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This may not be a good fit for the Q&A format of Physical Fitnes, but I'll try anyway.

I've been running for a decade or so, and despite trying lots of different running shoes in specialist running shops, I've never been offered a pair of Nike trainers to try. Marketing and presence in the shops leads me to believe Nike must be one of the biggest running shoe manufacturers, if not the biggest, so I find this surprising.

I asked a shop once and they said "Nike shoes are kind of different. They tend to be very padded at the front".

I'm a moderate to heavy overponator who only runs up to half-marathon distance.

I can think of three possible answers:

  1. Nike don't make shoe suitable for runners like me, either because "they are kind of different" or maybe they just don't make a model that matches my description
  2. Nike aren't as big in the running world as I think; they're just another running shoe manufacturer who happen to have a lot of marketing. I probably wouldn't be posting this if I'd never tried as Asics or Saucony.
  3. Yes, it is odd (you don't need to speculate on the reason if this the answer)
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A lot of store clerks who offer running test have no clue. They are first and foremost - salesman. You are probably better of going to a professional like a fysiotherapist. –  Soccerman Jul 21 at 10:50

2 Answers 2

Let me try to have a stab at answering your questions.

  1. Nike makes a pretty good range of shoes and I'm sure you can find one that will suit. Look for LunarGlide that are fairly light, not tons of cushioning, but more than Saucony Kinvara. They also use the Flywire design (knitted top). In also supernator and find them great for both short and longer distances.
  2. There is a lot of snobbery in the running world. And because Nike have been focusing for years at the fashion end of the market they might not have been taken seriously. But they have some great products, a lot of innovative technology and probably the largest budget on R&D and testing.
  3. I wonder whether the smaller brands offer cash incentives to shops to carry their product, or possibly higher margins. This way the shop owners are more likely to push Saucony, Asics, Mizuno,etc.

Personally I started with Nike Free run. They fitted very well, but then I thought, let's give a smaller brand a shot. Sadly I found the Kinvara lacking in longevity, so I'm back to Nike for another pair of road runners and am not regretting. I still have for other pairs from different brands, so have a good means for comparison.

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Like you, I have been running a number of years and have tried various brands.

In my opinion there are a couple of reasons you won't be offered Nike running shoes in a running shop.

I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but sometimes with big brands like Nike they can be very fussy about where their shoes are sold. They may say to shops they they will only take an order from them if they spend a certain amount of money(a large amount). Given that most Running Shops are small independant shops rather than a chain. I suspect most can't afford to do this.

In my early days of running I used Air Pegusus(an entry level shoe that is still around now), but I do also feel that a lot of their shoes are aimed more at the fashion market, more than specialised running.

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Thanks. I should have added almost all these shops would have carried Nike shoes. At least one was a fairly big chain and another carries the widest selection of running shoes I've ever seen. –  Disco 3 Apr 1 at 10:28
    
I agree re: the fashion statement (then again Mo Farah wears Nike. But this is his sponsor so he has to). I think the same re: Adidas too. Everyone has personal preference when it comes to trainers. Personally I never really look past Asics, Saucony and Mizuno when buying road shoes or Inov8 when buying off road. I never have and probably wouldn't try a Nike trainer either –  Jimsan Apr 4 at 8:31

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