Image via Laura Fuchs
Image by Laura Fuchs

Neither my shins nor lungs were happy when I agreed to exclusively run in the Nike Roshe Run for a few weeks. In retrospect, I couldn't be that upset because the opportunity coincidentally aligned with my renewed interest in to getting back in shape after a long period of being flabby and sick. With my high school and collegiate track & field career behind me, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by how one of Nike’s marquee shoes would hold up when it came to performance.


Joe Louis is a FUBU aficionado and contributing Writer for Complex Sneakers. He wishes he had a transcript of every Kanye West rant. Follow his shenanigans on Twitter or Instagram.

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Image via Laura Fuchs
Image by Laura Fuchs

What's So Special About the Premium Roshe Run?

At first glance, the Nike Roshe Run HYP “Magista” Premium gets my approval on the aesthetic front. The vibrant colors definitely attracted attention while running during the day, and assisted with visibility during night runs. The colors garner their inspiration from the popular Magista Nike soccer cleat (minus the addition of Game Royal). Hyperfuse was added to enhance durability, which serves as a substitute for the sewing we traditionally see on the standard Roshe Run silhouettes. Two additional modifications of the Premium Roshe Run included a leather sock liner and suede sole inserts. Though I never rode the Roshe wave, the look and quality are exceptional for the price point.

When I first slipped into the shoe I was an instant fan of the added leather inner sock lining. The shoe’s lightweight build was also a major plus. Above are a few looks that I went with over the three weeks. The shoe looks great with or without socks, which was one of the goals when the shoe went into production. The Roshe Run is also aesthetically pleasing with tech pants, track tights, and shorts.


Week 1: How Does the Roche Run Fare on the Track?

For the first week of running, I decided to take my talents to Weaver Stadium on the campus of Princeton University. I was impressed with the responsiveness of the Phylon midsole and rubber Waffle outsole on the Olympic track throughout the week. I felt an unexpected bounce during my warm up stretches, workout, and cool down. Since I am a heel striker, I also appreciated the bulkiness towards the heel of the Roshe’s midsole.

Though the Hyperfuse’s main function is to provide enhanced durability, it also supplied a slight lockdown feeling in the midfoot area, which is great considering there isn’t any real support in the toe box. So if you are a runner who likes to stay on their toes and often likes to participate in sprint workouts, stay away from Roshe Run.

The shoe stayed true to its minimalistic values and only provides heel and quarter support which I immediately realized when I decided to sprint and attack the curves of the track. Being a former 200 - 400 meter sprinter, I know the importance of having the confidence in a shoe that provided good support in the forefoot. This also caused slight foot sliding while running, which was not as frustrating to me, but I can see being a problem for others. To combat this I could have probably gone a half size down but I was scared that the mesh in the toe box would rip overtime. Another issue that I noticed was the Roshe Run laces. Nike decided to go with miniature round laces, which look great casually, but probably isn’t the best for working out and running in. I am not a double-knotter so I was disappointed that I would have to stop periodically to tie my shoes. Overall, the shoe pleasantly surprised me in its first week performance. Besides a couple of specific issues, I had no real complaints with the Roshe Run over the duration of the week.

Total distance: 11.40 miles over the course of seven days.
Type of workout: Olympic track workout which includes cardio training and sprints.
Weather: 59 – 74 degrees.


Week 2: Does the Roshe Run Hold Up?

After the first week of running in the Roshe, I decided to increase my mileage for week two to see how the shoes would respond. This time I did the majority of my running in Chelsea Park, which is located in the heart of Manhattan. The first thing that I noticed was the subpar response and bounce the shoe had on pavement. Though the natural movement waffle technology on the outsole still provided a comfortable heel-to-toe transfer, I felt a considerable difference from my previous track runs.

One pleasant surprise was the comfort of the shoes on the artificial turf inside of Chelsea Park during both my warm up and cool-down. The special Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA), a rubber-like material which makes up the majority of the midsole and outsole, made me feel like I was literally walking on clouds. During week two, I had another successful run while wearing the Roshe Run. There was no visible wear and tear on the shoes, which was slightly surprising. If anything, I would have thought the mesh toe box would have shown signs of being exclusively utilized by now. I also ran my fastest mile this week, which could be a product of wearing the Roche, or just because I was actually getting back in shape.

Total distance: 19.03 miles.
Type of workout: Olympic track including pavement and artificial turf.
Weather: 54 – 69 degrees

Image by Laura Fuchs

Week 3: What Happens When You Hit the Streets in the Roshe Run?

The final week of rocking the Roshe Run the bulk of my runs were through the streets of Princeton, New Jersey. Coming into the week, I'd already discovered how the shoe responded on pavement, but I wanted to see if there was noticeable discomfort now that the shoes had some miles on them. There was. This was the first time I realized that there were moments while running where I didn't trust the shoe. This was mainly due to certain parts of the street being uneven and other parts being under construction. I knew if I took the wrong step my ankles would be done.

Total distance: 19.49 miles.
Type of workout: Running on uneven pavement.
Weather: 43 – 66 degrees.

Image by Joe Louis

So, Should You Actually Run in the Nike Roshe Run?

The Nike Roshe Run is one of Nike’s most functional shoes to date. Though the Roshe’s silhouette was designed to mimic that of a running shoe, that is not, and will never be its main purpose (especially for serious runners). But that does not take away from the shoe’s greatness and, if you forgot your Frees at home, the Roche can get the job done. But hey, maybe one day Nike will remove the “Run” from Roshe Run. In the meantime, here are some key stats for those still considering:

Key feature: Phylon midsole/Waffle outsole combination.
10 oz
Total miles ran
: 49.92 miles.
Best suited terrain: Track and/or artificial turf.
Best for: Super casual runners who are attempting to attract super casual runners of the opposite sex.
Worst for: Serious runners who love running on pavement or trails through parks.
Can you run in it? You CAN run in the Roshe Run but should only do so as your last resort.

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