Our verdict

In the world of budget-friendly running shoes, we can find a tonne of possibilities. But, as we know, not every shoe in this category is born equal. The Quest 5 stands out as one of the best low-priced Nike shoes that we scrutinised as it provided us with a very comfortable experience, a responsive ride, and great versatility. And we also confirmed that it’s a fantastic choice for gym goers and casual wearing.

Pros

  • Versatile for different activities
  • Excellent comfort
  • Responsive ride
  • Strong and snug lockdown
  • Decent airflow
  • Grippy outsole
  • Very competitive price
  • Good-looking shoe
  • Many colorways available

Cons

  • A little bit firm underfoot
  • Not for wide feet

Audience verdict

78
Decent!

Who should buy the Nike Quest 5

Get it if you have just stepped into the world of running, and what you are after is a versatile shoe that can suit both your runs and gym sessions, without making you spend a fortune. Bear in mind that, compared to other models, this shoe has a bit of a firm feel underfoot, and that the fit is quite narrow, so if you have wide feet you should go a half size up.

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Who should not buy it

We definitely advise steering away if you like very soft midsoles. The Nike React Miler 3 is for sure a better option in that case.

If you have wide feet, we encourage you to consider the Nike Vomero 17. It's a great alternative for you.

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Nike Quest 5 is airy

The shoe's upper is quite basic but it does deliver some nice breathability.

As our smoke test findings show, the Quest 5 is moderately flexible earning an average rating of 3 out of 5 (with 5 being the most breathable), which means there's decent airflow in the shoe.

Nike Quest 5 (left): the smoke is passing through the mesh;  Adidas Runfalcon (right): the toe box isn't letting any smoke out.

In our test, we use a smoke-pumping machine and cover up the shoe mouth entirely so that the smoke is only able to escape through the upper.

We also checked how transparent the upper material is. As you can see in the video below, there's quite a good amount of light shining through the fabric, meaning that the mesh is breathable.

Even when viewed under a microscope, the fabric looks well-perforated.

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A close-up photo of the Nike Quest 5.

For comparison, the image below shows the fabric of a running shoe that lacks breathability.

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A close-up photo of the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 2.

A surprisingly good midsole

For a budget-oriented trainer, the Quest 5 offers a nice amount of responsive bounce back and comfort in the midsole.

Using a durometer to check the softness of the foam, we received 28.5 HA, which confirms that the midsole is a little bit firmer than average (by 16%).

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Disclaimer: We take an average of 4 measurements and exclude any outliers. This image shows just one of our measurements.

We found the shoe's midsole to be very similar to the one of the Nike Downshifter 12.

Well-protected runs

We were pretty happy with the amount of protection that the Quest 5 offered underfoot. It felt like the new version has more cushioning than the preceding Quest 4.

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Measuring the shoe's stack height, we actually found it to be lower than average. With 29.8 mm in the heel, it is 3.5 mm lower than average and with 20.7 mm in the forefoot, it is 4 mm lower.

It's not as low as some of Nike's minimalist running shoes but not max-cushioned either.

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The height stack measurements take into account the insole, which in this case has a thickness of 4.7 mm, very close to the average of the shoes we tested.

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More than just running

Branded as a road running shoe, the Quest 5 goes beyond its category and can be used for more activities.

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We think that it can make a nice gym shoe for light and moderate workouts.

The fact that this Nike shoe has a relatively low heel stack height (29.8 mm) and a firmer midsole helps to enhance the overall stability.

Plenty of comfort in the Quest 5

The Nike Quest 5 offers a pretty comfortable in-shoe feel. It's got a nice amount of padding in the tongue and around the heel. Actually, we measured the shoe's tongue to be a staggering 10.2 mm (4.5 mm thicker than average)!

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When it comes to fit, the shoe's toebox becomes ridiculously tapered! Even though the shoe's width is the same as the average in the widest part of the forefoot (98.3 mm), it narrows down significantly to only 69.7 mm! And the latter is over 7 mm narrower than the average!

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That is one REALLY pointy toebox!

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It doesn't need time to reveal its potential

Taking the Nike Quest 5 out on the first run, we didn't feel as though the shoe needed a break-in period. The shoe is ready to go straight from the box.

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We also couldn't help but notice that the shoe also felt very flexible from the off.

In our force gauge test, we found that the shoe requires 65% less force to bend than it takes a road shoe on average.

In a second test, the shoe was measured on a subjective 1-5 scale (with 5 being the stiffest) and it received 2 for longitudinal flexibility and 3 for torsional flexibility.  

It must be taken into account that flexibility changed a lot after we put the shoe in the freezer for 20 minutes. We did this to simulate cold environments and found that it became 53% stiffer.

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Great lockdown with the Nike Quest 5

Thanks to the Flywire technology, basically a cage system on the sides, the shoe feels nice and snug around the midfoot. 

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The same goes for the heel, which wraps the foot nicely but at the same time has a great amount of flexibility. On a scale from 1 to 5, we rated it 2 (with 5 being the stiffest).

Grip is not a problem

In the outsole department, we found that the shoe does a great job.

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We haven't experienced any slipping on wet and slightly muddy roads.

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We checked the rubber's firmness with the help of the durometer and received 92.6 HC. It's 15% firmer than the average of most shoes we had in our lab and this can be an indication of good durability.

A rather attractive shoe

This shoe comes in no less than 9 colorways, which is a great plus for those considering it for casual wear. 

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We found it to be great as a sneaker to wear for work, going to school, and everyday life. 

Quest 5 has a fantastic price

When it comes to the cost, we have no doubt, that it’s extremely appealing not only for beginners but also for those who don’t want to spend too much on running shoes, which usually have an average price of about £140.

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