Whether for morning jogs, marathons, or recovery runs, Nike offers some of the best well-cushioned running shoes on the market. Wearing a pair with great cushioning provides many benefits, aside from giving you a super-soft ride and smoother transitions on the road or off the beaten paths.
We’ve rounded up 100+ Nike cushioned running shoes, reviewed and selected our best picks in five different categories, from best overall and most popular choices to highest-rated in road and trail running. We also have our best picks in the budget-friendly category.
Whatever preferences and running requirements you have in mind, we can help narrow down the top choices that will give you the best bang for your buck.
At RunRepeat, we use a data-driven process to come up with comprehensive and no-BS reviews of the best-cushioned running shoes from the Nike brand. Each model is put to the wringer to get a closer look at how they fare in our rigorous wear tests and lab testing.
Our entire process involves:
Buying all the running shoes with our own personal funds. We do this to make sure we’re free from any bias and brand loyalty.
Cut each model into pieces. Yes, we cut the shoes into little parts and measure 30+ parameters, from cushioning, in-shoe construction, breathability, and many others.
Testing the shoes in actual training and racing conditions. We record our impression of wearing the shoes for at least 30-50 miles.
Collecting information from shoe experts and regular users and putting them in a summary.
To conclude the review, we added up all comparable data we’ve aggregated and calculated their final ratings using our CoreScore system. Each pair of shoes is assigned a number from 0-100 that reflects its ranking as compared to others.
If there's one thing we can't take away from the Pegasus 38, it's that it's the GOAT of all workhorse shoes in our arsenal! It oozes with plushness, stability, and pop. It can do slow days, tempo sessions, and even gym workouts. If you want a fun ride, take the Pegasus 38!
Nike Quest 4 fills a niche with a trendy-looking shoe at a bargain price. If you desire that Nike swoosh and have less than $80 in your pocket there aren’t many options, but surprisingly this stylish trainer fits the bill! You can use it for easy short runs and enjoy it's lightness and crazy good grip.
Ah, the Nike Free Run… Calling this a running shoe is a stretch, but there’s still a vestige of folks out there in the minimalist fan group that likes the slipper-like feel of Nike’s long-running “Free” lineup. The 2021 update steers back toward a less bizarre-looking shoe than we saw in 2020 but continues with the ultralight and ultra-flexible design.
Pacing it through rocky and off-trail terrain, hands down, the Nike Wildhorse 7 just rocks! It made each of our steps confident and its protection just took everything to a whole new level. For a trail shoe, this is what we consider comfortable. It's not pillowy soft but has enough give to keep the foot cushioned and strain-free. All of this, however, comes at the price of heft.
The Pegasus road series just holds a special place in our feet, we just had to see it in trail action. And voila! 50 miles later, the Nike Pegasus Trail 3 won us over with its uber plush landings! It's stable and comfy and will make your run cloud-like. When faced with slick surfaces, however, it shows its limitations.
The Nike Revolution 6 is a really popular running shoe that feels more and more like a sneaker the more we try it out. With an exciting feeling midsole, the Revolution 6 is ready for some short, fun adventures, but may not be your best bet for serious running.
Touted as a light trail running shoe, the Nike Air Max Torch 4 sports quality features that are ready to beat the competition. Packed with Nike's innovative midsole components, the running shoe offers premium support and lockdown. Although packed with many technologies, this runner does not sacrifice weight. With the Nike Air Torch 4, athletes are geared for comfort, protection, and superior grip on any type of terrain.
Zoom Fly 4 feels like a Vaporfly but it's more durable and designed for everyday speed training. Finally a shoe that can go fast often! And with a price point way below its carbon-plated competitors, what's not to love!
Given its slip-on, laceless design, Nike React Phantom Run Flyknit 2 is more often used as an every-day sneaker than a running shoe. It's best used for short and easy runs, especially in summer when it's highly breathable upper gets the spotlight.
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.