Nike was originally the Greek Goddess of Victory, representing strength and speed, so it seems somewhat fitting that many a pair of Nike branded trainers have been adorning the feet of successful global Olympians and International soccer stars for years now. In fact, Nike first breathed life back in 1964 and has been innovating ever since. You don’t need to be a world-renowned athlete though or a performance sports star to appreciate the incredible comfort, support, and durability of a Nike sneaker. While they undoubtedly excel in producing multi-discipline footwear and apparel, they also cater for the more “recreational” among us. Let’s take a look at what Nike has been up to recently and review some of their most iconic and illustrious sneakers.
The Best Nike Sneakers
Nike Air Presto
If you like the sensation of feeling like you are walking on air, then the featherlight and futuristic Nike Air Presto range might be the new contender in your favorite sneaker stakes. The beauty of the Air Presto is that they really allow your feet to breathe and support you no matter what activity you are undertaking. The Air Presto is all about individualism and as such can be fully customized to suit your own unique style. Fantastic for running but also perfect for everyday athleisure wear. It has to be one of the lightest models that Nike have to offer while still offering a decent level of overall support and protection to the wearer.
The shoe is nothing short of a game changer with its super stretchy upper for an unprecedented comfort fit. While this model has evolved on from the original 2000 design, it still is high on comfort and embracing your natural range of motion. A sneaker that is utterly in tune with you. Plenty of flexibility, super lightweight but still eminently supportive. It quickly pulls on and off via the convenient heel tab plus there is shock absorbing rubber pods at the heel to deliver durable and dependable traction.
Adaptable and breathable stretch mesh upper
Featherweight foam midsole for barely their comfort ride
Constructed from synthetic and mesh
Perfect for running but also everyday leisure activities
Rubber pods at the heel for stable traction
Easy on and off heel pull tab
- Weight3 pounds
Nike Air Huarache
The Huarache from Nike is a real head turning, showstopper of a shoe featuring their everyday wear, Dynamic Fit technology. There’s a complimenting color blocked heel cage and a neoprene sleeve a variety of contemporary and stylish colors. The sneaker has been designed to comfortably fit on your foot with its stretch fabric and has been a favorite running shoe since it was launched in 1991.
Back then it was a complete game changer in the world of running and track shoes. Created by Tinker Hatfield he totally re-engineered the standard running shoe by creating the lining of the shoe to act as an exoskeleton, adapting and molding to the foot and ankle shape of the wearer. It was so innovative and clearly so comfortable also to wear that it quickly made it onto the basketball courts, then onto the urban streets and now is one of their iconic shoes.
Lightweight comfort with air-sole cushioning
Three-layer mesh and perforated foam for ultimate breathability
Sleek and modern no-sew overlay design
Unique midsole designs double as an outsole
Rubber pods at the heel for stable traction and durability
Extensive range of contemporary colors
- Weight4 pounds
Nike Lunar Fingertrap Cross Trainer Sneakers
This is a high-performance cross style trainer from Nike that is built to support your goals and designed to appeal to your style aesthetics. It’s the perfect all-rounder for dynamic and demanding workouts and will assist you no matter what. More than that though, it features a unique woven design so that it fits just like a sock. Snug and tight, comfortable and supportive. It provides plenty of flexible ride support so that you can stay keenly focused on your fitness goals. Either that or just concentrate on looking good instead!
With flex grooves, it allows for plenty of natural movement and motion. There is also ample traction which is also multidirectional to further stabilize your ride. The Lunar Fingertrap combines all the comfort of their lunar look midsole with dynamic, performance fit technology. Look, feel and perform the part in these Lunar Fingertrap cross-training shoes. Be sure to also check out our list of the top weightlifting shoes for more great trainers like this.
Feature dynamic fit technology for a glove-like feel
Non-marking but super traction outer sole grip
Lightweight and breathable with mesh fabric design
Multidirectional outsole pattern for reliable traction
Wide grooves promote natural foot movement
Easy to pull on and off
- Weight3 pounds
Nike Air Max 97 QS
The Nike Air Max 97 is just one of those cult-like designs that just keeps on going and going. It’s been a favorite sneaker now for years, so they do little to change up the classic and much loved original design. It features those recognizable Nike details such as reflective piping, water –ripple lines and also the awesome full-length support of Max Air cushioning. This is a seriously comfortable and iconic ride for any lover of the Nike brand. Initially bouncing into our lives in 1978, it originally debuted with visible air in its heel, allowing fans of the shoe to not only feel but also see the air power. They soon followed suit with visible air to the forefoot in their Max 95 model.
