Nike Downshifter 7 Fully Reviewed & Compared

The Nike Downshifter 7 is a great updated version of the company’s popular Downshifter 6. To give the sneaker a more updated look that matches with today’s trends, they stripped away some of the layers that made up the predecessor’s upper and gave it a more streamlined look. This sneakers' upper is made up of a single layer mesh that provides breathable comfort.

Nike did away with the overlay extending over the toe and opted for a small toe-cap that extends from the outsole. The midfoot boasts a new no-sew saddle that wraps the foot with flexible and durable comfort and helps the foot stay stable and supported with each step. Nike also changed up the midsole by engineering it to be made of a durable and responsive Phylon material that absorbs shock and adds some spring to your step.

The outsole now features flex grooves to give you a smoother and flexible ride. All these features combine to make an attractive and comfortable running sneaker that can transition easily from lightweight activity to day-to-day movements. 

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Where to Buy
Where to Buy
Pros & Cons
  • Lightweight and breathable single layer mesh upper
  • Phylon midsole provides cushioning support and response
  • Flex grooves on the outsole allow the foot to flex and move naturally
  • Lateral crash rail on the outsole provides support and stability
  • An affordable price tag for a quality product
  • Available in many colorways
  • Cons
    • Some say this shoe runs narrow
    • Not well-suited for running long distances or for hard training
    • Key Features
      The outsole of the Nike Downshifter 7 features a full length patterned durable rubber. Extending from the forefoot all the way to the heel, you will find different-sized hexagonal treads which deliver excellent grip and traction. The lateral side features a ribbed rubber pattern, indicating where the supportive crash rail is. This crash rail is designed to support your foot and deliver a smooth transition from touch down to take-off.

      You will also find flex grooves on the forefoot of the shoe, which help the sneaker bend more naturally as you land and take-off. Unlike many road-running shoes, the Downshifter 7 does not have an aggressive lug pattern, rather it has a more streamlined, flexible, yet durable design. This is also good because, without deep treads, you won’t be picking up unwanted pebbles and debris that can sometimes collect between more aggressive tread patterns.
      For comfort, support, and responsiveness, Nike made the midsole of the Downshifter 7 out of Phylon material. Pylon is made up of EVA foam pellets that have been compressed, heat expanded, and then cooled into the desired mold of the shoe. This midsole is designed to respond to pressure that is placed on it, giving you a spring to your step. Phylon is also very durable so you shouldn’t have to worry about the midsole sagging or wearing out quickly.

      The material also lends itself to be pretty flexible so you will experience a flexible running experience through the flexible outsole and midsole combination. Appearing for the first time on the Downshifter, Nike emblazoned the side of the midsole with the small words “Nike Running” for a stylish touch. You will receive just the right amount of support and cushion from the midsole in the Downshifter 7.
      When designing the Downshifter 7, Nike decided to pare down the upper a little and give it a more modern silhouette compared to its predecessor, the Downshifter 6. Accordingly, the upper has a sleeker design and Nike chose to get rid of the synthetic material layered over the mesh. Instead, Nike engineered the upper to be made of a single-layer open mesh material which promotes great breathability and comfort.

      Over the middle of the shoe, you will see a no-sew midfoot saddle which is a synthetic overlay. This saddle provides additional support for your feet. The heel cup and tongue are both padded and deliver cushioned comfort and protection from blisters and hot spots. Inside the shoe, you will find an EVA insole which can be removed and replaced with customized orthotics if desired.
      The Nike Downshifter 7 weighs in at a pretty average weight for running sneakers today. The women's’ weighs around 8 ounces while the men's weighs 10 ounces. Thanks to the lightweight materials used when making the shoe, they will feel pretty light on your feet.
      The lightweight mesh material that makes up the upper of the Downshifter 7 is both breathable and comfortable. The small holes in the material will allow air to flow in and out of the foot chamber with ease. Because Nike simplified the upper of this version of the Downshifter, it doesn’t have a lot of layers of fabric, just a single layer of open mesh. You should be able to wear these comfortably for a workout or around town and not be bogged down by sweaty feet.
      The Nike Downshifter 7 is engineered to be a comfortable training sneaker. The lightweight breathable upper wraps around the foot comfortably without constricting it, while the padded tongue and heel collar give you support and cushion where you need it. Thanks to the EVA foam insole and Phylon midsole, your feet will feel cushioned and comfortable. A number of consumers have commented on how comfortable these shoes are, even after wearing them all day.
      To meet current trends in the style department, Nike changed up the look of the Downshifter 7 in comparison to its predecessor. Currently, one popular style of sneakers is a more minimal and simplistic upper design. The Downshifter 7’s silhouette is a little sleeker than its previous versions and matches current style trends.

      The large Nike swoosh on the side gives a nod to vintage Nike sneakers and right now, vintage is popular. Both the men’s and women’s versions of this shoe are available in an impressive array of colorways as well, all of which are very aesthetically pleasing.
      If worn appropriately and not out trekking in the snow, mud, and treacherous terrain, the Nike Downshifter 7 should last you quite a while. Nike is known for producing quality products and these are no exception. Even though the upper is made with a single layer of open mesh with synthetic overlays around the midfoot and heel, the material is high quality and does not feel cheap.

