The 21 Best Nike Running Shoes for Men in 2022 to Help You Conquer the Track, the Trail, and Beyond

If you’ve considered hitting the pavement, the track, or the trail this summer, coming across the best Nike running shoes on the market was probably inevitable. The Swoosh is a multibillion-dollar behemoth for many reasons, but none more compelling than the brand’s stellar reputation when it comes to performance footwear. See, before Nike was a global superpower practically synonymous with sports, it was a small-time operation founded by a former college track star and his coach with one eventual mission: Design a better running shoe. Today, the Portland-based operation churns out athletic wear of all types, but sneakers are still its bread and butter, and its running shoes work overtime to uphold that legacy. Nike’s running shoes are some of the best in the world because what they offer—from their cushioning, to their durability, to their energy return—is the opportunity to feel like Eliud Kipchoge, whether you’re an amateur enthusiast looking for a new daily trainer or a hardcore half-marathoner in the market for racing shoes that’ll help you smash your last PB.

When you buy one of Nike’s racers, you’re buying a product that’s been tinkered with to a fanatical degree: the foam midsoles, the treaded outsoles, the mesh uppers—every detail has been specially engineered for performance at the highest caliber, on long distance trails, 10-second sprints, or meandering uphill climbs. That level of attention is a crucial part of Nike’s story, the special sauce that the type of innovation snapped up by the sneaker-wearing masses—and shamelessly replicated by the brand’s competition. Flyknit, Flywire, FlyEase? All meaningless, insider-y jargon until Nike turned them into household terms, simultaneously making the technology they represent industry standard in the process.

There’s no doubt you can find good, even great, models from other brands—the Asics, Brooks, and Sauconys of the world—but it’s difficult to find models that perform well and do it with Nike’s signature panache. So why bother? Because we’ve rounded up the best Nike running shoes available right now. From trail-ready runners to everyday beaters you can wear to jog around the neighborhood, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better place to start your journey. C’mon. Just do it.

To see more of the best workout clothes and gear hand-picked by GQ editors, check out the GQ Fitness Awards.

The Hybrid Pick

Nike ZoomX “Invincible Run” Flyknit shoe

One of the newest shoes in Nike’s running roster combines Pebax—the same performance foam that makes Nike’s cutting-edge Next% line a favorite among expert runners—with speciality cushioning to prevent soreness on longer, less intense runs.

The Everyday Pick

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 shoe

The Pegasus has been a stable of Nike’s running line since the brand introduced the silhouette in the early ’80s. The latest iteration of the all-purpose training shoe features its now-signature responsive foam and beathable mesh uppers, but also boasts a standout Zoom Air unit for more energy return and a slightly tweaked interior band to minimize slipping while you’re on the move .

The Budget Pick

Nike’s Winflo shoe is an ideal option for casual everyday runners, from its Flywire-enhanced uppers down to its soft cushlon foam. The most recent rendition of the silhouette sees the Swoosh upping the ante via added support at the heel and ankle, along with overlays by the toe box for extra durability.

The Fashion Head Pick

When Nike tapped Givenchy designer Matthew Williams to put his tactical spin on a classic running silhouette he knew what it was doing: enlisting one of the savviest aesthetes of his generation to imbue a dynamic style with his signature futurism. In technical terms, that translates to a high-tenacity shoe with mechanical plates that promote heel cushioning and forward propulsion. You can’t run a marathon in them, but if you’re looking to turn heads on milder runs these’ll sync up beautifully with your best workout gear and your techiest cargo pants.

The Modern Classic Pick

Image may contain: Clothing, Shoe, Footwear, Apparel, Running Shoe, and Sneaker

Nike Free Run 2 running shoe

The Free Run 2 first debuted in 2011, but over a decade later it still looks like the future. Today it remains a go-to for runners who want a shoe that’s comfortable, lightweight, and will also look absolutely killer with a pair of trim sweats. The Free sole remains one of Nike’s best inventions, with its recognized scoring look allowing your feet to bend the way they’re supposed to while in motion. Buy ’em in black and they’ll look cool for another decade-plus, easy.

The Trail-Friendly Pick

Nike Air Zoom Kiger 8 running shoe

If dodging trees sounds better than dodging traffic, you’re going to need a pair of shoes designed for less-than-ideal running conditions—dirt, muck, wet leaves, basically anything that might cause a twisted ankle. Enter Nike’s renergized Air Zoom Kiger, an even sleeker, even more sinister upgrade that still provides the trail-friendly features the silhouette is famous for.