When the Air Max 97 proudly burst onto the scenes, it heralded the arrival of their very first full-length unit Air inspired technological shoe and caused a complete disruption to the world of running. Since then it has regularly gone on to make waves with its iconic ripple design and continues to be an ever-popular shoe.
Comes in either leather, synthetic or textile
Full foam sole featuring Max Air cushioning
Stable lace-up closure for added stability
Traction support rubber outsole
A wide range of contemporary and classic colors
- Weight1.94 pounds
Nike Sock Dart
Are you ready to have your socks knocked off! With these legendary Unisex Dart running socks from Nike you’ll leave a trail of dust behind you! While they may not look that substantial, they are certainly stable and comfortable too and are the perfect breathable running shoes. The only question is, are you good enough to really put them through their paces? They come in a whole host of classic and contemporary color options, so there is bound to be a Dart to suit you. Don’t be fooled by their minimalist looking design, these may well have a super soft upper that encases your foot in complete comfort, but they are also stable too with plenty of secure structure.
They are flexible and breathable with their mesh design so no matter how far you run, your feet will stay cool and comfortable. The molded midfoot strap also features a fully adjustable closure so you can be sure of a personalized and secure fit. The only place these shoes are going, is anywhere that you are going! Every step and stride of the way for a secure and stable ride. So if it’s time you increased your pace, then consider looking full on dart speed ahead and investing in these Nike supersonic socks. Don’t forget to also check our Under Armour shoes review, for more great sneakers like this.
Secure and stable sock-like fit
Full-length Phylon foam for cushioned protection
Durable rubber outsole for protection and shock absorption
Flex heel grooves deliver natural foot movement
Wide choice of colors and fully Unisex design
Molded midfoot strap with secure, personalized closure
- Weight10.4 ounces
Nike Lebron Soldier IX Basketball Shoes
If you find laces are just an inconvenience, then you’ll love the Lebron Soldier which features an innovative support system to keep your foot perfectly and securely locked in place. There are four hook-and-loop adjustable elastic straps strategically positioned over a lightweight and super breathable mesh upper. It’s a classic basketball style sneaker but looks just as good off the court as it does on. There is also plenty of the famous Nike Zoom air cushioning to ensure that your feet are taken good care of plus multi-surface traction that you would expect from a shoe designed for high energy and dynamic activities. The Lebron Soldier provides a personalized and stable fit that offers serious frontline performance.
Everything about this model of the Lebron is new and improved, taking innovation to the next level. It manages to be minimalist while at the same time retaining all the performance function you need. It provides overall a great deal of support and is a perfect fit. With its elongated neck providing extra help around the ankle, you can instantly recognize this as being a basketball designated shoe, but there are so many features about this Lebron Soldier that make it a great looking off court shoe too. It comes in plenty of bright, almost flamboyant colors, so it’s definitely not one for the shy and retiring among you. If you wear this model, you will garner lots of attention, so you had better make sure you are bringing your A game to the basketball court with you. Due to the style and fit though, it’s not really a shoe that you could wear for other sports.
Laceless basketball shoe
Features four hook and loop adjustable elastic straps
Plenty of Air Zoom-cushioned support
Rubber sole offering plenty of traction
Perfect for on or off the court
Textile and mesh construction provides plenty of comfort
- Weight2 pounds
Nike Air Jordan Mid
Everyone who knows anything either about sport or about Nike will be familiar with what has undoubtedly become one of their most iconic basketball shoes, the Air Jordan’s. Originally brought out in 1985 it was and remains a revolutionary shoe that first blessed MJ’s feet as a rookie all the way through to his first All-Star game appearance. He’s been as loyal to Nike as they have been supportive to him and the two combined are a marriage made in sports performance heaven! With fresh colors and fabrics given this iconic shoe a regular refresh, it looks set to be a classic for many more years to come.
What we are talking about is nothing less than every day, iconic style coupled with supreme comfort. The Air Jordan’s, of course, feature a durable rubber grip with a pivot circle that delivers dependable traction all day long, whatever the surface and circumstances. There’s also plenty of customary Nike Air cushioning for cloud-like lightweight support and comfort. What’s not to love about these mid-level basketball shoes? There is also plenty of simple to multi-tonal color options to choose from too so style them your way, every day. Our handy guide to the best New Balance shoes features more great shoes like this.
