We spent 9.2 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

9 reasons to buy

  • A majority of the testers commented on how comfortable the underfoot experience of the Nike Downshifter 7 was during their runs.
  • The lightweight configuration of this running shoe gained fans who felt that it permitted them to effortlessly wear it all day.
  • The trademark Nike swoosh is much appreciated by many consumers because it apparently gave the shoe that classic Nike look.
  • The minimalist design allowed testers to use the shoe for activities other than running, like walking and circuit training.
  • People liked the variety of color schemes that were available for this running shoe, stating that the options were pleasing to the eyes.
  • Several users recognized the value of the shoe considering its build and features.
  • The price of the Nike Downshifter 7 was affordable, and people flocked to this shoe because of it.
  • Almost every consumer stated that the Nike Downshifter 7 had a sizing scheme that followed their preferences.
  • The width profile was welcomed for being snug yet unrestrictive.

3 reasons not to buy

  • A few of those who have tested the Nike Downshifter 7 expressed how narrow the shoe felt despite getting the shoe in their usual width.
  • A good number of reviews noted that this running shoe did not provide decent traction on wet surfaces.
  • Several users stated that the shoes are more for casual wear or light exercise, and not so much for running long distances or extreme training.

Bottom line

The Nike Downshifter 7 road running shoe was welcomed by a lot of shoe enthusiasts and novice runners. They were happy with this product’s affordable price and quality construction. The sizing scheme and width options were also given praise as they apparently adhered to people’s expectations. It accommodated the foot adequately and kept it comfortable, based on user feedback. On the other hand, some individuals felt that the in-shoe fit was narrow, that the wet-surface grip was dodgy, and that the overall construction wasn’t intended for hardcore workouts and runs.



A top rated Road running shoe
A top rated Nike running shoe
Top 6% most popular running shoes
Better rated than the previous version Nike Downshifter 5

Expert Reviews

87 / 100 based on 10 expert reviews

  • 94 / 100 |

    My thoughts on the Nike Downshifter 7

    More photos

    The reason why I bought the Nike Downshifter 7 was that everyone kept telling me that Nike has improved upon the previous release (Nike Downshifter 6) which I used earlier and really loved so I decided to buy, test and review the 7th.

    Do these shoes meet the expectations which everyone was talking about or are these shoes just overpraised? Let's find out!



    The midsole of Nike Downshifter 7 is so designed that it adds up to shoes already comfortable design.

    The midsole used in Nike downshifter 7 is made up of lightweight Phylon material that helps the midsole to bounce back and respond to the pressure that is going to be placed on it with day to day usage,but on top of this property and comfort provided by phylon material, it also protects the users' foot from injury due its ability to conform to the shape of the foot.



    After testing the outsole of Nike Downshifter 7, the only word I got in my mind is - Brilliant.

    Nike has used a mixture of hexagonal patterning to deliver a grip to last on a plenty of surfaces. In fact, the sole pattern comes in the shape of both outward and inward hexagons.



    The outsole is primarily from thick rubber. The outsole also has flex grooves that allow the shoe to bend to the will of the user's foot and provide comfort. But multiple deep ridges in the sole means the users had to deal with a materials getting lodged in it.


    Nike just kept the Nike Downshifter design nice and simple. The upper is made solely of mesh which provides shoe's air circulation and also a range of movement while in use.



    The toe box has an aerodynamic look and can feel restrictive when wearing the thick sock, keeping it aside the shoe looks durable and beautiful but if observed closely you can get a feeling of cheapness which you can expect from shoes of this price range.


    The shoe is designed to be very lightweight as Nike hasn't really added the shoe with any extra material other than the padding used inside and outside of the shoe.

    To give you a good idea about the weight of the shoe, the size 11 Nike downshifter 7 weighs 10 oz. This lightweight will help the user to run a greater length of time and distance as the strain going to be placed on the users' foot will be reduced.


