Best Nike Running Shoes Ranked in 2023

Last updated on February 16th, 2024

Nike Running Shoes on feet

Nike, a dominant role in the global market, is responsible for producing a wide range of exceptional running shoes. Whether you're seeking everyday trainers or elite racing shoes that have even shattered the men's marathon world record, Nike has the perfect fit for every runner.

We have compiled a selection of the finest Nike running shoes, categorized by the type of run or runner they are best suited for.

Our team of wear testers and RW editors have thoroughly examined and evaluated all the footwear options. The selection encompasses a range of shoe types, catering to trail runners, beginners, and those with overpronation concerns. Discover the remarkable attributes of each shoe below as you continue scrolling.

With Nike's current status as a prominent global entity, actively participating in various sports, it's often overlooked that their humble beginnings were rooted in the production of running shoes. In the 1960s, Phil Knight embarked on his venture of importing Japanese Onitsuka shoes (later known as Asics) with the assistance of a loan from his father and from the confines of his automobile.

Nike creator Phil Knight

In 1964, a collaboration was formed between him and his former coach from the University of Oregon, Bill Bowerman, resulting in the birth of Blue Ribbon Sports, the predecessor to Nike. As their partnership with the Japanese company grew more complex, they decided to take matters into their own hands and create their own running shoe designs. Bowerman had always been experimenting with his athletes' shoe designs, striving to give them the competitive advantage. The inaugural design engineered by Bowerman was the Cortez in 1967, which boasted a revolutionary full-length foam midsole, showcasing the brand's enduring commitment to innovation.

In 1970, Bowerman stumbled upon a solution to enhance traction on newly developed track surfaces. While seeking inspiration, he discovered a family waffle iron. Curiosity led him to experiment in the garage, resulting in the creation of the waffle sole that remains in use today. Subsequently, in 1978, he introduced the Air sole, featuring an air-filled pod in the midsole to absorb impact. This marked the beginning of Nike's trailblazing journey, as they continuously introduced groundbreaking innovations to revolutionize the running industry. Among these innovations, the Vaporfly 4% emerged in 2017 as a game-changer. It became the first racing shoe to incorporate a full-length carbon fiber plate in the midsole, significantly boosting energy return.

Nike has consistently demonstrated a steadfast dedication to designing footwear that enhances speed, endurance, and comfort for runners. As a result, their current selection of running shoes stands among the finest available in the market.

Nike Alphafly 2 heels and side view
ProsCons
Stable rideSeriously pricey
Ideal for racing and speed sessionsHeavier than Vaporfly
Supremely cushioned and responsive
Breathable upper and locked-in fit

In October 2019, Eliud Kipchoge made history by completing the first marathon in under two hours. Throughout this incredible feat, he sported a prototype of the very shoes being discussed. It's difficult to find a more convincing endorsement for a shoe than that. When you take off in these shoes, they propel you forward, providing an extra boost the faster you go. Even if you can't match Kipchoge's speed - which, let's be honest, who can? - these shoes will still help to conserve energy, giving you the best chance at achieving a personal best, especially in longer races.

The most recent version of the shoe boasts a fresh update: a slim coating of ZoomX foam has been incorporated beneath the air pods at the front, and cushioned heel pods have been introduced at the back. The outsole material has also undergone a transformation, becoming thinner yet sturdier. As a result of these modifications, the shoe now exhibits enhanced responsiveness upon impact with the forefoot, while also delivering improved energy rebound. Furthermore, the back section of the design has been extensively redesigned, resulting in heightened stability. These alterations have elevated the shoe from its previous status as a world-class performer to an even more exceptional level.

If you want to know the detailed information about Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next 2, you can see its reviews on my website.

You can find the purchase link on Nike official site.

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 side view
ProsCons
Affordable, daily workhorseNot nimble enough for speed work
Secure, mid-foot bandLacks cushioning of maximalist shoes
Breathable single-layer mesh upper

In its 40th rendition, the Pegasus continues to impress for good reason. This 'winged workhorse' consistently delivers outstanding performance. The latest version introduces a few subtle modifications, such as an enhanced mid-foot band that ensures a snug fit, and a revamped single-layer mesh upper that promotes breathability and enhances airflow even in intense perspiration.