Classic lace-up closure
Iconic swoosh branding on lateral side
Mid-level basketball show cut above the ankle
Designed as a universal trainer for recreation and lifestyle
Plenty of rubber outsole grip and traction
Superb range of contemporary and stylish colors
Nike Air Max 90
Like the Nike Air Max 97 which we reviewed earlier, Air Max 90 was caused somewhat of a revolution when it was first introduced with its total foal sole cushioning. It’s a premium model in terms of both its design aesthetics and its performance functionality and is all classic lines in homage to the original 90’s shoe. It takes on a new level of comfort though today and is even better constructed and dependable than its predecessor and a shoe you really won’t want to take off your feet. Good looks, clean lines and super comfortable to wear, it really is another Nike classic.
The bottom line is that this is a comfortable shoe but with a very iconic profile. With its premium-looking features, it really is one to add to your collection. Great for outdoors running, fits true to size and has plenty of shock absorption, this is a real head turning shoe from Nike, especially if you favor the more bulky look. You can find more iconic shoes in out Vans Shoes review, so check them out.
Textile and synthetic construction
Traction support rubber outer sole
Wide range of color options available
Foam sole made with Max Air cushioning
A supremely comfortable and versatile ride
Secure fit lace-up closure
- Weight3 pounds
Nike SF AF1 Hi Boot
These are seriously stylish and will really set you apart in the sneaker wars! If you have a pair of these bad boy Air Force, military-inspired high tops on your feet people will know that you mean business. They are super contemporary and look very high fashion yet they have all the comfort and support that you would expect from a Nike offering. It’s a streetwear staple that makes a real statement. This version of the boot has been brought bang up to date and created with premium materials for a very high-end look. It’s definitely a shoe that the fashion discerning Nike fanatics among you will want to add to your collection.
It’s designed in a classic hoops silhouette and is made from ballistic nylon along with durable premium leather. Besides the standard lace closure that ensures the show is supportive, there is also dual ankle straps that give added character as well as security to the shoe while you are wearing it. Hell, you can even go all casual with your straps undone! The shoe originally gets its name from Air Force One, that aircraft that carries the US President and with its soft cushioning and cool vibes, its proven a real hit with the hip-hop fraternity. While it does complete with Nike Air technology, really the design of the show does all the talking with this model. Love this model? Check out our review of the best Reebok shoes for our top picks.
Durable outer rubber sole for superb traction
Perfect over a variety of surfaces
Super stylish and fresh looking hi-top design
Dual ankle strap fasteners as well as secure lace closure
Premium leather upper
Lightweight ballistic nylon panels
- Weight5 pounds
A nostalgic and retro nod to the original trainers created by Bowerman all those years ago, this is a contemporary update on an original track and field shoe. It’s all about the supreme fit and the comfort delivered by the EVA wedge sole with this one, creating a comfortable ride but also a design profile that never tires and will always look relevant.
The Cortez range is timeless and will make a great addition to your Nike sneaker collection. The perfect shoe for weekend leisure time as well that mid-week run you keep promising to go on. With a pair of these Cortez shoes on your feet, you’ve got no excuses. Featuring leather and synthetic construction they are durable, dependable, comfortable as well as stylish. Better still, as Nike’s go, they are pretty inexpensive too and won’t break the bank.
Leather and synthetic upper for durability
Lightweight foam cushioned sole
Rubber outsole with plenty of traction
Feature a herringbone tread to aid stop and go starts
Choice of classic and varsity style colors
- Weight12 ounces
Nike Sneaker Buying Guide & FAQ
How We Chose Our Selection of Nike shoes:
When compiling our feature on Nike shoes, we believe it is essential to cover off a cross-section of designs and shoes that have been created to support specific athletic functions. So you will find options from a wide variety of their most iconic ranges including Air Jordan and Air Force for example. From design classics to iconic models, retro kickers to high tops and many more besides, Nike pretty much has sports footwear sewn up and is continually innovating and releasing updates on perennial favorites as well as entirely new models. For an avid collector of the brand, and there are plenty of them out there, you will need a healthy bank balance along with a spare room at home, to house their impressive collections.
For the rest of you for whom a new shoe purchase needs to be carefully considered, then we pay close attention to all the customer reviews and feedback to bring you a comprehensive, and representative range. Our guide is hopefully a snapshot of the best that Nike currently has to offer, to suit budgets both big and small.
