Summary

We spent 9.6 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

8 reasons to buy

  • Many runners lauded the versatility of the Nike Air Relentless 5 because they were able to use it for running and training.
  • According to a lot of consumers, the design and the color schemes of this model made it look fashionable.
  • A tester wrote that this running shoe was able to resist damage and wear; it withstood many scenarios and conditions, like running on pavement and in shallow mud, as well as workouts in the gym.
  • It felt suitably lightweight for a number of consumers.
  • The testers generally appreciated the Reslon mid-sole, which offered them plush underfoot cushioning.
  • The underfoot experience was generally comfortable, according to runners.
  • Many users stated that was true to its size and width.
  • Runners spoke well of its price, which, for them, was affordable.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Most of the complaints were about the sizing, which was ½ smaller than what runners were used to.
  • Some runners felt that this shoe was difficult to wear, because they had to loosen the lacing system about a few inches in order to easily place their feet into the foot-chamber.
  • A few noticed that the outsole rubber extension located at the tip of the forefoot peeled off after only a few uses.

Bottom line

The 5th version of the Nike Air Relentless gained positive reviews from a lot of runners. Many of them stated that they were able to use it for many types of activities in the urban landscape. They felt that it was very versatile in terms of function and purpose. Though some testers took note of some caveats, this road shoe still became popular among those with neutral running gaits.

Facts

Expert Reviews

  • First look | Shop Zappos |

    The bottom provides a Reslon midsole that delivers lasting plush.

  • First look | Shop Zappos |

    These awesome shoes are built for the neutral to underpronator who requires enhanced cushioning.

Become an expert
  • A smooth ride is what the 5th version of the Nike Air Relentless has to offer. Its mid-sole unit features high quality foam technologies, which offer responsible cushioning and shock absorption. The outsole even has a semi-curved design in its rear and front sections, which make each landing more agreeable and each toe-off more responsive.
  • The upper unit maintains breathability by using a mesh material that has an open construction. The limited use of stitched-on layers reduces the overall weight of the shoe and encourages the natural movement of the foot. A midfoot wrap locks the foot in place, thus adding support to the mid-foot area.
  • The inner fabric lining is soft and breathable. It facilitates a comfortable experience when wearing and removing the shoe. The seamless design of the inner sleeve doesn’t irritate the skin, thus effectively allowing the runner to wear it even without socks.
  • Rubber is placed across the entire length of the outsole. It protects the sole unit from wear and tear, and it delivers traction whenever it is needed. A crash rail on the lateral outsole takes in impact during contact with the ground and still delivers a smooth transition towards the mid-foot and the forefoot.

The Nike Air Relentless 5 is true to its size. It is available in a variety of sizes that follow the regular choices of runners. It has a medium width when it comes to its heel, mid-foot and forefoot sections. It can accommodate those with medium-sized feet.


The outsole unit uses a solid rubber material as its layer of protection against wear and tear. It effectively protects the rest of the sole unit from potential damage brought about by the abrasive nature of the roads. The Relentless 6 offers the same level of durability as it uses the same rubber material. 

The Waffle pattern of the outsole ensures that the runner is able to get the maximum amount of traction needed to control turns, breaks, ascents and descents. The outsole is a fairly sticky material that holds well onto the asphalt.


The Reslon mid-sole unit makes sure that the runner is able to receive lightweight cushioning at all times. It is responsive and it doesn’t hold back the natural movement of the foot.

A Nike Air unit is placed in the heel area. Made from a urethane plastic capsule that’s filled with pressurized gas, this unit provides cushioning and protection from impact shock. It compresses during heel striking, making the impact less appreciable. It then springs back into shape as it prepares itself for the succeeding impact.


The upper unit makes use of a mesh material that delivers breathable, comfortable and secure coverage. The fabric used for the upper is of high quality, so it doesn’t tear off easily. Synthetic overlays support the structure of the unit, making sure that it doesn’t lose its form even after multiple uses.

A Midfoot Support System is a set of fabric laces that are connected to the lacing system. When the shoelaces are adjusted, these lines of fabric in the mid-foot section react, thus making the main upper unit tighten or loosen, as well.

A soft and breathable fabric is used for the inner sleeve. It doesn’t irritate the skin, so it makes sure that the foot is able to experience a sock-like fit, even when wearing the Air Relentless 5 without actual socks.

A padded collar and tongue keeps the foot in place and prevents accidental slips or shoe-removals as the runner performs.

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.

jens@runrepeat.com