The Pegasus 40 boasts two Zoom Air units, strategically positioned at the forefoot and heel. These units work in tandem to provide a highly responsive and invigorating sensation. Although it does not fall into the category of the latest cushioned shoes with maximalist features, the moment you slip your foot into the Pegasus, you are instantly embraced by a comforting and secure fit.

The Pegasus 40 is a reliable and comfortable shoe that provides a stable and well-cushioned running experience. It is designed to withstand long distances and endure the impact of running on hard surfaces. Although it may not excel as a shoe for speed training, its longevity and comfort make it an excellent choice for daily training sessions.

You can find the purchase link on Nike official website.

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT 3 side view - pink
ProsCons
Fast and lively rideZero stretch in the upper
Lighter than the AlphaflyLow durability
No slappy sensation in newer model
More comfortable fit

The third version of the Vaporfly is a popular choice among serious racers, offering the same level of energy and speed as its predecessors. Nike has completely redesigned the Vaporfly to make it even lighter than before. To reduce weight, changes have been made to the midsole shape, removing unnecessary foam. Additionally, the previous rubber slab under the forefoot has been replaced with a network of diamond-shaped lugs. Our testers have reported that this new design eliminates the loud and slappy feeling commonly experienced in most new super shoes.

One complaint I have is that the Flyknit upper, while being thin and breathable, lacks any stretch. Thus, it is important to be cautious and avoid lacing up too tightly.

This is the purchase link on Nike official website.

Nike Invincible 3 side view - blue style
ProsCons
Supremely comfortable over longer distancesCan be slippy on wet surfaces
Cushioned yet responsiveMay be too cushioned for some
Stable rideNot ideal for racing
More secure, breathable upper than previous model

In short, this shoe boasts an abundance of cushioning and comfort, making it perfect for those seeking a daily shoe that prioritizes leisurely strolls rather than record-breaking performances.

In the realm of version two and three, the upper area has undergone significant modifications. The once denser and less breathable Flyknit material has been substituted with a more breathable and trustworthy alternative. This revised Flyknit upper not only enhances foot stability but also instills a heightened sense of security while wearing the shoe.

The delightful sensation arises from the substantial block of ZoomX foam combined with an expansive sole. These sneakers truly excel when utilized for relaxed jogging or even moderate-paced workouts. They would also be perfect for marathon distances (and beyond), as long as your goal is completion rather than a fierce sprint that leaves your heart pounding uncontrollably.

This is the purchase link on Nike offcial website.

Nike InfinityRN 4 - best-fitting Flyknit
ProsCons
Nicely cushionedHeavier than previous iteration
Ideal for easy runsFirm, rather than plush ride
New water-repellent liner
Better energy return than v3

While the Infinity Run 4 may not fit the category of a conventional stability shoe, it manages to embody its essence discreetly. Rather than relying on a traditional stability medial post, this shoe incorporates a discreet clip around the heel and a wider midsole under the forefoot. These elements work together harmoniously to provide stability and support without imposing any burden or sacrificing agility, unlike certain stability shoes that can feel cumbersome.

Similar to the Pegasus above, the most recent version of this shoe features a midsole composed of Nike's React X foam. This innovative material provides an impressive 13% increase in energy return compared to the standard Nike React foam. Additionally, the shoe incorporates a rocker geometry to enhance the fluidity of your footstrike. To ensure optimal support, extra cushioning is strategically placed around the heel and ankle. Furthermore, a newly added water repellent liner enhances the functionality of the shoe's front toe box.

The React Infinity Run is a unique running shoe that manages to strike a balance between providing a seamless experience for neutral runners and offering adequate support for those who tend to overpronate.

This is the purchase link on Nike offcial website.

Nike ZoomX Streakfly heel and counter
ProsCons
Impressively light, springy rideMay be too low stack for some
Feels stableLacks the speed of full carbon plate
Offset lacing eases pressure on foot

Engineered for optimal performance in 5K and 10K road races, the Streakfly is a swift and agile racing shoe. Reminiscent of classic racing flats, this shoe has been modernized with the latest enhancements for the year 2022. The sleek design features a slim heel collar and a lightweight upper, reducing unnecessary bulk and enhancing speed. Additionally, the cleverly placed laces alleviate pressure on the foot, promoting comfort during long strides. Our team of testers appreciated the almost weightless sensation while wearing these shoes, yet they also found that the ample support provided ensured stability, even during rapid turns.

