We spent 9.5 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

12 reasons to buy

  • Almost all, those with wide feet and consumers with foot problems included, were impressed with how comfortable this shoe fits.
  • Its simple yet stylish silhouette received heaps of praises from a good number of sneaker enthusiasts.
  • The low-top Air Presto Essential shoes gained a lot of recognition for its flexible, breathable and extremely light construction.
  • This sneaker does not need to be broken in as it felt soft out of the box, according to several users. Others even said that wearing this shoe felt like walking on pillows.
  • It is released in a wide array of colors including bright hues and neutral tones.
  • This casual shoe looked great with any outfit, noted by more than a handful of buyers.
  • A few said that this sneaker is easy to maintain.
  • Some were pleased that the Nike Air Presto Essential held up when worn for daily walking, traveling as well as light exercises and running.
  • Many perceived this as an excellent summer footwear.
  • The shoe is easy to slip on and off, not many advised.
  • Most were happy that this sneaker could be obtained effortlessly.
  • It is priced reasonably, according to a significant number.

7 reasons not to buy

  • More than a handful were disappointed that the shoe got damaged easily. After several weeks of usage, some revealed that the upper ripped. Others disclosed that the bottom wore out quickly. A few also mentioned that the plastic toe tip was prone to scratching and marks.
  • One buyer disliked the lacing system and thought this sneaker would look better without it.
  • Another user claimed that the arch on the Nike Air Presto Essential was exceptionally high and was not recommended for flat-footed consumers.
  • There was a limited number who informed that this sneaker lacked support and structure.
  • Some were unhappy that this model was only offered in full sizes.
  • This product fits a bit large, noted by not many purchasers.
  • The feet slid forward when walking in slight slopes, one wearer complained.

Bottom line

The Nike Air Presto Essential, a fuss-free version created especially for those who wish to keep things simple, came unannounced in the year 2016. Despite its sudden entry, it still caught the attention of numerous sneakerheads worldwide.

Flaunting a look almost identical to the original’s silhouette, the shoe continues to be desired for its unflashy yet fashion-forward aesthetics as well as its comfortable fit and feel. Not only that, but it is also well-liked for its versatility and affordable price point.

In spite of all the rave reviews, some questioned its durability, quality, and sizing. Despite the reported flaws, many remain satisfied with the product for the positive experience it can give its wearers. Pleased with its overall performance, others are even asking for more colorways to add to their collection.


  • Top

    Low Top

    Extremely popular sneakers because of their price range, versatility when it comes to style, and freedom of movement. Almost everyone is guaranteed to have low-top sneakers in their shoe rotation.

    Mid Top

    Mid-top sneakers extend toward the ankle for a little more support and hold. These lie somewhere in the middle between low-top and high-top sneakers in terms of usage and popularity.

    High Top

    Sneakers with collars that go above the ankles for optimal hold and support are some of the most sought-after models in lifestyle shoes. Most of these shoes take their roots from basketball and have easily or fashionably crossed to mainstream wear.

    Good to know

    Regardless of cut, it's always good to start with sneakers that can be worn for the daily grind, also called as "beaters" by some, as these are usually cheaper, easy to clean, and still gives that lifestyle "edge" before going for those wallet-thinning models.

  • Inspired from


    Sneakers dominantly take their heritage from running, basketball, skate, tennis, training, hiking, and football. Still retaining a few of their performance-based technologies, these sneakers have transcended their respective niches and have successfully and popularly transformed themselves as staples of fashion footwear.


    Sneakers designed for a laidback, "cool" vibe that is built for lifestyle wear right from the get-go.

    Good to know

    Brands are now blending elements of performance and casual appeal in basically every sneaker. One can hardly go wrong with a sports-inspired sneaker or a simple casual shoe.

  • Collection

    Good to know

    Shoes sharing the same inspiration, history, materials, or technologies are routinely assembled under one compilation for the convenience of those who may wish to categorize or label their own collection as such. The classic collections like the Adidas Originals, Air Max 1, Air Force 1, new balance classic sneakers, and the Classic Leather head the pack of frequently asked about collections.

