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Homing in on the best Nike shoes for men is worth the grunt work. Since setting up shop in the mid-’60s, the Portland-based juggernaut has churned out one hit sneaker after another, expanding into lifestyle footwear while upholding its commitment to athletic excellence each step of the way.
Nike running shoes helped Eliud Kipchoge smash the marathon record, motivating hordes of average Joes to break PRs of their own on tracks and treadmills around the globe. Nike soccer shoes helped Ronaldo capture a World Cup, inspiring throngs of young hopefuls to drag ramshackle soccer goals out to the backyard for one more go. Nike basketball shoes helped Lebron, Kyrie, and a whole host of supporting cast members Matt Dellavedova, what’s good!—bring the ‘ship back to Cleveland, bolstering an entire city’s spirits in the process. (In 1984, the then-fledgling company also backed a little-known UNC graduate named Michael Jordan, whose own sneaker label warrants a list all its own.)
Today, the brand sells just about everything tangentially related to the sporting life, but its sneakers remain the crown jewel of the business, polished to sparkling perfection by so much savvy marketing the Clio committee should move its offices to Oregon. So the best Nike shoes for men prove why the Swoosh is still miles—and many, many dollars—ahead of the competition, no matter how many 350-inspired shoes the competition sells. (Sorry, Adidas. Numbers don’t lie.) To help you lace up like the pros, we compiled every single Swoosh silhouette you should know, each of ’em primed to make you fee like the star of your very own triumphant Wieden+Kennedy spot. Cue the soaring orchestral soundtrack: this is your moment.
Nike Metcon 8 training shoes
Surprise, surprise: the latest version of Nike’s ever-popular cross training shoe delivers all the comfort, performance, and stability you need to grind it out in style during the new year.
Nike Air Max 97 sneakers
The fastest way to look like a ’90s style god in 2022? A pair of legendary Silver Bullets.
Nike Air Trainer SC “Auburn” sneakers
What the Nike Metcon 8 is to 2022 the Air Trainer SC was to the mid ’80s, when Bo Jackson was the greatest athlete on the planet and his sneakers were some of the most innovative around. Today, they still wouldn’t be half bad in the gym, but they’ll look more at home with a pair of gray sweatpants and a vintage tee (if it’s one that reads “Bo Knows,” all the better.)
Nike Air Tuned Max sneakers
The Air Tuned Max is a retrofuturistic sneaker introduced as a nod to Nike silhouettes from the late ’90s. In other words, it looks like what the Swoosh creative team back then thought shoes should look like today—and thanks to their efforts, they do.
Nike Air Mowabb sneakers
Think of the Mowabb as an offroad, Utah-inspired version of the Huarache, down to its tan uppers and rock-like midsoles.
Nike Killshot 2 sneakers
A surprise-hit so damn popular Nike still has trouble keeping it in stock.
Nike Air Foamposite 1 sneakers
Thanks, in part, to a blockbuster collaboration with Comme des Garçons, the pendulum of popular opinion is once again swinging firmly towards Foams. We’re not going to say we told you so but…we told you so.
Nike Waffle Trainer 2 sneakers
A retro-leaning silhouette inspired by the type of heritage running shoes that catapulted the Swoosh from humble Portland upstart to global footwear giant.
Nike Air Huarache sneakers
It’s hard to believe these kicks debuted in the ’90s given their ultra-futuristic neoprene construction. Today, that sturdiness will come in handy if you rock these at the gym—but they’ll also look great with the finest sweatpants in your wardrobe.
Nike Air Force 1 ’07 sneakers
40 years after its release, the Nike Air Force 1 is still a bona fide staple. The clean white uppers and distinct silhouette are adored by music legends and TikTok influencers alike, largely thanks to their goes-with-everything styling.
Nike Blazer Low ’77 sneakers
We’ve always been partial to the Blazers’ oversized swoosh, but in low top form (and in a clean white color way) they’re begging to be worn with a blazer of an entirely different variety.
Nike Dunk High “Championship Navy” sneakers
Dunks might be everywhere right now, but that only means it’s easier to get your hands on a pair. Stick to classic colors to avoid the worst of the aftermarket premiums.
Nike Air Pegasus ’83 sneakers
A retro Nike runner in muted hues is the kind of shoe you’ll buy now, and wear now—and then wear later (much, much later) too. Keep these in your rotation for years to come and reap the style rewards indefinitely.