The Best Nike Running Shoes for Women (2023)

Since its launch in 1962—when it was formerly Blue Ribbon Sports—Nike has signed on several strong female runners, including modern-day stars like Jordan Hasay, Shelby Houlihan, and Shannon Rowbury. Whether you’re chasing serious new PRs like that crew of “Bowerman Babes” or just want to add a pair of Swoosh shoes into your casual weekly rotation, we’ve tested and evaluated the best Nike options to meet your needs. Check out our top five picks below or keep scrolling for the full list, which includes a packable lightweight cross trainer, a brand new max-cushioned workhorse, and blazing fast marathon racers.

The Latest Swoosh Tech

One of Nike’s key upper technologies is a material called Flynit. Constructed from various types of stretchy woven yarn, Flyknit uppers create a sock-like, seamless fit around the foot that helps provide both targeted support and flexibility while running. Another feature that sets Nike’s running shoes apart is its unique Zoom midsole. This plush cushioning is delivered by a combination of highly responsive foam and Zoom Air units—literally hollow pockets of pressurized air within the sole—to soften impact on landing and improve energy return. You can find this midsole construction, called Zoom Air, in models like the Wildhorse and Pegasus.

The Best Nike Running Shoes for Women (6)

After running 100 miles during a month of testing, one tester noted no loss of responsivenessin ZoomX foam, despite some visible signs of wear.

The Best Nike Running Shoes for Women (7)

“The midsole looks super thick, but there’s nothing clunky about the Invincible Run Flyknit,” one tester said.“It feelsbouncy, soft, and super lightweight.”

Two of the shoes in our racing category below contain Nike’s top-tier ZoomX foam in the midsole. ZoomX is the thermoplastic Pebax-based material that provides bouncy, high-rebound cushioning and lasts significantly longer (with greater temperature-resistance and softness) than standard EVA-based foams. The Alphafly Next% combines ZoomX foam with a full-length carbon plate and two Zoom Air units for a remarkably responsive ride.

Test Team Notes

Before we write about and recommend shoes, our Runner’s World staff puts in miles of running, analyzes results and data from our Shoe Lab, and consults feedback from our 225-runner-strong wear-test team. Shoes on this list that haven’t undergone our strenuous testing cycle were recommended using our own expert knowledge and evaluation, experience in the running shoe industry, and conversations with designers and product developers. We’ve selected a variety of options—from grippy trail models and supportive cross trainers to affordable budget-friendly picks—and have specified how to use them in your training.


Air Zoom Pegasus 38

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38

The Best Nike Running Shoes for Women (8)

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38
(Video) Top 5 Best Nike Running Shoes for Women in 2022
  • Plusher midsole than the Pegasus 37
  • Longer tongue improves comfort and lockdown
  • Sizing runs slightly small

While this new Peg may look a bit bulkier, it is every bit as responsive as its predecessor. In the forefoot, it features a Zoom Air unit, which is tailored specifically to both shoe size and gender. That pressurized air pocket is tuned to a lower psi in the women’s version to provide a slightly softer, more forgiving ride. (That’s not to suggest female runners require cushier shoes; rather, Nike made the adjustments to better match women’s gait patterns and comfort preferences.) The entire midsole uses React foam, so the Pegasus’s ride still feels just as snappy and responsive. Our favorite tweak on the 38th version? It may seem small, but we really dig the widened toe box.


Air Zoom Tempo Next%

Such is the dilemma when choosing which shoes to wear for speed workouts: Your trainers are too heavy and clunky, but you don’t want to break out your racing flats before race day. If you can relate, investing in a speed day shoe like the Tempo Next% could solve it. This shoe features two Zoom Air units, which give the shoe its signature responsive feel, paired with a tall stack of ZoomX foam to provide cushioning over long distances. The rubber traction on the outsole is specifically placed only in areas that receive the most wear in training; this ensures that the shoe remains grippy, but still feels light.