    The Downshifter 7 is one comfortable shoe. The shoe has insoles made from an EVA(Ethylene-vinyl acetate) foam. This boosts that shoes' comfort level. The midsole is made up of phylon material which promotes comfort because of its lightweight nature.

    In easy words, its lightweight nature provides the user with a comfy experience as not much strain is placed on the foot of the user.


    The sole of the shoe is very responsive due to the material that it is made up of. The midsole is made of phylon material which gives it the overall bouncy ride during running.

    It has a rebounding quality that allows it to conform to the user's foot and reduce the pressure which user's foot going to face. The outsole is made up of a hardened rubber which helps the shoe to facilitate foot of the user.


    In my opinion, the Downshifter 7 are made with keeping flexibility and ease of use in mind. These shoes are provided with flex grooves throughout the sole of the shoe to give it the ability to bend to the user's will without placing any kind of strain on the user's foot.

    As mentioned above the upper of the shoe is fully made of mesh, it allows the shoe to bend on the will of the user.


    The sole of Downshifter 7 works pretty well on a variety of surfaces. The hexagonal patterning in the outsole of the shoes provides it the traction delivering abilities. The grip provided by the outsole is perfect for activities like long distance running or sprinting.


    • Modern and sleek design
    • Great comfort
    • Lightweight
    • Low pricing


    • The different material gets caught in deep ridges on the outsole
    • Not very good shoes for wet terrains


    The Nike Downshifter 7 is a very decent overall shoe. It provides support, extreme comfort and the best thing is that it doesn't hurt your pocket even a little bit.

    Considering all these factors, one can say Nike downshifter 7 is not a bad purchase and can be purchased without any hesitation.

  • 86 / 100 | Runnerlight | | Level 4 expert

    The Nike Downshifter 7 is guaranteed to provide great cushioning, sweat-free interior and smooth ride experience to ensure your foot’s comfort and your performance efficiency.

  • 94 / 100 | The Gear Hunt | | Level 1 expert

    The Nike Downshifter 7 has been flying off the shelves at a rapid pace due to a high volume of satisfied buyers. Not only is the running shoe set at a very affordable price, making it accessible to a wide consumer market, it is also a high-quality product. With innovative technological features such as the Pentagon-shaped Traction Nodes and the Flex Grooves on the outsole, it is no wonder this shoe is a favorite of so many runners. Majority of buyers agree it fits to size, however, a few felt it measured narrow. That being said the high level of comfort is met with a stylist minimalist design has left the majority highly satisfied. This versatile shoe is another great example of why so many people continually return to Nike for their purchases.

  • 92 / 100 | Amusing Outdoors | | Level 1 expert

    The nike downshifter 7 men’s running shoes are designed such that they can make your running sessions comfortable for you. Also, with so many features, there is no reason why you shouldn’t go for the shoes. These are simply one of the best running shoes which you can buy.

  • 90 / 100 | Soleracks | | Level 1 expert

    The Nike Downshifter 7 is a basic running shoe that is quite versatile, being great in day-to-day activities. Many have been buying these for work, especially the all black or white versions. The reviews have been quite impressive and considering how lightweight and comfortable they are, I am not surprised. I will certainly stick with wearing these for light exercises and casual wear, where I think I get the best out of them.

Become an expert

  • The Nike Downshifter 7 is a neutral road running shoe that incorporates major design updates from its predecessor. The overall design and structure were overhauled to give the shoe a more modern aesthetic.
  • The toe box appears more elongated and tapered. The upper’s textile overlay has been redesigned for better breathability and support for the sides of the feet without compromising on air circulation. The trademark Nike Swoosh has been embedded on the lateral sides of the overlay making it look flat and stamped on.
  • Now labeled with “Nike Running,” the Nike Downshifter 7’s midsole design has also been updated, catering to its length and modern look. The midsole is made of Phylon material which stretches the shoe’s full-length. Phylon is a material made up of EVA foam pellets that have been compressed, heat expanded and then molded. It is lightweight, responsive, and is 30% lighter than many of the regular foam materials.
  • More flex grooves were introduced to the full-length rubber outsole, refining the traction and grip delivered by the 7th version of the Nike Downshifter.

