Whether you're a weekend recreational runner or a marathoner training for your first adventure endurance race, Nike has a performance shoe that perfectly fits your needs. When looking for a running shoe it's important to access your running biomechanics to determine the type of shoe you need before you focus on finding a shoe for the terrain you cover.
Stability and Cushion
Finding the right footwear size and proper width is only the beginning. If you examine footprints at the beach, you'll see that some barefoot beachcombers leave curved footprints formed by high arches and others leave fully-shaped prints created by flat feet. Beyond the beach there are countless men and women who have feet somewhere between a raised arch and a flat foot. Runners with flat feet should consider shoes with plenty of upper stability, dense midsoles and rigid motion control innovations that minimize pronation (that nasty inward turn that sometimes results in rolled ankles). Women and men with raised high arches should gravitate toward shoes with a cushioned neutral stance with a yielding midsole that absorbs plenty of repeated impact. Runners with neither flat nor raised arches can cover the widest range of technical shoe sizes, but should consider staying away from the design extremes of too much motion control and too much cushion. Once you know your foot type and size, matching Nike shoes to your terrain is the easy part.
Nike street and track running shoes remain one of the most sought-after brands on the market for men and women runners. While the Nike Air Pegasus remains the leader among Nike running names, one of the newest innovations is the Nike Shox series, a running shoe that uses spring cushioning in the heel and sometimes sports an Air Sole unit in the forefoot midsole. The Nike Shox 2:40 is lighter and features minimum stability while the Nike Shox FSM maximizes motion control throughout footstrike. Like other footwear throughout the running shoe industry, stiffer, motion-control oriented Nike street running shoes weigh a bit more than shoes with a neutral fit, but flat-footed runners will find that they're less susceptible to rolling ankles on training runs. Exceptional support and firm cushioning is one of the key reasons that the Nike Air Kantara enjoys an extensive following among pronation-wary runners. No matter which street running shoe you choose, many of Nike's newest designs have a special BRS 1000 carbon rubber sole for optimal grip on asphalt and gravel without a lot of excess wear.
Trail Running Shoes
Finely tuned for navigating off-road environs, Nike trail running shoes offer more protection and weatherproofing features than conventional road running shoes. Beefed-up with toe-bumpers and big lugs, Nike trail running shoes tend to combine softer rubber sole compound for better sticky grip on rock, gravel and dirt, and often rely on thinner midsoles to save ounces. Unless you run exclusively on boulders, you won't notice the missing cushion. Nike's men's and women's waterproof Air Teocalli GTX remains one of the top-selling shoes for runners who cover alpine terrain or wet wilderness in cool conditions. If you need a trail running shoe that adapts to concrete paths without compromising performance, Nike's Air Zoom Terra Ridge running shoe is a perfect pacesetter. This innovative design combines a supportive TPU cage along the upper for moderate support with an extended Zoom Air unit in the midsole for medium cushioning.
If you mix and match your running fun with other sports, a specialized training shoe might be the most cost-effect approaches. An important factor to keep in mind is that some training designs are intended for short workouts, so you won't find as much midsole cushion as you would in a Nike endurance running shoe. Consider where and how you'll use your Nike training shoe before you make your purchase. That said, one of the newest shoes on the market is the Nike Impax 45, a moderately cushioned training shoe with medium motion control specifically developed for stamina-building 45-second interval work. Nike developed this shoe in two versions--leather or mesh uppers--to comfortably conform to climates and workout conditions.