Here's How to Find Nike's Most Comfortable Running Shoe for You

Buying Guide

Get miles of comfort in these top Nike running shoes, even during strenuous runs. Find the most comfortable pair for your anatomy and running style.

Last updated: January 20, 2022
7 min read
Find Nike’s Most Comfortable Running Shoe for You

Whether to burn calories, achieve a "runner's high", improve your heart health or just feel the wind in your hair, running is one great way to push you towards your fitness goals. But it's also a high-impact exercise that can put stress on your joints. The right pair of running shoes can absorb some of the shock with the right cushioning, and support you from the ground up.

Ill-fitting or improper footwear, on the other hand, can slow down your progress. Once you find the most comfortable pair of Nike running shoes for you, you'll be unstoppable on the road, track or trails. Here's how to select the right pair of Nike running shoes for your needs, so you can run further and faster to meet your goals.

How to Choose the Most Comfortable Nike Running Shoe for You

  1. 1.Get a shoe built for where you typically run:

    Road running shoes are lightweight and breathable with durable rubber outsoles. Trail running shoes are built for traction, with softer rubber and deeper lugs, as well as protection from rough terrain. And racing shoes are designed to be the most lightweight so you can run your fastest on race day, but they may not be as comfortable for long runs. Each type of shoe has its own benefits and limitations, so it's important to choose the right pair for your running environment.

  2. 2.Find the perfect fit:

    A great way to find your fit is to take each potential pair for a test run in the evening—when your feet are biggest since they swell throughout the day—and wear the same moisture-wicking socks you plan to use for your runs. Also, choose a shoe that resembles your foot shape. There should be enough room in the toe box to wiggle and stretch, the ankle collar shouldn't slip or rub, and the upper should feel snug but not constricting. They should feel good from the first step, so don't rely on a break-in period.

  3. 3.Consider whether you need stabilising support:

    Do you have high arches or flat feet? Most people are comfortable in a neutral shoe, but if you tend to overpronate to the point of pain, you'll want a shoe with stabilising features to correct the problem.

  4. 4.Choose the right amount of cushioning:

    Lots of cushioning in the midsole is great for shock absorption, but some runners prefer to feel the ground underneath their feet. Decide which midsole approach is best for you.

  5. 5.Select the right heel-to-toe drop:

    A shoe's heel-to-toe drop, or the difference in height between the cushioning at the heel and the forefoot, determines which parts of your body will endure the most stress when you run. Runners who use a heel strike or have Achilles tendon issues typically do better with a higher heel-to-toe drop, while runners with a midfoot or forefoot strike generally have more success with a lower heel-to-toe drop. Overall comfort is more important than heel-toe drop, but it's something to consider whether you're a mid-distance or long-distance runner, or if you're into trail running.

Great Nike Shoes for Everyday Runs

For everyday running on the treadmill or pavement, you'll need a comfortable running shoe that's durable enough to resist abrasion from the tarmac during long-distance runs, lightweight enough to keep you moving fast and breathable enough to keep you cool and dry. An everyday running shoe can also double as a comfy walking shoe but you might not want it to double as a shoe for more intense workouts. Here are our top picks for men and women.

  1. For Stability: Nike Miler
    Nike React foam cushions and responds to every step in the Nike Miler, while a more supportive design stabilises the foot. Lace up the Nike Miler to tighten the midfoot band for extra support and rely on the stiff piece around the heel for a secure feel with every step. This shoe features a lightweight, breathable upper, and there's a weatherised version available for better traction and protection from the elements.
  2. For Neutral Support: Nike Pegasus
    Built with Nike React foam, which is as soft as it is springy without adding unnecessary weight, Nike Pegasus running shoes are durable and comfortable enough for your longest runs. With Nike Pegasus running shoes, you'll get a little extra space in the toe box, midfoot webbing for a secure fit when you lace up, and a breathable upper that stretches to fit your foot.
  3. For Neutral Support with a Plush Feel: Nike React Infinity Run
    If you enjoy an especially plush feel underfoot, the extra foam height in the Nike React Infinity Run could be just what you're looking for. The rocker-shaped foam allows for flexibility as you lift your foot and plenty of shock absorption when it hits the ground. And a strategic combination of Flyknit and Flywire technology in the upper provides both breathability and support.
  4. For a Barefoot Feel: Nike Free
    If you're an athlete who likes to feel connected to the ground, you'll enjoy the lightweight cushioning and barefoot feel of the Nike Free running shoe. Laser-cut flex grooves provide enhanced flexibility for more natural movement, while the soft and stretchy upper creates a sock-like fit.

