Nike Duel Racer

8.3
8.3 score
Runnerclick score (8.3)/10

Our overall Runnerclick score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter
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Editor rating: 8.5 / 10
User's rating: based on 1 user ratings
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Nike Duel Racer Review Facts
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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.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Supportive
  • Durable
  • Responsive cushioning
Cons
  • Narrow fit, runs small
  • Heel cup is uncomfortably rigid
  • No ability to customize colorways
See How
Reviews were analyzed here:
We read, analyze and sort reviews into positive & negative categories to give you the complete picture.
What are buyers saying?

We have spent 5.5 hours analyzing a total of 400 reviews.

These reviews are then categoried into "Positive" and "Negative" feedback.

Below you will read a summary of them:

Positive
  • I am super happy that these fit as they were supposed to. The design and the shoe is just great all around.
  • I was surprised at how well these fit, Nike is usually really wacky in sizing. They are super light on my feet and I love them.
  • I want to recommend these shoes to everybody. They are really comfortable and they fit great. These are really well designed shoes.
  • These ran a bit small for me but I loved them. They look just like they do in the photos and I couldn't be happier.
  • These had me so stable and were extremely light. They didn't make any noises like some Nikes do. I had no side effects from these: pian, blisters, hotspots. I was able t get these on a wet surface and they gripped great. They are sleek and look great on as well. I like the price tag that comes along with it.
  • I didn't get the size I ordered, they came in smaller. However, they ended up fitting really nice and they were really comfortable.
  • These shoes were really stretchy and had great toe room. They gave my ankles really good support when I was training and they look great.
  • These are so comfortable on the inside. They have a great ankle support and cushion as well. They look like boy shoes to me but that is ok. I wore these for my dance exercises and they held me up great.
  • These shoes are great in style, that is why I bought them. They just rub a bit on the ankles so I added some mole skin back there.
  • These hug my feet so good and great in the ankles. They do not rub me like some reviews have said. I get a lot of compliments too.
  • I bought these for my gym shoes and they have been great. They are great in comfort and really stable shoes for my gym visits as well.
  • Do not wear these without sock or you might have the rubbing issue. THese are great otherwise. They are super comfortable and work really great when I use them for my runs. They run a little small so get a half size bigger.
  • I love the style and design of these shoes. I had to exchange them for a full size larger. The toe box runs a little smaller than the other Nikes I own.
  • I am waiting for these to come out in more colors. They are the best shoe I have ever bought. I love wearing them for running and casual. They are just all over great shoes.
  • I bought two colors of these. They are so nice looking and clean. If your in it for the looks, these are the shoes to go for.
  • I like that these are comfortable without lacking in style. I use these as my street an gym shoes and they work out great and have never caused any pain.
  • I really am digging how comfy these are and how stylish they are as well. I rally am in love with these shoes.
  • These shoes are so unique and comfortable.I am super impressed and love wearing them out. I get tons of compliments. I would really recommend these shoes.
  • These are a great price and they fit great. They run a little high on the heel so make sure to wear socks accordingly as they are prone to rub.
  • The design in beautiful on this shoe. They are a little narrow but my toes like that.
  • I use these shoes for everything: running, walking, day to day activities. They are really light and flexible and they never bother my feet. They look great too. Top notch in design and style.
  • I love the simplicity and design of these shoes. I use these for my long work hours and am pleasantly pleased with how well they wear. Great shoe Nike and they fit to size.
Negative
  • They really hurt the back of my heel so I had to return the,. I did like the way they looked though.
  • These did not have enough padding for me and they had way too much fabric around the ankle, which really bothered me. I also had quite a time putting these on. I am not impressed.
  • These created way too much pain in my heels when I walked.
  • These tore the skin right off my achilles and created so much pain for em. I couldn't take them off the day that I wore them and I had blisters the size of grapes. Horrible shoe.
  • The heel on these are really uncomfortable. They have plastic in them that rubs really bad. They are really stiff and I had a hard time wearing them.
  • I actually really liked these shoes soles. However, I have no skin left on my heels and they were bleeding. These shoes are a horror.
  • I am so disappointed in these shoes. The sizing was way too big compared to all my other nikes, long actually. This is so annoying and inconvenient.
  • These are a blister factory. I really hated tat thy rubbed so bad. They had no flexibility to them. I am not sure hat they were thinking when they made this shoe.
Reviewmeter
The Reviewmeter shows you an overall score that you can easily refer to. The highest rating is 10 (100% positive feedback)
Of the 400 reviews we found in total, 24% were negative, and 76% were positive.
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Outsole
Outsole

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
Midsole

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
Upper

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
Weight

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
Breathability

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
Comfort

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
Style

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
Durability

Durability

Reviewers felt the Racer held up well over time. Even the thin outsole managed to hold its own with regular use.
Protection
Protection

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
Responsiveness

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
Support

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
Terrain

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
Price

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
Traction

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
Flexibility

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
Stability

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
Drop

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
Key Features

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
Bottom Line

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.