Nike has come up with an affordable neutral running shoe with the Renew Run. The shoe has its place along urban pathways and everyday casual runs from short to middle distances.
Who the shoe is (not) for?
Occasional, non-competitive runners looking for a versatile everyday running shoe
Gym enthusiasts and urban commuters seeking a running shoe that can blend in when wearing casual outfits
Don't buy this if you're an experienced runner looking for a dedicated running shoe (daily trainer, tempo shoe, race shoe) to add to your rotation. This might work as a daily trainer, but Nike has more to offer like the Invincible Run or something from the Pegasus line.
Comfy, secure fit
Grippy even on wet surfaces
Not for hot weather
Bulky and heavy
It’s a dull ride
The midsole could be better. But at $90, you get what you pay for here. I have experienced more energy return at this price point for nearly all other competitive brands.
After about 10 kilometers, the shoe starts to feel a bit dead and lacks responsiveness. This is especially noticeable during the push-off in the running gait cycle.
Nike Renew Run is heel-strikers friendly
Heel strikers will appreciate the 31mm heel for a smooth transition and cushion for those on the heavier side.
So high and steep that it feels unstable
A drawback I noticed causing the ride to be less stable was the combined stack height and drop. Stack height is on the higher side (forefoot: 22mm, heel: 31mm) but combined with a 9mm drop is a bit much.
I’m a fan of maximalist shoes for added comfort and to reduce impact, although most I’ve used have a drop of lower than 6 millimeters. The increased drop in the Renew Run made the high midsole feel less stable when turning corners, walking on stairs, or running over loose terrains such as rocks and tree roots.
Wider than most Nike running shoes
In my first run, I immediately noticed how the shoe allowed my toes to move freely and plant themselves in a stable position throughout the entire length of the shoe. I consider my feet to be average in width and often struggle to find a Nike shoe that is not too narrow. The Renew Run, however, was the first from the brand to offer a “normal feeling width” since the early Pegasus lineup.
The Nike Renew Run feels bulky and heavy
The Renew Run weighs 340g (size 9). The reinforced rubber eyelet overlays, thick tongue, and raised TPU swoosh logo all contribute to the shoe’s excessive weight. The Renew Run does feel bulky and weighed down while running because of these upper specifications. This leads me to believe that Nike focused more on aesthetics rather than performance-based features.
The Nike Renew Run has a sturdy outsole
I can’t say it enough that more running trainers need better outsoles to hold up to the pounding miles. That said, the Nike Renew Run delivers in this area, with one of the most durable outsoles that extends from heel to toe.
Reliable grip on wet surfaces
Wet surfaces were no struggle due to the rubber grip and wave design. I predict this outsole to last several hundred miles and will likely outlast the rest of the shoe.
Tiny rocks get stuck in the heel
The deep groove cutouts in the heel area used to reduce weight, however, allowed for some unnecessary rocks to collect on recreation gravel trails, which made the aesthetically pleasing design element slightly counterproductive.
Works well in the gym
I found this shoe to work well in a gym setting vs long-distance running. Shorter warm-up jogs didn’t break the Renew Run over its running threshold.
The shoe gives you a nice wide base during multi-directional movements, such as plyometrics and lunges. The exaggerated heel cushion offered ample support when performing squats. The grooved rubber outsole was especially nice not having to worry about slipping on various hard surfaces.
Comfy, secure fit
The Nike Renew Run has a great overall fit due to its wider surface area covering the entire length of the shoe for a smooth transition.
The foot feels locked down securely due to the simple lacing system. The tongue holds its place when tied and the heel counter padding is just right, reducing any opportunity for slipping.
Not for warm weather
The mesh upper material is flexible but not the softest on the skin. Compared to other breathable running shoes, the Nike Renew Run needs to allow more airflow to run consistently in, especially on warmer days.
The Renew Run is a multi-purpose, everyday shoe
The Nike Renew Run has its limitations in terms of performance and overall value. It is a versatile, budget-friendly running shoe for the everyday casual setting. I think the right buyer for this shoe is someone looking for a “swiss-army knife” approach to their shoe selection.
I would recommend this shoe for the occasional runner that isn’t out to receive a personal best time or place on the next 5K podium. One could easily take the Nike Renew Run along casual walks in the park, work commutes, or gym sessions with confidence.
Kyle Babbitt is a holistic wellness advocate and running enthusiast competing in 5k’s to marathons and anything in between. He spends his time volunteering at local community running events and training across the four-state region. Current running involvement includes serving as Events Coordinator for Wizard Run, LLC. Previous work includes a former position as Wellness Services Director at Spring River Mental Health & Wellness, LLC and Brand Ambassador for Hoka One One in2019. Kyle received his Bachelor of Science degree in Health Promotion and Wellness from Missouri Southern State University.