There really should be a Nike shoe in our review guide that is perfect for you whether you play basketball, tennis, love to run or just like to lounge! From famous sports stars the world over to celebrities from the worlds of film and music, pretty much everyone will be able to cite their own favorite pair of Nike’s. If there’s not a pair that you love on this list, we’d love to hear what your top recommendations are instead.
Features To Look For In Nike Shoes:
Nike is perhaps best known for its innovative and regular new collection launches as well as its continually evolving technology. Both are a staple of the Nike brand and mean that there are plenty of options for you to select from across a wide range of categories. So among the list of features to look out for is all of the below which you’ll find to a greater or lesser degree it pretty much all their range.
- Arch support
Let’s talk though for a minute about that Nike Air technology and some of the features to look out for, many of which are encompassed in the above, including comfort, cushioning, breathability, etc. and what it is that sets Nike apart from the competition.
Nike Air technology consists of pressurized air, contained within a sturdy but flexible carrier. It’s featured in the soles of many of the Nike shoes, most commonly the midsole but also underneath the heel, the forefoot and in some instances across the whole foot itself. It’s this distribution and location of extra air that gives Nike’s their incredible support and helps to reduce the impact on joints caused by repetitive exercise. During any form of activity, the air pockets compress, much like a bed mattress, to support your body and reduce impact then afterward, they spring back to their original shape, ready for your next assault. This is a super important feature for many reasons and definitely something to look out for.
What it means is the shoes are Lightweight and designed to support your performance. At the same time, strategic placement of air cushioning can be adapted to meet the requirements of a particular sport to support further and enhance performance. The cushioning also protects your foot itself been absorbing the impact, so it acts like a shock absorber for your body. Finally, Nike Air technology allows for more significant levels of durability and dependability, precisely what you require from your shoes. A Nike sneaker really is created to take the impact and designed to last a lifetime.
Nike Sneaker FAQ
Nike: About the brand
Nike is a brand literally known the world over. Both the name and the swoosh logo are instantly recognizable and generally adored but there is plenty more to Nike than meets the eye so let’s take a look at their potted history and some key facts and figures that you might find interesting.
Nike is based in the USA and is a leading supplier of clothing, footwear, sportswear and also specialist sporting equipment. Currently it is ranked as the number one global supplier of athletic shoes and apparel based on its annual sales turnover, and at last count, there were over 44,000 employees on the Nike books all around the planet. It’s a listed Fortune 500 company with its global headquarters situated in Oregon.
Originally set up in 1964 by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight it was called the Blue Ribbon Sports company, and for those of you who aren’t familiar with those names, Knight was an illustrious track competitor and Bowerman his coach.
Nike Inc came into being in 1978, and it was initially operated as a distributor for the Japanese footwear label Onitsuka Tiger which has itself subsequently gone on to be the Asics brand, most commonly associated with high performance, specialist running shoes.
Perhaps the most iconic element of the Nike brand is the swoosh logo, along with their Just Do It tagline, and the swoosh first appeared on running shoes in 1972, formerly called “the stripe.”
Nike really hit the headlines with its brand relationship with tennis ace John McEnroe back in 1978 and has gone on since to have a host of famous collaborations with stars of track, field, and court, most notably Michael Jordan.
According to their website, the Nike mission is quite simple to “ Bring Inspiration and Innovation to every athlete in the world.” And by athlete they make a bold caveat; if you have a body, quite simply you are an athlete. We love that sentiment.
Today their focus is on creating innovative products in a sustainable manner so that they can positively impact the communities where their employees and customers live and work. They embrace diversity and inclusivity and are truly a global powerhouse. There are literally 25 pairs of Nike shoes sold every second. Go do the math!
Q: How to determine your shoe size?
A: Might seem like a strange one as you probably think you know your shoe size well enough by now, but investing in a pair of performance shoes can be a little bit different as you need to ensure that you have ample room for your feet to move and breath, especially if you are running repetitively. Many of the long distance runners among you will be all too familiar with the missing toenail scenario!
One of the things that people fail to take into consideration is their socks. I know, it sounds like an obvious one but when purchasing a pair of shoes for a specific activity, do consider the kind of socks that you will also be wearing as this will make a difference.
In case you need a quick refresher on how best to measure your feet, as they can change over the years as we grow older or lose weight for example, here are a few home tips.
Stand against a hard surface with your heel flush against a wall on top of a piece of blank paper, securely taped to the floor. Get someone to make the very longest point of your foot which is referred to as the heel to toe measurement and mark with a pen or pencil. Make sure that you repeat the process on both feet as there might be a discernible difference between your left and right feet. Use a ruler to then measure the total heel to toe length.
