There’s no doubt about it, Nike is an empire. The brand’s swoosh (which they paid $35 for when the brand launched) is recognizable throughout the world and the company itself is well known everywhere, but what are their running shoes like?
Nike running shoes have a reputation for being pricey, but you’re paying for performance and the famous swoosh. Plan on spending between $80 and $120 on a typical pair of Nike running shoes.
Most Popular Models. Right now the Nike shoes I see getting the most attention in the running world are the Nike Free line, along with a lot of the other running shoes that simulate a barefoot experience.
That said, I’ve run into a range of different athletes who say that the Nike Air Pegasus is the most comfortable Nike shoe they’ve ever worn. The colorway might not be the most cutting edge, but this particular model comes in both men’s and women’s so its neutral, plush cushioning and great design is available for everyone and well loved by many.
Advantages of Nike
● Nike is known throughout the world. Elite athletes represent the brand and they very clearly know what they’re doing.
● The Nike+ is a great tool for runners and while the device works with any shoes, it works best when it’s embedded in the sole of a Nike+ shoe. Almost every Nike shoe has a place for the Nike+, which is a great device for tracking your runs and joining other runners in a community.
● This is a one stop shop for shoes. Whether you’re looking for casual shoes, running shoes, or both at the same time, Nike has enough choices to cover just about everyone.
● Nike has a great return policy. While most of the Nike shoes I’ve worn have lasted a long time, I had a pair once that collapsed on me during a speed workout. I’d put about 50 miles on the shoe so it wasn’t brand new, but it was also clear that I hadn’t worn these kicks to the ground. I brought the shoes into the Nike store without a receipt and they replaced them immediately, no questions asked.
● Nike updates their line constantly so there’s always a new pair of shoes to lust after.
Disadvantages of Nike
● Nike updates their line constantly, meaning that if you’re concerned about having the latest and greatest styles, you’re going to have to jump in the car now to get the brand’s newest colorway.
● Nike is notorious for its poor labor practices. It’s an issue that has come up for years and hasn’t ever been solved. A recent article revealed that a lot of their Chinese sweatshop employees have been asked to work in the factories for more than 60 hours per week for little pay.
● In comparison to other brands, it’s difficult to find an affordable pair of Nike shoes. They’re expensive.
Nike shoes tend to fit a bit narrower than some of the more popular brands. For people with wider feet, this makes the shoes feel too tight and uncomfortable and they often switch to other brands. Others love Nike’s narrower, slightly smaller fit.
All said and done, when it comes to Nike it’s all about finding the right shoe. A lot of Nike stores have treadmills and knowledgeable employees that will help you determine whether you should go with the Shox, the Frees, or something entirely different.