Profile of the Nike Legend Essential

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.

Nike Legend Essential vs. New Balance 517

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.

Facts / Specs

Weight: Men 305g / Women 200g
Update: Nike Legend Essential 2
Use: Workout / Gym / Cross-training
Width: Normal, Wide / Normal
Release date: Nov 2019
Collection: Nike Legend
BRAND Brand: Nike

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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.