Refer to the Nike measurement chart to ensure that you are purchasing the correct size shoes. Some brands have slightly different sizing, so this is the only way to be absolutely sure. So if your foot measures 10 inches long, you will be a Nike size 8, but of your foot measures 10.5 inches long you will be a size 9.5. It’s super important to get this right as you will no doubt spend hours wearing your latest purchase.
Q: Can Nike sneakers be washed and how?
A: You’ve no doubt invested quite a bit of money in your new Nike trainers, and therefore it stands to reason that you are going to want to take good care of that investment. Assuming that you bought your shoes to get active in and not just to leisurely swagger around (although far be it for us to judge you if you do like to pose!) then your sneakers are likely to get dirty. So for the best results, Nike always recommend that you clean your shoes immediately after they’ve been exposed to dirt, that way nothing has a chance to build up with might become a pain to remove.
For best practice and to achieve optimal results, it is recommended that you follow these procedures so that you can continue to enjoy your Nike’s for years to come.
- First up remove any excess dirt with a short-bristled brush or even an old toothbrush.
- Create yourself a sudsy mixture with some warm water and gentle laundry detergent.
- Grab a sponge or soft cloth, immerse in the water and clean the affected areas thoroughly but gently.
- Grab a clean sponge and just some warm water to wipe away any excess detergent
- Leave your Nike’s to merely air dry at room temperature.
- Repeat the above steps as many times as required to remove any stubborn stains.
- Do not be tempted to use other cleaning methods such as the washing machine or using harsh chemicals or bleach.
- You can use some saddle soap on the leather components but never use this on shoes that are designed for lateral movement for obvious reasons! We’re talking soccer cleats, basketball shoes, golf shoes and running shoes. They have traction for a reason so adding soap into the scenario will cause you to come a cropper!
While many Nike shoes come with breathable moisture wicking to prevent unpleasant odors, some sweat is unavoidable, especially if you are working out hard and fast. So here are a few tips and techniques recommended by Nike also to maintain the freshness and cleanliness of your insoles.
- Remove the insoles from your Nikes
- Follow the same set as procedures as laid out above for cleaning with a damp cloth
- Allow to air dry completely before inserting the insoles back into your shoes
If you follow the above procedures, you should enjoy your Nike’s for many years to come and really get value out of your footwear investment.
Q: Can you customize Nike sneakers?
A: Nike has thought of everything, and while they already have plenty of options regarding styles, models and distinct color options already to choose off the shelf, they have gone that one step further with offering this customized NikeID service. This allows you to get creative and really personalize your sneakers, assuming that the model you have purchased is part of this innovative programme. Most of their most popular models are so you should be OK, and it really does make for a totally bespoke, unique, one of a kind experience. Imagine the satisfaction of knowing that you not only designed your own unique pair of Nike’s but that no-one else will be wearing them. Well, unless you have a clone who opted to adapt their sneakers with precisely the same level of customization as you!
Multiple shoe styles and other products from Nike are offered for customization so check out their website. The one thing they won’t allow is for you to submit an existing pair of shoes for customization. They have to be a new pair of Nike’s.
In terms of what and how you can customize your items, well again, the number of options available to you will vary depending upon the style. The main components that you will typically be able to switch up are the colors of the various components (your toe tabs, swooshes, etc.) along with creating a Personalized ID In some instances, you may even be able to further customize by changing the standard material, feature and fit.
Going ahead and getting your Nike’s customized couldn’t be easier, once you have chosen an eligible model on their website. They have a NikeId builder on their website which will take you step by step through the variables, updating the picture so you can sign off on your final model before it goes off to be manufactured. How exciting is that! It’s like being a fashion designer for the day.
You also have the option to enter something called a Personalized iD to most Nike products or PID for short. The number of characters that you can use again will be determined by the style, but you can put your PID in the ID field. Nike do reserve right not to approve all ID’s which we’re assuming means anything offensive so use your better judgment when coming up with an appropriate ID if you want to have your moniker on your sneakers!
Just a quick note on the manufacturing lead time as obviously these are a custom process so not sat on a shelf back in the factory waiting to be picked, packed and despatched. The process takes 4-6 weeks in total, and the price will be listed as you make your customization selections. And yes, before you ask, Nike being Nike do accept returns but check out their full policy online first.