The Nike Downshifter 7 is available in standard shoe sizes for both men and women so those who desire a pair can use their usual sizing expectations when purchasing. When it comes to width, the options that are available are D – Medium for men and B – Medium for women. Those who have medium foot volumes can enjoy a snug yet unrestricted in-shoe wrap. The semi-curved structure of the shoe-last welcomes the inherent curvature of the human foot.

The outsole unit of the Nike Downshifter 7 is made up of a durable rubber compound. This full-length layer serves as a means of protecting the midsole from the abrasive nature of the asphalt. It is also responsible for doling out traction to complement precise movements and ground control.

Pentagonal traction nodes pockmark the external pad. These protrusions help in the heightening of surface grip, particularly when it comes to brakes, turns, and swerves.

More flex grooves can be found on the outsole of this version compared to the previous one. These grooves allow the sole unit to be more flexible and the foot to move more naturally. This results in a smoother heel to toe transition. There are also flex grooves found on the outsole of other popular running shoes from Nike like the Zoom Strike 2.

Lightweight Phylon material makes up the entire midsole of the Downshifter 7. This material aims to provide the right amount of cushioning for the foot. The characteristic responsiveness of the Nike Phylon compound causes an extra spring to accompany every step.

A cushioned insole is placed on top of the primary platform. This add-on is made of ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), which is an industry-standard material that is soft yet durable. It puts some more volume to the underfoot experience, ensuring extra comfort throughout the run. It can be removed or replaced with a new one.

A single-layer open mesh serves as the upper unit of the Nike Downshifter 7. This material offers breathability and security. While the former can be appreciated via the ventilation holes that fill its façade, the latter is emphasized through its interlocked weave and multilayered construction.

No-sew saddles are placed on the lateral and medial sides of this running shoe, and they’re meant to help the rest of the upper to keep the foot in place.

Flat shoelaces go through eyelets on the tips of the saddles. These strands allow for the custom adjustment of the fit, giving a snug or loose hug that follows the preference of the wearer.

The padded tongue and collar add to the shoe’s fit and comfort. The fabric lining is moderately plush, hugging the foot in just the right amount. The moderate plushness prevents the shoe from accidentally coming off while also helping with steadiness when walking or running.

Under Armour Dash RN 2

Similar to the Nike Downshifter 7, the Under Armour Dash RN 2 is a neutral running shoe that’s designed for those who want to take to the roads with confidence and ease. It is not the most modern-looking road companion in the market, but it’s undoubtedly beloved. People have claimed that the underfoot experience was ‘super comfortable’ and that the upper was able to provide a secure yet unrestricted coverage. While the midsole and outsole feature the standard accoutrements, the upper employs a multi-layered approach, with stitched overlays covering a silhouette of lining, padding and breathable exterior mesh. The Nike Downshifter 7 isn’t the only no-nonsense neutral runner; Under Armour’s offering is equally precise in its performance and features yet its price isn’t costly.

Skechers GOrun 600

Skechers is a company that always mixes style with performance. Their range of running shoes has always been colorful and highly fashionable. The GOrun 600, like the Downshifter 7 model, retains that distinction as it has a sneaker-like look. The relatively generous cushioning system is the one that lets it lean towards the category of performance. When it comes to user feedback, this product enjoyed a bevy of praise for being comfortable and highly responsive to movements. People also confirmed its chic cover system. One could say that it’s a shoe that anyone can use for any occasion or activity and still look trendy while doing it.

Nike Revolution 4

The Downshifter 7’s family, the Downshifter series, isn’t the only set of Nike products that’s lauded for being affordable yet highly efficient. One series that enjoys equal praise is the Revolution. This roster of relatively new road shoes utilize components and features that are typical (EVA midsole, engineered outsole, breathable upper), yet they flaunt them with style. The most famous iteration is the Nike Revolution 4 as it’s believed to have a construction that’s similar to many Nike shoes with higher price points. It apparently moved the Revolution name upward to premier status without sacrificing consistency in quality and affordability.

