Facts

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$130

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who does not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who needs arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overproanation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.

Summary

We spent 7.2 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

15 reasons to buy

  • A large number of reviewers find the Nike Air Sock Racer Ultra Flyknit with remarkable fit with the sock-like upper that hugs the feet well.
  • Several runners with foot problems find the removable insole welcoming as they can easily replace them with orthotic insoles to make their runs comfortable.
  • Numerous users appreciate the slip-on tech-wear design as they claimed the shoes are easy to wear and to remove.
  • A lot of users find the shoes lightweight enough to make it great for all-day walking or light running.
  • Flyknit material for the upper gets air flowing on the foot, some buyers commented.
  • Quite a lot are impressed with the in-shoe feel that is very comfortable with the durable Flyknit material.
  • Many complimented the soft and flexible outsole with flex grooves that make every step smooth and easy for various activities like walking.
  • Some commented that the leather double strap buckles secure well the shoes without feeling too tight.
  • Many wearers find the Flyknit material very durable and do not easily wear out even after several months of use.
  • Some sneaker fans noted the improved version of the buckle with thicker straps.
  • A few online reviewers noted a positive improvement with the ultra outsole that fused dual-density foam tooling while displaying a siped pattern across.
  • Some forum posters are happy that the huge and annoying Swoosh logo in the upper was removed in the recent releases to retain the minimalist theme of the Nike Air Sock Racer Ultra Flyknit.
  • Several users find these as great summer shoes as it doesn’t make feet hot and sweaty with the thin and breathable Flyknit upper.
  • A lot of comments on the Air-Sole unit at the bottom gives the shoe lightweight feeling and ventilation.
  • The suede leather material at the heel back with the Nike branding doesn’t only bring support to the silhouette but also keeps the minimalist theme going with a small Swoosh logo.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Some users noted that the poor arch support requires them to buy a separate insole which is sometimes a hassle compared to the shoe already having good support and cushioning.
  • A few runners with wide feet find the shoes narrow and uncomfortable when fitting does not conform to the shape of the feet.
  • The shoes tend to be uncomfortable in the soles after extended wear according to some reviewers.

Bottom line

For a lifestyle tech-wear sneaker, the Nike Air Sock Racer Ultra Flyknit is an iconic shoe that was re-issued in a timely manner as it literally came out ahead of its time in the 1980s. The new Flyknit material gives it a modern vibe keeping them, lightweight, breathable and wraps around the contours of the feet in a sock-like manner. 

The $130 price of the lifestyle sneaker during its launch was reduced to a discounted $79 in its later releases.  The shoe has kept its minimalist tone through the years which has been met with positive reviews by many sneaker fans. However, for those with arch support problems, be prepared to change the removable insoles into your own orthotic inserts to make wearing the shoe a comfortable ride.


Rankings

Nike Air Sock Racer Ultra Flyknit compared to 2246 sneakers:

Ratings

4.5 / 5 based on 6 ratings

5 star
67%
4 star
17%
3 star
17%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%

My Rating

Expert Reviews

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Nike Air Sock Racer Ultra Flyknit History

“The Nike Sock Racer. A serious racing flat with a full-length Nike-Air midsole. Definitely not for everyone.”

This was a quote from the ad from Nike way back in 1985 during its initial launch and eventual release in 1986 that brought into sneaker consciousness the Nike Air Sock Racer. It was definitely not for everyone but it drew a huge cult following especially among serious runners and marathoners.

Designed by veteran shoe designer Bruce Kilgore, the same creative genius behind the Nike Air Force One and the Air Jordan 2, the Nike Air Sock Racer were running shoes that felt like wearing socks but could run full-length marathons.

Made of extremely breathable and form-fitting mesh upper, a Nike Air-Sole unit in the middle and lightweight polyurethane sole that are secured by straps and buckles for a quick fit, became Nike’s first running shoes kicks without shoelaces. It was also originally designed for marathon running as it promises to withstand 26-mile runs with ease.

Future releases of this shoe paved the way for modern designs such as the popular Nike Ultra Flyknit Racer.

In 2017, this iconic running kick was given a new treatment more than 31 years since it was launched with the stretchy upper with the introduction of Ultra Flyknit material that has kept many sneaker fans glued.

Flyknit is a result of a complex process of precision knitting that reduces as much as 60 percent of wastes compared to the usual cut-sew method of footwear manufacturing. With the Flyknit material, Nike can use single-piece knitted material that resembles a sock-like material that wraps around the feet for a snug fitting that adapts well to the contours of the feet.

Nike Air Sock Racer Ultra Flyknit Style

Keeping a minimalist tone since its release in the 1980s, the Nike Air Sock Racer Ultra Flyknit has retained this noteworthy theme to much acclaim by many critics. Initially, NikeLab released a version of the iconic sneakers with fewer premium materials and with a huge Swoosh logo at the forefront which was literally panned by many shoe critics.

With the newer design in 2017, the Nike Air Sock Racer Ultra Flyknit removed that annoying Swoosh and kept is subtle at the heel back with minimalist branding. What really hyped up its style are the two suede leather straps that, although not really helping much in securing the feet,  has made the shoe look really cool for a minimalist tech-wear lifestyle sneaker.

The shoes were easily sold out in many retailers as it came in unique colorways of the OG-inspired yellow/black and an all-black design. Earlier releases of Nike Lab include Sail, Black, Black-Grey, and Pale-Grey.

Fit & Sizing

The Flyknit sock-like material and the two buckle straps in the Nike Air Sock Racer Ultra Flyknit has helped a lot in the shoe having a perfect fit that runs true to size. Shoe size comes in medium and ranges US size 6 to 14 in men and 5 to 12 in women.

Notable Features

The improved Flyknit material on the upper and the Air-Sole unit on the sole are two of the most notable features of the Nike Air Sock Racer Ultra Flyknit.

The Ultra Flyknit material has been a groundbreaking upper material for the multibillion-dollar brand when it was first released. The material helps keep the feet snug with its sock-like woven material that blends well to the contours of the feet. The Flyknit material also remains breathable, supportive, and lightweight making the shoe an ideal summer wear.

Meanwhile, the full-length Air-Sole unit has a round sipe pattern that features a dual-density foam midsole and a Free-inspired outsole with flex grooves. This superior sole technology helps make every stride count with lightweight cushioning and flexibility in tow.

Additional Info

  • Two colorways were introduced in the first quarter 2017 release: the yellow/black and a women’s exclusive white/black.
  • For Spring 2017, other colorways were released that include pink, olive, blue and red tones.
  • Thicker buckle straps in the updated version help give lateral and medial support and help keep the feet from moving too far forward.