Air Zoom Winflo 8

Nike Winflo 8

The Best Nike Running Shoes for Women (10)

Nike Winflo 8
  • Full contact rubber outsole delivers excellent grip
  • Ample cushioning for longer runs
  • Doesn’t use bouncier ZoomX or React foams
  • Narrow toe box
(Video) REVIEW OF EVERY NIKE RUNNING SHOE of 2022 - Comparison of Pegasus, Vaporfly, Zoom Fly, Alphafly

The latest Winflo hasn’t changed much from its predecessor, and that’s good news for one of our favorite $90 shoes. The eighth version still utilizes the same Zoom cushioning, parsing out its two Air units between the forefoot and heel for a smooth, fairly balanced ride. Unlike many trainers that place the lion’s share of cushioning in the heel, the Winflo actually positions its larger Air unit in the forefoot—an approach that slightly favors midfoot strikers, but still keeps the shoe super accessible to the heel-striking majority of runners. The major update to the Winflo is the Flywire cables that help secure the lacing better than the seventh version of the shoe and provide a more locked-in fit.


Air Zoom Alphafly Next%

Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next%

The Best Nike Running Shoes for Women (11)

Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next%
  • Exceptionally high energy return
  • Integrated tongue improves comfort and midfoot lockdown
  • Heavier than the Vaporfly Next%
  • Tall stack height can feel unstable for tight cornering

We’re calling it the fastest shoe you can buy, but it sure isn’t cheap. The Alphafly Next% is the shoe that Eliud Kipchoge wore to break two hours in the marathon, and while we can’t promise it will do the same for you, it could help tick some seconds (even minutes) off your PR. This shoe returns energy to your stride in more ways than one—thanks to a full-length carbon fiber plate, a ZoomX foam midsole, and two Zoom Air units. It also features the newest iteration of Nike’s Flyknit upper, called Atomknit, which offers a snug and secure fit with exceptional breathability.


React Infinity Run Flyknit 2

Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2

The Best Nike Running Shoes for Women (12)

Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2

Now 20% Off

  • Heel cup felt too wide for some testers

The React Infinity Run best serves overpronators and runners looking for more support. The snug sock-style upper is tightly knitted in key areas to deliver additional stability, but still ventilates the foot well and allows for natural toe splay as you run. It features React foam which feels soft, yet very responsive, and the stiff heel cup helps keep your foot steady when you touchdown. Like the Invincible Run below, the Infinity React 2 was designed with injury prevention in mind—while we can’t promise that it will keep you from any future setbacks, it’s a great choice for runners who want a little extra support without the traditional “motion control” aesthetic.


ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit

Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit

The Best Nike Running Shoes for Women (13)

Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit
(Video) The Science Behind The World's Fastest Shoe - Cheddar Explains
  • Slightly curved rocker sole delivers a smooth ride
  • Forefoot feels roomier than the Pegasus 38
  • Less suited for speedwork and uneven terrain

Every tester on our team gave the Invincible Run a score of either 6 or 7 (out of 7) in the comfort category, with one tester deeming it the “most comfortable shoe” he’s ever worn. Most of that comfort comes from the ZoomX midsole made from Nike’s top-tier Pebax-based foam. (It’s among the lightest, plushest, and most responsive around right now, and has the capacity to return about 70% of energy with each footstrike, the most of any material we’ve tested in our RW Shoe Lab.) ZoomX delivers exceptional bounce and bottomless softness, without packing out or feeling overly mushy, and the Invincible Run has more of it underfoot than any other daily trainer in Swoosh’s lineup right now.


Air Zoom Wildhorse 7

Nike Wildhorse 7

The Best Nike Running Shoes for Women (14)

Nike Wildhorse 7
  • Sock-style ankle collar improves comfort
  • Excellent traction
  • Slightly heavier than the Wildhorse 6

Our wear testers reported sure-footing running in the Wildhorse 7. The shoe has a grippy lugged outsole, a sturdy segmented rock plate for protection over jagged terrain, and a protective multi-layer upper that provides a snug, locked-in fit. A Zoom Air pod in the heel cushions impact from the ground, and also helps provide a smooth, responsive ride.


Nike Free TR8

Nike Free TR8

The Best Nike Running Shoes for Women (15)

Nike Free TR8
  • Dual-layer cushioning offers extra comfort
  • Flat, wide heel improves stability
  • Not recommended for running

On those days you’re feeling more gym rat than runner, lace up the Nike Free TR8. Like the Free RN 5.0, this flexible trainer has a soft foam midsole with deep crosshatched flex grooves to mimic the natural movement of your foot. This allows for better dexterity and ground feel during dynamic circuit training or HIIT workouts, while a flat heel provides a stable base for squats and heavy lifts. Though definitely more minimalist than Nike’s other models, the TR8 still doesn’t compromise comfort with its redesigned integrated tongue and widened toe box that offers additional room for your toes to splay.

