The 13 Best Nike Running Shoes, According to Runners 2022

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Nike: a brand that everyone knows, and for good reason. If you’re looking for the best Nike running shoes to revamp your running gear this season, we curated a list for all types of runners. The iconic Nike swoosh graces the side of basketball shoes and casual sportswear. Since the ’70s, Nike has been at the forefront of running shoe technology, gaining huge fan followings for some of its most popular models like the classic Pegasus and the speedy Alphafly (which is best known as the shoe Eliud Kipchoge wore when he ran a sub-two-hour marathon).

But because they boast an array of styles—from max-cushioned marathoners to rugged trail runners—it can be hard for runners to narrow down the best shoe for their needs. With the help of a few avid runners, we chose 13 of the best Nike running shoes including daily trainers, race day shoes, and trail runners.

Daily Trainers

Daily trainers are the staple of your running shoe collection. No matter whether you’re training for a 5K or an ultra-marathon, you’ll reach for them again and again for your easy runs and training mileage. While the following shoes may not be best if you’re running a marathon or trying to set a PR, they’ll provide enough comfort and support to keep you running every day. And for most people just starting out, these shoes will be a perfect introduction to Nike running shoes.

Shannon Sangster, Detroit-based runner and founder of the League of Champions, recommends a few key factors you should consider when buying a high-mileage shoe: They should be “versatile, comfortable, and supportive.” So if you only use one pair of running shoes, the selection below will serve you well.

Gray, white and green colorway sneakers

Nike

Nike Air Zoom Vomero 16

Sangster’s favorite daily trainer is the Vomero 16 because it checks all his boxes, all at a great price point. These shoes offer a lot of comfort for your everyday runs—they have ample cushion on the tongue and ankle collar, and the ZoomX foam midsole and Zoom Air cushioning in the forefoot create a soft landing each time your foot hits the ground. Overall, these features result in a more comfortable ride than the Pegasus model, Sangster thinks, “which is why you see some of Nike’s elite long-distance runners integrating it into their rotation,” he notes.

Gray and pink colorway sneakers

Nike

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38

Although the Vomero’s may be rising the ranks of daily trainers, the Pegasus 38 has been a staple for runners for years. The most recent model is an upgrade from the last iteration, the Pegasus 37, because it provides the durability and comfort that road runners have come to expect, but with a wider toe box to provide extra space for your feet to move naturally (This trend is highlighted in the widely-popular Altra trail runners.) “The Pegasus is a great neutral shoe that will work for just about anyone, and it’s uncomplicated enough to be accessible for beginners,” says Caroline Grainger, runner and ISSA Certified Personal Trainer at FitnessTrainer.

Black and gold colorway sneakers

Nike

Nike Air Zoom Structure 24

A great daily trainer for beginner runners that need additional support, the Air Zoom Structure 24 is the perfect shoe for all-day wear. These shoes blend durability and breathability, and the Zoom Air unit under the front foot provides enough cushion to be responsive yet secure. While they are technically classified as neutral shoes, they provide some of the benefits of stability shoes. This running shoe is great for people who tend to roll their ankle inward (this is called overpronation), because Nike added a “crash pad” in the heel to support the heel-to-toe transition.

Blue and light yellow colorway sneakers

Nike

Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit

If you’re looking for a lightweight, max-cushioned shoe suited for long runs, look no further. Although it doesn’t offer the speed of Nike’s more elite shoes (like the Vaporfly and Alphafly), the Invincible Run has a sky-high ZoomX foam base for comfort and high energy return. Plus, it’s designed with Nike’s Flyknit fabric for a super breathable experience. “The shoes make me feel like running on clouds,” Steve Baron, an NYC-based marathoner, raves. While the amount of cushion makes for some plush running, the Invincible Runs aren’t great for stability. “The Invincible Run has an amazing amount of cushion, but less stability than the Vomero,” Sangster explains. “In my experience, you definitely need a stronger ankle and good foot strength to run in the Invincible consistently.”

Trail Running

Trail running shoes are designed a lot differently than road running shoes. Their outsoles have deeper lugs for enhanced traction on loose terrain and high-abrasion rubber so they can withstand the hard abuse from the trail. When you’re purchasing trail runners, a secure fit is especially important because your foot will be moving in multiple directions as you encounter roots and rocks.

Colorful sneakers

Nike

Nike Wildhorse 7

The Wildhorse 7 is a great trail runner option for any runners that like to tackle rough rocky terrain. They have deep lugs so you can get traction in the trickiest terrain and a segmented rock plate on the front to protect your feet. « I like them because the toe box is the perfect width for me, » says Coby Walsh, a trail runner based in Salt Lake City who frequents high alpine trails and rocky ridgelines. « While other brands are too wide or narrow, the Wildhorse is the Goldilocks of shoes ». Plus, they’re super stylish and come in exciting colors like neon orange and teal. However, the Wildhorse 7 is purely a trail shoe, so they may be overkill for most runners as they won’t be comfortable on road segments.

