The Nike brand is world-renowned for its stylish and comfortable range of sneakers. They cover pretty much every sport from running to basketball to casual everyday wear. You can also get Nike sneakers in just about any color, style, or finish you can imagine. We've sorted through the athletic apparel company's immense offerings to showcase some of our favorite Nike sneakers for men. Check them out!
Best Running Shoe: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36
While Nike has a particular reputation among elite athletes as a fashion-first brand, many top runners will tell you that their performance line of running shoes are first-rate. Nike was established by elite runners and coaches, and the company found its early success thanks to the high-end running shoes it designed and manufactured. Perhaps no other Nike running shoe epitomizes the brand's commitment to the sport more than the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36.
As the name implies, Nike has been making the Pegasus line for over 36 years, and the shoe is one of the longest-running (no pun intended) lines in the industry. The Pegasus is a fan favorite because it packs a good balance of essential features. The shoes have just the right amount of cushioning, are reasonably lightweight, and are durable enough to last over 350 miles of high-intensity use. They are well-suited to casual runs, but can also be used for speed work or even for a marathon.
- Storied brand
- Great cushioning
- Even though affordable, prices keep rising
- Some say this version runs narrow
Best Running Shoe
Running on tradition
The Air Zoom Pegasus 36 are a runner's favorite for a reason. They're well-built and have the perfect blend of cushioning and weight for any run.
Best Outdoor Shoe: Nike Air Wildhorse 5
I love the great outdoors, and one of my favorite things to do is taking off in the woods behind my house for a trail run or heading out to the hill country for a day of hiking. Nike makes some of my favorite trail shoes, including the Nike Air Wildhorse 5. Part of Nike's ACG or All Conditions Gear series, the Air Wildhorse 5 sits in a nice spot between a technical trekker and a flexible runner.
The shoe features multi-layer fabric for breathability but also has a rock plate in the midsole to shield your foot from hard and pointy things. It is cushioned with Nike's Zoom Air technology, and it has a nice pattern of large lugs and sticky rubber to aid in gripping even the gnarliest of trails. These Wildhorses are sure to drag you away!
- Affordable compared to other trail shoes
- Cushioned and protective
- Colors may not be to your style
- Not the fastest shoe
Best Outdoor Shoe
Oh baby baby, it's a wild world
If you're looking for an outdoor shoe with a great balance of weight, cushioning, and protection, you can't go wrong with the Nike Air Wildhorse 5.
Best Casual Kicks: Nike Air Force 1 Low Sneaker
The Nike Air Force 1 sneaker is one of the most famous basketball shoes ever. Even though it debuted in the early 80s, this shoe's iconic looks have been customized by numerous artists, immortalized in songs by rappers like Nelly, and even worn by contemporary professional basketball players like Rasheed Wallace.
You can pick up a pair in just about any color or design you want, but I'm partial to that classic all-white look. These can still be worn for a game of pickup basketball, but look just as good paired with some comfy jeans. They're the true fashion casual sneaker and can be dressed up or down, depending on the circumstance. Plus, you'll look baller wearing them.
- Classic styling
- High-quality leather
- Tons of fashion options
- A bit on the heavy side
- Not very breathable
Best Casual Kicks
Stomping in my Air Force Ones
Perhaps more than any other classic Nike shoe, these basketball beauties hold up well as performance sneakers or as casual kicks.
Best Dad Shoe: Nike Air Monarch IV Cross Trainer
Over the past year or so, many former fashion faux pas have come back en vogue. Shoes that were once derided as being better suited for the dad bod are now chic kicks. No shoe has epitomized this more than the Nike Air Monarch IV Cross Trainer.
You can get the Monarchs in basic dad mode style, including black on black and white/navy, or you can pick them up in all kinds of crazy colors and customizations. They are your classic trainer made with leather and synthetic leather and offer plenty of support and comfort with their rubber sole and Nike Air cushioning. And hey, once these go back out of style as they inevitably well, then you'll probably be in the dad-mode phase of life anyway!
