Verdict from 8 user reviews

7 reasons to buy

  • Majority of the reviewers applauded the Nike Waffle Racer 17 for its predecessor’s iconic legacy.
  • Comfortable was a word frequently used in describing this pair.
  • Several respondents praised this shoe’s craftsmanship and regarded it as having excellent quality.
  • Plenty of consumers found the sneaker’s retro style timelessly appealing.
  • This pair fits true to size, according to most of the wearers’ opinions.
  • Almost all shoe users commended the sneaker for its lightweight and breathable fit.
  • A number of purchasers said that the kick is durable.

1 reasons not to buy

  • A few wearers claim that the Nike Waffle Racer 17 has no arch support.

Bottom line

Grounded on the original’s classic tooling, the Nike Waffle Racer 17 displays a retro aesthetic while boasting modern features. Keeping its iconic design of moccasin-inspired upper, wedge midsole, and waffle outsole, this version steps it up a notch in the comfort department by including memory foam sockliners and dual-density foam midsole. Apart from its upgrades, this shoe encompasses great legacy and rich history that many consumers rave about. 

Good to know

The low-top Nike Waffle Racer 17 is a unisex shoe that's solely available in men's sizes, which range from 5 to 15. Ladies who fancy a pair should go 1.5 sizes down from their standard shoe size. This sneaker runs true to size. It utilizes the traditional lace-up closure system for a lockdown fit.

With a simple and predominantly monochromatic design, the Nike Waffle Racer 17 makes for an easy pair to incorporate into a multitude of casual ensembles. The shoe’s various colorways and iconic silhouette could help you stand out in the crowd and add oomph to your look. Pair it with cropped denim jeans and a button-down polo for a dressier outfit or opt for a more preppy look with walking shorts and a polo shirt.

This pair retains the original's silhouette with its uppers made from ripstop nylon for a comfortable and breathable fit, while suede overlays on the toe, heel, and shoelace eyestays provide added reinforcements and durability. Its outsole displays the same waffle gum pattern for a retro look and high-traction and firm grip on the ground. These unaltered features make the shoe an appealing option. However, modern upgrades such as memory foam insoles and dual-density foam midsole are the deciding factors for most of today's consumers.

First introduced in 1974, the Nike Waffle Racer is considered today as one of the Swoosh brand's most iconic silhouettes. It is Nike's first running shoes ever, and it may have never been created if not for Bill Bowerman's waffle maker. In the early 70s, Bill was confronted with a dilemma on how to transition runners from a crushed cinder track to an artificial cement track. In his search for the solution, Bill tinkered with a waffle iron and proved to be an almost perfect mold for the outsoles of a running shoe.

This experiment created the Nike Waffle Racer. Reported to be responsive, shock absorbent, and efficient in uneven running surfaces, the sneaker was considered the first major innovation that has revolutionized the footwear industry. The original model was made in Japan and featured a nylon upper bathed in a red and white colorway. Canvas and women's exclusive versions came later.

The shoe was tweaked over time and was released in many more Waffle shoe versions with one of the latest being the Nike Waffle Racer 17. This sneaker retains its iconic vintage aesthetic but with modern comfort and enhancements to keep up with today's standards. It is made available in the following colorways: Cool Grey / Gym Red / Summit White / Black, Mica Blue / Binary Blue/ White, Mushroom, White Gum, Black Gum, and Black and Orange.

  • It is available in Medium width.
  • News of an exclusive for women’s pack has been circulating the web. A collaboration with the brand OFF-WHITE, the pack is said to release in 2019.
  • It is also offered in Textile and Premium versions.
  • In June 2018, a Japanese brand called Sacai debuted a hybrid sneaker featuring the Waffle Racer’s iconic upper.
Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny McLoughlin is a researcher for RunRepeat covering football, sneakers and running. After graduating with a degree in computer science from The University of Strathclyde, Danny makes sure never to miss a game of his beloved Glasgow Rangers or the Scotland national football team. He has been featured in prestigious publications such as The Washington Post, The Irish Times, Footwear News and the like.