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At this point in time, it’s safe to say Nike makes damn good shoes. You don’t have to even know the history of Nike to know that the shoemaker is one of the biggest brands around, outfitting athletes of all kinds in nearly every sport. But when it comes to running shoes, they’re truly at the top. In fact, Nike started off as a running brand, helping to outfit University Oregon runners like Steve Prefontaine before providing quality running shoes to the world. But with such a legacy and so many quality Nike running shoes to choose from, where do you start? Below, we’ll break down the major categories of Nike running shoes for men and then list out some of our favorites.
To start, here are the four categories of Nike running shoes to be aware of. As you can see, most shoes are separated by distance:
- Everyday training
- Trail running (in which case you’d better check out our hydration packs).
There are also more options for waterproof shoes if you enjoy running in the rain or on a wet trail that swoops through a river, cushioned options for those who need extra support and even more shoes for style and stability. Once you’ve figured out what kind of runner you are, be it training for fun, a marathon, a sprint race or a Tough Mudder, check out our options below for the best Nike running shoes for men.
1. Nike Vaporfly Next%
BEST FOR PROFESSIONAL RUNNERS
When Nike came out with the Vaporfly Next%, there was a lot of controversy. Having a carbon-fiber plate inside of a running shoe made people stop and think about what constitutes extra support. However, the shoes are still for sale and putting professional runners in the fast lane all over the world. They give you an extra bounce in your step and make you feel as if you’re flying. That carbon-fiber plate is worth every extra buck you’ve ever thought about spending on a running shoe. If you’re training for a marathon and want to go faster, this is the Nike running shoe for you.
2. Nike Zoom Fly 3
BEST FOR SPEED
If you’re in need of a new pair of shoes intended for speed, the Nike Zoom Fly 3’s are all for you. You’ll be PR’ing your favorite routes in no time with the added carbon-fiber plate, just like the Vaporfly next series, with a Nike React foam padding around the midsole. Not convinced? Start training in these speedsters and let us know if you can feel the difference, we’re sure you will. If it’s for race day or another day breaking a PR on your favorite straightaway, the Zoom Fly 3 will get you there.
3. Nike Zoom Pegasus 36 Shield
Similar to the original Pegasus, the 36 Shield has a water repellent coat and a reflective shield to keep you noticed in darker storms. If you’re one for trampling through the puddles, enjoy a downpour during an intense workout, or just want to keep your feet dry no matter what, the Pegasus 36 Shield is right for you. There’s even a rubber outsole for extra grip on slippery surfaces, so don’t be shy: swing right into those downhill turns at speed and have fun. If you’re a guy living in a city with wet conditions, this is the Nike running shoe for you.
4. Nike React Infinity Run
With added React cushion to the midsole, the React Infinity Run has all the cushion you need for a bouncy run. If you need extra cushion, run mostly on pavement, or have sore ankles, adding extra foam to the midsole could lead you back into your favorite sport. No one wants to suffer on their runs, and not having enough support can be dangerous and lead to injury. With more width to the entire shoe, the React Infinity has all the stability you need to curtail that extra bounce that’ll leave you running even longer. It’s truly one of the best Nike running shoes for men.
5. Nike Air Zoom Structure 22
With the durable combination of extra foam cushioning and width for stability, this makes a great running shoe for those who tend to run with their ankles inward or lean to the inside of their foot, also know as overpronating. If you do this, don’t worry, Nike has made a specific shoe for you. With the extra width that appears when you need it, the Air Zoom Structure 22 won’t let you down.
6. Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5
BEST TRAIL SHOE
If you’re looking for a shoe that’ll grip the steep dirt, rocks or whatever else laying in your path, the Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5 is your best bet. It is protective, cushioned, and grippy, which will leave you hunting for the long way home at the end of the day. With a wide toe-box to accommodate every foot width, this shoe has tightly woven mesh on the top for easier breathing on a hot day and deeply woven lugs on the sole for better grip on slippery trails. This Nike running shoe for men was made to get dirty and does a damn good job at it.
7. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37
EVERYDAY TRAINING SHOE
If you’re looking for a sturdy, steady sneaker to add some bounce to your beat, grab your headphones and the PEgasus 37 and look no further for the ultimate training shoe. A great remedy to the shoe we all need on a long run, a short run, or a gallop through the woods with friends to break some PR’s, this is a great everyday shoe. There’s more cushion to the midsole, more React foam, and added Zoom Air to the forefoot for a better rebound than previous models. You can’t go wrong with the Pegasus 37.
8. Metcon 5 Training Shoe
BEST FOR CROSSFIT
The Metcon 5 is a great shoe for Crossfit or weight lifting because of its stability and wider edge for grip. When you’re moving fast, you don’t want to slip with a kettlebell in your hand or when you’re squatting with weight. Nike has added a Hyperlift to the sole, which means there is extra cushion to help your lift during a jump or lunge. Whenever you move forward, the shoe will give you a boost. While it has excellent grip, it’s not the best shoe for flat out running or marathon training, but a worthy addition for the cross trainer among you.