Facts

Terrain: Road
Arch support: Neutral
Weight: Men: 7.8oz | Women: 6.2oz
Heel to toe drop: Men: 7mm | Women: 7mm
Pronation: Neutral Pronation
Arch type: High arch
Strike Pattern: Midfoot strike
Distance: Competition
Heel height: Men: 20mm | Women: 20mm
Forefoot height: Men: 13mm | Women: 13mm
Release date: Jun 2017
Brand: Nike
Type: Low drop
Width: Men: Normal | Women: Narrow, Normal, Wide
Price: $85
Colorways: Multi, Blue, Black, Grey, Orange, White, Green, Red, Purple, Pink
Size
Small True to size Large
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Rankings

A top rated Road running shoe
A top rated Nike running shoe
A popular pick
Better rated than the previous version Nike Flex RN 2016

Expert Reviews

Experts are runners, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

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87 / 100 based on 4 expert reviews

  • 87 / 100 | Anthony Privetera

    Nike Flex RN 2017: Minimalist feel with flexible support

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    Let me introduce you to one of my new favorite running shoes. Ever wanted to try minimalist shoes but feel apprehensive about the lack of support?

    Here’s a nice compromise that won’t break the bank.

     

     

    The Nike Flex RN 2017 feels a bit bulky at first, especially if you are used to less drop. The 7mm drop seems to be a comfortable compromise for my current running style and light to medium mileage.

    The stable platform provides a surprising amount of flex, which has served me well for my short to middle distance runs. Great rotation shoes for all runs outside of an end of the cycle marathon training run.

    Midsole

    The midsole has a quirky footbed and I logged a few sessions without the insoles just to get an understanding of the support it adds. Taking the insole out cuts out a few millimeters for an even more minimalist feel, but it also gives you a sense of the extensive support from this bit of criss cross magic. A little too rough to go without, however.

     

     

    I recommend taking it for a spin sans insole and then adding back in the foam cushioning that completes the smooth ride. Definitely points for a nice execution on this aspect. I haven’t seen this used this way before and I have to say I’m a fan.

    Upper

    Uppers are light and airy compared to many of the bulkier shoe and the toe box has ample room to stretch out those little piggies. The right balance between breathable and a secure fit helps you enjoy the shoe immensely.

    They might not hold up over the long run or really challenging terrain, but if you’re mainly a road, track or path runner, you’ve got to check this one out.

     

     

    After a number of shoes with bulkier soles and thicker treads, I was reluctant to run in soles with less grip and cushion. Yes, maybe not the best choice for a rainy day or a trail run, but it holds up very well on the road or track.

    Seems to be a solid option for keeping your body guessing and building out a shoe rotation. Plus they’re a nice option as a substitute for a 24/7 or gym trainer, as they’ve held up with consistent mileage so far.

    Pros

    • Springy, responsive and lightweight trainer
    • Versatile and stylish, can definitely be worn for gym, errands, etc
    • Great features for price

    Cons

    • Heel can feel bulky at first compared to the rest of the shoe
    • Upper, especially lacing system, is VERY minimal and prone to damage
    • Rocks easily get stuck in gaps of soles

     

    Conclusion

    I have to admit I was a little skeptical at first, being a fan of a more solid feeling shoe with more tread like a Brooks Ravenna or Launch.

    Altra, it’s decidedly high in the drop category but somehow seems to have the right balance to keep me coming back for more.

    Add in the fact that it’s a sharp looking shoe that sports all around casual comfort AND style, you’ll be surprised it doesn’t cost more. Yes, the uppers are a little too thin and could break down along the line, but that’s the sacrifice you’re making for a minimalist shoe.

    In the end, if you are looking to transition from the more supportive shoe and don’t want to ditch all the protection, this is a great opportunity to try something different by Nike.

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

  • 87 / 100 | Zack Dunn

    Nike Flex RN 2017: How does this minimalist “barefoot-like” shoe stand up to tough running?

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    I have put in about 200 miles into this shoe. These have been used anywhere from 200m workouts to 6-mile recovery runs to 3-mile  tempo runs. They held up better than I thought for a minimalist shoe, but overall I was a little disappointed.

    The Nike Flex RN 2017 is a minimalist running shoe that is made for a barefoot-like ride. It does very well for speed intervals but doesn’t feel very well on long runs due to the minimal cushioning.

     

    First impressions

    These shoes are very stylish shoes. I would definitely wear these shoes as casual wear. In terms of running, they looked very promising.

    The only thing that concerned me was the heel cup. I didn’t know how the soft, flexible heel cup would hold my foot. But surprisingly my foot never slipped which was very nice.

     

    Upper

    The upper is a very thin mesh. It is very breathable and keeps your feet cool in any weather. It does concern me a little bit because of how little protection there is  that it could be easily torn.

     

    Durability

    They weren’t very high priced which means it’s not the highest of quality. But these shoes are very well done for what they’re made for.