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(Video) Top 10 NIKE Sneakers for 2022


What Nike shoes are best for exercise? ›

One of the most optimal Nike cross-training shoes is the Nike Metcon. These workout shoes are designed for versatility, with a wide, flat heel to provide stability during heavy lifting and enough responsive foam to cushion high-impact movements.

What is Nike's #1 selling shoe? ›

Best Selling Sneakers Of 2021 – Nike Air Force 1 |

Is Nike a good running shoe? ›

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 2022 for more great shoes.

Which Nike are most comfortable? ›

Most comfortable Nike running shoes
  • Factors to consider.
  • Our top pick: Nike ZoomX Invincible Run V2.
  • Comfortable everyday trainer: Nike Pegasus 39.
  • Comfortable marathon racer: Nike Vaporfly Next% V2.
  • Comfortable tempo trainer: Nike ZoomX Streakfly.
  • Comfortable flexible trainer: Nike Free Run 5.0.
25 Jun 2022

What is difference between running and training shoes Nike? ›

While cross-training shoes and running shoes have some similarities, running shoes provide the appropriate cushioning needed for long distances, while training shoes support a greater range of movement patterns.

Can I use Nike Pegasus for gym? ›

While the Pegasus doesn't have an excessively soft midsole, it's not supportive enough for weighted squats or compound exercises like deadlifts. If you want to stick to a running shoe, the Nike Structure 24 fares better due to its more supportive ride.

What are the 3 types of running shoes? ›

Your choices are road-running, trail-running or cross-training shoes. 2. Decide if you want more or less cushioning underfoot.

What do girl runners wear? ›

The main reason women track athletes wear bikini bottoms instead of shorts like the men do is because they are more comfortable and allow for a wider range of motion. Additionally, they tend to stay in place better than shorts, which is important for athletes who are constantly moving.

What is world's most popular sneaker? ›

The 8 Most Popular Sneakers of 2022
  • Nike Dunk Low Vintage. ...
  • Jordan 1 Retro High 85. ...
  • Balenciaga Defender. ...
  • Yeezy 700V3. ...
  • Jordan 6 “UNC” ...
  • Notre x Vans OG Style 36 LX. ...
  • Supreme x Nike SB Dunk High.
30 May 2022

What is the most purchased shoe ever? ›


The first Air Jordan was produced for Michael Jordan during his time with the Chicago Bulls in 1984 and designed by Peter B. Moore.

Is it OK to wear running shoes everyday? ›

Stability, motion control and cushion running shoes can be worn every day. If they are your size, and are comfortable, there is no specific reason why you can't use them daily. However, there are downsides to wearing your running shoes on a daily basis. The more miles you cover, the quicker your shoes will wear out.

What are 3 factors to consider when buying running jogging shoes? ›

3 key factors to consider when choosing your running shoes
  • Choosing the most suitable running shoes for your sport activity.
  • Choosing the right running shoes based on your goals.
  • Choosing shoes that are suitable for your gait and body type.

Is Nikes better than Adidas? ›

Nike's scale is a big advantage, adidas doesn't even come close. adidas looks cheaper than Nike and has been a better growth story, but there is a reason for Nike's high valuation. Nike is better managed than adidas and has a stronger brand.

Which is better Nike or Adidas for running shoes? ›

There is no clear winner when it comes to choosing the best running shoe manufacturer since both Nike and Adidas produce excellent running shoes, which is why they are two of the most prominent sportswear brands on the market.

Should you buy running shoes a size bigger? ›

The further you run the more your foot will naturally expand. This means it's wise to have just a little extra room (about a thumb's width) between your longest toe and the front of the shoe. With this in mind, your running shoe should be around a half size larger than the shoe size you usually get.

