Our verdict


Loaded with a punch of old-school flair, the Nike Challenger OG isn’t only stylish but comfy too. You can wear this all day while enjoying soft cushioning underfoot. It exudes a similar retro feel as the Nike LD Waffle Sacai but at an extremely wallet-friendly price.


  • Timeless look
  • Padded collar
  • Comfy
  • Light
  • Affordable
  • All-rounder style
  • Plenty colorways


  • Narrow front
  • Subpar quality
  • Not too grippy

Who should buy the Nike Challenger OG

This throwback-style kick is a perfect choice: 

  • if you're up for budget-friendly kicks as it’s one of the retro-styled Nike shoes, that’s very cheap
  • if you love classic shoes that are breathable
  • if you want a sneaker that will go well with casual and sporty clothes

Nike Challenger OG who should buy

Who should NOT buy it

  • if you're looking for a more spacious toe area, try the almost identical-looking Daybreak
  • if you're looking for superb traction, consider the Nike Waffle One Crater

Nike Challenger OG should not buy

Nike Challenger OG: A classic '70s Nike runner 

Nike Challenger OG is a colorful revival of the original running trainer that first surfaced in 1979 alongside the more popular Tailwind and Daybreak. Like the classic model, this reimagined version utilizes different materials on the upper such as mesh, nylon, and suede, which come in a varying blend of vibrant colors. 

Nike Challenger OG retro runner

Gentle on the ankles

Several pleased owners highlight the luxurious foam treatment that wraps the ankle.

Nike Challenger OG padded collar

Softly cradles the foot

Many buyers enjoy walking on this as it gently cushions the foot and isn’t heavy at all.

Nike Challenger OG lightweight

Ready for round-the-clock activities

It's great for everyday errands and short runs. 

Nike Challenger OG all-rounder

Available in a wide range of colors

There are plenty of colors available. Some of the colorways used for this comeback version are Royal Blue, University Red, Habanero Red, etc. The rubber underside features Nike’s patented waffle sole that elevates its vintage styling as it simulates the bottom of the original model. 

Nike Challenger OG colorways

Tapered toe

Few wearers point out that this kick is comparatively tight like the other Nike running trainers.

Nike Challenger OG tapered toe

Thinly-structured cover

Its flimsy fabric, mesh materials, and shabby stitching "looks pretty beaten up" after a few wears.

Nike Challenger OG flimsy cover

Not as grippy as expected

Walk on tiles with extra care since its rubber sole tends to slip on smooth surfaces.

Nike Challenger OG outsole

Nike Challenger OG vs. other classic Nike waffle-soled revivals

Nike Air Tailwind 79 and the Challenger OG share the same streamlined cut. However, the latter's vamp is covered in nylon, and it has a lower collar height than the retroed Tailwind. Both kicks can be snagged at the same price. 

Nike Daybreak has a more rounded, Nike Cortez-like build that's slightly different from the Challenger OG's pointed structure. It’s assembled with a nylon, suede, and leather cover and priced a fraction higher than the revived Challenger. 

Nike Waffle Racer is the most iconic of the waffle-sole family from the 1970s that's partly pricier than the throwback Challenger. This remake uses a memory foam sockliner and dual-density midsole, making it cushier than the Challenger OG. The gridded outsole extends around the Waffle Racer's forefoot sides compared to those on the other archival waffle-soled Nike kicks.