The 10 Best Nike Shoes For Men

Founded in 1964 by legendary Oregon track coach Bill Bowerman and the businessman Phil Knight, Nike has inspired millions of runners over the decades to “just do it,” with experimental designs like its Waffle Trainer in 1974 and today’s cutting-edge Vaporfly Next%. The one thing that hasn’t changed over the years is Nike’s commitment to pushing boundaries—while looking good doing it.

BEST TRAIL SHOE
Nike Air Zoom Wildhorse 5
jackrabbit.com
$109.95
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A Zoom Air midsole gets extra traction.

BEST UP-TEMPO TRAINER
Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2
nike.com
$161.97
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Crush workouts with a high-rebound midsole.

BEST LONG RUN SHOE
Nike Air Zoom Vomero 14
jackrabbit.com
$139.95
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A full-length Air unit softens impact forces.

BEST VALUE
Nike Air Zoom Winflo 6
dickssportinggoods.com
$80.99
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A stability shoe that works for everything.

BEST MINIMALIST SHOE
Nike Free RN Flyknit 3.0
nike.com
$96.97
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A lightweight shoe with ground connection.

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Nike currently offers dozens of running shoes with similar names like “Zoom” and “Air Zoom,” so it can be tough to choose which Nike design is going to work for you. That’s why we’ve honed in on the 10 most inventive, practical, and (of course) good-looking Nike running shoes out there right now. Whether you prefer a stable, highly cushioned, or minimal shoe, Nike caters to all types of runners. Here’s what you need to know about our top 10 Nike picks that you can take from a long run to track workouts to cross training to running errands.

Parsing Nike Tech
Footwear brands like Nike have lots of fancy-sounding “tech” that’s really brand jargon that means nothing to the wearer. Flyknit? Air? React? However, a few key innovations in recent shoe releases from Nike are worth a closer look.

Ten years after launching a super-soft cushioning technology called Lunarlon in 2008, Nike announced React cushioning in 2018. React ditches the layers of glue normally found in cushioned shoes and replaces it with a one-piece thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) midsole that maximizes cushion and energy return with less weight.

Nike Zoom is a foam that’s blown with pressurized air and tightly stretched fibers across the sole of the shoe to absorb impact and—in turn—snap back for fast movement and reduced stress on muscles, joints, and tendons. This responsiveness allows for more efficient movements (aka, easier, less taxing runs) and more control underfoot—whether you’re setting a PR or walking to the grocery store.

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How We Chose These Shoes
Nearly every shoe here has been tested by the Runner’s World staff and our team of wear testers, and each pair has been evaluated against the entirety of Nike’s running selection. We research the market, survey user reviews, speak with product managers and designers, and use our own experience with these shoes to determine the best options. We’ve chosen based on value, our test impressions, and how the shoe meets the needs of the intended buyer.

—BEST MINIMALIST SHOE—
Nike Free RN Flyknit 3.0

NIKE
Nike
Free RN Flyknit 3.0
$96.99
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zappos.com

The Free RN Flyknit 3.0 is the scantily clad cousin of barefoot running. Specifically designed to help you achieve a natural stride, the shoe features an extra-low-profile midsole with deep slits that allow for a wider range of foot motion. It’s ideal for those who like to feel connected to the road beneath them. The Flyknit 3.0 is 37 percent more flexible and 1mm lower to the ground than the previous iteration of the shoe—and with an upper that slips on and locks down with an overlay, it’s 100 percent sleeker (in our opinion).

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—BEST TRAIL SHOE—
Nike Zoom Wildhorse 5

Nike
Air Zoom Wildhorse 5
$109.95
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jackrabbit.com
Zoom Air cushioning in the heel
Good outsole grip on all terrain
Multi-layer upper keeps your foot dry

Some testers wished it had more forefoot cushioning
When conditions get sloppy, the Wildhorse will help you find sure footing on all kinds of terrain, from muddy singletrack to slick pavement to fresh snow. A Zoom Air unit beneath the heel provides enough firm cushioning to keep you comfortable for hours on the trail, while a protective, two-layered upper keeps your foot dry, even as you dart through winter slop. The shoe comes in a sleek, all-black design or a hip, four-colored option—you’ll get major style points no matter which one you choose.

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—BEST LONG RUN SHOE—
Nike Air Zoom Vomero 14

COURTESY OF NIKE
Nike
Air Zoom Vomero 14
$139.95
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jackrabbit.com
A responsive React foam midsole
Lightweight despite all its cushion
Great for long runs

Collar can be stiff
At just under 10 ounces, the Air Zoom Vomero 14 makes plush cushioning weigh less. The shoe features React foam, which delivers more responsiveness without compromising any of the cush of its predecessor, Lunarlon foam. It’s one of the better-looking cushioned options out there for runners—tamping down any chance of looking clunky by featuring a snug-fitting knit upper and a tapered, upturned heel that screams, “I may be soft, but I’m fast.”

