7 Best Cheap Nike Running Shoes in 2024

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
7 Best Cheap Nike Running Shoes in 2024
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You don’t need to break the bank to add a new pair of Nike running shoes to your rotation. Nike offers economical versions of the premium models without compromising too much on function and cutting-edge technologies. Older top-tier versions are also put on sale when newer ones are released.

If you’re on a tight budget and considering what your choices are out there, we’ve acquired Nike cheap running shoes. We’ve tested each one of them and selected our top picks in different classifications for your easy reference.

From the Nike Free Run series to the Nike Quest and Run Swift models, check out below our fantastic selections of the best wallet-friendly Nike running shoes that we field- and lab-tested.

How we test running shoes

To make the selections, we put each model in the database for a thorough testing process. That means we run on each pair on flat roads, rugged terrains, and muddy trails. We examine all the shoes inside the RunRepeat testing lab. We strictly follow these protocols:

  • We purchase all the affordable running shoes from Nike with our own money. We do this because of our 100% commitment to transparency.
  • We do a series of mechanical tests inside the lab by cutting the shoes open and analysing over 30 parameters such as the cushioning system, traction, upper breathability, flexibility, durability, and many more.
  • As a team of wear-testers, we clock up at least 30-50 miles of running on the road or trails and report with our own impressions.

Best Nike cheap running shoes overall

What makes it the best?

The Run Swift 2 is simply the best cheap shoe Nike has to offer. For just £80, the shoe delivers impressive comfort, cushioning, and a durable and grippy outsole, giving it a lot more versatility than the average Nike running shoe, which costs £130.

Upon initially trying the shoe on, it honestly felt like a much higher-end trainer. The ankle collar and tongue are both generously padded, with the tongue 3.2 mm thicker than the average running shoe. That padding hugged our feet nicely without causing any hot spots.

We also felt there was more than enough underfoot protection during our runs. When checking the midsole in the lab, we found the Run Swift 2's 33.7 mm is right at the average for running shoes, but it has 1.9 mm more stack height in the forefoot.

And the outsole is outstanding, both in terms of durability and grip. Not only is the outsole rubber 0.9 mm thicker, but it's also 10.9% harder, so it won't wear out easily. Moreover, it also has 2.2 mm lugs. Those lugs gave the shoe added grip when we took it on mild dirt paths, showing just what a versatile cheap shoe this is.

However, the Run Swift 2 is also far from a flexible shoe, as it took us 29.5% more force to bend it 90 degrees in the lab. So those who want a cheap shoe with more flexibility should look elsewhere.

Pros

  • Breathable
  • True to size
  • Wide toe box
  • Cushioned tongue
  • Durable outsole
  • Price
  • Gusseted tongue

Cons

  • Stiff ride
  • Narrow midfoot
  • Heavy
Full review of Nike Run Swift 2

Best cheap minimalist Nike running shoes

What makes it the best?

The Flex Experience Run 12 perfectly encapsulates minimalism among Nike’s more affordable line. Our lab numbers confirm what our feet experienced—this versatile trainer highlights a natural feel with its light, low, and loose build.

Only weighing 8.5 oz (241g), this shoe is definitely on the lighter spectrum of road-running shoes since the average is 9.4 oz (266g). Its lack of rubber outsole and humble stack keeps the weight down.

The shoe delivers high ground sensitivity with its firm and low 25.9/19.9 mm stack. We found the platform has that minimalist feel even though it’s not a zero-drop shoe, thanks to its very flexible build. Honouring its name, our 90-degree bend test reveals a low 6.8N—one of our lowest lab measurements and stands a mind-blowing 76.8% below average. It adapts to our natural strides, giving our feet plenty of freedom—perfect for gym workouts or walking.

Another minimalist feature of this shoe is its price. At only £80, it’s almost half the £140 average of road-running shoes in our database. 

Since this Flex opted out of a rubber outsole, it showed signs of wear after our runs. Our Dremel tore through it brutally, confirming it’s not suitable for off-road adventures.

Pros

  • Flexible, natural-feeling ride
  • Enhanced ground feel
  • Roomy, comfortable upper
  • Super affordable price
  • Still lightweight
  • Ideal for gym workouts
  • Beginner-friendly

Cons

  • Minimal, firm cushioning
  • Unsuitable for long runs
  • Limited outsole durability
Full review of Nike Flex Experience Run 12

Best cheap Nike running shoes for trail

What makes it the best?

While most Nike trail shoes in our lab average £140, Juniper Trail 2 stands at an attractive £90. The balanced cushion feels comfortable, stable, and protective for road-to-trail runs. It offers flexibility that keeps us nimble on uneven terrains and is grippy enough for most surfaces. It’s our best trail pick among Nike’s budget-friendly lineup.

For such an affordable price tag, JT2 offers generous cushioning rising to above-average heights of 34.7/25.3 mm. The platform feels moderately firm and our durometer confirms its 27.1 HA foam is around the average. The balanced cushion enhances stability since we don’t sink into it and shields our feet from sharp rocks.

Further enhancing a steady ride is the wide platform that measures 113.7 mm in the forefoot and 95.0 mm in the heel. This gives us more than enough room to find our balance and to land safely with every stride.

