Verdict: The Nike Flex Experience RN 9, with all its flexibility, is truly a shoe that lives up to its name! Flex aside, what stood out to us the most is its lightness and comfort (even with little padding). Given its minimalist nature, we can't recommend the shoe for long-distance runs and races. Rather, it's at home easy short to 5k runs on roads and grass.
True to size
Great ground contact
Flexible and conforming
Less durable outsole
Not for long runs
4.5 / 5
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The Nike Flex RN Experience 9 is a versatile running shoe with a price that can’t be beaten. From road to gym, the shoe won’t disappoint. The very minimal yet comfortable construction and grooved midsole make the shoe flex as the name suggests. It works on shorter distances and is not ideal for fast-paced runs and distances over 5K.
Who should buy it
The shoe is great for:
weekend warriors that run up to 5K on roads or grass
experienced runners hoping to have a minimal shoe in their rotation
those who are looking for a running shoe that could double as a gym shoe
Who should NOT buy it
The Nike Flex Experience RN 9 is not for you if are looking for:
At 8oz/227g, the Nike Flex Experience RN 9 is very lightweight (road running shoes have an average weight of 10.4oz/294g). This is the most notable feature of this shoe.
The Flex Experience RN 9 has a surprisingly roomy toebox
The toebox is surprisingly roomy, considering Nike shoes often run narrow and have very constrictive lasts.
No lockdown issues
Although there are no gimmicks to secure lockdowns, such as Flywire or other sorts of similar technology, it is quite able to provide a secure fit.
A comfortable shoe to run in
It is also surprising how comfortable The Nike Flex Experience RN 9 can be considered the little padding it has. This is probably achieved by not having any rigid elements in its construction that can rub against the feet. I was able to run in them without socks with no issue.
The Flex Experience RN 9 feels very connected to the ground
The ride is firm but not harsh, there is sufficient cushioning but as they ride so low and are so conforming, it feels very connected to the ground. It reminded me of Vibram’s FiveFingers in the landing, but with considerably more cushioning.
You’re in for a stretch
The flexibility of the midsole also means that the shoe really gets you to work for speed. Carbon-plated shoes these days assist the landing and take-off of the shoe with a rigid element that pushes the runner forward.
None of this is assisted here. In fact, the metatarsal flexes a lot more, resulting in the runner having to push harder to push off the foot and get more speed. This is only noticeable at high speeds. This makes the Flex Experience RN 9 a great complement to your running rotation, so those muscles get to work and become stronger.
Exposed foam means a less durable outsole
In terms of durability, The Nike Flex Experience RN 9 is possibly not going to outlast other shoes that have rubber on the outsole. Its EVA foam is exposed in the entire area, but the type of use it is rated for, for short distances, means it might be spared from the Sunday long runs that really take a toll on your shoes.
For not having rubber on the outsole, they do provide proper grip on concrete and road surfaces.
The Nike Flex Experience RN 9 is for the summer days
Its mesh upper is indeed quite breathable, great for those summer runs.
I'm Carlos, a 39 year old driven to run like people half my age. I've been running for the last 8 years and have focused on training for a half-marathon recently. I average around 80 km (50 miles) per week. I'm a Nike guy but have recently run in Asics. My goal is to help everyone get the right shoes for them. Running shoes don’t make the runner but surely can break a stellar performance. So let’s go and hit that road the right way!