Nike Flyknit Racer Betrue Review Facts
Rumored to be the last in Nike’s line of Flyknit Racers, the Flyknit Racer Betrue is a hot item flying off the shelves. Released during Pride Month, these shoes are designed around the theme of LGBTQ acceptance and the pursuit of equal rights. Aside from some disappointingly common manufacturing defects, these shoes look incredible and function just as well as can be expected from the Flyknit Racer line. For individuals looking for a lightweight, stable and tight-fitting running shoe, this shoe has everything they need plus a bold design that promotes a positive message.
The outsole of these shoes is the same as the standard Nike Flyknit
Racer outsole with some small cosmetic differences. A thin, waffle-style rubber padding is placed on the entirety of the outsole, providing enough traction and support for running
environments such as a track or field
. Black and white coloring is used for the design with the exception of a bright pink Nike swoosh in the center. In essence, these shoes offer the basic level of support and traction needed for low-impact running, with a greater focus placed on style and a lighter weight.
The midsoles of the Nike Flyknit Racer Betrue are essentially the same as the standard Flyknit Racer Midsole. Hard rubber forms a protective layer separating your feet from the ground you run on. In addition, a slight heel drop is added to increase the level of cushion on your heel. This is a feature that individuals who emphasize heel striking
during their running stride will appreciate. One unfortunate aspect of the midsole is that small amounts of excess glue can be seen where it attaches to the flyknit upper, leaving dark stains on the otherwise white material. This is a pretty egregious manufacturing defect that has disappointed many customers.
As you can guess from its namesake, the majority of this shoe’s upper is made from flyknit material. This lightweight yet durable material works to protect your feet while running as well as provide enough ventilation to prevent excessive sweating or uncomfortable levels of heat. It isn’t the most durable material that could be used for a running shoe, meaning that these shoes certainly shouldn’t be worn when running on anything rougher than a sidewalk
. However, the protection is enough to handle most common running surfaces, and the style of these shoes’ upper is second to none.
These shoes weigh only 6 ounces, making them some of the lightest running shoes on the market. Nike’s Flyknit Racers feel more like a second layer of skin than an article of footwear, and the extremely low weight is a large part as to why. Coupled with the tight fit
due to FlyWire
technology implemented into the upper, and the highly breathable flyknit fabric construction, these shoes achieve a very subtle presence when worn. It almost feels like you’re wearing nothing at all!
In addition to being incredibly lightweight, these shoes offer an excellent level of ventilation
. The core concept behind the Nike Flyknit Racer line is to offer a flyknit fabric upper that provides adequate protection
for your feet while still allowing air to flow through and prevent the accumulation of sweat. This results in a pair of shoes that are perfect for even the hottest of days. You won’t have to worry about these shoes starting to smell over time and you can run in them for the whole day without running the risk of trench foot.
Due to having such a light weight, the level of padding in the Flyknit Racer Betrue’s insole and midsole are minimal.
This offers a bare minimum level of comfort that should be adequate for most runners but anyone who needs additional heel or arch support will want to invest in some orthotic material, such as a gel insole. Individuals with wider feet will want to wear a half size larger than their normal shoe size, as these shoes are quite narrow. Other than that, the tight fit and light weight provide a comfortable feeling with just enough cushion to facilitate short running sessions on softer surfaces.
Nike’s Betrue line of their Flyknit Racer is a celebration of LGBTQ culture and was released during Pride Month. The design is a reflection of this theme with a stark black and white color scheme accentuated by a rainbow Nike swoosh on one side and a pink swoosh on the other. The end result is a beautiful looking
shoe with a positive message. However, the use of bright colors and the overwhelming presence of white material make these shoes a lot harder to keep clean and fresh. The style of these shoes are excellent and timeless, but a considerable amount of effort will need to be made by customers in order to keep them in this state.
These shoes were not designed for very tough terrain. As a result, the durability is mediocre but adequate, provided your expectations are modest. For individuals who plan on using these shoes to run on a track, a field of grass, or soft dirt, they shouldn’t experience any degradation. However, anything harder than concrete or asphalt will start to wear down the outsole and upper portion of these shoes, as they simply weren’t designed with these environments in mind. Proper cleaning and general maintenance of these shoes are mandatory in order to keep them in top condition, but it is possible.
The amount of protection offered by these shoes is minimal, as this really wasn’t the main focus of the Flyknit Racer Betrue’s design. The key points Nike focused on when making these shoes is the stylish exterior, a highly breathable fabric, and a very light weight. Unfortunately, this doesn’t leave much room for foot protection, and the flyknit fabric upper simply doesn’t do a very good job in any environment other than a clear, sunny day. Sole protection is a bit better with the addition of a rigid midsole, but it’s best that you stick to softer running surfaces when wearing these shoes.