Puma Carson 2 X Knit

Puma has wholly turned their line of running shoes into fashion-forward implementations. Almost all of their offerings have façades that resemble the street-ready footwear of this age. Taking cues from Nike and its modern incarnations such as the Downshifter 7, the Puma Carson 2 X Knit is an example of this new-age trend by Puma. This neutral shoe employs a knitted silhouette with a one-piece opening and thin prints as overlays. This minimalist approach extends to its platform as it only uses ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) to serve as both its midsole and outsole. While it doesn’t have a lot of features, it makes up for it by being durable and eye-catching, thus paving its way as a companion for urban adventurers and neophyte runners.

Reebok Print Run 3.0

The Print Run 3.0 looks like a regular running shoe for neutral runners and minimalist footwear aficionados (a description that also graces the Nike Downshifter 7). It has an upfront design that isn’t marred by extra frills. Its upper is cloth-like and stretchy, and its midsole looks like the typical cushioning compound. But this road shoe has been created to accommodate the natural shape and movement capacity of the foot, taking into account the biomechanics involved to get excellent performance. Fundamentally, the Print Run 3.0’s midsole has been formed using 3D-mapping technology to accentuate the curved outline and bending capacity of the human foot. It aims to feel like it’s specifically made for each individual runner, thereby encouraging confidence and improved performance. The upper’s form-hugging textile and the outsole’s flex grooves & traction patterns supplement this biomechanical motivation.

Nike isn’t the only company that contributes to the roster of cheap running shoes that are on the market. In fact, many of its rivals also have options that are not very costly.

Adidas is such a company that has many shoes in its stable and some of their prominent models that have similar build-quality include the Duramo series. This group of shoes is praised for its high-quality design and agreeable performance. But the Duramos were also lauded because they didn’t have hefty price tags.

The Adidas Duramo 7 is arguably the model in the Duramo line that has received the highest regard, with a protective outsole layer that’s able to stave off abrasion, and an upper laden with breathable mesh and no-sew overlays. It even has a counterpart that’s made for the trails, the Adidas Duramo 7 ATR. The 8th iteration of the Duramo model seems to act as a throwback to the classic designs of running shoes from the 2000s, with a wraparound panel stitched onto its façade, covering the sides and the heel like a flexible armor. The Adidas Duramo 9 is the iteration in the series that looks the most unique. Its aesthetics have moved beyond its antecedents; the façade uses dual-layer mesh for durability and security, yet the sparing use of printed and stitched overlays highlight its move towards minimalistic visuals.

Another series of road shoes that is friendly to the user and the wallet is the Gel Excite from Asics. This set of running shoes features a classically sporty look, with multilayered mesh and stitched overlays adorning the uppers. Each iteration has its name emblazoned on the lateral size to assist in name recognition. A highly revered model in this line is the Gel Excite 3. This product utilizes a lot of Asics technologies that are meant to heighten the performance on the roads: the durable AHAR+ rubber outsole, a Gel® shock-attenuating piece in the heel, and the airflow-accommodating yet sturdy mesh façade. The 4th iteration of the Asics Gel Excite opens up the forefoot section of the silhouette to accommodate more air into the foot-chamber. Moreover, its midsole has been modified to be lighter than the one used for its predecessor.

Saucony’s Cohesion series also loves the traditional use of stitched overlays. These separate layers that have been sewn onto the mesh help in bolstering structural integrity and enabling a secure and steady in-shoe coverage. The midfoot and heel sections are the ones that get much focus because they’re usually the delicate parts of the foot’s anatomy. The most significant difference between iterations—especially the more recent ones—lies within their midsole compounds. Standard EVA was used up to the Cohesion 10, but new compounds were implemented in the Cohesion 11 (Heel Grid and REACT2U memory foam) and the Cohesion 12 (full-length GRID base and highly responsive VERSAFOAM topsole) to explore new levels of comfort and versatility in performance.

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.