Nike Air Presto Mid UtilityReview Facts
Nike reached their modern status as a titan of the footwear industry by creating some of the most functional, fashionable, and enduringly popular product in the past few decades. They’ve managed to attract the attention and devotion of both serious professional athletes and casual fitness enthusiasts with their potent combination of high-performing and aesthetically appealing shoes. Without Nike, similar brands like Adidas and Reebok wouldn’t enjoy the same popularity they hold today, and the entire athleisure fashion movement would never have happened. Although many of these brands have attempted to replicate their designs and appeal, with varying degrees of success, Nike has continued to maintain their position at the top of the heap thanks to products like their Air Presto Mid Utility.
These Nike running shoes may look very bulky at first blush, but many of their design features are actually centered around providing a lightweight and flexible ride. This can be clearly seen on the bottoms of the Air Presto Mid Utility, where its outsoles are located. This portion of these running shoes was made from Nike’s proprietary Duralon material, a rubber
compound that is highly resistant to damage from impact while also maintaining a comfortably pliable sensation. Some slight treading is provided with the use of shallow lugs, but only enough to ensure some stability in order to strike a balance
with its flexibility. This unassuming component of the Nike Air Presto Mid Utility reveals quite a bit about the nature of its design, with many of these aspects being seen in other areas of its construction as well.
One of the most important aspects of a running shoe is its midsole. While some casual sneakers
and minimalist foot coverings can get away with not providing a high-end middle cushion, any shoe designed to accommodate the high-intensity pastime of running needs to offer the right blend of cushion, protection, and responsiveness in order to function properly. Nike is no stranger to the world of running footwear and have thus iterated upon their midsole designs to create some of the most effective and lightweight forms of cushioning
on the market. Using their Phylon cushioning, these Nike running shoes manage to remain lightweight and comfortably flexible while also fulfilling the other requirements of this instrumental component.
Although not as important for functionality as the midsole and outsole, the upper half of a running shoe serves the primary purpose of visually distinguishing the entire product. This is something that Nike has perfected over the years, with countless popular products having excellently designed uppers. The Air Presto Mid Utility looks impressive due to its higher cut and use of multiple solid straps along the medial and lateral sides, breaking up the synthetic sock-like covering that comprises most of its construction. Although mostly cosmetic, this portion of a running shoe still has to fulfill certain criteria in order to accommodate specific needs for runners, such as breathability and comfort. These Nike shoes manage to fulfill these needs and then some, offering high resistance to moisture and greater stability due to its tight-fitting sockliner.
Specific information about the Nike Air Presto Mid Utility’s weight is hard to find since neither the manufacturer’s website or online retailers have an average weight listed. However, based on the materials used in its construction and feedback left by customers, it seems that these are among the lighter class of running shoes when it comes to average weight
. This is convenient since it allows for the wearer to run with their full force without losing any speed due to cumbersome material and will reduce fatigue to their legs and ankles. Although extra weight could have been used to enhance this shoe’s somewhat lackluster durability, the design decision to reduce its weight is an overall positive one.
Usually, a running shoe with a lighter weight and a sock-like upper half like the Nike Air Presto Mid Utility will have a high degree of breathability. This is important for a running shoe since it ensures that cool air is continually circulating throughout the inside of it, keeping the temperature low and preventing the accumulation of sweat from exertion. However, these shoes focus on providing nearly the opposite effect by providing a higher degree of insulation. Thanks to the particulars of the Air Presto Mid Utility’s synthetic upper, warmth
is more easily trapped inside the shoe while a water-resistant coating prevents moisture from penetrating it. This may seem like a negative for many runners, but the lighter weight of the entire shoe prevents perspiration from becoming a major concern. This particular design element also comes with the benefit of providing greater protection for winter running.
Nike has a spotty record with comfort. While many of their running shoes and other assorted athletic apparel provide a reasonable amount of comfort for the wearer, a great deal of their products have also resulted in many customers complaining about their lack of adequate cushion. Fortunately, the Air Presto Mid Utility can be counted as one of their successes in this regard. For starters, the tight-fitting synthetic upper conforms to the wearer’s foot in similar fashion to a sock, preventing any chafing from jagged edges or nagging seams. A foam insole found inside also feels very pleasant and prevents hard impacts with the ground during a running session from causing discomfort or injury. Finally, the flexibility provided by its lower half ensure the wearer doesn’t feel as though their feet are trapped, which is a common pitfall among shoes with a higher cut such as these.