    The outsole was the only thing that concerned me in terms of durability. At about 200 miles, it’s very worn out. The rubber has no more threading which can cause slipping on wet and flat surfaces.

    It also concerned me because of little objects such as pebbles getting stuck in the outsole which is very annoyingly and the need to get out. Another thing was the flexibility of the shoe which makes it great for a barefoot feel.

     

    Comfort

    In terms of comfort, these shoes were kinda disappointing. The midsole is made of a dual cushioning. Being a distance runner, I did both speed workouts and long recovery runs.

    They worked very well in the speed workouts because of how light and flexible they were. In terms of the longer runs, they began to feel very uncomfortable and unstable around 3 miles in.

    Understandably, they weren’t made for runs like that. But it still would’ve been nice to have more comfort on longer runs. The comfort went away towards 150 miles which led me to use them more as a gym trainer and a light mileage runner.

     

    Price

    The price of this shoe is very affordable ranging from $60-90. I think it cost what it’s worth.

    What I like about this shoe

    I personally like this shoe because of how this shoe gets the job done. It does what it’s made to do so well. It doesn’t hold up in longer distances but that’s understandable because it is a minimalist shoe after all.

    It’s very comfortable in terms of fitting, probably because of the very soft mesh and material the shoe has on it.

    Why you should buy this shoe

    You should buy this shoe if you are wanting a barefoot-like feel when you run. It holds up for a while surprisingly because of how much cushioning there is.

    They wouldn’t be recommended for distances longer than 5 miles but do great anything under that. They are very flexible and light which makes it a great training shoe if you’re into more speed work. This shoe is perfect for what it’s made for, and I really recommend it for anyone.

    Conclusion

    The Nike Flex RN 2017 is a running shoe that is made for people who like minimal cushioning. It does very well for speed intervals but doesn’t hold up on long runs due to the minimal cushioning design. It does very well for what it’s worth and it won’t disappoint if you use it right.

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

  • 90 / 100 | Soccer Reviews For You | | Level 3 expert

    They're comfortable, they're flexible, they look pretty cool. It's just a well-priced, really good running shoe.

  • First look | Shop Zappos |

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  • The Nike Flex RN 2017 is a very affordable running shoe that’s great for those who neutral pronation or supination. It’s designed to be lightweight and adherent to the natural movement of the foot. The façade has a clean and consistent look to it. Thin overlays line the forefoot and sides of the shoe, and they do not make it look bulky.
  • The midsole unit features a foam that has two planes of cushioning. The purpose of this design is to keep the experience as comfortable and as consistent as possible. A molded insole adds a bit of contoured support to the curves of the underfoot.
  • Durable rubber-pods are placed in areas of the outsole that are more prone to wear and tear. The rubber material is lightweight yet resilient against the potentially damaging nature of the asphalt. The Auxetic design makes sure to accommodate the natural flexibility of the wearer’s foot.

Standard measurements were used in the making of the Nike Flex RN 2017. The sizing schemes follow the natural choices of runners. The available width for the men and women’s versions is medium, so it accommodates those who have medium feet. The natural curve of the human’s foot is mimicked by this shoe’s semi-curved shape.

A rubber compound is used for the outsole unit of the Nike Flex RN 2017. It is placed in high-wear areas, particularly in the forefoot and heel. Its main purpose is to prevent abrasion, but it also provides reliable traction over the asphalt.

The auxetic tri-star design of the outsole basically makes the platform more flexible. Triangular grooves and spaces allow the sole unit to follow the natural movement of the foot as it goes through the gait cycle. It also assists the rubber in delivering traction.

Phylon is the main midsole unit of the Nike Flex RN 2017. Designed to accommodate the entire length of the shoe, it cushions the entire foot throughout the running session. Its responsive and flexible nature adds to its appeal as a comfortable platform for runners. Also, it has a dual-density nature, which potentially extends its lifespan by preventing early breakdown. The Phylon midsole material is also used in the Nike Flex RN 2018, Downshifter 7 road shoe and other well-known running shoes from Nike.

A minimal molded textile foot-bed is placed right above the main foam unit. It adds a bit more cushioning to the runner. It also mildly traces the contours of the underfoot, giving some semblance of support to areas that are not usually cushioned.

The upper unit of the Nike Flex RN 2017 utilizes Engineered Mesh. This material looks and feels like a woven cloth, which is good for the skin. It’s lightweight and it hugs the foot naturally. It also accommodates airflow.

Thin overlays are printed to the main fabric. They help the upper unit when it comes to hugging the foot and keeping it in place. Their inconsequential disposition doesn’t add weight or make the façade bulky.

A traditional lacing system is used in this shoe. The laces are flat, so they’re easy to loop and lock. The dynamic Flywire cables connect directly to the lacing system. They adjust in accordance with the tightness or looseness of the shoelaces, thus giving a fit that’s tuned to the preference of the wearer.

Comparison