The Best Nike Shoes That Stand Above the Rest

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Nike is one of the most popular and recognizable brands in the world. The company has a huge variety of apparel and shoe products for specific sports, general fitness, and casual style purposes. Nike makes long-distance running shoes, training shoes, trail running shoes, basketball shoes, cleats, casual shoes and everything in between.

With so many choices, it can be hard to find the best Nike shoes for you, but we're here to help. We've done a deep dive into different categories to research which Nike shoes stand out for each purpose. This article will walk you through what we looked for and our top picks.

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ACTIVE.com's editorial team relies on the knowledge and experience of fitness and wellness experts including competitive athletes, coaches, physical therapists, nutritionists, and certified trainers. This helps us ensure the products we feature are of the highest standard. Collectively, the team has spent countless hours researching equipment, gear, and recovery tools in order to create the most accurate, authentic content for our readers. Customer satisfaction is also a key part of our review process, which is why we only feature products that are highly rated. More importantly, each member of our team is a fitness enthusiast. Fitness may be our job, but it is also our passion. Therefore, we strive to bring you products that we trust and would personally use.

The Best Nike Shoes - Our Top Picks

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Best Nike Shoe Overall - Nike Zoom Fly 4 Running Shoe

Nike Zoom Fly 4 Running Shoe

SPECS

  • Material: Mesh upper, foam midsole, Flyknit collar
  • Cushion: Moderate
  • Intended user: Men
  • Features: Structured lacing cage, heel pod

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The Nike Zoom Fly 4 is both functional and attractive. This shoe has a neutral black and white color scheme and is made from a breathable mesh material with a Flyknit collar for comfort. The foam midsole and heel pods give your foot support if you're going for a run or a workout.

What We Like

  • Lightweight, breathable material for comfort
  • Good support for workouts or runs
  • Neutral color scheme to style with street clothes

What We Don't Like

  • No other color options
  • Exposed foam could get damaged easily

BUY: Nike Zoom Fly 4 Running Shoe

Best Nike Shoe for Men - Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38

SPECS

  • Material: Synthetic mesh and polyester upper, React foam midsole
  • Cushion: Max
  • Intended user: Men
  • Features: Midfoot webbing, sock liners, Zoom Air units

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Nike's Air Zoom Pegasus 38 is one of our favorite Nike shoes for men. It has tons of support, a lot of cushioning, and a very functional sole for grip on different surfaces.

The upper is made of mesh for breathability with a polyester overlay in some areas for strength. There is also midfoot webbing to keep your foot locked in during dynamic movements or long runs, and the react foam midsole will absorb most of the shock while giving your foot a springy base.

What We Like

  • Will keep your foot locked in
  • Secure midfoot but wider toe box
  • Unique grips on the sole for multi-surface traction

What We Don't Like

  • The sock liners are not very durable
  • Zoom Air units cannot be replaced if punctured

BUY: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38

Best Nike Shoe for Women - Nike Women's Metcon 7 Training Shoe

Nike Women's Metcon 7 Training Shoes

SPECS

  • Material: Mesh with rubber overlays
  • Cushion: Moderate
  • Intended user: Women
  • Features: React foam, Wide/flat sole, Flywire tech

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The Metacon 7 is our choice for best Women's Nike shoe because of its construction and purpose. The Nike Metcon 7 is made for weight training and its design is one of the very best.

This shoe is made from synthetic mesh with Flywire tech running through it for stability and strategic rubber overlays for durability. It also has Nike's React foam midsole that keeps your joints safe from absorbing impact and gives your foot a springy base. Our favorite aspect of this shoe is the flat sole that is widened at the heel for balance and stability through the toughest lifts.

What We Like

  • Constructed to be stable for weight training
  • Subtle but stylish color options
  • Durable

What We Don't Like

  • Fairly wide toe box compared to other women's sizes
  • No heel or midfoot tech to lock your foot in

BUY: Nike Women's Metcon 7 Training Shoes

Best Nike Walking Shoe - Nike Waffle Trainer 2

Nike Waffle Trainer 2

SPECS

  • Material: Suede upper, foam midsole
  • Cushion: Moderate
  • Intended user: Men
  • Features: Foam wedge, retro style

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The Nike Waffle Trainer 2 is one of Nike's most stylish shoes, perfect for walking around town or going out for the night. Unlike the mesh material that most workout and running shoes are made with, the Waffle Trainer 2 has a suede upper that looks a little less "sporty."

However, this shoe still has the cushion and support typical of Nike. There is still a foam midsole to support your foot, but the Waffle Trainer 2 also has foam wedges on the heels to remove the curved shape you find in running shoes. This provides comfort for both standing and walking.

What We Like

  • Multiple color schemes
  • Retro look with the support of sports shoes
  • Exposed foam tongue for added comfort around the ankle

What We Don't Like

  • The waffle pattern on the sole isn't comfortable for everyone
  • Relatively narrow toe box

BUY: Nike Waffle Trainer 2

Best Nike Running Shoe - Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 3

Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 3

SPECS

  • Material: Flyknit and Flywire upper, React foam/compression molded EVA midsole
  • Cushion: Max
  • Intended user: Men
  • Features: Rocker design sole, Flywire tech

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Texcellenthe React Infinity has a Flyknit upper that is lightweight, breathable, and comfortable while the react foam midsole absorbs impact and provides maximum cushion.

