Sneaker lovers highly rank Nike shoes for all the right reasons. For generations, this brand has remained steadfast in its endeavors to serve the market with quality designer shoes. Even as Nike continues to dominate markets worldwide, walkers and runners are worried about whether these are the right shoes for them.
To better understand how Nike became a dominant shoe brand, and whether they still have the best running shoes, we have to look at the company’s history. For a brand that marked its 50th anniversary in 2014, there is a propelling vision that keeps it alive.
An overview of Nike’s history
In 1964, Bill Bowerman, a track and field coach for the University of Oregon, partnered with his student Phil Knight to establish Blue Ribbon Sports. Initially, the goal was to be the official distributor of the running shoes made by Asics (Onitsuka Tiger) the Japanese company. These initial years were a great success, and this inspired the duo to start creating their independent line of shoes.
It is in 1971 that Nike officially became the company that we know deriving its name from the Greek goddess of victory. The ‘magical idea’ for the first shoes that the company produced was inspired when Bowerman and his wife were making waffles for breakfast. This sparked the idea of how much a grooved pattern on the sole of trainers would help them while out on the tracks.
This was the moment of glory for Nike as most trainers back then had a flat sole that did not provide athletes with the best grip of the tracks. The first version of the waffle racer was released in 1972 and handed out to athletes in the US Olympics trials. In 1974, Nike patented the ‘waffle trainer’ that has since then become its defining trademark.
Fast forward to the current times
A look at Nike’s history shows that the onset, the company has been all about creating the perfect running shoes. This was what made it become a globally renowned company and a defining characteristic that is still in its DNA. Still, the brand has not allowed itself to be limited by only creating running shoes but expanded its operational base to capitalize on designer shoes.
As hundreds of Nike shoes are released to the market from time to time with some models getting into the hall of fame, it takes a little digging to find the perfect running shoes. This is because not all shoes released by the brand have been built for the running tracks. Nevertheless, Nike has made it paramount to include a bunch of innovations to their latest releases as it seeks to give their clients better comfort, fit, and flexibility.
Finding the best Nike running shoes
If you are an athlete or an enthusiastic runner, you will love that Nike still maintains a dedicated line of running shoes. This means that whether you need a pair for those morning jogs or one for that demanding marathon, the brand has you covered. But, before you rush to choose any Nike shoes for running, you need to consider the following:
What shoe fit and feel do you like?
The general rule of the thumb is to go for running shoes that leave enough room for your toes and the width of your feet. This is to cover the expansion of your feet as your run and avoid unnecessary friction that could leave you nursing injuries. But, you must never forget that we all have different preferences when it comes to finding the right shoe fit and feel.
Do you prefer a more snug-like fit or want a pair that has a loose feel on your feet? This is an essential factor as Nike has different designs of running shoes to suit every need. As you consider what works for you, it counts to pay attention to your foot arch, pronation, and gait as these determine what best works for you.
What type of runs do you do?
Another critical factor you must consider as you go looking for Nike running shoes is the type of runs that you do. Are you an off-road runner or do you stick to tarmacked tracks? Do you need an everyday training shoe or a race day shoe? All these help in determining what will work for you and is a secret that seasoned athletes have mastered.
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Top-rated Nike running shoes
For a brand that has served the global market with running shoes for decades, Nike has produced lots of models that have received outstanding reviews. As a runner looking for the perfect pair, these are some of the options to consider:
- Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37
If you are after an everyday training pair of shoes, then the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus is a choice you will love. The feathery look and lightweight feel of these shoes are made better with new reach midsole that make it extra comfortable. This makes it the perfect pair for long runs and everyday training on the track.
- Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT%
This pair of shoes has made the greatest impacts in marathons as it has taken efficiency to the next level. It has become the choice pair for elite athletes as it has one of the best tractions for all conditions and a light structure that makes running a breeze.
- Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT%
This is another masterpiece by Nike that has come to be the preferred pair for athletes running half marathons and short races. It is a fine choice for many runners as it provides soft cushioning and a firmer touch when running on hard surfaces.
- Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit
If you are after a pair of shoes to wear for those morning or evening runs, then this is a pair that you will love. The Infinity Run is an all-rounder pair that beginners, as well as seasoned marathoners, appreciate.
- Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail
Finally, for the off-road runner, Nike has you covered with the Pegasus 36. These running shoes are designed to protect you from the pressure of running on hard trails thanks to its rugged sole and deep lugs.
Nike made its mark in the market as a manufacturer of the ultimate running shoes. Decades later, the brand is still at the forefront of providing some of the most innovative and efficient shoes for runners and joggers. The best part is that the brand has lots of running shoes for virtually all needs and all you have to do is take time to find the most suitable design and model.