Our verdict

The Nike Renew Fusion is an excellent value training shoe with some high-end features at a very reasonable price. Just like me, I believe that everyday athletes and seasoned gym rats alike can enjoy this shoe for their training activities. As I've learned in the gym, this model is not ideal for very heavy lifts.


  • Exceptionally stable and supportive
  • Secure foothold
  • Fits true to size
  • Excellent cushioning
  • Solid grip
  • Adequate outsole flexibility
  • No break-in period
  • Durable
  • Very breathable
  • Contemporary style
  • Value price


  • Excessive heel-to-toe drop
  • Narrow fit
  • Prominent arch support may not work for everyone

Audience verdict


Who should buy it

I recommend the Renew Fusion to everyday athletes or seasoned gym rats who are looking to incorporate a varied cross-training routine into their fitness regimen. 

Who should NOT buy it

I believe this shoe should be avoided by:

  • those who perform very heavy weightlifting exercises regularly, especially standing exercises like squats and deadlifts (the Nike Metcon 7 is a good shoe for lifting)
  • people with wide or flat feet (see this list of Nike wide running shoes)

Nike Renew Fusion summary

The Nike Renew Fusion is a versatile and supportive training shoe that can hit a variety of workouts. It’s a reasonably-priced model that nonetheless packs a serious punch, with features that are great for the fitness enthusiast. It is competitive with other budget-priced performance cross trainers in the market today.

How I tested the Nike Renew Fusion

Here is a detailed look at the activities on which I tested my pair of Nike Renew Fusion:

  • Lower body: Kettlebell squats, bodyweight squats, kettlebell swings, hip raises, weighted or unweighted lunges, wall-sits, jump-squats, and deadlifts.
  • Upper body: Chest press, shoulder raises/overheads, lat pulls, bicep curls, pull-ups, farmer’s carry, kettlebell shoulder raises.
  • Full body: Jumping jacks, burpees, push-ups, planks, ab-roller, medicine-ball crunches.


Superb support and foothold

The Nike Renew Fusion offers absolutely superb lateral support. A hard rubber cage wraps around the midfoot of the shoe, preventing unwanted side-to-side foot motion from occurring during a workout. The cage extends from the shoe’s midsole to the lace area on both sides of the shoe. 

My feet felt locked-in and stable for every exercise from squats to shoulder raises. This kind of support is also very useful for interval training or HIIT-type workouts. It is probably the shoe’s very best feature.

The Nike Renew Fusion also sports a plastic wedge under the arch of the foot, which provides ample support in this area. This worked well for my high-arched feet. However, those with flatter feet might find the degree of support offered by these shoes to be uncomfortable.

True-to-size but narrow width

I found the Nike Renew Fusion to be true to size for me. I measure a 9-to-9.5 (medium width) on a Brannock device, and this shoe fitted as I would expect in this size length-wise. 

However, I did find the shoe to be just a bit narrow in width. This wasn’t a problem for me, since I don’t have wide feet and prefer a snug fit. But those with wide feet are advised to avoid this model. 


Exceptional cushioning in the Renew Fusion

The Renew cushioning system used in this shoe provided exceptional cushioning for training routines. This cushioning seemed very springy, yet also firm. I found that the balance between energy return and support was just perfect for a variety of activities from standing exercises like squats or kettlebell swings to dynamic moves like jump squats or lunges. These shoes would also perform very well on cardio equipment like an elliptical.

Sloped midsole limits use for heavy lifts

The Nike Renew Fusion is built on a sloped midsole platform, with the heel being higher than the forefoot. This sloped design is not as stable as a flat-soled shoe for heavy lifting. I found that I felt less balanced on deadlifts and squats in these shoes than I do in my Nike Metcons or even basic Converse.

If you are a heavy lifter, I don’t recommend these shoes for standing lifts that require your feet to be sturdily planted. 

No break-in period in the Renew Fusion

This shoe was comfortable from moment one through every workout I performed. It required no break-in. There were no hot spots or areas of uncomfortable chafing anywhere on this shoe.

Stable and grippy outsole

The Nike Renew Fusion boasts an outsole that is wider and longer than the upper of the shoe. This provides a feeling of grounding and stability during workouts. The outsole is also sufficiently grippy, with areas of traction on the rearfoot and forefoot. I felt very surefooted during all of my exercises with this well-designed outsole structure. The outsole is also quite flexible at the forefoot, which proved helpful for lunges.


Breathable and tough upper

The upper of the Nike Renew Fusion is one of this shoe’s best features. The upper is perforated for breathability, which really kept my feet cool through some intense workouts during the heat of the summer. 

However, the upper is also reinforced with a tough material called Nike Skin, which has been added in high-wear areas over the forefoot and toebox. This material does not restrict the shoe’s flexibility or breathability, yet it makes the shoe very resistant to scuffs or tears. For this reason, I found the Nike Renew Fusion to be very durable.


The shoe tongue is gusseted and padded, holding my feet in place and not slipping around at all during motion. The collar area of the shoe is very comfortable and soft, preventing chafing.

The Renew Fusion has a sturdy heel

The Nike Renew Fusion boasts a firm, rigid heel cup that locks the foot into place for a great support. The heel area of the outsole also extends back beyond the shoe’s heel cup. This prevents any rearfoot wobbling during all types of exercise. The combination of these two features makes these shoes feel very sturdy to create a solid foundation for the body during exercise.


Weight is not an issue in the Renew Fusion

This shoe weighs 11.75 oz., making it a lightweight option for exercise. My feet did not feel overly weighed down during any type of fitness activity, including jumps. This shoe is definitely not a brick.

Contemporary style

The Nike Renew Fusion is very contemporary-looking, with a thick midsole and a sleek profile. It is clearly a gym shoe but could work for casual wear as well. It is a far cry from the bulky white leather “dad shoes” of the 1990s but retains just a hint of retro styling. The modern design of this shoe adds to its versatility. 


Good value for money

The Nike Renew Fusion retails for around £90 but can easily be found for less.  It is one of the very best budget trainers I have ever tried and is competitive with much more expensive models in terms of overall performance.