Yellow-green and purple colorway sneakers

Nike

Nike Pegasus Trail 3 Gore

The Pegasus Trail shoes are a great hybrid for runners who love both dirt and roads. They come in regular and Gore-Tex (a waterproof exterior) options. Baron uses Pegasus Trail shoes for trails and inclement weather. “I wear them when I need to keep my feet dry because they do an amazing job at keeping out the rain and snow,” she tells SELF. Baron has used them for runs ranging from 3 to 10 miles, but they would also serve you well on longer efforts because of the lofty Nike React foam cushioning.

Specialty: Distance, Races, and Speed

Whether you’re adding speed training to your running plan or trying to PR your next road race, you’d benefit from investing in specialized shoes. And this is where Nike really shines. They offer models for both longer road races, like marathons, or short-speed efforts.

Keep in mind, that while these shoes offer excellent performance, they are far less durable than the daily trainers above. Also, they’re not very versatile; you won’t want to wear these to a workout class or to the park.

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%2

The Nike Vaporfly is built for racing with its rocker design and full-length carbon fiber plate. It’s pretty expensive for a running shoe, but if it’s speed you’re after, it’s hard to find a better option. Currently, the Vaporfly NEXT %2 is Sangster’s all-time favorite running shoe and his go-to for long-run tempo efforts. “It has a bit of everything: the responsiveness that you want out of a faster shoe, but also the comfort and cushion that you want out of a shoe that can go the distance for the marathon,” he says. Baron also loves this shoe because it doesn’t need a break-in period. « I wore the Vaporfly NEXT%’s right out of the box for my first marathon, » she says.

Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% Flyknit

After Eliud Kipchoge’s amazing feat, Nike’s Alphafly NEXT% climbed to the top of the pack of elite-level road racing shoes. The Alphafly is sort of like the flashier big brother to the Vaporfly, but according to SELF’s Digital Director, Amy Eisinger, it’s not built for your everyday runner. It features more cushion than the Vaporfly, and has two Zoom Air units under the forefoot so you’ll experience serious bounce with each step. Between the Alphafly and the Vaporfly, it’s a tough call which model Baron loves more. « I definitely will be running in either of these for both the New York and Chicago marathons this fall! »

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Nike Air Zoom Tempo Next%

The Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% is a great introduction to speed shoes for those looking for a step up from casual trainers. Unlike the Vaporfly and Alphafly, the outsole is made from a much more durable rubber capable of handling your training miles. Eisinger put these shoes to the test and loved the lightweight and responsive feel. However, she also commented on their high price tag and limited range of uses. But for runners looking to purchase a high-quality shoe for tempo runs, sprint intervals, and race days, these shoes can take your running to the next level.

Gray, purple and pink colorway sneakers

Nike

Nike Zoom Fly 4

If you’re looking for a shoe for short-distance speed runs, the Zoom Fly 4 should be on your list. “I recently fell in love with the Nike Zoom Fly 4,” Baron says, “When I wear them, I almost feel like the base of this shoe is propelling me forward.” She uses them for short runs throughout the week, which mainly consist of tempo runs and hill repeats.

Multicolored sneakers

Nike

Nike ZoomX Streakfly

“I have recently been running in the Nike ZoomX Streakfly for my tempo run and interval days,” Sangster says, “and it was seriously one of the best first impressions in a running shoe that I’ve had in some years.” As Nike’s lightest racing shoe, the Streakfly is perfect for speed but not designed for long races. “The immediate comfort and cushion combined with the pop is perfect for shorter distance races or shorter tempo workouts,” Sangster adds.

Under $100

Nike isn’t exactly known for its budget-friendly running shoes, but they have a few great options for everyday runners looking for a more affordable shoe. While you won’t get the performance benefits of Nike’s more advanced shoes, you can hit the streets in comfort with these road running shoes for under $100.

Black colorway sneakers

Nike

Nike Quest 4

These highly-cushioned running shoes are a great option for the everyday runner. The mesh upper provides breathability, while the soft foam adds comfort to the midfoot. They may not feature the ZoomX foam or Zoom Air technology, but they still offer a responsive ride for everything from 5Ks to casual jogs. Plus, their affordable price point means you won’t feel guilty wearing them to your HIIT class or to walk the dog.

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Nike Winflo 8

The Nike Winflo 8 is the perfect training shoe for the casual runner who wants to focus on increasing speed. It includes a Zoom Air unit in the forefoot for added springiness in your toe-off. (This is the same technology that Nike employs in its pricier models!) The Flywire cables help you achieve a more snug fit, and the foam around the ankle and heel creates a comfortable ride.

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