9 Best Nike Road Running Shoes in 2022

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
9 Best Nike Road Running Shoes in 2022

Majority of Nike running shoes available in the market today are designed for road runners. Thus, buying the perfect pair that suits one’s training and racing needs can be pretty overwhelming to some, especially for those who have just started running.

In order to provide you with our best picks for your browsing convenience, we have tested almost 200 Nike road running shoes in the lab and on a variety of road tests and selected the top-rated models for different categories.

If you only want the best value for your money, head on to see our fantastic selections of highly-rated road running shoes from a versatile trainer and a budget-friendly pair to a performance-boosting speed and racing option.

How we test road running shoes

Each model of shoe has to earn its spot on this list after a rigorous process. To keep this guide comprehensive and bias-free, we make sure to:

  • Purchase all the shoes from Nike from our own pocket
  • Run in them for at least 30 to 50 miles and keep a record of our impressions
  • Cut each pair open in our shoe testing lab to closely check its essential parts  
  • Measure 30+ parameters using our calipers, durometers, weighing scales, et cetera
  • Collect useful information from shoe experts and actual users and reduce everything to a summary format

To see how one pair of shoes stacks up against other models, we input all comparable data into our CoreScore system. This enables us to get the overall rating of a particular shoe, ranging from 0 to 100. This helps us select the top picks in each different category.

Best Nike road running shoes overall

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38
Top pick

Corescore

86
Great!
4.3 / 5 from 2,510 users
88 / 100 from 21 experts

Pros

  • Wider than Pegasus 37
  • Very stable ride
  • Peppy toe-off
  • Hugs your feet 
  • Padded upper
  • Very durable (400-500miles)
  • Grippy even on dirt roads
  • Legit workhorse
  • Doubles as a gym shoe
  • A joy to run in

Cons

  • Runs warm
  • Above-average weight

Verdict

If there's one thing we can't take away from the Pegasus 38, it's that it's the GOAT of all workhorse shoes in our arsenal! It oozes with plushness, stability, and pop. It can do slow days, tempo sessions, and even gym workouts. If you want a fun ride, take the Pegasus 38!
See our full review and facts
Nike Zoom Fly 4
Nike Zoom Fly 4
Also great

Corescore

87
Great!
4.4 / 5 from 111 users
84 / 100 from 9 experts

Pros

  • Rockered toe design
  • Propulsive  
  • Breathable
  • Affordable for carbon-plated shoe
  • Sock-like fit
  • Large heel-loop
  • True to size
  • Feels like more stable Vaporfly
  • Snug and secure fit
  • Perfect for carbon newbies

Cons

  • Stiff
  • Unstable at slower speeds
  • Grippy on dry road only

Verdict

Zoom Fly 4 feels like a Vaporfly but it's more durable and designed for everyday speed training. Finally a shoe that can go fast often! And with a price point way below its carbon-plated competitors, what's not to love!
See our full review and facts

Best Nike neutral road running shoes

Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2
Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2
Top pick

Corescore

87
Great!
4.3 / 5 from 1,697 users
89 / 100 from 19 experts

Pros

  • Exceptional flywire lacing
  • Soft & cushioned ride
  • Great for heavier runners
  • Incredible grip (road)
  • Very breathable
  • Padded heel collar
  • No heel slipping
  • True to size
  • Durable 

Cons

  • Tongue rips apart
  • Lacks pop for tempo runs
  • Slippery on snow and ice

Verdict

In the Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2, our feet just felt locked in place! And even after rough wear testing, this daily trainer proved itself a durable shoe. It's loaded with lots of cushion that's not too soft nor too rigid, making it supportive and ideal for heavy runners. As a daily running shoe, it sticks to what it's designed to do - it's not going to make you run fast, but it does offer a smooth, easy ride.
See our full review and facts
Nike Quest 4
Nike Quest 4
Also great

Corescore

74
Bad!
4.1 / 5 from 189 users
N/A

Pros

  • True to size
  • Wider than other Nikes
  • Breathable
  • Durable
  • Very affordable 
  • Grippy thanks to mini lugs
  • Sleek modern looks
  • Great, secure fit
  • Outstanding weight

Cons

  • Not a springy ride
  • Short runs only

Verdict

Nike Quest 4 fills a niche with a trendy-looking shoe at a bargain price. If you desire that Nike swoosh and have less than $80 in your pocket there aren’t many options, but surprisingly this stylish trainer fits the bill! You can use it for easy short runs and enjoy it's lightness and crazy good grip.
See our full review and facts

Best value Nike road running shoes

Nike Free Run 5.0
Nike Free Run 5.0
Top pick

Corescore

83
Good!
4.3 / 5 from 12,271 users
86 / 100 from 1 experts

Pros

  • Insane lightness
  • Glove-like fit
  • Heel loop
  • Easy lacing system
  • Super breathable 
  • True to size
  • Comfotable as an everyday slipper
  • Extremely flexible

Cons

  • Short runs only
  • Lack of proper outsole
  • Insole not removable

Verdict

Ah, the Nike Free Run… Calling this a running shoe is a stretch, but there’s still a vestige of folks out there in the minimalist fan group that likes the slipper-like feel of Nike’s long-running “Free” lineup. The 2021 update steers back toward a less bizarre-looking shoe than we saw in 2020 but continues with the ultralight and ultra-flexible design.
See our full review and facts
Nike Downshifter 11
Nike Downshifter 11
Also great

Corescore

82
Good!
4.4 / 5 from 3,064 users
79 / 100 from 3 experts

Pros

  • Wider fit
  • Lightweight
  • Super durable outsole
  • Breathable
  • True to size
  • Insanely good value
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Great for every day and gym

Cons

  • Entry-level feel
  • Firm underfoot

Verdict

With plenty of flex, a vented, breathable mesh upper, and a price tag at $60, the Nike Downshifter is a serious bargain for a daily trainer.
See our full review and facts
Author
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.