- Style is polarizing
- A bit on the heavy side
Best Dad Shoe
Not all heroes wear capes
The Air Monarch IV Cross Trainer is a shoe that has evolved culturally, if not technically, to become one of our all-time favorite Nike shoes.
Most Plush: Nike Air Zoom Vomero 14 Running Shoe
If the Nike Air Pegasus is one of the most versatile elite Nike running shoes, the Vomero is one of the most comfortable. It shares a lot of DNA with its running shoe sibling but adds in extra foam and more Nike Air cushioning to make this the plushest Nike runner on the market.
The Air Zoom Vomero 14 features a full-length Zoom Air unit, React foam, and Dynamic Fit and Flywire technology to keep the shoe secure and snug to your foot while allowing for maximum comfort and control. This shoe is ideal for larger runners like me who tend to pound the pavement hard, but it is also great as a long run trainer for those looking for cushioning to sustain them for the many miles ahead.
- SUPER cushioned
- Secure fit
- Breathable upper
- A little on the pricey side
- Heavier than many elite running shoes
Vroom vroom Vomero
The Air Zoom Vomero 14 packs in luxurious comfort and cushioning for casual walkers and long-haul runners.
Best for Crossfit: Nike Metcon 5 Training Shoe
You'd be hard-pressed to find a more significant fitness craze over the past few years than CrossFit. It seems like there is a new gym in just about every strip mall or abandoned warehouse near me, that's for sure! All of the top sneaker brands have jumped all over this trend, creating their own lines of CrossFit shoes. For Nike, that CrossFit line is called the Metcon series.
The Metcon 5 Training Shoe is cut low for flexibility but has a flat and wide outsole for stability and guidance. It adds what Nike calls Hyperlift to the insert, which is supposed to help improve your performance and posture for those difficult lifts and jumps. The outsole also has an extra grip to it, so that you don't slip on all of that sweat and chalk powder in the gym. With these shoes, you'll be ready to crush your next WOD.
- Stable and comfortable
- Good grip
- Purpose-built for heavy workouts
- No real ankle support
- Not the best shoe for running or casual wear
Best for Crossfit
The Nike Metcon 5 Training Shoe is the ultimate footwear for CrossFit - whether you're a WOD warrior or a weekend warrior.
Best Multisport Shoe: Nike Free TR8 Training Sneakers
If you're looking for a versatile, everyday shoe that is great for wearing to the gym, getting a few laps around the track in, or wearing on a walkabout, the Nike Free TR8 Training Sneakers are just the right fit. Not everyone needs or wants the performance characteristics of something like the Metcon, Vomero, or Wildhorse, but they still want a solid shoe that is comfortable for multipurpose use.
The Free TR8s have a flexible, grooved rubber outsole that allows your foot to move and flex in nearly any direction. They are also incredibly lightweight and breathable and are thus perfect for all-day comfort. Even though this shoe is flexible, it also has a secure fit thanks to the Nike Flywire technology on the upper last. All-in-all, this shoe can genuinely be your daily trainer!
- Extremely flexible
- Not as supportive as other footwear
- No Nike Air cushioning
Best Multisport Shoe
Free as a bird
The Nike Free TR8 Training Sneakers follow in the tradition of Nike's cross-training shoes, offering maximum flexibility in terms of wear and performance.
Lace 'em up
It doesn't matter if you are an elite athlete or a couch surfer, Nike has a pair of shoes just right for you. This article focused on running, training, and casual shoes, but Nike makes shoes for literally every sport imaginable and is also a leader in "lifestyle" footwear. Whichever pair you choose, you can trust that Nike will provide you with a comfortable, stylish, and durable set of shoes.
My favorite on this list are the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36. They are incredibly lightweight and comfortable, and have just the right amount of cushioning. Plus, I think they look great for just wearing out and about and dress up nicely with a pair of jeans or running shorts.