Size and fit

The Flywire design on the low-top Nike CK Racer conforms to the shape of the foot and fixes the midfoot into place. The quick lace-up structure on this sneaker, either through a bungee and toggle lacing system or simply stretchable laces, cinches in the fit for a more secure positioning of the foot into the shoe.

This unisex sneaker basically gets tight towards the toe area and up for grabs in medium width. The size ranges for this sneaker is 5 to 12 US and 6 to 15 US for women and men respectively.

Nike CK Racer Style

The soft-knitted body of the low-top Nike CK Racer, inspired by the seamless and advanced woven upper technique known as Nike Flyknit, offers a clean finish.  This modernized sneaker drawn from the well-padded track shoe of the 1990s has hardly any trace of weight-bearing layers on the upper. This simplified, neoteric-styled everyday shoe enhances a comprehensive collection of laidback cool outfits.

Among the women’s clothing ideal for this sneaker are simple tees matched with skinny jeans, oversized shaggy hoodie paired with shorts, sweater dress, knitted minis, and bodysuits. For the men, the casual wear suitable with the CK Racer includes fleece sweatshirt partnered with straight pants, body-hugging tees with khakis, and Henley shirts over chinos, to name a few.   

Notable Features

The simplified structure of the Nike CK Racer low-top sneaker, as well as the convenience of slipping the foot into this shoe, are among its distinctive attributes. The absence of layering on this sneaker’s sock-like frame offers comfort to the foot. The removal of overlays decreases the upper weight and gives the foot more room to move effortlessly without the stiffness from the surrounding walls. The bungee and toggle closure of this shoe paired with the Flywire system eases the manner in cinching this shoe for that secure, lockdown fit.  

Nike CK Racer History

The Nike CK Racer low-top shoe follows the trail of a mid-distance running shoe that proliferated in the 90s and was reissued as a lifestyle sneaker in 2016, called the MD Runner 2. Although the MD Runner 2 is padded all over and arrived in a moderately robust form, the Nike CK Racer was designed to be sleek, equipped with the Nike Flywire technology.

The MD Runner 2 is not the top of the line shoe compared to its more expensive and tech explosive contemporary like the Zoom Air integrated Nike Air Pegasus and Nike Air Zoom Spiridon. But it was one of the most comfortable runners built with a breathable mesh cover on the vamp that propelled users to fly with its lightweight cushioned midsole.

Around two decades later, the MD Runner 2 got a refreshed image. The new form was not exactly made to entice potential consumers to hit the road for mid-distance running or to push them towards fulfilling their workout goals. But this multipurpose lifestyle sneaker was designed to be considered as a reliable option for everyday use, for work and leisure purposes.

Comfort remained its supreme facet as it is constructed in such a way that the foot is sheltered under a netting cover, admitting air around the skin, thus keeping it dry and fresh. The mesh is outlined by suede overlays that resist deformation, keeping the shoe pliable as the feet are immersed to multi activities within the day.

The mid-bottom part of the shoe has the compressed-molded Phylon foam sculpted as a lightweight cushioning property, which shields the foot from impact forces that can lead to strain and stress.

On the flipside, it is made with a Waffle rubber tread pattern with tiny studs that avoid users from slipping off easily.

The Swoosh brand seems to have taken a similar slant with the low-top Nike CK Racer. This sporty shoe is loaded with comfort attributes of the former vintage-inspired sneaker. However, this shoe is designed with an easy-to-wear opening, and a quick lacing feature, complemented by Nike’s breakthrough vertical cables with optimal strength called the Flywire. The CK Racer also has a squashy, no-sew upper construction, which makes it almost weightless as opposed to the bulbous MD Runner 2.

Additional Info

  • Flywire cables are made of Vectran fibers which are plotted in strategic points on the outer and inner sides of the shoe for maximum support. The laces run through the looped Flywire cables that are directly connected to the midsole. This technology is used in some minimalist shoes like the low-top Nike CK Racer. 
  • Vectran is a wonder thread coated with polyurethane that locks out moisture from the core and prevents it from abrasion.
  • The bungee and toggle lacing structure in the low-top Nike CK Racer adopted the kind of cord used to fasten and lock down running shoes, popular among competitive runners. Bungee lace is a stretchable cord that expands to the general directional movement of the foot, while toggle acts as a cable securing lock that fastens the lace in place.
  • Bungee and toggle lacing system used in sneakers offers a lockdown feel minus the trouble of tying and untying the laces.
  • Some variations of the Nike CK Racer apply the bungee and toggle lacing device while other selections use a stretchable cord which is tied and untied.
  • On the same year the low-top CK Racer was introduced, Nike launched the Duel Racer that has the same one-piece upper construction and allows the foot to slip in and out of the shoe quickly, which is tightened by the traditional lace-up closure.
  • The densely-built foam midsole right below the padded footbed offers lightweight cushioning.
  • Hard-wearing rubber on the outsole displays a debossed pattern that boosts traction.


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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.