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 Stability: Nike Air Zoom Structure 22
- Best for Road Racing: Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT%
- Best for Speedwork: Nike Air Zoom Vomero 14
- Best for Cushion: Nike React Infinity Run 2
- Best Waterproof Nike Running Shoes: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Shield
[Updated June 15, 2021. 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 Stability
Nike Air Zoom Structure 22
Stability running technology meets and cushion makes the Nike Air Zoom Structure 22 a great shoe for overpronators.
Nike achieves stability in the Structure 22 with its Dynamic Support system. The two-foam system is made up of a lightweight foam core set into a firmer foam bed, and it includes a rear-foot wedge that puts more cushioning under the lateral side (outside) of your foot.
The result is stability that’s there when you need it and disappears when you don’t. As the Nike Air Zoom Structure 22 moves further into its third decade, it remains the best Nike running shoe for stability.
Best Nike Running Shoes for Speedwork
Nike Air Zoom Vomero 14
With responsive cushioning and a sleek build, the Nike Air Zoom Vomero is built for speed.
The full-length Zoom Air unit works to deliver a snappy ride while Nike React foam technology supports your foot with perfectly designed cushioning, without compromising your speed. For added support, the Vomero 14 features foam pods in the collar to hug the back of your food for a secure feel while you ramp up the pace.
The super-lightweight and breathable upper mimics that of its iconic cousin, the Pegasus 37, and provides just-right support while allowing your foot the flexibility it needs for a faster cadence. Flywire cables around the laces emphasize the lockdown fit of the Vomero 14 and keep your foot in position for optimal speed.
Whether you're hitting reps on the track or gearing up for your next 5K, the Vomero 14 will help get you to your next PR.
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.
Best Waterproof Nike Running Shoes
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Shield
Reflective detailing and a water-repellent finish turn the everyday Peg into the Nike Pegasus 36 Shield.
Sporting the same consistent ride and snappy feel as the base model, the Pegasus 36 Shield adds a layer of waterproofing to keep your feet dry in a downpour. The water-repellent upper sheds precipitation and puddles and a rubber outsole is formulated to grip even when wet, so you can run in any weather.
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 2020 for more great shoes.
Best Running Shoe Brands