Verdict from 100+ user reviews

10 reasons to buy

  • Most users love the Nike Duel Racer because of the comfort it gives.
  • A couple of users love these sneakers because it is lightweight.
  • Based on a Nike Duel Racer review, these sneakers can be used for working out or running
  • It is stable and supportive, some have remarked.
  • One tester commends the material used on the upper which is made out of a stretchy knit. 
  • The affordable price tag makes this sneaker even better, according to some online customers.
  • The available colorways are superb according to one reviewer.
  • After using it quite frequently for a month, one user felt that it is justifiable to describe the shoe as durable.
  • One user loves the fact that these sneakers are quite similar to the Nike Flyknit Racer but more affordable.
  • A part of Nike’s lifestyle shoe collection, a good number of users describe it as sleek and stylish. 

2 reasons not to buy

  • A good number of testers have noted experiencing blisters or pain at the heel part.
  • Although the existing colorways are great, one user wishes that there are more colorway options available.

Bottom line

The Nike Duel Racer shoe is an all-around piece that can be used for every day and for working out. Most of the users love the upgraded aesthetic especially the sock-like upper which is trendy.

More so, the color-blocked heel and the racer-like silhouette is reminiscent of the 80s Duelist model. Although an underdog back in its day, the Duel Racer came back with a vengeance this time. 

Tip: see the best sneakers.

Good to know

The Nike Duel Racer men’s and women’s shoe embodies the upgraded old-school style. As a lifestyle sneaker, it has needed support for everyday activities and light workouts. The lacing system not only serves as an upgrade on the aesthetic but allows a quick-lace and a snugger fit.

Nike continued the streak of its 80s Renaissance trend with the re-release of the Nike Duel Racer. Much like its beloved sibling, the Air Mariah, the Duelist receives a makeover with a stretchable knit upper that wraps around the foot, making it appear sock-like. Albeit a lifestyle sneaker, it carries a racer-like silhouette giving a sporty but versatile look.

  Suggested styling

Styling the Nike Duel Racer is not an arduous task given its basic look that is timeless but trendy. Users can also take advantage of the wide colorway selection. Black and white options are available and will suit those that prefer following the minimalist trend.

The Nike Duel Racer in light charcoal is also excellent options especially for those that are tired of the usual blanc et noir pairs. Bold colors will also pique the interest of the more adventurous gents. Whatever the colorway is, its modern silhouette shouldn’t pose much problem with its styling.  Some of the proposed stylings are as follows:

  For men

Because of these sneakers’ knitted upper, it is evident that it is an excellent pair to use during the summer. Matching these with shorts and a plain shirt will automatically make any man get ready in an instant. Shorts will also highlight the details of the shoe especially the color-blocked heel and the Swoosh. For chillier months, jeans or jogger pants will work best. Light-washed denim will give a casual look while dark-washed pants exude a more formal look.

  For women

The ladies can also adopt these sneakers into their everyday rotation. To give that flirty, feminine and comfy style, pair these with a flouncy dress or skirt. Summer calls for that sundress or denim skirt. If the stepped-out-of-the gym look is right up your alley, leggings or tracksuits will also pair well with the Duel Racer. Capris and cigarette pants paired with a dressy blouse will create a contrasting style but produce a chic look.

Almost 30 years before its resurgence, the Nike Duel Racer proves that its upgrade is worth it. Still imbibing the concept of the Duelist, these contemporary piece remains to be minimalist in style and function. These sneakers are made of a high quality 3-toned engineered knit textile upper which instantly brings the Duelist into a trendy but functional lifestyle sneaker. This material gives a dimensional look and allows more movement and breathability.

It lies on a dual-density sole, including a Phylon sole which offers a more cushioned comfort without giving too much weight on the shoe. To also provide more traction and flexibility, a thin web rubber outsole is added. All these materials combine to make the Duel Racer an extremely lightweight shoe.

As followed by the 70s running boom, the 80s became the decade when footwear innovations were strengthened. Although Nike has set a great tone in terms of advancements, it is during this time where they pushed boundaries and fine-tuned existing technologies. This period also intensified the popularity of Nike sneakers in the lifestyle arena.

One of the releases of the brand is the Duel Racer, a modernized rendition of an 80’s release. As a modern version of the Nike Duelist, it is proved that even semi-obscure sneakers can make resurgences. Released in 1988, the Nike Duelist was launched alongside its more famous sibling, the Nike Air Mariah. Both sneakers introduced the minimalist approach to running, a revolutionary concept during the 80s.

It deviated from the use of heavy materials and launched a shoe with adequate upper cushioning. These sneakers are also representations of Nike’s most brilliant concepts, the Nike Free. Supposedly, this helps runners with speed, endurance, and support as it allows more freedom in movement.

The Duelist features a technology called Phylon. It is a cushioning used by Nike for years and has been used in a lot of sneakers like the famous Nike Cortez. This material is extremely lightweight, low-profile, and responsive. Currently, Nike still uses Phylon but upgraded it to what we call now the Lunarlon.

  • The Nike Duel Racer features a lacing system that is entirely different from the traditional. It offers a more secure fit, quicker way to lace and a cleaner look.
  • This low-top sneaker has a one-piece cleat-like construction. The neoprene tongue is connected to the upper of the shoe and ankle.
  • The synthetic overlays and the TPU heel counter contribute to the shoes’ durability and stability.
  • The Nike Duel Racer was released on June 22, 2017.
  • The sole color-blocking depicts two different foams.
  • The color-blocked heel featured in these were adopted from the Nike Duel Racer.


How Nike Duel Racer ranks compared to all other shoes
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The current trend of Nike Duel Racer.
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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.