Best Nike Running Shoes for Men in 2019
Nike Zoom Running Shoes
As far as athletic shoes are concerned, Nike has been one of the most outstanding and consistent brands. And regardless of the fact that many of the shoes today are based off their old models, like the Nike Pegasus which is over 30 years old, the company has not lost its innovation as they continue to roll out other amazing pairs with new names, new classifications, and updated technologies.
We explore the best Nike running shoes for men, from their model names, the technology that they feature, and lastly, you would get to know the correct Nike running shoes for you.
The Nike Pegasus 35 is the latest version of the famous Pegasus line. The Pegasus 35 is a major upgrade from its predecessor, as it features some key updates while it still delivers that quick feel that the Pegasus line is known for. This shoe is reasonably price. Nike includes more foam cushioning for comfort and responsiveness, making the shoe highly versatile.
Nike Zoom Pegasus 35 Pros
- Great look!
- Quick but cushioned feel
- Wider toe box makes this shoe fit many foot shapes
Nike Zoom Pegasus 35 Cons
- Cushlon foam is bad for heat
- Mid-sole begins to show some compression at around 60 miles.
Once it concerns a traditional support shoe, the Zoom Structure 22 is the last one standing. It delivers the most stability.
Nike Zoom Structure 22 Pros
- Different colors
- Updated Upper
Nike Zoom Structure 22 Cons
- Loose Heel
- Takes a couple of miles to feel comfortable on a run
- Unresponsive Sole
The Nike Winflo 5 is almost the same as the Pegasus, only that it features a much smaller zoom unit. The Winflo 5 is a great pair of running shoes, if you just decided to start hitting the track.
Nike Winflo 5 Pros
- Reasonably priced
- Great cushioning and sturdy grip.
- A well-cushioned heel that aids the transition.
Nike Winflo 5 Cons
- Does not offer support similar to models of the same price
- Lacks complete lockdown which makes it a not-so-good choice for speed runs
Often compared to the Brooks ghost, the Zoom Pegasus 35 is a few pounds lighter than the regular Pegasus. This model is designed for quick movements as well as track workouts. It features a ZoomX foam midsole; a similar sole technology to the Vaporfly Elite and Vaporfly 4% running shoes.
Nike Zoom Pegasus 35 Turbo Pros
- Well cushioned
- Sleek design
Nike Zoom Pegasus 35 Turbo Cons
- Design inhibits functionality.
The Vomero is designed with extra cushioning to deliver extreme comfprovidelong distance runs.
Nike Zoom Vomero 14 Pros
- Looks great
- Flywire cables provides effective lockdown for the feet
- Plush under-heel cushion for heel strikers
- Highly responsive
Nike Zoom Vomero 14 Cons
- No forefoot cushion
- Small toe box
Nike React Running Shoes
React technology is Nike’s latest foam technology used in midsoles.
This technology was initially devised to make basketball shoes more comfortable, but it has however recorded a lot of success in running shoes.
The React foam features a perfect mix of cushioning and responsiveness, so it is able to deliver compatibility while being perfectly elastic.
Several other shoe brands claim that their latest foam technology is as good, but we have tried out the Nike React running shoes and this material is a lot different.
The Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 comes with a plethora of advantages. It combines all the necessary features needed to deliver an excellent running experience. This trainer is quite expensive, but it’s a great buy.
Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 Pros
- Smooth fitting upper
- Bouncy React Foam
- Great design
- Responsive cushioning
Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 Cons
- Costlier than regular Legend React
- Low grip
- Not durable
Nike’s Odyssey React Flyknit 2 is equipped with several amazing features. Using a med-high arch and a med-supportive upper, this sneaker delivers light stability. Additionally, the React Flyknit 2 is slightly flexible in the forefoot and a snug, low-volume fit.
The Odyssey React 2 delivers that much-needed firmness while allowing for flexibility once it’s tied with its heel-lock lacing. Also, it features a React midsole which makes you run bouncy, comfortable and enjoyable.
Nike Odyssey React 2 Flyknit Pros
- Flyknit upper delivers support and flexibility
- Cushioning is soft and responsive
- Supportive ride in a med-high arch shoe
Nike Odyssey React 2 Flyknit Cons
- Laces can dig through the thin tongue
- Midsoles are quite “squishy” for speed runners, esp. in the heel
The Nike Legend React offers the expensive React technology at the most affordable price. At the same time, this pair features a great fitting upper which is able to deliver a smooth and comfortable run.
