10 Best Nike Sneakers in 2021

Sheena
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Looking for the best Nike sneakers can be downright grueling given the dozens, or should we say hundreds of options. Well, fret not because we’re here to back you up.

Whether you’re on the lookout for the cheapest Nike finds, the most iconic, or the best one of them all, we’ve got it all here. 

Of course, we have to thoroughly review and assess each one - 100+ Nike sneakers and counting - before we can really tell if they’re worthy of your time and money.

How we test the best Nike sneakers

Nike is among the global brands known for their dope marketing campaigns, but who cares about that? What we intend to give you here is a list of top-rated Nike kicks based on unbiased user reviews: 

  • We made sure that our top picks are backed up by actual reviews and wear tests. 
  • To make our reviews more comprehensive, we went the extra mile by collecting thousands of user reviews for Nike sneakers.
  • In the end, each shoe gets a CoreScore ranging from 0-100. The higher score means that it performed better on our wear tests and is more liked by the users.

Best overall

When Nike released the Air Max 270, we just had to try it! And it’s a good thing we did because now all we want is to keep these on our feet all day, every day. It’s simply that good!

Unlike all the other Air Max sneakers, this one is made specifically for casual use. And since it's engineered as a daily beater, the Swoosh brand made sure these sneaks are as comfy as a pair of slippers. 

Have you seen its Air-filled outsole? Well, yes it’s huge! A bit intimidating, right? But it’s there to give you twice the comfort that other AM kicks offer. And don’t worry about popping these humongous Air bubbles. These are actually quite durable.

Some of you might think that the soles will weigh you down. That’s where you are wrong! We tried it and though the soles are chunky, these are lighter than they look. Definitely a plus in our books.

Now, apart from hugging your feet in pillowy comfort, the Nike Air Max 270 is also here to keep your feet feeling cool and sweat-free. Its perforated mesh upper is truly breathable. And, if you're worried about dirt going in your shoe, don’t be! This one is lined with a refined mesh to keep dust and dirt at bay. 

So, are they worth it? They indeed are! We’re willing to buy this even at its MSRP of $150 just to enjoy its sporty, chunky style and extreme coziness. A real keeper, for us this one is the best among the best.

See our full review and facts

How come a kick that’s been around since the 1990s is still part of this year’s best Nike sneakers? Well, it’s clear that this old soul maintained its charm. It can’t be helped! Nike Air Max 97 continues to captivate us.

This old-timer may not have a gigantic sole like those found in the newer models, but its retro, dad looks make this truly timeless. Something you’d want to get your hands on each time a new colorway is released. 

And just like the old days, the Air Max 97 has maintained its cozy in-shoe feel. Just make sure to find the right size because this one fits a bit on the wider side. Once you do get the sizing right, you’re in for a treat. 

We’ll be honest. This one is not as comfy as the AM 270. It also took a few hours to break in. But despite this, its full-length Air Sole cushioning is enough to let us do our thing 24/7 without feeling any pain.  

Apart from its homey confines and timeless appeal, dressing this up is easy! The best way to go is to keep everything simple so that the shoes take center stage. Just brace yourself, because you're in for a lot of attention. After all, this classic won’t make it second best if it isn’t hot, cool, and in demand.

See our full review and facts

Best icon

After over 30 years, the Nike Air Max 90 is still on the shelves. And it’s not even accumulating any dust! In fact, it’s sold out every time a new colorway is released. And when it got re-released, we just had to get our hands on it.

True, we had a hard time picking the best colorway because there are just so many to choose from. We ended up getting something monochromatic and we didn’t look back. It may not be as fancy as the red ones but it is still able to stand out on its own with minimal effort.

And since it's a 90s classic, it’s a statement shoe through and through. People can’t get past you without looking at these timeless kicks. 

One major disappointment, though, is its comfort level. Nike could have done its magic by making it extra cushy. But, I guess the few aches are all worth it given its undying retro charm. 

Oh, and before we forget. Did we mention that this kick is uber-durable?! For just $120, you get an iconic Air Max sneaker that is made to endure anything. We found a few out-of-place seams, but this didn’t matter after this kick’s suede/mesh upper endured all the “wear-and-tear” tests. 

