Verdict from 2 experts and 100+ user reviews

12 reasons to buy

  • Many of the reviewers loved the comfortable ride of the Flex RN 2016.
  • The price tag is very affordable.
  • It is very flexible, according to some.
  • The 2016 Flex RN runs very light, as noticed by more than a few.
  • Most of the comments noted that it is quite durable.
  • Several runners living in hot-weather areas valued its excellent breathability.
  • Its lightness is appreciated by a handful.
  • A moderate number of runners liked the color of the new Flex RN.
  • Several runners loved the colorways and stylish appeal of the shoe.
  • A handful of users had a great time wearing the shoe right out of the box.
  • Despite being very light and minimal, more than a handful of runners use it for gym workouts.
  • Many were quite surprised by the grip of this shoe, even on wet pavement.

3 reasons not to buy

  • The fit can be too tight for those with more than average foot dimensions, remarked several.
  • The outsole sucks small stones, based on the comments of some runners.
  • A significant number of users who prefer to walk had irritation in their heels because the back part of the Nike 2016 Flex RN is a little too high.

Bottom line

The Nike Flex RN 2016 is a no-nonsense trainer that is quite light, but has decent cushioning to handle daily training. It has adequate arch support, superior breathability, excellent comfort, and nice looks. For a very affordable price, runners can get a really functional shoe that looks more than its price tag.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Good to know

  • The 2016 version of the Nike Flex RN uses the proprietary Flywire cords as its most significant development. As most Nike fans know, the cords are directly attached to the midsole and then looped through the laces. The cords greatly help in holding the foot down without the use of too many overlays.
  • With the Flywire cords available, Nike also utilizes a very light single-piece mesh for breathability, support, and security that is not restrictive. The upper also sees the removal of the stitched overlay on the toe box and replaced with a thin, welded version. It gives more room in the forefoot and enhances breathability.
  • The heel gets a little help through the addition of welded overlays. These welded overlays are quite pliable, so there is just enough heel support without too much stiffness.

The fit of the Nike Flex RN 2016 continues to be snug from the heel to the forefoot. Runners should get more midfoot hold courtesy of the Flywire cables. There is just enough room for the toes to wiggle in the toe box. Runners with narrow to medium feet are built for this kind of fit. Sizing is accurate in the shoe.

The underfoot features the unique siped Nike outsole where the Tri-star configurations are scattered throughout. It gives the 2016 Flex RN plenty of flexibility as the pattern creates numerous cuts all over the outsole. The heel and the area beneath the big toe are covered with hard carbon rubber for durability while blown rubber makes up the rest of the outsole.

The no-fuss midsole is occupied by Nike’s patented Phylon foam for consistency in cushioning, responsiveness, and durability. As the foam covers the whole midsole, there is enhanced motion through the gait cycle.

This midsole material is also present in some Nike road running shoes like the Flex RN 2018 and Nike Downshifter 7.

The lightweight, engineered mesh offers exceptional breathability and a sock-like fit. Nike uses for the first time in this series the Flywire cords to help with midfoot security and locked down feel. Welded overlays also help with the support and structure. The ankle collar and tongue have decent padding. A traditional lace-up closure clinches the fit of the Nike Flex RN 2016.


How Nike Flex RN 2016 ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 50% road running shoes
All road running shoes
Bottom 48% Nike running shoes
All Nike running shoes
Top 48% neutral running shoes
All neutral running shoes


The current trend of Nike Flex RN 2016.
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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.