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—BEST EVERYDAY GO-FAST SHOE—
Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit

TREVOR RAAB
Nike
Zoom Fly Flyknit
$129.14
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amazon.com
Shares the same carbon-fiber plate as the speedy Vaporfly 4%
Soft Nike React foam midsole
One-piece Flyknit upper for a better fit

Not great for wide feet
Just like the lustworthy Vaporfly 4% Flyknit, the Zoom Fly Flyknit features a full Flyknit upper (which you just slip on) and a carbon-fiber plate that runs the length of the midsole. These components are meant to improve breathability and help propel you forward as you run. And according to our testers, it works. The shoes seem to feel better the faster you run—which is a great quality for a speedy trainer.

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—BEST LONG-TIME FAVORITE—
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36

Nike
Air Zoom Pegasus 36
$120.00
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zappos.com
Highly versatile
Good combo of cushioning and energy return

Despite the improved upper, some found difficulty tightening the lacing
The fact that there have been 36 Nike Air Zoom Pegasus models should evidence the shoe’s performance pedigree, but in more technical terms, the shoe’s buttery-smooth full-length Zoom Air cushioning is what keeps us coming back. This version tweaks the engineered mesh upper and upgrades the tongue with a thin, asymmetrical cut. The result is an all-rounder that’s ideal for runners who want a shoe that’s light and energetic but substantial enough for the long run.

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—BEST FOUL-WEATHER FRIEND—
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Shield

Nike
Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Shield
$130.00
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nike.com
Water-repellent upper
Grippy outsole
Zoom Air technology at the midsole

Less breathable upper
Love fartleks, long jogs, and race days? Need a shoe that can do it all with you—and do it well? Meet the Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Shield. This is no fair-weather runner. Its water-resistant fabric and grippy rubber outsole keep feet dry as you splash through showers and slush. The Air technology in this model has been updated as well, replacing separate air bags in the heel and forefoot with a single, longer piece that makes the transition from heel to toe smoother than ever.

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—BEST UP-TEMPO TRAINER—
Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2

Nike
Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2
$124.88
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runningwarehouse.com
Softer and lighter than the Pegasus 36
Experience ZoomX foam without shelling out for the Next%

May not be as durable as your average trainer
Meet the second edition of Nike’s first model to feature the same energy-returning ZoomX foam as the Vaporfly 4% (the commercially available version of Nike’s “Breaking 2” racing shoe). The Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 is the same do-it-all shoe you know and trust for basically any run, anywhere—but this time around you don’t have to worry about the one problem previous iterations presented: a too-soft cushion that deflated serious speed work . This all-new Pegasus is designed to keep that legendary fit and feeling, but can deliver the lightweight sensation of a racing flat thanks to the injection of ZoomX.

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—BEST SUPER-CHARGED RACER—
Nike Vaporfly 4% Flyknit

JACKRABBIT
Nike
Vaporfly 4% Flyknit
$250.00
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nike.com
One-piece Flyknit upper
Propulsive carbon plate underfoot

Pricey!
At this price, we’d recommend this shoe for serious racers only and those with money to burn. The Flyknit design—unlike previous iterations—uses a one-piece bootie-like construction that fits snugly. Like, so snugly that the fit opens just enough in the front to accommodate your forefoot. Perched atop Nike’s premiere ZoomX foam is an extremely stiff carbon-fiber plate that runs from heel to toe, so runners can feel a propulsive energy springing them forward with each step.

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—BEST FOR CROSS-TRAINING—
Nike Air Zoom Winflo 6

Nike
Air Zoom Winflo 6
$80.99
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dickssportinggoods.com
Great all-arounder
High mileage midsole with Cushlon foam with Zoom Air added
High value

Not as durable as Nike’s pricier offerings
For those who don’t want to shell out $250 dollars—or even $100, for that matter—on a pair of running shoes, there’s the Air Zoom Winflo 6. Testers praised the previous model, the Winflo 5, as the total package. “The Winflo exceeded my expectations. A great dynamic between lightweight and good support while still looking stylish,” said one tester. It’s a great daily runner that prioritizes function and versatility.

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—BEST BARGAIN WORKHORSE—
Nike Legend React

TREVOR RAAB
Nike
Legend React
$97.43
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amazon.com
Versatile enough for everyday training and the track
Firm, springy React foam
Durable outsole with strong tread

Some testers felt the upper could be more breathable
We like to tout the Legend React as the perfect shoe for anyone who prioritizes a fast split and a full wallet. Our wear-testers picked the shoe as a great everyday trainer, as well as a lightweight, springy partner for the track. But ample cushioning at the heel and stability also means this overlooked trainer can deliver for long runs.

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