One of the biggest breakthroughs in Nike running shoe technology started with a waffle iron.
University of Oregon track coach Bill Bowerman spent years tinkering with track spikes to make them lighter and more cushioned. His work led to the original Cortez: a road running shoe with a full-length foam midsole that cushioned landings and an elevated heel that alleviated Achilles' tendon problems.
But the Cortez needed better traction. That's when Bowerman turned to the waffle iron.
He poured melted urethane into a waffle iron to create an outsole with rubber studs. Those studs delivered improved grip on all surfaces, and led to the rise of modern Nike running shoes.
Today, Nike shoes still inspire athletes to run their best. From legendary footwear like the Nike Pegasus and Zoom Structure to the record-hawking Nike Vaporfly NEXT%, the Swoosh has a running shoe for all your workouts and races.
The best Nike running shoes are packed full of premium features to deliver industry leading performance. After the success of the Nike Vaporfly 4% Flyknit, designers knew they had to improve the shoe's performance. So, they engineered a brand new upper material, called VaporWeave, to create the Vaporfly NEXT%.
Nike tuned the women's Epic React Flyknit 2 to do everything you want it to.
The second spin on the popular Epic React, Nike gave it a full bed of supremely soft React foam and a feathery Flyknit upper that provides support without weighing you down. Plus, a low-profile silhouette and seamless finish looks as good on date night as it does on a date with the track.
In the Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 review, Fleet Feet runners love the bouncy React foam midsole and the snug fit that feels supportive and speedy.
A clean style paired with blazing performance makes it one of the best Nike shoes for every workout you can throw at it.Shop All Women's Nike Running Shoes
The men's Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo takes the Peg to the next level.
Nike built the Turbo on the bones of the Nike Pegasus but gave it a serious performance boost with ZoomX foam. The proprietary midsole foam comes directly from the original Zoom Vaporfly 4%, which donned the cushion to push runners closer to the two-hour marathon barrier.
Packed with the ultra-responsive foam and chiseled to improve its aerodynamics, the Peg Turbo brings elite speed to its iconic heritage.Shop All Men's Nike Running Shoes
Nike has been obsessed with making the best running shoes since the very beginning, and they're not slowing down anytime soon.
In 2013, Nike began developing the original Vaporfly 4%, which claimed to improve running efficiency by 4 percent. Two things stood out in the Vaporfly: a stiff, curved carbon fiber plate for propulsion, and ZoomX foam, which is capable of delivering up to 85 percent energy return for runners.
The technology was an immediate success.
Elite marathoners wearing the Vaporfly cleaned up at major marathons around the world. New York, Chicago and Boston were up first. Then Eliud Kipchoge wore the shoes in a historic attempt to break the two-hour marathon, missing the milestone by just 25 seconds; he followed that attempt with the official world marathon record in Berlin just a year later.
Nike then retooled the record-shattering shoes to push the boundaries of what the human body can do. With an eye on the toppling the two-hour marathon, Nike announced the Vaporfly NEXT%, which is even more efficient than its predecessor.
In its debut race, the NEXT% propelled Kipchoge to a first place finish—and course record—at the 2019 London Marathon.
Fleet Feet runners laced up the NEXT% to see if it lived up to the original. In the Vaporfly NEXT% review, testers found it has everything they wanted: a better fit, lighter upper and even more speed.
Nike doesn't just build shoes for city streets—they're also down to get dirty.
The Nike Terra Kiger 5 deploys a sticky rubber outsole studded with aggressive lugs to keep you grounded on gnarly trails, and it boasts a wide toe box that's perfect for pounding out long miles on the dirt.
In our review of the Nike Terra Kiger 5, our testers loved how simple the Terra Kiger is without sacrificing first-class performance.
The Nike Wildhorse 5 stays in line with the Terra Kiger: A tough rubber outsole grounds you on muddy singletrack and slick rocks while a burly rock plate protects you from the jagged roots and debris that hide on the trail.
So no matter how tough the trail gets, Nike's kicks will stand up to it.Shop All Nike Trail Running Shoes
From running tops to bottoms and everything in between, Nike has you covered.
Nike designed its running apparel to make your workouts better and bump up your style. The men's Nike Phenom running pants and men's AeroLayer Jacket will keep you toasty on the chilliest pre-dawn runs, and the Nike Flex 5" Short has built in briefs for increase comfort.
Women who need low-impact support and a full range of motion can slip into the Nike Pro Classic Sports Bra. When the mercury drops, find warmth in the women's Nike Epic Lux Tight and cozy Nike Long Sleeve Fleece training top.
Whether you're knocking down mile repeats or kicking back at the coffee shop, Nike's running apparel will set you up for success.