The single trait that most defines Nike’s entire line of athletic apparel is their impeccable sense of style. Whether it’s their clothing, athletic accessories, or their expansive catalog of footwear, one aspect that all of these products have in common is the fact that they are almost all very fashionable and visually appealing. The Nike Air Presto Mid Utility is an equally impressive stylish offering, providing an interesting tweak on the original model that was released in the year 2000. Some aspects of its design are reminiscent of Adidas’ catalog, but the small plastic slivers placed on the sides of this shoe helps to differentiate it as its own product. Something that should come as no surprise to those familiar with Nike is that these shoes are fashionable enough to be worn as casual sneakers.
While many aspects of this shoe’s design are impressive, one that is sadly lacking is its durability. The small plastic toe guard found in the forefoot of these shoes is prone to damage after sufficient force, and a seam that joins the upper to the outsole has a tendency to degrade and separate. The damage these two design flaws cause can be mitigated with regular maintenance and restricting use to appropriate running terrain; however, the end result of these shortcomings is a disappointing lifespan that will likely result in a need for replacement very soon.
The Nike Air Presto Mid Utility’s protective capabilities are a mixed bag. On one hand, these shoes offer a level of protection that is rare among running shoes thanks to the higher cut and water-protective coating. These Nike runners also have a small toe guard near the forefoot that helps to prevent injuries to a runner’s more vulnerable toes. On the other hand, these features don’t feel fully realized due to some inconvenient shortcomings. The aforementioned toe guard is made of plastic and prone to breakage, and the water protection stops at a particular part of the lining which can still leave the inside vulnerable to moisture.
There are a few features of this running shoe that help it to be extremely responsive. One is the Duralon outsole, which strikes a perfect balance between stability and flexibility. The second and most significant aspect is its midsole, which is built from a foam material that manages to be dense and springy. Finally, the sock-like upper portion conforms itself to the wearer’s feet so that every step is mirrored with fantastic precision.
Support was not a major concern when designing the Nike Air Presto Mid Utility, but enough is present in its design to prevent discomfort for the average runner. In particular, a small insole offers a bit of additional support as well as a more comfortable ride. However, this insole doesn’t offer enough support to assist runners with a proclivity toward more serious running conditions such as shin splints or plantar fasciitis.
As casual running shoes, the Nike Air Presto Mid Utility is best suited for use on traditional sneaker terrain and some low-intensity running environments. This means that they work well on roads and sidewalks, as well as some grassy fields and softer dirt paths. Thanks to its water resistant coating and excellent insulation, these shoes can also be worn and used comfortably in very cold environments, such as winter time in the Pacific Northwest.
Nike is selling these shoes at a higher than usual price point. The cost it is currently listed at on their website and at most retailers is in the range of a high-end sneaker or entry-level trail running shoe. The main justification for this shoe’s higher price is its intention to be worn largely as a fashion statement and a status symbol. Thanks to its scarcity online through retailers like Amazon, this price has managed to stay relatively the same when trying to purchase these shoes secondhand. While it makes sense to have this higher cost from the perspective of wearing these shoes for fashion purposes, the actual functionality of the Nike Air Presto Mid Utility as a serious running shoe isn’t quite up to par.
Just enough treading was added to the Nike Air Presto Mid Utility’s Duralon outsole to provide a level of traction that will counterbalance the highly flexible feeling of the rest of this shoe. If it weren’t for this one feature, runners would likely feel completely out of control if they attempted to use these Nike running shoes for any kind of serious running. It isn’t enough traction to handle trails or excessively slippery surfaces, but it will get the job done in most ordinary environments and conditions.
Nearly every aspect of this shoe’s design was intended to provide a feeling of generous flexibility. Even the outsole, an aspect of any shoe that is usually very rigid, has a pliable feeling that lends itself to higher responsiveness during a typical running session. The upper’s synthetic construction also offers some additional flexibility since it is made from a material not too different from Nike’s own Flyknit fabric.
The Duralon outsole on the Nike Air Presto Mid Utility offers the best example of how to strike a balance between being flexible and providing stability. In a manner of design that perfectly fits the shoe it is attached to, this underfoot covering provides enough grip and control to offset the potential for clumsiness that would come about from its unchecked flexibility. Other than that, the foam midsole offers a small degree of stability to complement this feature.
There isn’t any specific information online describing the difference in midsole elevation between the rearfoot and forefoot. However, a visual estimate would state that this discrepancy is very large, with the additional heel cushion providing more support and comfort for runners who have a tendency to strike the ground with their heels.
- Flexible Duralon outsole
- Highly responsive foam midsole
- Insulated upper with water-resistant coating
- Sock-like upper with midfoot straps
- Foam insole for extra cushion
- Plastic forefoot toe guard
The Nike Air Presto Mid Utility is most effective as a fashionable article of casual footwear, mostly designed to fulfill the purpose of looking good for a night on the town. However, there are some appealing features in its design that will provide a decent feeling of speed and responsiveness if they are used for a serious running session.