Our verdict

The Nike Renew Ride 2 is another budget shoe to enter the market, which is a very difficult area to lead in because of the lack of features these shoes have. The Renew Ride 2 wins my love when it comes to its midsole though. Upon donning the pair on wear tests, I understood why Nike’s incredible React Foam is one of the runners' favorite midsole constructions, especially considering the price of the shoe.


  • Great looks
  • Budget-friendly
  • Excellent cushioning
  • Durable
  • Excellent grip


  • Very narrow
  • Not stable

Audience verdict


Nike Renew Ride 2 review and lab test


The Renew Ride 2 is a serious contender in the budget-running shoe market. During lab testing, I definitely found some stuff I love, as well as a few flaws. 

Overall, for the price, I love the shoe, but it just may not be for serious runners. 

Who should buy the Nike Renew Ride 2

The Renew Ride 2 is a perfect everyday shoe for you if:

  • You’re going on shorter runs
  • You have narrow feet and need a snug fit
  • You want a durable, well-padded midsole

Who should NOT buy these

While great for all the above, the Renew Ride 2 is not the best choice if:

  • You want to go on longer (>10km) runs. I suggest trying something with a more stable shape like the Air Zoom Pegasus 38
  • You have pronation issues. It's best to look at a more specialist shoe. The Nike Air Zoom Structure 25 is what I recommend.

The Nike Renew Ride 2 doesn’t feel so great at first

People are more frequently buying shoes online, and while we can mostly return them, no one wants the hassle of when a shoe doesn’t fit right. 


This is why I often suggest Nike running shoes for people because they’re the most consistently spot-on with sizing. 


That’s why it came as a huge surprise to me that these are so damn narrow. I thought I’d accidentally ordered a child’s shoe for my US 10 feet. But no, the Renew Ride 2 is so tight that my foot bulges out between the tongue and the lacing.

Weirdly, when running it doesn’t feel as bad as when you first put it on, but it’s still not a great sensation. So, order at least half a size up.

There are no complaints about the React foam

Nike first introduced their React foam in basketball shoes, perfect for absorbing heavy impacts from athletes, anything with react is able to hold up well. 


It’s nice to see it in Nike’s budget running shoes, it suggests the Renew Ride is going to hold up well over time. 

On runs, you can feel the comfort of the foam, as well as the power return from each step. This is a rare thing to find in a running shoe and can really add to the feel of the run.


What’s more, Nike has been able to keep the Renew Ride 2 at a reasonable weight of 10.7oz (302g) with 37.6mm of foam under the heel. 

Well, almost no complaints

While the React foam in the Renew Ride is a great addition, there’s an overreliance on it which leads to little else in the shoe that’s catered to running. 


My main concern is the lack of flexibility in the shoe, in testing, I found it took 37.5N of force to bend the shoe into a 45° angle, which is just above our average. But that average is made up of shoes like the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2 (83.7N to get to 45°) which relies on a carbon plate for energy return and movement. 

When a shoe like this has nothing but foam driving you forward, you need that flexibility to help your foot strike and your stride. Over long runs, I could feel a total lack of energy return and the shoes almost felt like they were sucking power from my stride. 

The Nike Renew Ride 2 has some insane grip

The outsole on this shoe is great. The moulded rubber that lines react foam feels as though the Renew Ride 2 will grab anything. 


More than that, being moulded to the midsole means that it’s really durable too, which matches the React foam and makes it seem the shoe can like well into 500 miles. 

Pretty unstable for a running shoe

I think this is more of a result of the narrow fit and the lack of stability control within the Renew Ride 2, but I felt regularly unstable on my test runs. It’s never great to get a shoe that you worry about rolling your ankle in. 


Not the shoe for you if you need motion control

If you overpronate or supinate, you might want to take a look at some stability control shoes. The Nike Renew Ride 2 doesn’t offer much in terms of correction for these issues and might end up feeling uncomfortable once you get into your runs. 


I don’t really expect a running shoe that sells for £110 to include anything like that though. 

Great looking upper

As budget running shoes go, the Renew Ride 2 looks fantastic. I think these are probably aimed more as a casual workout shoe, maybe with a bit of treadmill running involved in it too. 

The colorways on offer don’t fit in with what other companies (and Nike) are currently going for in running, which kind of confirms this. If you take a look at the Nike website, you’ll see that they usually stick with a design style each year. 



It might seem like I really don’t like the Renew Ride 2. That’s not entirely true, I wouldn’t go for them myself, mostly due to the sizing and stability issues. But, for the price that you can pick these up (especially with deals) they’re not a bad exercise shoe.

The Renew Ride 2 has excellent cushioning and durability, alongside a great aesthetic and grip.