The rocker design on the sole sets the React Infinity apart to give you a good curve for natural running form. The Flywire tech adds durability to the midfoot and upper materials and the compression-molded EVA midsole adds an extra layer of support.

What We Like

  • Reflective patterns for night running
  • Sole curve for natural running form
  • Flywire and molded EVA for extra support and durability

What We Don't Like

  • Very supportive shoe, but can feel less flexible than other Nike running shoes
  • No heel construction to lock your foot into place

BUY: Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 3

Best Nike Shoes for Standing All Day - Nike Men's Air Monarch IV

Nike Men's Air Monarch IV

SPECS

  • Material: Leather upper, foam Phylon midsole
  • Cushion: Moderate
  • Intended user: Men
  • Features: AirSole unit, perforated leather

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The Nike Air Monarch IV may not be the most aesthetically pleasing shoe you can find, but if you're looking for comfortable support and durability you'll not find a better option. This shoe has an abrasion-resistant leather upper that can take the wear and tear of frequent use, but also has perforations for breathability.

The AirSole support and foam midsole will give you the combination of support and comfort that you need for hours on your feet, whether you're actively walking or standing still.

What We Like

  • Durable leather exterior
  • AirSole support
  • Wide across the midfoot

What We Don't Like

  • Not the most aesthetically pleasing shoe
  • The sole design is built for extra comfort

BUY: Nike Men's Air Monarch IV

Best Nike Workout Shoe - Nike Free Run 2018

Nike Free Run 2018

SPECS

  • Material: Mesh/spandex upper, foam midsole
  • Cushion: High
  • Intended user: Men
  • Features: Heel strap, textured toe and heel foam

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Workout shoes come in different forms depending on what type of exercise they're intended for. Support and stability are the biggest differences between these kinds of shoes. Shoes for weightlifting tend to be flat-soled and stabilized, while running shoes have curved soles and flexible designs.

The Nike Free Run, however, is built to be a versatile shoe that can serve in any type of workout you do. The sole is relatively flat compared to other running shoes, but it is flexible in the upper for performing more dynamic movements. These shoes will work well on a run or in the gym.

What We Like

  • Heel strap to lock your foot into place
  • Heel foam for stability and balance
  • Spandex-infused material so it is flexible and supportive

What We Don't Like

  • Not a good option for wide feet
  • Midfoot could use more support

BUY: Nike Free Run 2018

Best Nike Golf Shoe - Nike Roshe G Golf Shoes

Nike Roshe G Golf Shoes

SPECS

  • Material: Mesh upper, foam midsole
  • Cushion: Moderate
  • Intended user: Men
  • Features: Rubber traction pods, heel and tongue pull tabs

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When you're playing a round of golf you may wind up walking miles and spending hours on your feet. You need a comfortable shoe that won't hurt your feet but is still functional for support and traction on the course.

The Roshe G golf shoe gives you everything you need and more. The mesh upper and foam midsole are lightweight, breathable, and comfortable while the high sidewall wraps around the heel for additional support as you're swinging the club. We also love the rubber traction pods that won't get ruined when you walk on concrete and the tongue design that keeps out debris.

What We Like

  • Versatile, stylish designs
  • Rubber traction pods won't get stuck
  • Supportive but comfortable

What We Don't Like

  • Narrow toe box
  • No midfoot support structure

BUY: Nike Roshe G Golf Shoes

How To Choose the Best Nike Shoes for You


Purpose

Nike has shoes for almost any occasion. There are shoes for street fashion, shoes for specific sports, and everything in between. Before you settle on a pair of shoes, make sure the features align with their intended purpose, whether it's casual wearing or a specific activity.

Materials

You can typically trust Nike shoes to hold up, but different shoes have different materials depending on their purpose. For example, most running or workout shoes are made with a mesh for lightweight breathability. Knowing what you'll be using the shoes for will help you decide which material is best for you.

Support

Nike shoes have a lot of construction to give your foot varying degrees of support. Make sure to note how much support a shoe is going to give you so you don't get caught with a flexible shoe when you need a stable one or vice versa.

Style

Of course, you want your shoes to look good. Some Nike shoes have a large variety of color options while others have neutral designs for versatility. This entirely depends on your preference but just know that not all shoes have the same options or as many.

FAQs About Nike Shoes


Are Nike shoes worth it?

Nikes come in a range of prices and qualities depending on which specific shoe you buy. However, Nike is one of the world's top brands for a reason, so if you find a shoe you like that will meet your needs you can probably trust that it will be a good shoe.

How long will Nike shoes last?

How long your shoes last depends almost entirely on how much you use them. Nike sneakers that you wear casually will last longer than running shoes that you wear on a ten-mile run three or four times per week.

Even so, Nike is a worldwide trusted brand and they are constantly designing shoes to maximize performance, so the more you take care of the shoes, the longer they will generally last.

Can you run in Nike shoes?

Not all Nike shoes are running shoes, but they do make a large selection of comfortable, supportive, and functional shoes that are safe to run in. If you find a shoe made for running, feel free to hit the road or the trail.

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