The Streakfly features a midsole crafted from the ZoomX foam, just like the Vaporfly. However, it boasts a reduced stack height and a Pebax plate beneath the midfoot instead of a full-length carbon plate. This design choice creates a lightweight and responsive ride, perfect for those who prefer traditional racing flats. Additionally, the midsole's cushioning provides increased protection. The Streakfly is also suitable for lighter runners, as it can serve as a half marathon racer.

This is the purchase link on Nike offcial website.

Nike Winflo 10 side view
ProsCons
Decent amount of cushioningNot as light as pricier options
Breathable mesh upperNot suitable for speed
Secure and snug fit

In today's market, it's becoming more challenging to discover affordable running shoes under £100. However, the Winflo 10 presents an excellent budget choice for individuals new to running or in need of a dependable companion for their regular runs. While these shoes may lack the advanced features found in the brand's pricier models, such as lighter foams and carbon plates, the Cushion foam provides a comfortable and seamless running experience. Additionally, the midsole's Zoom Air units deliver ample responsiveness.

With its updated toe box, the newest version ensures a superior fit for every foot shape, while offering additional padding around the ankle collar. The upper is crafted from a breathable mesh material, and the secure and comfortable fit is enhanced by the Flywire cables beneath the lacing.

This is the official purchase link on Nike.com

Nike Pegasus Trail 4 GORE-TEX - Men's Waterproof Trail-Running Shoes
ProsCons
Ideal for most surfacesNo underfoot rock plate
Lively, responsive and smooth ridelimited added toe coverage
Comfortable over long distances

Do not be deceived by the GTX label, as it may give the impression that this is a specialized model solely designed for extreme conditions and challenging terrains. In reality, it is a genuine combination of road and trail features, featuring a React foam midsole that offers a pleasant experience on the pavement. While the GTX designation implies waterproofing up to the ankles, the material only extends to the top of the laces. Instead, the gaiter collar is made of a flexible fabric, which is more suitable for protecting against trail debris and light rain. Although it is not recommended for crossing deeper streams, this design allows for better breathability.

In addition to its waterproof upper, the GTX version of the shoe boasts several other distinctions. The outsole is constructed with a distinctively adhesive rubber, setting it apart from the non-GTX version. This unique feature allows for exceptional performance on various terrains, with a notable advantage on the road. This further highlights the Peg GTX's versatility as a multitool for both road and trail running.

On less challenging trails, such as harder packed paths and grassy or dirt paths, the performance of this off-road shoe reaches its peak. It offers a dynamic and responsive ride that is both smooth and comfortably cushioned. However, when faced with extremely steep or slippery terrain, the traction may not be as aggressive as desired. Additionally, compared to the most extreme trail shoes, this model has fewer protective features, such as an underfoot rock plate and limited coverage at the toe. Nevertheless, unless you're taking on truly extreme conditions, there is sufficient protection and comfort to ensure your safety.

This is the purchase link on Nike offcial website.

Nike Zoomx Zegama side view
ProsCons
Well ventilatedCould be better at handling wet conditions
Able to handle more technical terrainsNarrow forefoot fit
Responsive ride

Taking its name from a mountain race in the north of Spain, the Zegama is Nike's most advanced trail shoe. While Nike's trail shoes have not traditionally been known for conquering the world's toughest mountain tracks, the Zegama has proven to be impressive. The midsole is constructed with ZoomX, the same material used in the high-performance Vaporfly and Alphafly racing shoes. However, due to its delicate nature, it is encased in a more durable foam carrier for enhanced longevity. Despite this added protection, the sole remains thick, reminiscent of Hoka shoes, with nearly 20mm of ZoomX cushioning beneath the heel and additional support in the midfoot region. This design ensures that you can fully experience the plush comfort of the shoe. The upper is designed to withstand rugged terrain, featuring a small gaiter at the top to prevent stones from entering. Additionally, the mesh material over the foot provides ample ventilation and doubles as a drainage system for those times when you encounter wet conditions.

This is the offcial purchase link on Nike.