Our verdict

The Nike Air Winflo comes back with its 9th edition and we found it to be a worthy update. Now with a better upper, softer midsole, and more precise fit, it confirms to be an honest daily trainer for beginners. With its attractive price point, it’s perfect for those looking for an affordable alternative to the (many) expensive shoes on the market.


  • Comfortable, soft ride
  • Excellent padding
  • Breathable upper
  • Grippy and durable outsole
  • Secure fit
  • Budget-friendly
  • Doubles as a gym shoe


  • Not very responsive
  • Upper and midsole feel cheap

Audience verdict


Who should buy Nike Air Winflo 9

In our opinion, get the Winflo 9 it if you want to save some money, have just started running, and want a shoe for training 2-3 times per week, or for gym workouts.

We suggest not to use it for long runs as it’s best suited for 3-5 miles efforts, at an easy pace.


Who should not buy it

Don’t buy this shoe if you:

The upper hits the sweet spot


Testing the shoe, we really appreciated how the upper is filled with plenty of padding, is flexible, and is rather breathable.

We verified the positive vibes about breathability with our signature test. The Winflo scored 4-out-of-5!


Eager for more evidence, we turned to the microscope. It revealed Nike's smart strategy of alternating super-thin mesh with thicker sections in an effort to nail the right balance between breathability and durability.


The light test also revealed a highly breathable toe box, as it should be in a running shoe. Can you disguise the alternating patterns?

The shoe becomes less breathable in the heel and midfoot area. Nevertheless, there are enough ventilation openings to ensure adequate airflow.

There’s plenty of foam and comfort around the heel, the tongue provides a good amount of cushioning, and no issues with rubbing or blisters.

Upon closer inspection, we have to say that there are not many $100 shoes with such a super comfortable upper.

But, is it durable?

Our first impression of the upper was that it could be ripped through quite easily. And it was partially confirmed in our Dremel test.

The level of damage caused by our tool is significant, but it is also expected when you attempt to create a lightweight and breathable upper for a running shoe.

On the bright side, we rated the toebox durability as 3 on a 1-5 scale where 5 is the most durable. 


A very comfortable experience

This shoe offers plenty of cushioning underfoot and a relatively soft ride.

Nike is shifting its strategy when it comes to their pocket-friendly shoes. They used to be quite firm and stiff, but that's no longer the case. 

Using a durometer, we got a reading of 18.4 HA in our lab. That's softer than the Nike Alphafly 2! And it's also 30% softer than road running shoes on average.

This shoe is also 35% more flexible than the median of running shoes in our force test, where we measure the amount of force required to bend the shoe up to 90º.

The Winflo 9 also features a Nike Air unit under the forefoot, although is smaller than the ones found in the Pegasus saga.


Disclaimer: We take an average of 4 measurements and eliminate any outliers. This image portrays only one of our four measurements.

This shoe is undoubtedly part of the high-stack club. With a generous 35.0 mm in the heel and 24.2 mm in the forefoot, it features a height nearly identical to the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run 2.


Disclaimer: We always measure stack with the insole included.

Our measurements reveal a 10.2-mm heel-to-toe drop, making it a fantastic choice for those seeking some relief for their Achilles tendon.


Disclaimer: We always measure stack with the insole included.

Responsiveness is not its best trait

In the Winflo 9, the softness takes its toll and the ride is not particularly lively. The shoe could use some improvements in this aspect.

As with life, you can't have it all without paying the price. At $100, you're not going to get the bouncy ride and energy return you might want. That's why the Winflo features a low-cost EVA-based foam, which is suitable for most runners but falls short in performance when compared to React and, especially, ZoomX.

The icy truth: underwhelming in cold temperatures

We just mentioned that this shoe is based on EVA—that's bad news for winter running. As we explained in our guide about temperatures and running shoes, you should expect that EVA-based foams will become noticeably stiffer and harder in cold weather.


That's precisely what happens with the Winflo 9. After exposing it to freezing temperatures for 20 minutes, the midsole becomes 59.6% harder, and the shoe gets an out-of-this-world 87.8% stiffer. By comparison, the Pebax-based Invincible 3 hardens by 21.8% and stiffens by 27.2%, respectively.

Same old, great traction

The outsole hasn’t changed much from the previous iteration, and this is a good thing. The rubber covers almost the entire surface and provides reliable traction in most conditions. The outsole seems to be remarkably durable.


As an entry-level Nike shoe, the focus is on durability, so we anticipated a high hardness measurement. However, we were blown away when we measured 92.8 HC hardness in the outsole. This number is the HIGHEST ever scored by a shoe in our lab, out of over 200 pairs.


Disclaimer: We take an average of 4 measurements and exclude any outliers. This image shows just one of our measurements.

We have to admit that the grip on this shoe can be a bit of a letdown. With today's tech, it's just not possible to create a super-hard rubber that's as grippy as a softer one. But if you're on the hunt for a crazy-durable outsole, this is THE ONE.

To make up for the noticeable lack of grip due to its hardness, Nike designed a Pegasus-inspired waffle pattern.


To complement the hard compound used in the outsole, it's also quite thick! In fact, at 4.2 mm, it's 24% thicker than the average for road running shoes.

Embrace stiffness for a really solid fit

The lockdown is fantastic in this Nike shoe! The heel counter hugged our heels in all the right places, creating a very locked-in feel.

If you're a fan of stiff heel counters, you're in luck because we rated this one a 4 out of 5, where 5 is the stiffest. Additionally, we verified that the heel collar is softly padded and it works wonders when it comes to preventing heel slippage.

The bands on the sides help adjust the shoe making it feel secure without feeling clunky.


Although the tongue is comfortable with its nearly average 5 mm thickness, we found that it's non-gusseted—meaning it's not attached to the sides. This allows the tongue to move freely while you run, which can lead to less secure lockdown compared to gusseted options.


We also discovered that there's plenty of room for toes in the Winflo 9. Now, it's not exactly a super-wide shoe (let's be real, this is Nike we're talking about, fellas), but the 9th edition of the Winflo offers a nicely roomy toe box.


When we compared it to the New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4 and the Nike Renew Ride 3, it proved to be wider in both measuring points. So you can expect some wiggle room for your toes without feeling cramped!

Keep it short with the Winflo 9

The Winflo 9 is ideal as a daily trainer and for short runs, up to 5 miles. That’s where the shoe gives its best in terms of comfort and performance. Beyond that, it starts to be a little bit uncomfortable as it seems to lose some softness.


We think that it could even be a good choice for moderate gym workouts too!

Better choice than Pegasus for heel strikers

Some Nike models have narrow heels which makes them less suitable for heel strikers. Luckily, that's not an issue with the Air Winflo 9.


The heel in the ninth edition of the Winflo measures a solid 90.1 mm, which is already wider than the average shoe. In fact, it's 8% wider than the Pegasus 40 and a whopping 17% wider than the Nike ZoomX Streakfly. That's a lot!


The shoe is also stable enough for midfoot-to-forefoot strikers, boasting the now-classic Nike width of 111.0 mm.

Why do we say classic? Well, Nike has used those exact dimensions for three of its latest models: the Pegasus Turbo, the budget-friendly Downshifter 12, and now the Winflo 9.

Nike Air Winflo 9 is great for your wallet

At $100 the Winflo 9 is definitely an affordable choice, given that the average price for a road running shoe is around $130.


Not just for working out

This shoe can be worn casually too, because its look and the softness of the midsole make it a nice and comfortable sneaker to use in any situation.