These Flyknit Racers offer the kind of responsiveness needed for dedicated sprinters and racers
, as the name implies. This is accomplished by implementing a waffle-style outsole pattern that provides excellent traction, and by a tight fitting design that weighs surprisingly little. There is no delay when running in these shoes, no extra weight or sore calves. This does come at the expense of upper foot protection and lower foot support, but neither of these features are necessary for the specific situations that these running shoes are best suited for. When running short distances on standard running track, these are the right shoes for the job.
Truth be told, support is not a strong point of these Nike shoes
. Wearing these shoes for a long time will probably result in some soreness, even after you’ve broken them in. Fortunately, they fit incredibly well to your feet with the help of the FlyWire technology
threaded through the upper portion, and a decent heel drop will provide a bit of heel support, but this still won’t offer as much foot support as a decent pair of cross training shoes. Individuals with sensitive feet may be able to work around this shortcoming with the aid of some orthotic insoles, but it may just be a better idea to purchase a more supportive shoe.
The type of terrain these shoes are best suited for running on is severely limited. Any kind of rough path or trail that has jagged rocks or overgrown roots is out. Anything too soft without something for the Flyknit Racer’s outsoles to grab a hold of, such as sand or soft dirt, is also out. This leaves short grass, artificial turf, Olympic-style running track, asphalt, and cement sidewalks as the surfaces these shoes are most effective at running on. You will need to supplement these shoes with another pair if you plan on wearing footwear for anything off the beaten path; for the most part, these Nike shoes are designed for form over function.
As a limited edition collector’s item, the price for these shoes is outlandish. Although the starting price for the Flyknit Racer Betrue was quite high, the cost of it is increased by resellers taking advantage of its limited availability. As far as value for a running shoe, you could get two sets of a much more effective pair for roughly the same price as one pair of these. Nike is donating a great deal of money to LGBTQ causes, but they have not said if any portion of the profits from Betrue sales go toward those donations. This means that if you’re considering purchasing these to support LGBTQ causes, you would be better off simply making a donation instead of buying these shoes.
In order to take full advantage of the traction offered by these running shoes, customers will have to use them on softer and smoother surfaces. The best places to run with these shoes are concrete and asphalt, Olympic-style running track, and trimmed grass or artificial turf. When running on this type of terrain, Nike’s waffle-style outsole provides a terrific level of grip and control with each stride. In addition, energy is able to be distributed efficiently with each stride due to the light weight and form-fitting nature of the rest of the shoe, providing an even greater degree of traction to the package.
There is a small amount of give in these shoes simply because of the small amount of material used in the construction of its midsole and outsole. This tiny degree of flexibility is still greater than a cross-training shoe or a trail shoe, and can contribute to the feeling of responsiveness these shoes emanate. However, the midsole is still made of a thick and rigid rubber material, which isn’t meant to bend too much. After some time breaking these shoes in, this will most likely change.
Nike sacrificed cushion for stability with the Flyknit Racer design, and this Betrue model is no exception to this rule. Hard rubber in the midsole makes these shoes considerably less flexible than other popular Nike shoes, which can result in a jarring transition process if you are new to the Flyknit series. However, what these shoes lack in flexibility or cushion is made up for in stability, which results in the sensation that these shoes are an extension of your feet rather than an awkward foot accessory. Tight-fitting with a rigid midsole and extremely light weight is the secret to this impressive accomplishment.
With an 8 mm drop in the Nike Flyknit Racer Betrue’s midsole, a small degree of additional material has been added to the heel of the shoe. This adds a degree of protection to your heel when running that makes these shoes more comfortable to runners who use their heel more when striking the ground. If this applies to you, these shoes will feel very comfortable. However, flat-footed runners will need to adjust to this higher drop, and runners with arch pain from conditions like plantar fasciitis will probably need to supplement their shoes with an orthotic insole.
- LGBTQ centered design
- Extremely lightweight
- Flyknit upper with excellent ventilation
- Slight manufacturing defect on upper
- Rigid midsole
- Limited cushion on insole
- Adequate traction for casual running environments
For individuals looking to express their support of LGBTQ causes in a stylish way, these running shoes are a perfect choice. In addition to an eye-catching and awareness raising design, the construction of these running shoes is perfect for most track and field activities. Depending on the circumstances, these can be worn as everyday walking or jogging shoes, but there are some design aspects that hold them back from being perfect for these situations. If you don’t care too much about cushion, traction over rougher surfaces, or getting a good deal, these shoes will serve as the perfect status symbol.