Size and fit

Nike Shox R4s have men’s and women’s sizes listed separately on the brand site. The colorways are the only difference, and the shoes can be worn by both parties. 

There is a difference of 1.5 sizes between the men’s and women’s shoes so the ladies are advised to go down that much when selecting from the men’s listing, while men should go up.

These shoes can feel narrow. Some users suggest going up a half size to make up for the tight fit. 

The shoes are lace-ups and use flat laces for fit customization. Laser perforations throughout the uppers allow the air to flow and feet to remain cool and dry.

Nike Shox R4 Style

Nike Shox R4s continue the dad sneaker trend of the 2018-2019 fashion seasons. The addition of these shoes to the roster of stylish dad kicks from the Nike brand is a sort of signal that the popular fashion style will not die down any time soon.

These retros replicate the original with their combination of textile and synthetic uppers. The uppers are composed of smooth synthetic leather fabric for the main body while a perforated textile material covers the heels, toes, and areas around the eyerows and collars. 

The ultra-casual style looks best when paired with sporty outfits such as tracksuits, shorts, and jeans. Hoodies and graphic tees can complete your look. 

Colorways for Nike Shox R4s include white/metallic silver/max orange/white, anthracite/metallic silver/black/true berry, black/metallic silver/wolf grey/black, black/metallic silver/reflect silver/racer blue, and white/metallic hematite/light aqua/white.

Notable Features

These kicks are near replicas of the runners we first saw in the year 2000. Nike Shox R4 shoes featured and still do the Shox technology that was cutting-edge at the time of its launch. The Shox is a cushioning tech for the midsoles and is made of empty PU columns that work like springs for enhanced bounce and responsive cushioning. TPU heel counters support these columns and provide equal distribution of energy from impact. 

Although the Nike Shox tech may sometimes comprise of many columns along the full length of the midsoles, in the Shox R4 model, there are only four columns, and these are all located at the heels. The forefront of the shoes utilizes Phylon midsoles instead, which are made of lightweight, responsive EVA foam pellets that are compression-molded.

The combination of these two exceptional cushioning systems is what has made Shox R4 shoes so comfortable. 

Nike Shox R4 History

In the year 2000, Nike launched a new technology called Shox for its running line. The technology took some inspiration from cars and Harvard’s indoor running track which featured a “bouncy” surface that absorbs impact from runners and returns it as energy.

This cushioning system, which was so radical during the time of its release, was a product of 16 years of research. The idea of Shox was first put forward in 1984 by Bruce Kilgore of Air Force 1 fame. He wanted to create a cushioning technology that would mimic that of a car shock absorber, which optimizes energy return based on mechanical structures. It wasn’t until the year 2000 that they perfected this. 

  Nike Shox R4

The R4 in Nike Shox R4 stands for running and the four columns of Shox tech on the heels of these kicks. Designed by Bruce Kilgore and Sergio Lozano for the track, these sneakers were the first to feature the tech.  

The first release featured a white/silver/red colorway, although Nike quickly followed this up with more. The reception was overwhelming. The shoes reportedly added power and speed to users while simultaneously absorbing impact from every stride. Consumers demanded more, and soon, Nike was bringing the Shox technology to many of its shoes across performance divisions, from running to cross-training (Nike Shox XT) and basketball (Nike Shox BB4). 

However, with the advent of sleeker styles in later years, the popularity of Shox shoes gradually waned until most models went out of production. 

 The Return of Shox

It wasn’t until 2018 when Nike decided to try and restart the line once more with a brand new build called Shox Gravity. Soon after, with the craze surrounding chunky shoes, Nike deemed it time to reach back into its archive and re-release its Shox R4s again. 

The shoes were released in their OG colorway as well as with brand new color schemes. 

Nice to know


  • The 2018 version of Nike Shox R4 sneakers is considered almost exact replicas of their OG versions. 


How Nike Shox R4 ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 11% sneakers
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Top 7% Nike sneakers
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Top 10% low sneakers
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The current trend of Nike Shox R4.
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Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sports nut with a particular interest in football and running. He loves to watch sports as much as he loves to play. Danny was lead researcher on RunRepeat and The PFA’s report into Racial Bias in Football Commentary. His football and running research has been featured in The Guardian, BBC, New York Times and Washington Post.