7 Best Nike Running Shoes For Women, 100+ Shoes Tested in 2023

Jovana Subic
Jovana Subic on
7 Best Nike Running Shoes For Women, 100+ Shoes Tested in 2023

Nike running shoes, in general, remain legends in the running world. Whether it's a daily trainer, tempo speedster, or race-day shoe, they’re all set for performance. 

In this list, we’ve gathered the best of the best among the Nike running shoes for women. We’ve tested and selected top models from various categories to cater to all runners.

How we test running shoes

We don’t randomly choose the women’s Nike running shoes that make the cut. We want a data-driven decision which is why we’ve invested in our independent RunRepeat shoe testing lab. 

Each shoe on this list has been carefully examined, following these processes: 

  • Purchasing them with our own money 
  • Running in each model for at least 30-50 miles
  • Cutting them to pieces
  • Measure every part of the shoe in 30 different parameters
  • Calculate their CoreScore via combination of expert and user reviews

Best Nike running shoes overall for women

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38

CoreScore

87
Great!
4.4 / 5 from 9,878 users
87 / 100 from 23 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

Like every other runner, we love the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus. And in its 38th edition, it only gets better. 

The Nike Peg is THE workhorse among all workhorses. It’s comfortable and supportive during easy days. It can eat up miles and pick up the pace. And if you want to hit the gym, or go for a walk around town, it can do the job. 

The real star of the show is the shoe’s cushion. It’s the perfect blend of responsiveness and comfort. In our lab test, we gathered that it’s 18% softer than average midsoles. To create a peppy ride, it’s aided with the Zoom Air units. 

Nikes tend to be narrow, but not the Peg 38. It’s roomier in the front. Even better, it’s got a gusseted tongue to make lockdown a thousand percent better. 

It wouldn’t be a true Pegasus without its hallmark of durability. After 30 miles of rough wear testing, it barely has any scratch. 

For only $120, the Nike Pegasus 38 is the archetype of great value. It’s second to none as a workhorse. And of all the Nike shoes we’ve tested, nothing comes close to the Peg.

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 full review

Best women's Nike running shoes for race

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% 2
Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% 2

CoreScore

90
Superb!
4.5 / 5 from 708 users
90 / 100 from 21 experts

Pros

  • Insanely lightweight
  • Very breathable
  • Bouncy
  • Responsive
  • FAST
  • No break-in period needed
  • Good grip on dry surfaces

Cons

  • Not ideal for wide feet
  • Unstable
  • Forefoot strikers only

Verdict

Want to set record-breaking PBs? Of all the racers we’ve tried from Nike, the ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% 2 is the absolute best. 

With its combination of a snappy carbon-fiber plate and extremely responsive ZoomX foam, the Vaporfly will launch you forward. And like a true speedster, it kept us up on our toes, powering a propulsive ride. 

Of course, it wouldn’t be a full-fledged speed devil without lightness. In the entire history of running shoes, the Nike Vaporfly NEXT% 2 remains one of the lightest. 

At 6.9 oz, it’s not only light on paper. It’s also unbelievably light on foot. It felt like we had nothing on. 

Overall, the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% 2 is not just the best racer among Nike shoes. It’s among the best of the best in the world of racing flats.

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% 2 full review

Best women's Nike running shoes for trail

Nike Pegasus Trail 3
Nike Pegasus Trail 3

CoreScore

88
Great!
4.4 / 5 from 1,008 users
88 / 100 from 16 experts

Pros

  • Soft, bouncy ride
  • Very comfortable
  • True to size
  • Wide for a Nike
  • Wide loop on heel
  • Built to last
  • Reflective swoosh
  • Killer grip on dry trails

Cons

  • Not grippy in wet
  • Runs warm

Verdict

We can’t get enough of the Nike Pegasus series, we needed one for the trails. And if we had to choose the cream of the crop, the Nike Pegasus Trail 3 is a no-brainer. 

What stood out to us was the shoe’s unmatched comfort. It didn’t feel like a trail shoe at all. It’s cushiness could almost pass as a road shoe. Even better, it’s one heck of a stable runner. 