What keeps us agile on various terrains is the unresisting midsole. Our bend test confirms it’s 26.0% more adaptive than average. 

Underfoot, the 3.1 mm lugs keep us steady on gentle terrains. Unfortunately, we found that the hard rubber outsole and the subpar lugs lack grip for more technical terrains.

Pros

  • Great value at just £90
  • Durable upper
  • Can handle road runs if needed
  • Exceptional stability
  • Perfectly suited for heel strikers
  • More cushioning than v1
  • Roomy and comfortable

Cons

  • Grip could be better
  • Might feel too firm and stiff
  • Not ideal for long-distance running
Full review of Nike Juniper Trail 2

Cheap Nike running shoes with the best cushioning

Nike Winflo 10
81
Good!

What makes it the best?

At £110, Winflo 10 is well below the £120 average of Nike daily trainers. For a budget-friendly shoe, it’s surprisingly comfortable with its full-length Air cushioning and durable with its robust outsole. We could wear this supportive and soft daily trainer all day — making it our best cushioned cheap Nike running shoe.

It houses a velvet foam that our durometer measures to be 32.6% softer than average. It provides a premium feel with its Air cushion and dampens the impact of landing. Its heel drop inclines by 9.7 mm, providing extra support for heel-strikers and promoting smooth forward rolls.

Winflo 10’s unopposing midsole highlights its focus on comfort. We can freely move and manoeuvre the shoe however we please. Our flex test confirms it’s an adaptive pair, standing 28.9% more flexible than average. Value for money is another advantage since its outsole is tough and long-lasting. Measuring 9.3% harder and 0.9 mm thicker than average, it has more rubber to resist wear and tear.

Unfortunately, Winflo 10 lacks responsiveness for speed training and races. We recommend exploring other options for faster shoes.

Pros

  • Combines durability with breathability
  • Exceptionally long-lasting outsole
  • Versatile design for casual wear or cross-training
  • Enhanced plush midsole
  • Air cushioning improves the running experience
  • Easy on the wallet
  • Fantastic for beginners

Cons

  • May not suit forefoot strikers
  • Could benefit from increased energy return
Full review of Nike Winflo 10

Cheap Nike running shoes with the best comfort

What makes it the best?

The Nike Downshifter 12 is ridiculously cheap given that it has top-grade comfort underfoot and high-end durability. It is a respectable, beginner-friendly shoe that has great value at a low price tag. Our lab tests and countless runs prove it—the Nike Downshifter 12 has the best comfort among cheap Nike running shoes.

At an incredibly low price of 70 USD, the Downshifter 12 is one of the lowest-priced shoes we’ve ever tested. For context, the average price for the running shoes we’ve tested in our lab is 132 USD. The price difference alone is enough to sway us in the direction of the Downshifter 12. 

When it comes to comfort, the Downshifter 12 does not skimp out—especially in its upper. We enjoyed the flexible heel counter, coupled with its lush and abundant padding that was present throughout the heel collar and tongue. We measured the tongue, and at 10.1 mm, it boasts so much more padding compared to the average thickness of 5.8 mm. 

Low price and durability do not typically go hand-in-hand but it does so in the Downshifter 12—a very welcome surprise. The outsole hardness (2.88% softer) and thickness (3.5 mm vs 3.4 mm average) are right around the average but even after more miles than we could count, the shoes still look and feel as good as new.

On the downside, the Downshifter 12 is not a very responsive shoe. Faster shoes are available in the market at higher prices.

Pros

  • Unbeatable price
  • Premium softness underfoot
  • Comfy interior padding
  • Above average durability
  • Versatile sneaker/running shoe
  • Simple, yet pleasant design
  • Plenty of colours available
  • Recycled materials

Cons

  • Not responsive
  • On the heavier side
  • Tapered toebox
  • Lacing is not always secure
Full review of Nike Downshifter 12

Cheap Nike running shoes with the best style

Nike Quest 5
79
Good!

What makes it the best?

The Quest 5 is a cheap running shoe that is best used as a sweet sneaker thanks to its attractive design. And it's also an awesomely comfortable shoe with ample cushioning, making it our best stylish sneaker among cheap Nike running shoes.

At just £90, the Quest 5 is well below Nike's average running shoe price of £140. But despite being in the budget category, it is quite a good-looking shoe, one that we have no hesitation wearing out to work, school, or any other casual setting. 

We also have no qualms with the shoe's overall comfort, which is outstanding. There is a tonne of padding around the heel and the tongue, with the latter measuring 10.2 mm thick. That is 43% thicker than the average road running shoe.

The Quest 5 also needs no break-in time and is plenty flexible right out of the box. It is 39.3% more flexible than average running shoes based on our 90 degree bend test, giving it a nicely natural feel while wearing them casually.

However, wide-footed individuals might need to size up since the Quest 5 runs narrow in the toebox. It has a very aggressive taper that makes its width at the big toe 6.6 mm narrower than average.

Pros

  • Versatile for different activities
  • Excellent comfort
  • Responsive ride
  • Strong and snug lockdown
  • Decent airflow
  • Grippy outsole
  • Very competitive price
  • Good-looking shoe
  • Many colorways available

Cons

  • A little bit firm underfoot
  • Not for wide feet
Full review of Nike Quest 5
Author
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.