As a bonus, since you’d be wearing this for a long time, you won’t have to worry about the AM 90 losing its charm. After all, it lasted for 30 years. What’re another few years with these bad boys? 

See our full review and facts

If you’re looking for the next best iconic Nike kick out there, then have a looksy at Nike’s Air Force 1 07. Or maybe you don’t have to since you’ve probably seen this everywhere. Anyway, if you’re a diehard Nike fan, your shoe collection wouldn’t be complete without this pair of sneaks.

Born in 2007 with the same style and construction as the original AF1s, the brand just made a few tiny tweaks here and there. The most apparent is the dubrae or the silver thingy on the shoelaces that adds a nice touch to the overall look of the shoe.  

Looks aside, the AF1 07 did not fail to impress us with its cool and cozy interior. True, this does not have the modern tech that other top-rated sneaks have. But despite this, it remained comfortable over the years. 

What’s more, it’s oh so sturdy! We’ve had ours for a couple of months and it still looks new!

One let down, though, is its weighty outsole. Yes, it’s durable but it could have lost a few pounds. Even so, we’re not here to complain. After all, this is a retro shoe that stuck with us for over 10 years. A few extra pounds wouldn’t hurt!

Oh, one last thing! If your feet are a bit wide, this won’t disappoint. Its toe box is roomy enough to allow broad-footed sneaker addicts to walk in comfort minus the pinching (something you often find in narrower build kicks). 

See our full review and facts

Best mid-top

Nike Air Force 1 Mid
Nike Air Force 1 Mid Nike Air Force 1 Mid
Men
Women

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Top pick

If for you high tops are just too edgy and low tops are just so common, your best bet is to try on some mid-tops. And for us, the best Nike mid-top is the Air Force 1 Mid. 

This shoe wouldn’t be named Air Force 1 if it didn’t provide high-class style and performance. We’ve used this everywhere - from running errands to workouts and long walks - and this one did not disappoint. 

Yeah, it’s true. This isn’t as comfy as your Nike Epic React Flyknit. And, yes it’s old school. But that is where its allure lies. 

A retro kick from inside out, this 90s sneaker brags its classic look that never goes out of style. And while it’s not as cushy as your regular walking shoes, this kick won’t leave you with sore feet after a day full of activities. 

Apart from that, this one can take a beating. Its leather does crease after a few uses, but we don’t really mind. What we do enjoy about this shoe is that it’s mighty durable. 

Not just that, since it’s a mid-top it offers just the right amount of ankle support. Yes, it takes time to slip this on and off, but that was already a given. 

And oh, by the way, it’s also worth mentioning that this one won’t leave your feet sweaty and hot. Although it's made with leather, the holes in front kept our feet cool and dry.  

Ain’t it obvious? We love this kick and we think you’ll like it too! If you’re still second-guessing, its reasonable price tag might just make you change your mind. 

See our full review and facts

On the lookout for a mid-top Nike kick that is clean and sleek? Then the Nike Blazer Mid 77 fits the bill.

This one ain’t as puffy as the mid-top version of the AF1 but it remains retro and on-trend at the same time, all thanks to its hard-to-miss b-ball inspired styling and heritage Swoosh design. 

Born in 1972, this basketball kick-turned skate sneaker soon turned into a staple casual shoe. Curious to find out what the fuss was all about, we just had to get one to try it out. And, we haven't had any regrets since then!

For one thing, we can’t help staring at this shoe’s straightforward look and quality craftsmanship. Everything was just on point! 

And mind you, that’s not all! The Nike Blazer Mid 77 also didn’t skimp on comfort, support, and durability. This one is one supportive, hard-wearing sneak that can keep your tootsies cozy all throughout the day. 

If we had one complaint, it would be its tight fit. Yes, it has a narrow build that can feel a bit restrictive, especially if you have broad feet. This is quite minor, though. If you want this shoe real bad (as we did), then you can simply size up. Easy fix, right?

See our full review and facts

Best futuristic style

We thought that the Nike AM 270 was already massive, but the release of the Nike Air Max 720 proved us wrong! And since we’re true blue sneaker nerds through and through, we just had to try this one out for ourselves. 