  • Price
  • Special editions
Show more facts


Expert Reviews

Experts are sneaker fanatics, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

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Nike Air Presto Essential History

For the past years, the demand for lightweight footwear with a barefoot-like feel has radically increased. Stepping up in the game is the Nike Air Presto. Known for its ultimate fit and comfort, this shoe is arguably one of the most sought-after minimalist-styled athleisure shoe created by the brand.

This footwear was designed by Tobie Hatfield, brother of Tinker Hatfield, and a team of other creative talents. Its design concept was born in the year 1996 during a meeting in Korea. After receiving a shoe with a less-than-perfect fit, Hatfield was set to design a sneaker that allowed the foot to maneuver freely for a more natural ride and that gave slipper-like comfort.

In 2000, Hatfield’s vision finally took form. Making its first appearance during the Sydney Olympics, the Nike Air Presto, crafted with a stretchable yet highly-breathable material called the Spacer mesh and packed with the latest footwear tech, won the admiration of runners and sneaker fanatics alike.

This shoe, fittingly tagged as the”t-shirt for your foot” for its lightweight everyday comfort, was offered in 13 colorways. Each colorway had a short, quirky animated TV ad that played a huge role in putting the shoe into the mainstream, thus expanding its target market and elevating its popularity. And similar to a t-shirt, it was interestingly released in extra small to extra large sizes.

Aside from the ingenious marketing campaigns and odd sizing, how the shoe got its name is also amusing. Through crowdsourcing, the brand received over 300 name suggestions and the one that stood out the most was “Presto Magic.” A name very suitable for the shoe's seamless construction that -- "Presto!"-- fits like magic.

Throughout the years, a variety of editions have been released for this shoe all while maintaining its iconic shape intact. The Nike Air Presto Essential is among the more recent models. Making a preview in December 2015, it dropped without warning in the year 2016. Tagged as “Essential,” this version is expected to stray away from unnecessary gimmicks and unusual materials.

Nike Air Presto Essential Style

Keep things simple and clean with the low-top Air Presto Essential sneakers. Offered in neutral and vibrant hues, this humble sneaker is capable of kicking your style up a notch with its eye-catching silhouette. Its stylish looks go with a variety of sporty and casual outfits, baggy shorts, joggers, and jeans included.

Fit & Sizing

Made with a stretchy, breathable mesh highlighted by a TPU midfoot cage, a toe tip and an external heel counter, this shoe is capable of providing adaptive fit and all day comfort while offering necessary support. The carved out ankle dubbed as the “V-notch” reduces tension on the collar area and allows the upper to grow in length, thus improving the shoe's fit all the more.

The men's Air Presto Essential is known to fit true to size. Available only in men’s full sizes that range from 6-15, buyers with half sizes can consider getting a pair .5 smaller than their standard choice.

Notable Features

Aside from its recognizable bootie-like upper supported by a midfoot cage, the Nike Air Presto Essential is noticed even more for its “Swoosh” branded Air-infused Phylon midsole and its Duralon outsole with Waffle pattern and flex grooves. The former offering ultralight cushioning and reliable impact protection. The latter provides flexible and durable multi-directional traction.

Additional Info

  • The heel pull tab is added for quick and easy slip on/off.
  • The midfoot cage and heel counter double up as an eyestay for the shoe’s lacing system. This feature helps wearers achieve lockdown fit.
  • For branding, the “Swoosh” can be seen printed on the tongue and embroidered on the forefoot. It is also displayed with the “Air” callout on the heel.
  • On the medial side, the “Presto” wordmark can be seen engraved on the eyestay that is attached to the heel counter.
  • The five dots on the sole show that this shoe was initially created as part of the Alpha Project which is a Nike initiative launched in the late 1990’s. The program focused on creating the most technologically-advanced footwear products.
  • The Nike Air Presto was also one of the first shoes to use an upper with a digitally-printed design.