Verdict from 5 experts and 100+ user reviews

9 reasons to buy

  • A runner wrote that the mesh material used in the Nike Downshifter 6 had a bit of stretch to it, basically allowing their feet to feel unrestricted even when the material is hugging it.
  • Testers noted that the padding in the upper unit granted the dimensions of their feet with some cushioning during the running sessions.
  • The testers appreciated the inclusion of a molded insole, which gave contoured support to the foot-pad and the arch.
  • The underfoot cushioning was commended by many because of its soft and responsive nature.
  • This shoe didn’t feel heavy and it didn’t feel too lightweight, according to some runners; for them, it had an adequate weight that’s agreeable for many activities.
  • The Downshifter 6 looked visually appealing to a lot of those who tried it.
  • ‘Comfortable’ was a word many runners used to describe this shoe, as well as their time wearing it.
  • Based on a number of comments, this shoe was lauded for its affordable price.
  • The flat laces of this model gained recognition because they didn’t unravel easily.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Some of the testers felt that the Downshifter 6 was a bit large for their feet.
  • The toe box was a bit narrow for a few runners; they wrote that it tended to clump their toes together uncomfortably.
  • The tongue was a bit lumpy and irritating to the skin, a tester complained.

Bottom line

The 6th version of the Nike Downshifter gained the favor of a lot of neutral runners and shoe enthusiasts. They stated that they felt contented and secured when trying it on the pavement. For many of them, the underfoot cushioning felt reliable and consistent, as did the upper cover system. There were some who didn’t enjoy this version, but that didn’t stop the Downshifter 6 from getting such prominence.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Good to know

  • The 6th version of the Downshifter from Nike has a low profile design and a slightly thinner sole unit that the Nike Downshifter 5. It also utilizes lesser stitching and overlays to encourage breathability and better freedom of movement.
  • The upper unit of this running shoe uses an overlay system that’s not sewn on the fabric. The stitched layers serve to maintain the structure of the upper while also providing additional support where it’s needed.
  • The midsole unit is made of a soft, durable and flexible cushioning system that keeps the foot comfortable and supported all throughout the activity. The slightly curved forefoot and rear sections of the shoe allows for a better landing on the heel and a more efficient toe-off.
  • The outsole doesn’t just sparsely use rubber to provide protection against wear and tear. This model has an entire layer of durable rubber to make sure that the sole unit is shielded from the abrasive nature of the ground. Non-profound lugs allow the runner more grip over hard asphalt, dirt tracks and mild trails.

The Nike Downshifter 6 is true to its size. It is available in sizes that follow the regular choices of runners. The low-cut design of this model allows the foot to move around freely. The heel and mid-foot sections have a medium-width, while the forefoot has a slightly wider width to encourage better spreading of the toes.

The outsole unit of this running shoe makes use of a durable rubber compound that’s layered across its entire length. It is able to hold fast against wear and abrasion, effectively shielding the rest of the sole unit from damage.

Deep flex grooves are etched on the outsole to encourage natural flexibility. The foot pad can bend and not feel restricted by the sole unit because it allows it to move more naturally, making each step through the gait cycle more seamless.

Some gripping lugs are placed strategically in this layer. They aren’t too prominent, but they’re efficient in providing traction over the roads and the mild trails.

The Phylon cushioning system is one of the proprietary foams of Nike. It’s actually made from high quality materials that do not easily break down or lose structural integrity. It’s able to deliver superb cushioning, springiness to each step and adequate support through the activities. It’s also responsive as it isn’t stiff or restrictive. This midsole configuration has been used in the Downshifter 7 running shoes.

The upper unit makes use of a mesh material that delivers a comfortable and breathable coverage. Air is constantly introduced to the interior of the shoe, keeping the foot cool and dry at all times. Synthetic overlays hug the foot well while the seamless construction reduces skin irritation and allows the runner to wear the shoe without using socks.

The tongue and collar are padded and they have a fabric lining that’s breathable and soft. It keeps the skin dry because it doesn’t make the plush inner wall feel stifling. Essentially, the tongue and collar keep the foot in place and prevent accidental shoe removal.

A molded foam insole is placed on top of the mid-sole unit to add a bit more cushioning and support for the underside of the foot.


How Nike Downshifter 6 ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 35% road running shoes
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Top 33% Nike running shoes
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The current trend of Nike Downshifter 6.
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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.