Best Nike Running Shoes 2021
Buyer's Guide | Fleet Feet
Nike makes some of the most versatile and dominant running shoes on the planet.
From the groundbreaking carbon-fiber plated running shoes that launched a new generation of speed to the consistent everyday training shoes runners have relied on for decades, we picked out the best Nike running shoes for every situation you’ll find yourself in.
These are the best Nike running shoes for every occasion:
- Best for Everyday Training: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38
- Best for Road Racing: Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT%
- Best for Trail Running: Nike Terra Kiger 7
- Best for Cushion: Nike React Infinity Run 2
[This article is part of the Fleet Feet Buyer's Guide for The Best Running Shoes 2021. Find all the best running shoes from the top brands for all situations.]
Best Nike Running Shoes for Everyday Training
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38
The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 is ready for every run.
The classic neutral running shoe uses a full-length React foam midsole for a bouncy ride, and an internal Zoom Air unit adds a noticeable pop to your takeoff.
While the jump from the Peg 36 to the Peg 37 was a more drastic change, the differences between the 37 and 38 are smaller—designers made subtle updates to the Peg but kept much of what made the previous version one of the best Nike running shoes of all time.
The new version has a slightly more accommodating toe box and refreshed mesh upper, but it retains the familiar silhouette. With a speedy look and nimble ride, the updated Nike Pegasus 38 is the right tool for easy miles after work or fast days on the track.
Best Nike Running Shoes for Road Racing
Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT%
Few pieces of technology have pushed running forward as fast as the carbon-fiber plate, and few running shoes have made an impact like the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT%.
Built from the blueprints of the original Nike Vaporfly 4%, the Vaporfly NEXT% took efficiency to the next level. Nike added more ultra-responsive ZoomX foam underfoot, created a lighter and more water-resistant upper, and gave it better traction for all conditions.
It didn’t take long for elite athletes wearing the NEXT% to secure podium spots at just about every major marathon around the world and set personal records in the process. The NEXT% isn’t just the best pair of Nike running shoes for a marathon, it’s one of the best widely available marathon shoes on the market today.
In the Nike Vaporfly NEXT% review, Fleet Feet testers praised the bouncy stack of foam underfoot and appreciated how responsive each step felt. The updates make the Vaporfly NEXT% the ultimate Nike shoe for marathons.
Best Nike Running Shoes for Trails
Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 7
Nike’s best trail running shoe takes the brand’s innovative technology off-road in the Air Zoom Terra Kiger 7.
Ready for any trail, the Terra Kiger 7 has great ground feel and traction from the forefoot to the heel. Multidirectional rubber lugs on the outsole give you the right grip whether you're climbing up or down your favorite trail while a rock plate between your foot and the ground protects your feet from jagged rocks and hard landings.
To keep you comfortable for long adventures on the trail, designers used Nike’s React foam for a soft and smooth underfoot feel and added a Zoom Air unit under the forefoot for better responsiveness and feedback on uneven terrain.
When you lace up this Nike trail running shoe, a lightweight mesh upper hugs and supports the foot as you run on rocky trails.
Best Nike Running Shoes for Cushion
Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2
Cushion is king in the updated Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2.
Nike pumped up the React midsole to give the Infinity Run Flyknit 2 a supremely cushioned feel underfoot. React foam is incredibly bouncy and durable, making it a perfect match for runners who want an easy ride.
Designers carved the midsole into a rocker shape to help smooth out the transitions and add a bit of propulsion, and they gave it extra width to give the shoe inherent stability. In the Nike React Infinity Run review, Fleet Feet testers said the wide base creates a really stable feeling through the entire gait cycle.
Nike knit a lightweight Flyknit upper with an integrated stretchy tongue for a snug fit and sewed on a generous heel tab to help pull the shoe on. With the oversized midsole and roomy fit, the Nike React Infinity Run is a max-cushioned running shoe engineered for the bulk of your training.
Nike Shoe Reviews
Shoe Review: Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT%
Nike Running Shoe Technology
How We Chose the Best Nike Running Shoes
We used data from our fit id® outfitting process, interviews with designers and real-life wear testing to determine the best Nike running shoes for most runs and the most runners.
You can shop with confidence at Fleet Feet: We offer free shipping and returns on all running shoes, and you have 60 days to return any gear if you don’t like the way it looks, fits or feels. Plus, with our price-match guarantee, you can make sure you never pay too much for a new pair of running shoes.
Best Running Shoe Brands
Nike makes some of the best running shoes in the business, but there are plenty of excellent shoes from other brands. See the best running shoe brands 2021 for more great shoes.
Best Running Shoe Brands