Like the Air Max 270, this one isn’t made for running (but is there a Nike Air Max that’s actually engineered for the sport?) Anyway, jokes aside, we all know that Air Max shoes are known for their pillowy Air-sole cushioning. And since nowadays, bigger is better, the Swoosh was not teasing when it made a shoe with an Air bubble that’s 38 mm tall.

Yes, it’s that huge! And given its size, we actually felt like we were floating on air (which we were literally). However, we have to say that there’s a downside to it. Since the heel part is that high, our feet slid to the front end. Look way past that, though, and you’d still enjoy a comfy ride.

Now, another thing you can look forward to if you decide to cop a pair is this shoe's airy interior and sturdy and eco-friendly construction. 

We settled for the grey jersey mesh-made version (though there are lots of materials and colors to choose from). Given the material, breathability was a given. However, we thought that it would easily rip. But low and behold, it didn’t! In fact, the power drill didn’t inflict much damage. 

Overall, we think this kick’s future is looking bright and it seems like another classic has been made.

See our full review and facts

The future is truly unpredictable, but when it comes to shoes, Nike seems to have a clear-cut image. Enter: Nike React Vision.

Unlike the AM720 which boasts its enormous Air sole, the Nike React Vision kept things a bit subtle size-wise. But knowing the Swoosh brand, they didn’t fail to make the sole on these kicks stick out. 

So, if you’re someone who has an eye for the spotlight, then this shoe is for you. Apart from its unique and chunky React sole, the Nike React Vision also comes in striking hues and color combinations (think fuchsia pink and orange). Not a fan of striking colorways? Worry not because neutral colors are also obtainable.

Of course, apart from looks, you’d want to know if this one is comfy. The short answer here is YES. It isn’t perfect, though, since heel slips may happen from time to time. 

However, given all the good stuff and attention this shoe will give you, you’d be glad to find out that the $140 you’ll probably spend on these bad boys is well worth it.  

See our full review and facts

Best budget shoe

Want to get quality kicks for less? We have that here and if you want to know which one is the best - the answer is Nike Tanjun.

If you’re a sneakerhead, for sure you’ve already heard about this since this was once among the most sought-after kicks. Released in 2015, people love this for its sporty, clean look and airy construction. After over 5 years, this shoe is no longer among the top-rated. For us though, it’s still worthy of attention given its affordable price tag.

Apart from being budget-friendly, the Nike Tanjun kept its style and performance intact. If you’re the active, outdoorsy type, you’ll surely go gaga over this kick. Long walks and runs are much more bearable with these kicks on. I guess that’s why many loved this shoe back in the day.

At first, expect this to feel a bit tight on the toe box. But, don’t fret. Give it some time and it will loosen up. Once it has adjusted to the shape of your feet, you won’t be turning back. 

It offers a comfy, snug fit like you’re wearing a pair of socks. It’s light too! And apart from that, it’s so airy! The scorching summer heat poses no problems with these sneaks!

See our full review and facts

If you’re a Nike sneaker addict who is on a tight budget, then consider checking out the Nike Court Vision Low. Why? Well, this shoe does not only ooze with heritage Nike detailing but it is also affordable!

For only $65, we got to experience its minimalist, sporty style. Not just that, it’s something you can mix and match with any type of clothing. Simply put, you won’t have to buy a new set of wardrobe to match these kicks. 

Now, you might think that the Court Vision Low might not be comfy given its price. But, that’s where you are wrong! Its leather upper may not be as plush as other leather Nike kicks, but these will surely get you going day in and day out minus sore feet.  

Be aware though that the leather on these kicks tends to crease after a couple of uses. You might need to break it in for a few hours or days, but don’t worry. It’s all worth it! At the end of the day, you get to enjoy stress-free strides and a couple of compliments here and there for only $65 or even less.

See our full review and facts

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Author
Sheena
Sheena

Sheena is a wordsmith turned sneaker addict. Her sneaker fixation intensified as her passion for writing grew. A hands-on mom of two sweet yet spunky kids (plus three dogs and two cats), she finds solitude in leafing through shoe catalogs to find the next "it" sneaker. Scrutinizing hugely popular and underrated kicks is her favorite pastime.