Facts

Top
Inspired from
Price
$80

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

11 reasons to buy

  • Majority of the buyers are impressed by the minimalist yet stylish looks of the Nike Darwin.
  • Numerous reviewers noted the shoes are well ventilated and breathable especially in hot weather.
  • Several buyers considered the budget-friendly pricing of only $80 which could go as low as $50 to $60 on sale.
  • Many users love the textile lining that gives a plush feel to the foot.
  • A good number of online reviewers expressed approval to the super soft cushioning midsole providing comfortable walks and runs.
  • Some runners like that it is lightweight for daily runs and light gym training.
  • Most customers find it easy to secure with Flywire lacing.
  • Quite a lot of purchasers find the pull tabs on the tongue and heel helpful for easy slipping on and off the shoe.
  • A couple of consumers complimented the shoe’s design as it can be fashionably flattering to the feet and fits well with jeans or shorts.
  • Different reviewers find the subtle placement of the Swoosh logo on the side heel as it is not too flashy and has kept the design simple and minimalist.
  • One reviewer liked that the shoe insole is removable for replacement.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Several users observed that the shoes are a bit narrow and needed to be worn several times for the insole material to stretch out and fit perfectly.
  • Many online critics find uncomfortable the odd naming of the Nike Darwin since it is a modern and stylish shoe.
  • A few negative reviewers pointed out that the Flywire breaks easily after using shoes in heavy sports or running.                

Bottom line

Harnessing evolutionary inspiration from successful lifestyle running models like the Nike Air Presto, Nike Roshe, Nike Air Huarache and the Nike Payaa, the Nike Darwin uses same technology of these popular shoes into a stylish new silhouette.

Instead of just relying on these successful elements of previous models, the Nike Darwin pushes even further with a breathable dual-mesh construction, a Flywire technology, and a TPU heel harness for added support. With a minimalist and stylish looks, the shoe offers flexibility and stability at a price point that could knock the advantage of high-end shoes released in the market today. A pocket-friendly pricing gives more value for money if the buyer wants a decent lifestyle sneaker without breaking the bank.


Rankings


Ratings

4.6 / 5 based on 196 ratings

5 star
70%
4 star
24%
3 star
3%
2 star
1%
1 star
2%

My Rating

Expert Reviews

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Nike Darwin History

Let’s not confuse the Nike Darwin as the basketball shoe released in the 1990s. The Nike Darwin released two years ago is not the Nike Air Max Darwin 360, which bad boy basketball star Dennis Rodman used to wear and popularized on the court. The Nike Darwin that the multibillion dollar brand released in 2016 is a whole new lifestyle running sneaker with multiple technologies to boast.

The shoe traces back its design history including features to the Nike Air Presto and Nike Roshe. Other influences for the creation of the shoe are the Nike Air Huarache and the Nike Payaa, as the shoe uses also the same technology and design inspiration of these popular shoes.  The Darwin’s design represents an evolution of Nike as a brand. It features ultra-light mesh and further made even lighter by a Lunarlon sole.

Another draw of the Darwin from other popular shoes is the TPU heel cup with enough padding and extra layer of cushioning that offers comfort and shock absorption.  

However, many critics have recently surfaced commenting that the brand made a mistake in naming it, the Darwin. Named after the great Charles Darwin, the English biologist who contributed so much to the science of evolution,  the shoe showed a lot of Nike’s evolutionary elements and promise in terms of comfort and value.

Nike Darwin Style

Minimalism has been the key look that the Nike Darwin has been projecting since it was first released. It is just the right time for the shoe brand to project this image for their Darwin model since the trend for minimalism and its lifestyle has risen in popularity in the past years.

The shoe shies away from the embellishments and complications of enhanced design on most footwear. The Darwin, however, is one dependable shoe with a lightweight midsole and cushioning. As a lifestyle sneaker, it pairs well with shorts or pants and ideal for wearing on casual street walks or runs in the park during summer. It was first offered in all-white and all-black versions but soon other colors were released by the brand.

Fit & Sizing

As a lifestyle running shoe, the Nike Darwin has a narrow opening, but pull tabs on the tongue and heel for an easy insert that feels comfortable once on foot. This narrow opening keeps the foot secured for various movements while a Flywire lacing system keeps the foot secure yet gives the foot enough flexibility and a responsive fit without the need for added panels. The Nike Darwin is available in men’s US size 6 to 14 and women’s US size 5 to 12. The shoe width is at medium D for men and B for women.

Notable Features

The Nike Darwin has been a lightweight and comfortable shoe because of several technologies that were incorporated into the design such as the TPU heel harness for added support that is reminiscent of the Nike Presto.

The shoe also features sleek double mesh uppers for breathability and a Lunarlon outsole for the needed traction and durability without sacrificing cushioning and comfort. The shoe includes the dynamic Flywire cables strewn on the medial and lateral sides for a flexible and locked-down support coming from the entire upper.

Additional Info

  • New silhouette of the Nike Darwin was inspired by popular Nike Presto and Nike Roshe.
  • The shoe has comfortable textile lining and midsole for a plush in-shoe feel.
  • Dynamic Flywire lacing helps improve the shoe’s overall look and needed feet support and fit.
  • A durable synthetic Lunarlon sole helps give the shoe extra bounce, cushioning and traction.