Which is the most comfortable shoes in the world? ›

  • Best Overall: Hoka One One Bondi 7. Amazon. ...
  • Best Budget: Waluzs Slip-on Sneakers. ...
  • Best Fashion Sneakers: Vionic Electra Sneaker. ...
  • Best Sandals: Teva Hurricane Verge. ...
  • Best Slip-Ons: Allbirds Tree Loungers. ...
  • Best Running Sneakers: Brooks Ghost 14. ...
  • Best Booties: Clarks Memi Top. ...
  • Best Winter Boots: UGG Yose Waterproof Lace-Up Boot.
1 Jun 2022

Are running shoes good for walking? ›

Can running shoes be used as walking shoes? The short answer: yes. Running shoes and walking shoes have similar qualities that make them ideal for being active. While running shoes are designed to be durable for the rigorous demands of running, they are excellent as walking shoes, too.

What Nike shoes do marathon runners wear? ›

Find a Shoe for Everyday Runs
  • Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 3. Men's Road Running Shoes. ...
  • Nike Infinity React 3. Women's Road Running Shoes. ...
  • Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 2. Men's Road Running Shoes. ...
  • Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 2. ...
  • Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39. ...
  • Nike Pegasus 39. ...
  • Nike Winflo 9. ...
  • Nike Air Winflo 9 Premium.
22 Sept 2022

What is so special about Nike react? ›

Because the entire midsole is made from React foam, it performs as expected. Nike says React foam is a combination of two common polymers found in typical running shoe cushioning: thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA). The combination makes the foam soft, springy and durable.

Is it better to walk in running shoes or training shoes? ›

Even when it comes to running day-to-day errands, you're better off using running shoes for extra support. It's best to wear running shoes rather than training shoes when walking or doing other day-to-day activities.

Is it okay to wear running shoes casually? ›

Yes absolutely! Just pair them with relaxing and less formal clothes such as jeans or shorts.

Is it better to workout in running shoes or flat shoes? ›

For those who are dipping their feet in strength training and lifting weights, a flat-soled (without cushioning) pair of shoes is the correct way to go.

Why are Nike Pegasus so popular? ›

The Nike Pegasus is one of the most popular neutral trainers in the world because it is so versatile and it has a consistent fit from update to update. Now in its 39th iteration, it has received a brand new upper, midsole and outsole.

What are Nike Pegasus best for? ›

It is a mid-priced neutral trainer that is suitable for runners of all levels, from the beginner to the advanced. Main competitor of the Nike Pegasus are shoes such as the Brooks Ghost or the Saucony Ride.

Why is Nike Pegasus so good? ›

Unlike some Nike models like the React Infinity Run V3, the Pegasus 39 has a fairly thick insole made of soft foam. The lasting under the insole is also foam, so these layers work together with the React midsole to produce a high level of ride comfort. There's ample cushioning for long-distance runs.

Does Nike Run work for walking? ›

Most people use it for running and bike rides though. Nike Run Club is more focused. Apart from running you can also track walking and jogging with it. Open the app, and you will see a map with the Start button immediately.

Can you use Nike Pegasus for walking? ›

The outsole is classic Pegasus; it performs well on road and light trails admirably and provides excellent grip and durability. Additionally, the shoe feels great for walking - the one time I do feel the air in the heel as I spend more time there.

Which shoe brand is best for walking? ›

The 21 Best Walking Shoes for Maximum Comfort in 2022
  • Dick's Sporting Goods. Hoka One One Bondi 7 Running Shoes. Whether you deal with plantar fasciitis or just want the cushiest stroll you can get, consider the Bondi 7 from Hoka One One. ...
  • Allbirds. Allbirds Tree Dasher 2.
9 Nov 2022

What is the difference between sneakers and runners? ›

Generally speaking, sneakers are used as running shoes. This means that they are designed to provide forward movement. On the other hand, trainers are used for versatile training such as plyometric training, gymming, weight lifting, and aerobics training. Structurally, trainers focus on providing lateral support.

What is the difference between athletic shoes and running shoes? ›

Running and training shoes may look similar, but there are a few key differences: Sole flexibility – running shoes are for heel-to-toe movement. Training shoes are for multi-directional movement, especially lateral (side-to-side) movement. The sole of a training shoe is more flexible to allow a wide range of movement.

