Verdict from 1 expert and 100+ user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • Whether you're working out at the gym or your home, the Nike Legend Trainer provides superb in-shoe comfort, says the majority of owners.
  • A good number of fitness enthusiasts claim that this Nike training shoe is able to keep their feet stable during weight training.
  • According to many reviewers, the outsole provides excellent traction on polished, concrete, and hardwood floors.
  • A lot of folks are impressed with the shock absorption delivered by the foam midsole.
  • Several individuals have noted that this pair is so light you'll forget you're wearing them.
  • Tons of shoppers love the style of the trainer as it pairs well with both gym and casual clothing.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Some people wish the model offered more support under the arch.
  • A few users have mentioned that the Legend Trainer needs to be broken in to loosen the snug fit.

Bottom line

The Nike Legend Essential is an all-around training shoe that provides stability for HIIT and cushioning for plyometrics. Its mesh top ensures the interior is able to breathe, regardless of how intense your training gets. The synthetic overlay around the heel, along with the raised wall of the midsole aids in steadying the foot. It comes highly recommended for various forms of fitness regimens. 

Tip: see the best workout training shoes.

Good to know

Who is it for? This Nike workout shoe is made for everyone, whether they are just starting on their fitness journey or belong to the hardcore workout enthusiasts.

What is it for? The Nike Legend Essential can be used for both light exercises and high-intensity training. Its pliable sole unit makes agile movements possible while the grippy outsole allows for quick starts and stops on smooth surfaces.

Traction. A rubber layer covers the underside of the Nike Legend Essential. The triangular treads promote multi-directional grip, allowing wearers to quickly move or stop without slipping.

Flexibility. Flex grooves are used in the forefoot section of this training shoe. It promotes natural foot movements, and smooth toe offs.

Steadiness. Meanwhile, the heel is constructed to be flat. It prevents unnecessary movements of the rearfoot.

Shock absorption. The middle layer of the Legend Essential is crafted from foam which is light and flexible. It is resistant to compression, allowing it to use the force of impact into energy for takeoffs.

Comfort. Inside this pair of workout shoes is a cushioned insert. This layer is made from a soft layer of foam for the foot to rest on.

Steadiness. The rear section wraps up to the lower portion of the upper. This structure on either side of the midfoot enhances foothold during side-to-side movements.

Coverage. Making up the top of the Nike Legend Essential is an open-cell mesh. This fabric is lightweight and breathable, keeping the foot chamber fresh.

Synthetic overlays are used on the toe box and the eyestay. They protect the areas against abrasion, preventing tears on the underlying fabric. 

Lockdown. A dynamic lacing system adorns the midfoot of the Legend Essential. The uneven placement of the eyelets allows for improved fit adjustments.

The laces integrate with a saddle that wraps around the rearfoot section. When the shoestrings are tightened, it amplifies the heel hold. The padded collar and tongue also aid in improving the fit, preventing excessive movements.

Another product to consider, if you like the simple style of the Legend Essential, is the New Balance 517. These two trainers share many similar features like a grippy outsole and a lightweight foam midsole. However, the NB 517 has a Memory Sole insert that maximizes underfoot coverage and comfort. Meanwhile, the upper is made of mesh and synthetics overlays that keep the foot comfy and supported.


How Nike Legend Essential ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 31% workout training shoes
All workout training shoes
Top 39% Nike training shoes
All Nike training shoes
Top 37% cross-training training shoes
All cross-training training shoes


The current trend of Nike Legend Essential.
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Nicholas Rizzo
Nicholas Rizzo

Nick combines 10+ years of experience in the health and fitness industry and a background in the sciences in his role as the Fitness Research Director. During his competitive powerlifting years his PRs have him sitting in the top 2% of bench presses (395 lbs), top 3% of squats (485 lbs) and top 6% of deadlifts (515 lbs) for his weight and age. His work has been featured on, LiveStrong, Healthline, WebMD, WashingtonPost, and many more. Along the way, collaborating with industry leaders like Michael Yessis, Mark Rippetoe, Carlo Buzzichelli, Dave Tate, Ray Williams, and Joel Seedman.