bells and whistles, even seasoned runners can feel overwhelmed when finding a sole-mate. However, there are some basic guidelines that can help you narrow down your search when sorting browsing through the mega athletic brand’s allotment to help you find the best running shoes at Nike.
While it’s important to look for shoes that match your style, you should also consider what surface you’ll be running on. For example, do you like to jog on a rocky trail or sprint on sturdy pavement? If you run mostly on rough terrain, you may want to opt for a shoe that has built-in protection against debris and a lot of traction for stability. On the other hand, if you like to run on hard pavement, you may want to opt for a shoe with a bit of cushion to help propel you forward.
We know it can be tricky to find the best style, so ahead, we’ve compiled some of the best running shoes at Nike signed off by fellow runners.
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When it comes to stability and comfort, these shoes are a total fan-favorite. Part what makes them so highly rated among runners is the harmonious combination of the Flyknit upper, (a special fabric that keeps your helps keep your foot secure as you run) and Nike’s ZoomX foam. The foam gives you a lot of bounce in your step and provides a smoother heel-to-toe transition. Take these on a long distance run or during your jog around town.
One reviewer wrote: “I really love these. They have the right balance of cushion plus stability. I had tried some of the other models with the zoom cushion and found the platforms a little too narrow. I was always worried about rolling my ankles on uneven terrain. These are very plush but also have a wider platform under the heel and a wider toe box, so they feel much more stable.”
For those who like to run around the city, the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus is likely calling your name. It’s one of those shoes that you can wear for just about any type of running style, from a daily jog to long-distance running. The shoes have a breathable upper mesh fabric and a wide toe box to help take pressure off of the forefront of your foot. Additionally, the mid-foot webbing system allows runners to better tighten their laces and create a more snug fit as they hit the pavement.
One reviewer wrote: “These are the best shoes I’ve ever owned. Absolutely comfortable to wear all day long and also when running and working out. I wasn’t running properly on the treadmill and it was causing serious knee pain, until I started wearing these shoes, after a week the pain went away and has never returned. They are absolutely breathable and comfortable, like clouds. Definitely worth the price tag.”
If you’re looking for a shoe to support you in long-distance runs (i.e. marathon running or road racing) these Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next kicks are a safe bet. For starters, the upper is made of a super durable mesh-like fabric called AtomKnit, which is designed to keep your feet cool and protect them from excessive moisture. Also, the outsole is padded with two layers of pillowy ZoomX foam and has a carbon plate that extends into the forefront of the shoe. The extra padding helps to take pressure off of your joints, while the carbon plate enables you to have quick and snappy steps for when you lift off.
One reviewer wrote: “I bought these because I have arthritis in the knee and [I’m] having trouble doing sprints. [But] the platform of the sneaker really does take a lot of stress off of the joint and does boost you into your next step. I was praying these would do what Nike said they would. They do.”
Originally $250, now $225.97
Just like the previous model, the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2 sneakers are tailor made for long distance runners. Case in point: these shoes have the same springy cushion on the outsole and a carbon plate that naturally propels you forward. However, the main difference between the two is in the fabric and construction. The upper is a softer mesh that conforms to your foot, and the material around the heel is actually slightly higher to create a more snug fit.
One reviewer wrote: “These shoes are incredible! I purchased these to help manage my painful foot diagnosis, Hallux Limitus, caused by 15+ years of playing competitive tennis, which has destroyed my big toe joints. The carbon fiber technology in these shoes provide the protection my toe joints need allow me to still run and walk long distances. These shoes are superior to all all the Hoka’s I’ve purchased in the past. Very happy with these and highly recommend to anybody who’s doctor prescribes stiff toe/carbon fiber shoes for joint pain.”
In choosing a shoe for trail running, it’s important to find a style that has a decent amount of padding and grip (aka the non-negotiables). Thankfully, this Nike Pegasus Trail 3 shoe checks both boxes and then some. It has the cushiony Nike React foam throughout the midsole to make it easy to cross over rocky terrains and uneven trail pathways without much discomfort. Plus, you get a lot traction when going downhill thanks to the “shockwave-like pattern” that’s similar to the design of mountain bike tires.
One reviewer wrote: “Lots of support, fits just right (a tad on the smaller end but doesn’t run small). Handles trails, roads, [and] easy and tough areas smoothly. Looks great as a casual shoe too to wear with your daily clothes (and just as comfortable).”
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