      The durable rubber on the sneaker’s outsole will withstand abrasion from both running and everyday use. The midsole is made from Phylon material which is an extremely durable foam and is designed to last a long time without fatigue.
      Although the Nike Downshifter 7 lacks some protective features that may be available on other running shoes, such as a toe cap and covered heel counter, it will provide you with a fair level of protection. The durable rubber outsole will protect you from underfoot debris and the Phylon midsole will deliver some level of shock absorbency and responsiveness which will aid in preventing injury to your joints.
      This sneaker scores are fairly high in the responsiveness category thanks to its Phylon midsole. Phylon is responsive in nature and is engineered to respond to pressure applied to it and bounce back to its original shape. Because of this, when you put pressure on your foot while wearing the Downshifter 7, you will experience a rebounding effect that propels you forward. These shoes will put some spring in your step whether you wear them to go about your day or for a quick run around the block.
      Although the upper of this shoe is primarily comprised of a single layer mesh material, it is pretty supportive thanks to the no-sew midfoot saddle comprised of a synthetic overlay material. This saddle supports the foot because it keeps it stable within the sneaker and keeps it from moving around. The crash rail on the lateral outsole of the sneaker provides excellent support because it helps to keep your feet in natural alignment as you transition from heel to toe.
      The Nike Downshifter 7 is well-suited for activities such as running short to moderate distances and for regular everyday activities. They are not necessarily engineered to be training sneakers and are not equipped with high-tech advanced running features, but they will treat you well on smooth to mildly rugged terrains. The Downshifter 7 is not great for moderate or technical trail running, but they will carry you well over the asphalt or sidewalk.
      One of the great features of the Nike Downshifter 7 is not in the materials, it is in the price tag. These are extremely affordable running shoes that bear the reputable Nike name. You will pay between $50 and $80 for a pair of sneakers that are not only well made but also very stylish.
      The outsole of the Downshifter 7 does not feature the typical run-of-the-mill waffle pattern in its lugs. Instead, Nike chose to outfit the sneaker with several different sized hexagonal lugs that are designed to help propel you forward and allow you to change direction easily. These shoes will perform well in both wet and dry conditions and will help you stay sure-footed in many running elements.
      Not only does the lightweight upper and Phylon midsole give this sneaker excellent flexibility qualities, but the outsole is designed to enable this shoe to flex easily. Throughout the outsole of this shoe, you will find flex grooves that will help the sneaker move and flex more naturally with each stride. These flex grooves help to deliver a smooth transition from touchdown to takeoff.
      Although Nike Downshifter 7 is not designed to necessarily be a stability sneaker, it does offer some stability features. The no-sew midfoot saddle delivers excellent stability in that you should feel your foot fitting firmly and securely within the sneaker. The single layer meshes upper hugs the foot and adapts to almost any foot shape. The lateral crash rail placed on the outsole of the shoe will help keep your foot stabilized as you transition from heel to toe. The sneaker also features a decent level of arch support.
      The Nike Downshifter 7 has a conventional heel to toe drop of 12mm. This is on the higher end of a typical drop as far as running shoes go. While some users tend to believe a lower heel to toe drop is safer, this drop is okay for the neutral runner and will aid heel strikers in that the sneaker will help to reduce shock as they strike down with their heel.
      Key Features
      - Lightweight mesh upper allows feet to breathe and provides support and flexibility
      - Phylon midsole delivers just enough cushioning for comfort and support while allowing a smooth transition from heel to toe
      - Rubber crash rail on the lateral side of the outsole helps to support the foot and deliver a comfortable and controlled movement
      - Midfoot no-sew saddle over the upper helps to support the foot and keep it snug and secured within the shoe
      - Flex grooves included in the engineering of the sneaker’s outsole allow for premium flexibility and natural movement of the foot
      Bottom Line
      The Nike Downshifter 7 is a great-looking sneaker that is suitable for both running short to moderate distances as well as for everyday activities. This model has been updated in comparison to its predecessor to make it more streamlined and stylish and hits the mark when it comes to fashion. The well-known Nike Swoosh is prevalent on either side of this aesthetically pleasing sneaker and gives the shoe a recognizable look from far away. They are lightweight, breathable, cushioned, relatively supportive, and responsive.

      The Downshifter 7 will deliver a decent running experience if you are looking to run shorter to moderate distances but they do lack some support and stability features you might need if you are looking to run longer distances or want to train for speed. The outsole and midsole are responsive enough for light to moderate activity and will keep your feet comfortable if you choose to wear them for everyday activity.

      In the end, Nike Downshifter 7 are high-quality neutral running shoes that are great for almost anyone because they look great and are reasonably priced. However, if you are looking to train for a race or want to run long distances, you may want to look for a sneaker more designed for this specialty.
      Where to Buy
      By Abbie Copeland
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Aug. 01. 2021

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