Great Nike Shoes for Trail Runs

Trail running requires a shoe with a durable upper that won't snag on branches, and plenty of traction on the outsole to navigate rough terrain. Depending on the weather, you may also need a pair of waterproof trail runners. Here are our top picks.

  1. For Neutral Support: Nike Pegasus Trail
    Nike Pegasus trail running shoes have plenty of Nike React foam for a soft, responsive feel, but they're also built tough with rugged traction. The pattern of the rubber sole resembles a mountain bike tyre and has extra traction at the heel and toe for running up or downhill. There's even a Pegasus trail running shoe with a GORE-TEX lining for running off-road or cross-training in the rain.
  2. For Stability: Nike Terra Kiger
    In addition to super-soft and responsive Nike React technology, a Zoom Air unit in the Nike Terra Kiger puts an extra spring in your step. A high-abrasion rubber outsole with multi-directional lugs keeps up on any surface, even when you're heading downhill. Terra Kigers are also constructed to be lightweight and breathable, keeping your feet well ventilated. And athletes who need extra support will enjoy the dynamic band system around the midfoot.

Great Nike Shoes for Racing

After training hard, you'll want a pair of comfortable shoes that leave you unencumbered on race day. Nike racing shoes are fast, and thanks to feather-light materials, they provide cushioned comfort without weighing you down. Here are our top picks.

  1. For Neutral Support and Efficiency: Nike Alphafly
    Nike ZoomX Foam, Zoom Air units and a carbon-fibre plate create a springy step in the Nike Alphafly. This shoe gives the greatest energy return of all of Nike's racing shoes, with a propulsive feel through the finishing line. Choose from several different upper styles, each of which are designed to be well ventilated, secure and lightweight. Some are even made from sustainable materials, which reduce waste and carbon emissions. And they're designed to stay dry on sweaty feet as well.
  2. For Neutral Support and Speed: Nike Vaporfly
    The Nike Vaporfly is built for speed with lightweight Nike ZoomX foam for superior energy return and a full-length carbon-fibre plate for more responsiveness as you run. The soft, breathable upper contours to your foot, while the forefoot is reinforced for secure comfort. These shoes provide multi-surface traction, so they're fit for any race, and they're some of the most stylish Nike running shoes to boot—you can even customise your own.
  3. For Stability: Nike Air Zoom Tempo
    A midfoot cage delivers the ultimate in support, and a cushioned heel adds lightweight and responsive comfort in the Nike Air Zoom Tempo line of shoes. ZoomX Foam and Zoom Air units provide shock absorption without being heavy. The Nike Tempo is available in a few styles, one with an easy-to-secure, step-in entry, and each with a lightweight and breathable upper.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should I Replace My Nike Running Shoes?

It's generally recommended to replace a pair of running shoes about every 300 to 500 miles. Nike running shoes are built to last, but the cushioning will wear down over time, and you may be left without sufficient shock absorption for your runs. If you notice that the treads on the outsole are wearing, that's a sign your running shoes should be replaced for optimum comfort and injury prevention.

Do Nike Shoes Run Big or Small?

People's fit and size preferences vary across different Nike shoe styles, so if you're unsure of your size in a new pair of Nikes, you might want to consider going to a store to be fitted properly for a new pair or get more information on Nike.com about finding the right size and fit.

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