Nike Duel Racer

The Nike Duel Racer is essentially a more affordable version of the Nike Flyknit Racer, and was created to act as a lifestyle shoe. The sneaker features an '80s inspired color scheme and design and features lightweight Phylon midsole cushioning that offers a responsive feel underfoot. The men's only shoe is available in several colorways, but to the disappointment of many isn't available to be customized like many other Nike shoe models. Still, the fashion-oriented sporty-looking sneaker gets major points for style and comfort.

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Where to Buy
Where to Buy
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Supportive
  • Durable
  • Responsive cushioning
  • Cons
    • Narrow fit, runs small
    • Heel cup is uncomfortably rigid
    • No ability to customize colorways
    • Key Features
      Outsole
      The Nike Duel Racer's outsole is made of a thin webbed rubber material. It provides good traction that reviewers found no issues with.
      Midsole
      The Duel Racer's midsole is a dual-density foam midsole that includes responsive Phylon cushioning. The foam midsole is also lightweight. You'll notice that the sole of the shoe is two-toned. This represents the two different midsole materials present in the midsole. Overall, reviewers found the cushioning firm but responsive and comfortable.
      Upper
      The Racer's upper has a fit similar to a sock, like a lot of other Nike shoe models. The engineered knit fabric is also stretchy. The upper features TPU overlays to add support and the rear of the shoe includes a TPU heel counter for stability. A padded tongue and stretchy elastic web lacing round out the Duel's upper construction.

      Reviewers felt the upper was supportive and mostly comfortable but noted that the overall fit was a bit narrow, especially in the forefoot area.
      Weight
      We couldn't dig up the listed weight for the Nike Duel Racer but the majority of reviewers who tested the shoe described it as lightweight and comfortable.
      Breathability
      Reviewers were similarly pleased with the Duel's breathable upper. The engineered knit material ventilates well and has a nice stretch to it to ensure there's enough room for feet to breathe. Unfortunately, the toe box is quite narrow, according to reviewers, which reduces ventilation in that specific area.
      Comfort
      For the most part, reviewers found the Duel Racer comfortable for everyday wear. The fashion sneaker's Phylon midsole, while firm, is not so rigid that each step feels jarring. The toe box area does run small, as does the overall fit. Reviewers also didn't like the rigid heel cup, which caused blisters for some.
      Style
      While not a totally retro shoe, you can tell by looking at the Nike Racer that its design is '80s inspired. The colors are reminiscent of the era but the shoe doesn't feel like a total throwback. The Duel Racer still looks fresh and modern. The men's only shoe is available in a variety of colorways including white/black, red/black, black, blue, and grey/white. Reviewers liked the color options but were bummed about the lack of a customizable option offered with many other Nike shoes called NikeiD.
      Durability
      Reviewers felt the Racer held up well over time. Even the thin outsole managed to hold its own with regular use.
      Protection
      While you won't be running marathons in the Duel Racer, the shoe does offer up a protective platform made of Phylon cushioning to soften each step you might take. The breathable engineered knit upper is lightweight to ensure your feet don't get so hot you start to blister or feel discomfort. The shoe's rigid heel counter and supportive TPU overlays help with stability to counter instability for users with two left feet.
      Responsiveness
      The Racer is a fairly responsive shoe thanks to the semi-firm Phylon midsole. Reviewers liked the combination of energy-return and comfort provided by the dual-density midsole.
      Support
      The Nike Duel's sock-like upper may seem like it would be too forgiving to provide much support, but that's not quite true. The knit fabric is stretchy but still supportive thanks to sturdy TPU overlays. At the shoe's rear, a heel counter made of durable TPU also lends additional support.
      Terrain
      Recall that the rubber outsole of the Nike shoe was previously described as thin. Rugged outdoor use is likely to wear down that rubber prematurely. In addition, the Racer's sole does feature a webbed tread pattern but when the ground is wet, it's not particularly grippy.
      Price
      The Nike Racer features an attractive price tag and is a more affordable version of Nike's pricey Flyknit Racer. The price point is fair for a lifestyle shoe like the Duel.
      Traction
      The webbed rubber outsole pattern of the Duel Racer is nothing to write home about. Take caution on slippery wet surfaces as the tread doesn't offer enough texture to provide grip in those kinds of situations.
      Flexibility
      The Racer leans more towards a rigid design. While the knit upper has some stretch to it, the Phylon midsole is more on the stiff side in order to promote responsiveness. The shoe does achieve a snappy feel, and despite the stiffer construction of the sole, reviewers liked the overall responsive nature of the Nike sneaker.
      Stability
      Consider a shoe with more stability features if you're an overpronator because the Duel is bare bones in this category. The upper provides a held-in feel thanks to its snug, stretchy fit and TPU overlays. The stiff heel counter offers rear stability, but otherwise, the sock-like construction isn't aggressively stable.
      Drop
      There's no listed drop for the Nike Duel Racer. Despite its lack of stability features, reviewers seemed happy with the shoe, saying it felt stable. A low to the ground design would certainly contribute to an overall stable feel.
      Key Features
      - Sock-like engineered knit upper
      - Stretchy elastic laces
      - Padded tongue
      - TPU overlays
      - TPU heel counter
      - Phylon midsole
      - Dual-density foam midsole materials
      - Thin web treaded outsole made of rubber
      Bottom Line
      If you're not interested in spending extra money to get your hands on the Nike FlyKnit Racer it might be worth considering the Nike Duel Racer. Featuring an '80s inspired design in a comfortable package, the stylish sneaker is perfect for walks in the park with that hot new Tinder date.

      While colorway customization isn't possible with this Nike model, the styles offered are fresh and hip. The comfy shoe does run small, however, so be mindful of sizing up.
      Where to Buy
      By Steph Coelho
      Last updated:
      Marko
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 24. 2021

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