The Record Breaking Pick

Image may contain: Clothing, Shoe, Footwear, Apparel, Running Shoe, and Sneaker

Nike Air Zoom Alphafly next nature running shoe

The most technologically advanced running shoe in Nike’s line-up now comes with a sustainable bent, thanks to a body made of 50% recycled materials. Rest assured, though, they’re still primed and ready to help you run fast—like, really fast—and look pretty damn cool in the process.

Plus 14 More Nike Running Shoes We Love

Image may contain: Clothing, Shoe, Footwear, Apparel, Running Shoe, and Sneaker

Nike ZoomX Invincible Run running shoe

Though it boasts the same sole technology as the speediest shoes in Nike’s arsenal, the ZoomX Invincible Run doesn’t include all those added gizmos (and there’s no carbon fiber plate insert in the heel), which make them decidedly more chill. Wear ’em on recovery runs when you need a little extra cushioning.

Image may contain: Clothing, Shoe, Footwear, Apparel, and Running Shoe

Nike Air Max Men’s Torch 3 running shoe

You could definitely take these early-aughts runners out for a jog, though we’re more inclined to rock these with some swishy cargos and a gorp-y jacket before heading to the pub to link up with the mates.

Nike Air Vomero 16 running shoe

The latest member of the ZoomX sole family? Nike’s legendary Vomero silhouette, an already comfy style newly engineered to maximize responsiveness.

Image may contain: Clothing, Shoe, Footwear, Apparel, and Running Shoe

Nike Downshifter running shoe

The no-frills pick that looks good in the gym and on the streets—and won’t empty your sweat-wicking shorts pockets to make your own.

Nike Wildhorse 7 shoe

Designed to deliver top-notch responsiveness no matter what the elements throw at it, the Wildhorse 7 is one of the sturdiest trail running shoes in Nike’s stable.

Nike Waffle Trainer 2 shoe

Another retro-leaning silhouette, this one inspired by the type of heritage running shoes that catapulted the Swoosh from humble Portland upstart to global footwear giant.

Nike Air Zoom Structure 24 running shoe

Nike’s latest version of the Structure—a neutral trainer with plenty of support—isn’t all that different from its predecessor. The distinction largely extends to the upper half of the shoe, which is now more streamlined but slightly heavier. Rest assured: They’ll still serve you well on mostly any run, especially if you’re looking for extra stability and cushioning.

Image may contain: Clothing, Shoe, Footwear, Apparel, and Running Shoe

Nike Pegasus Trail 3 Gore-Tex running shoes

Around this time ever year, the Swoosh drops a handful of winterized takes on some of the best-selling silhouttes in its roster. This month it’s giving the perenially popular Pegasus Trail runner the Gore-Tex treatment, waterproofing the uppers so you can trek on through the rockiest of terrains and the slushiest of conditions with zeal.

$160

Dick’s Sporting Goods

Image may contain: Clothing, Shoe, Footwear, Apparel, and Running Shoe

Nike Air Max Pre-Day shoe

The Pre-Day takes its design cues from the type of retro running styles that put Nike on the map. It can’t compete with it’s more technical peers on the track, but if you’re in the market for a forward-looking lifestyle sneaker that’ll hold up on less strenuous routes it’ll be more than do the trick, and with style to spare.

Nike Free Run Trail shoe

Proof that all it takes to reinvigorate a perennial smash-hit is a touch of hairy brown suede and a lugged foam sole.

Nike React “Infinity Run” Flyknit 2 shoe (was $160, now 36% off)

Crowd-pleasing kicks in a perennially cool shade of grey.

Image may contain: Clothing, Shoe, Footwear, Apparel, and Running Shoe

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%2 shoe

The Alphafly’s younger, hipper cousin is built for slightly shorter races and boasts Nike’s best energy return to date.

Image may contain: Clothing, Apparel, Shoe, Footwear, Running Shoe, and Sneaker

Nike Free Run 5.0 shoe

Remember when Nike first dropped its revolutionary Free Run and the entire world broke out? The same endless versatility that made the shoe an overnight sensation in 2005 makes it just right for casual runners today.

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 FlyEase shoe

Already a fan of the Air Zoom Pegasus 38? Try zipping on (!) a newly updated version outfitted with the Swoosh’s proprietary FlyEase entry system.

Nike React Miler 2 shoe

Stability in spades, no matter how far your workouts take you.

Leave a Comment