Nike Legend React Pros
- Peppy react foam
Nike Legend React Cons
- Low breathability due to tongue material
- Odd feeling heel for forefoot strikers
- Fairly durable upper
Nike Free Running Shoes
The Nike Free offers a bunch of unique features. This shoe is a major game changer as it delivers that much-needed stimulation and balance to your feet. Although your regular running shoes may protect your feet, it is necessary to introduce the Nike Free running shoes every once in a while because it’s extremely flexible and allows your feet enough room.
Nike’s Free Run features a minimalist design that specializes in short distance run (sprints to 10k’s).
This pair delivers extreme comfort with its great cushioning, which translates to an enjoyable run.
Nike Free RN 2018 Pros
- Lightweight and flexible.
- Breathable upper
- Provides complete lockdown for the feet and protects the heel
Nike Free RN 2018 Cons
- Low traction
The Nike Free RN Flyknit 2017 is one of Nike’s most flexible and comfortable running shoes. Besides being flexible, this shoe is extremely lightweight and is a major upgrade from its predecessor. It also utilizes a soft outsole and extremely flexible upper to make your runs enjoyable.
Nike Free RN Flyknit 2017 Pros
- Firm fit
- Smooth and comfortable sole
- Available in different flavors
Nike Free RN Flyknit 2017 Cons
The heel can feel tight to some, and top of heel fabric flaps back on itself
You can hardly get a snug fit because of its elastic Flyknit upper
Outsole admits rocks sometimes
Nike Running Shoes
While every runner has put in the required work they deserve a shoe that maximizes their efforts. This is what the Nike Racing shoes offer to every marathon runner looking to beat their previous time.
A major standout shoe in this line is the Vaporfly 4%, although others still deliver optimally.
In a nutshell, Nike has designed and released the best marathon racing shoes of all time. The Vaporfly 4% is a testimony to this claim as it combines a range of unique features that came off Nike’s research for the Breaking2 project.
This would be helpful if you’re taking part in a big-time marathon as it delivers absolute comfort to your feet during and after the run.
Regardless of how expensive these shoes seem, they are worth the money. And if you’re a serious marathon runner, this is a must-have.
Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% Pros
- Great cushioning
- One piece mesh upper absolutely forms to the foot without hotspots.
- In my opinion, this shoe definitely makes you like 4% faster
- High stack height never felt unstable or slow.
- Definitely the best racing flat ever
Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% Cons
Nike has released an updated version of the Zoom Streak 6, what is considered to be the fastest in the Zoom Streak line. And while the Nike made some changes to deliver the best running flats ever, these changes are barely noticeable. Like its predecessors, the new Zoom Streak 7 utilizes the same poorly designed upper, however, it is a more responsive running shoe as compared to previous models.
Nike Zoom Streak 7 Pros
- Highly responsive
- Appropriate cushioning
Nike Zoom Streak 7 Cons
- Poorly designed upper
- Fairly durable
Nike’s Breaking2 Project
Nike’s Breaking2 project that flirted with a sub 2:00:00 marathon is fading slightly into the past, and the tech that did it is slowly trickling more into consumer products. The Zoom Fly Flyknit running shoes are the most reasonably priced shoes available in the lineup. They feature an incredibly high tech such as a carbon fiber midsole.
Although it’s a pricey pair, these shoes are worth the money, and this is owed to the great quality that they deliver.
Nike’s Breaking2 project Pros
- Highly responsive carbon fiber midsole
- Durable upper
- Improved design
Nike’s Breaking2 project Cons
- Thin pull tab for the heel could be better
Nike’s Speed Rival 6 combines great cushioning and firmness because of its solid upper. The Speed Rival 6 is reasonably priced and comfortable as it offers some extra space in the midfoot as well as the toe box.
Nike Speed Rival 6 Pros
- This shoe has an incredibly wide fit, therefore, racers with wider feet are covered.
- The cushioning is highly responsive and stays effective even in long distance runs, it is a great buy that is durable enough to last for over a year.
- This shoe features a hexagonal shank in the midsole which appears to improve speed.
- It also features a wider footprint of the Speed Rival and delivers extra stability as compared to other running shoes for flats.
Nike Speed Rival 6 Pros Cons
- It doesn’t fit well if you have narrow feet.
- For the first few times, it doesn’t really lap midfoot. However, this has no effect on speed running.
Nike Trail Running Shoes
Nike only offers two options as far as trail running shoes. However, several other Nike running shoes can suffice.
The Nike Terra Kiger 5 was designed to deliver optimum speed while on trails. The design of the Zoom Terra Kiger 5 is simple yet effective, and because of this, it is able to deliver optimally whether it is used as a trail or a road shoe. As the terrain gets more challenging, the Kigers become less effective.
Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 5 Pros
- Fast and quick
- Comfy and firm fit
- More responsive as compared to its predecessors
- Effective upgrades
Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 5 Cons
- Not-so-good in mud
- Rocky terrain may be a challenge
Nike’s Wildhorse version 4 features an upper with a brand-new design. It also utilizes a new midfoot fit system which is selective and would only be comfortable for people with wide feet.
This shoe is most effective for people with narrow feet, as it offers full support and protection while delivering optimum responsiveness with its rubber outsole. If you’re looking to conquer craggy terrains in a pair of NIkes, the Wildhorse 4 is a great option.
Nike Wildhorse 4 Pros
- New Midfoot fit system
Nike Wildhorse 4 Cons
- New Midfoot fit system (great if it fits your foot type)
- An overview of Nike running shoe upper technologies
Once you’re fully aware of the meaning and design concepts behind the tech names, you would easily come to a decision on which Nike running shoe fits your needs. Here’s an overview.
Nike running shoes Flyknit Detail
Flyknit is a specially woven fabric which is sock-like. It is achieved by placing yarns and knits in strategic positions to provide support where necessary while allowing for flexibility as well.
Shoes made with Flyknit technology are lightweight. And instead of stitched or glued panels, yarns are used. Additionally, Flyknit delivers great upper fit, as it easily adapts to your feet, provides support and flexibility where needed.
Flyknit is eco-friendly. It generates up to 60% less waste than the usual running shoe uppers. Flyknit technology is one of Nike’s latest innovations, so it can be a bit pricey. The most popular Flyknit shoes include the Flyknit Racer, which is extremely light and comfortable, and the Nike Free Flyknit which is also very flexible and lightweight and is designed to train the muscles in your feet.
Engineered Mesh or Flymesh
The Engineered Mesh or Flymesh is also a lightweight technology. This material is very similar to the usual mesh. And unlike the Flyknit, shoes made with Flymesh technology are usually very affordable.
A lot of Nike’s running shoes are designed with Flymesh technology. The most popular ones include the Lunarfoam, which was released by Nike in 2009. The Nike Lunarfoam, also known as the Lutron is undoubtedly Nike’s softest, and most comfortable lightest foam compound.
Lunarlon is normally held together in a container of harder Phylon foam to make it deliver the necessary support and structure. The long and short of it is that, if you’re looking to get a soft, plush, and cushioned ride, the Lunarfoam is your best bet.
Phylon is produced by the compression heating, and then cooling of EVA foam pellets. You can easily notice the fine wrinkles after you run.
Cushlon: Cushlon is a blend of Phylon and rubber additives to achieve a lightweight and responsive material.
This is among Nike’s oldest innovations. Since the 80s, the Nike Air generated a lot of buzz, but not many of us know what it really is.
Nike running shoes that utilize “Air” technology use Cushlon foam most times. Extremely soft and resilient, this foam also has a few cons: it is a bit heavier and a bit less bouncy than other foams.
The answer to this is replacing parts of the midsole made with Cushlon foam with plastic bags filled with “Air” (Nike’s secret gas compound). This cuts down the weight and increases cushioning thus increasing comfort.
The Airbags are positioned either in the heel, the toe, or both depending on the shoe.
There are 3 variants of the Airbag: Air, Air Max, and Zoom Air.
- Nike Air: This is the most popular form. It fits well, particularly in the heel.
- Air Max: Air Max are extremely cushioned bags of air. We won’t advise it for runners. More often than not, this technology is used in lifestyle shoes.
- Zoom Air: The Zoom Air was originally designed to fit into soccer boots where the regular Airbags couldn’t fit in. it is very thin and often integrated into the shoes with very thin soles.
Birthed in 2005, the Nike Free is a concept. The design was aimed at making a shoe that allows the feet to be extremely flexible and free.
Several people think that the Nike Free still features lots of cushioning which prevents runners from having a complete feeling for the ground.
Although there may be a truth in this, the Free delivers utmost flexibility with its Free sole unit, an open-mesh, and unlimited upper.
What Do the Numbers Next to a Free Shoe Mean?
Nike stopped the tradition of including numbers in the Nike Free line in 2016. This was the year when the entire category was redesigned.
Initially, Nike Frees were released according to their flexibility and numbered according to how flexible there were from 1.9 to 10.0.
The birth of the innovative auxetic construction in 2016 led to an entirely new line that didn’t come with numbers. We explore some of the models in the Nike Free line.
Nike Free Auxetic Construction
The new concept that the Nike Free line follows is referred to as “auxetic design.” Once your foot is on the ground, the sneaker stretches both in length and breadth. A simple analogy can be seen with a ball bouncing on the floor, expanding and getting back in shape.
Due to the auxetic design characterized by triangular cuts, the shoe is able to stretch in all directions, still retaining its original size and fit when your foot leaves the ground.