Verdict from 14 user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • Comfortable: The majority of wearers share that the Nike Waffle Racer feels cozy and snug when worn.
  • Timeless: Many buyers enjoy the classic appeal of this model.
  • Lightweight: Like most running-inspired sneakers, the Nike Waffle Racer feels airy on feet, according to many buyers.
  • High-quality: Buyers have vouched that Nike built this kick with premium materials.
  • Breathable: This model is well-ventilated, according to a few users.
  • Affordable: Buyers can purchase this at a budget-friendly price range.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Arch support: A buyer mentions that the Nike Waffle Racer provides insufficient reinforcement underfoot.
  • Narrow: This pair feels a bit tight, according to a few reviewers.

Bottom line

Nike brought a well-beloved running silhouette from the 70s back, this time as a casual sneaker. Presented in glorious colorways, the Nike Waffle Racer got the nod from followers and onlookers for its vintage vibe and versatile appeal.

This fresh version of the classic kick boasts its comfort and craftsmanship, comparable to other more popular kicks. Despite some minor drawbacks, this sneaker is worthy of being considered as one's all-around pair.

Tip: see the best sneakers.

Nike Waffle Racer for the city street racers

Considered one of the most classic silhouettes, the Nike Waffle Racer still continues to reign the vintage sneaker market even without any fancy technology. This modernized version kept its retro look but reworked with a memory foam sockliner and a more cushy midsole to make it fitting for the city streets. 

The innovative Nike waffle outsole

Nike Trainer was the first to flaunt a groundbreaking Nike technology called waffle sole. While having breakfast with his wife, designer Bill Bowerman thought of removing all the unnecessary details on the outsoles to come up with footwear with lighter and better traction. By using his family's waffle iron, he poured urethane on it and came up with rubber with a waffle pattern.

In 1974, Bowerman remodeled the footwear and came up with the much-loved Nike Waffle Racer. Fast forward, this waffle pattern outsole has survived the period of a quarter-century. It is still used in current footwear as it delivers reliable grip on various surfaces.

Nike Waffle Racer and its variations

While this sneaker is seldom seen in the sneakers scene, it still made its mark by coming up with new and modern versions

Nike Waffle Racer x Off-White. While the overall look of this collab kick did not get the approval of many, it still got the attention it needed for its unique look, consistent with Virgil Abloh's "athletes in progress" vision. Unlike its prototype, this model used hiking cord laces and added spikes on the waffle-patterned outsole, for enhanced grip and striking style.

Nike Waffle Racer 17. Unlike the Off-White version of the Nike Waffle Racer, this model stayed true to its prototype - retaining the nylon and suede on the upper and the waffle rubber outsole. However, to make it more likable, the brand upgraded it with a memory foam insole and a more cushy midsole.


How Nike Waffle Racer ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 7% sneakers
All sneakers
Bottom 10% Nike sneakers
All Nike sneakers
Bottom 7% low sneakers
All low sneakers


The current trend of Nike Waffle Racer.
Compare to another shoe:
Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sports nut with a particular interest in football and running. He loves to watch sports as much as he loves to play. Danny was lead researcher on RunRepeat and The PFA’s report into Racial Bias in Football Commentary. His football and running research has been featured in The Guardian, BBC, New York Times and Washington Post.