What should you look for in a running shoe? ›

  • Plenty of Toe Length. Feet swell when you run, so aim for a thumbnail-length of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. ...
  • Enough Toe Width. Squished-in toes equal blisters. ...
  • No Seams. ...
  • Has the Right Arch. ...
  • Holds Your Heel. ...
  • Feels Firm. ...
  • Flexes Right.
7 Aug 2014

Why do female runners wear so little? ›

For track, the lack of material helps them to perform better because it allows the athletes to be aerodynamic and reduces friction. However, one may notice that even though some men and women wear skimpy shorts, females wear very short, bikini-like shirts, where the men wear a tight-fitted tank top.

What should you not wear when running? ›

Avoid cotton materials, which absorb sweat and moisture and can make — and keep — your body cold. Long-sleeve, moisture-wicking shirts are a good base layer and a lightweight, zip-up jacket can provide added, adjustable warmth. Wearing tight running pants provides insulation for your lower body.

Why do female runners have long hair? ›

Flowing locks increase air resistance insofar as they boost a runner's surface area.

Do you really need running shoes to run? ›

Yes, running shoes do actually make a difference. They are specifically made for running and the high-impact forces it generates. Proper running footwear serves multiple purposes. A snug fit means fewer foot issues, like blisters, while still giving you flexibility and comfort of movement.

Should your toes touch the end of your running shoes? ›

Your toes should have ample room to spread wide. Your toes shouldn't feel constricted or touch the end of the shoe. Your heel should feel comfortably cupped in the back of the shoe, which ensures that your foot won't slip out from the back of the shoe.

What are five 5 factors to consider when buying running or jogging shoes? ›

  • Fit. It sounds basic but one of the key features in finding a good running shoe is the fit. ...
  • Heel Height. ...
  • Cushioning. ...
  • Outsole. ...
  • Motion control.
11 Jan 2015

What Nike shoes make you run faster? ›

Although there is little doubt that Nike Vaporfly and AlphaFly are the fastest shoes on the market there are some more affordable alternatives that are worth considering.

Are Nike shoes really good for running? ›

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 2022 for more great shoes.

Are Nike dragonflies worth it? ›

Short answer is yes, but this time there are some competitors in close pursuit. The Nike Dragonfly is a highly versatile distance racing spike for everything ranging from 1500m to 10,000m on the track. Some people have been seen to wear this on XC courses and that is certainly possible if it is all grass.

What are the benefits of Nike running shoes? ›

Running shoes are designed to provide shock absorption and support forward movement while still remaining lightweight so you can fly across the road or track. They have more midsole cushioning and arch support than training shoes, which can help protect against overuse injuries like stress fractures.

Do athletes prefer Nike or Adidas? ›

One of the reasons these brands are so popular is mostly because of athletes. They buy most of their clothing and shoes compared to non-athletes. 52.38% of athletes would choose Nike over Adidas, and 33.3% would pick Adidas.

Which is stronger Nike or Adidas? ›

Nike and adidas are the two biggest sportswear companies. Nike's scale is a big advantage, adidas doesn't even come close. adidas looks cheaper than Nike and has been a better growth story, but there is a reason for Nike's high valuation. Nike is better managed than adidas and has a stronger brand.

What's cooler Nike or Adidas? ›

Nike is still cooler with teens than Adidas, according to Google's report. Nike is the most cool sports apparel brand and the one they are most aware of. Adidas is less cool and they are less aware of it. But Adidas did edge out Under Armour.

Is Nike flyknit good for running? ›

Verdict from 21 experts & 100+ users

The Nike Flyknit Racer is perfect for runners who want to outrun the competition. It's a racing flat that shines in 5Ks all the way to marathons. With its responsive ride, it's also a great pick for beginners who are still trying to incorporate speed training into their routine.

What type of running shoe is Nike Pegasus? ›

This is a neutral running shoe with a combination of React midsole foam (EVA) and two regions of Zoom Air in the heel and forefoot. The Pegasus 39 continues to run narrow, but does accommodate a bit over time as the upper stretches.

Are Nike Pegasus good for marathon? ›

It would make a great half marathon or marathon shoe for most runners, though naturally falls well short of the performance of a dedicated racer like Nike's Alphafly or the Saucony Endorphin Pro. The Pegasus 37 can certainly handle the speedy stuff in your training, though.


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