With a wide base (116mm in the forefoot and 92.6mm in the heel), it’s hard to lose your step in the Peg Trail 3. 

Like a true Pegasus, it’s built tough. With its solid outsole (86HC hard vs. the average 79.2HC), it can take a beating. We’re even confident it can go beyond 500 miles. 

And if you don’t want to switch gears for your walks in the park, you can rely on this shoe. 

Ultimately, the Nike Pegasus Trail 3 breaks the mold of stiff trail runners. Even better, it retains the tried-and-true features of the Pegasus that will definitely up your running performance.

Nike Pegasus Trail 3 full review

Best Nike road running shoes for women

Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next%
Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next%

CoreScore

89
Great!
4.3 / 5 from 674 users
93 / 100 from 19 experts

Pros

  • True to size
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Bouncy and responsive ride
  • Breathable
  • Carbon-plated
  • Excellent grip

Cons

  • Not made for high mileage
  • Unstable platform
  • Feels tight in the midfoot

Verdict

The Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% is a race shoe that made us zoom through the streets! It's fast, bouncy, and light and - it's everything speed-ready. With its steep price, it's exclusively for runners who only care about beating PBs and nothing else. For a race shoe, it's surprisingly cushy. During landing, our feet felt like they were stepping on marshmallows!
Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% full review

Best women's Nike running shoes for speedwork

Nike Air Zoom Tempo Next%
Nike Air Zoom Tempo Next%

CoreScore

84
Good!
4.1 / 5 from 1,379 users
89 / 100 from 26 experts

Pros

  • True to size
  • Fast
  • No break-in period
  • Super breathable paper-thin upper
  • Remarkable durability
  • Very comfortable
  • Sleek design
  • Pushes you forward
  • Best for fast long runs (~10 miles)

Cons

  • Unstable at sharp turns
  • Not for slow runs at all
  • Poor traction on wet surfaces

Verdict

The Nike Air Zoom Tempo Next% isn’t just fast. It made us go the distance. 

Although it’s made for speed, it’s not dense and uncomfortable. We didn’t even have to break it in. When we laced it up, we clocked up 13 miles in one session! Even more, our feet and legs didn’t need recovery after. 

And with its thin upper, our feet remained cool and dry. Even after serious miles, they never ended up sweaty or wet. We enjoyed every bit of the breezy feel in the Tempo Next%. 

Speed is owed to the shoe’s springy cushion. Its bounce made our strides come to life, making it easy to push the pace. 

Everything about the Nike Tempo Next% is built for the long haul. It can run high-mileage efforts and it can last a long time. After 100 miles of hammering, the shoe remains free from wear and tear.

Nike Air Zoom Tempo Next% full review

Best value Nike running shoes for women

Nike Air Zoom Winflo 8
Nike Air Zoom Winflo 8

CoreScore

81
Good!
4.3 / 5 from 1,679 users
78 / 100 from 4 experts

Pros

  • Comfortable upper
  • Breathable
  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • Good traction
  • Awesome colorways
  • Could be a great gym/ casual shoe

Cons

  • Not very cushioned
  • Too heavy/clunky for speed work
  • Laces are pretty short

Verdict

For only $90, the Nike Air Zoom Winflo 8 doesn’t cut corners on comfort. What’s more is it’s got the makings of the advanced running shoes on the market. 

Its foam is so plush and cushy, our feet and legs never felt beat up even after logging serious miles on the road. We can even wear it all day long. 

When faced with sharp turns, the Winflo keeps each stride steady and anchored. Even better, it can go far. 

It’s so light, you don’t have to push it. And it’s breathable too. Even under 80-degree weather, it remained airy. 

It may not have a lot of frills, but the Nike Air Zoom Winflo 8 is ready to take the streets. It's sleek and simple style is enough to catch attention from lookers.

Nike Air Zoom Winflo 8 full review
Author
Jovana Subic
Jovana Subic

Whether it's a vertical kilometre or an ultra, climbing in the Alps or exploring local mountains, Jovana uses every opportunity to trade walls and concrete for forests and trails. She logs at least 10h/week on trails, with no off-season, and 4x more on research on running and running shoes. With a background in physics and engineering management, she prefers her running spiced with data.