The new Nike Dart 11 looks to improve from the somewhat average Dart 10. The design itself has changed quite a bit which means there are going to be some new features within the Nike Dart 11 that may please more runners, but at the same time, some may find a disliking to what they may have already found a good Nike Dart 10. With the shape of the shoe differing, the outsole design, the tongue, overall fit, there is actually quite a bit to talk about, so lets compare.
Nike Dart 10 vs Nike Dart 11 Comparisons
For a Nike Dart 10 being a lower-end shoe for Nike priced at $60 (extremely cheap for running shoes) there are more changes in the Nike Dart 11 than you might expect. Lets start with the easy, the differences we can visually see before we even test either shoe, the appearance. I really like the updates to just the visual aspects of the shoe. I think its a nice cleaner, classic look. The Nike Dart 11 definitely does not look as cheaply made as its predecessor. You can have your own opinions about the appearance of course, it really will have no impact on the performance of the shoe.
Outsole Changes– I enjoy the new outsole idea behind the Nike Dart 11. The design of the carbon rubber on the bottoms of the shoe are slightly different but aren’t worth mentioning in terms of a change in performance. The difference is the Nike Dart 11 has a second carbon-fiber rubber. It is a bit softer and offers more cushion. It is also a bit thicker than the carbon rubber in black. After wearing the Nike Dart 11, the outsole changes definitely help with the transitioning of the shoe, something that was lacking in the Nike Dart 10. It does not simply fix the entire problem but it is an improved area without a doubt.
Fitting Changes– There are quite a few small changes in the overall fitting of the shoe that seem trivial but combined can make a significant change. First is the change of shape of the upper near the back of the shoe. It curves inward so when your foot is in the shoe, it is a bit more secured. I was afraid this was going to mean I might get blisters on my ankles when my foot rubs against it since that is the case with some shoes that have the same issue but I think its well padded enough for as long as the padding does not wear thin, I should be okay. I wear socks below my ankles as long as my shoes permit it, so my ankles would definitely blister if the surface was rougher than what it is.
The second change is a bit of a mix between fitting and upper. This new feature in the Nike Dart 11 is a more plush 11. I do not think it necessarily adds to the comfort because the tongue is not usually something that makes a running shoe uncomfortable. Instead what it does do is when lacing up, it makes it easier to tighten up the shoe and keep the foot nice and tight without any suffocation. Another minor plus when looking at the grand scheme of things for the Nike Dart 11.
Not all the fitting has changed though. Just like its predecessor, the Nike Dart 11 is also available in a wide variety of sizes, including 2E and 4E widths. I would consider this shoe to be about average in Nike’s shoe sizes so only upsize if you feel you are pushing it. Feel free to give it a fitting test before you purchase if you have any doubt.
Stability Changes– I am hoping this is not going to be a deal-breaker for anybody since this is an already neutral shoe losing some stability. In the Nike Dart 10 there was a decent medial-post. It might not be much for a stability user but I’m sure it helps some runners out there that pronate a little extra. The Nike Dart 11 however is exactly who it claims to be for, a runner who under-pronates or pronates usually. Do not expect to see a good fit with this shoe if you are a stability user. If you are not sure what kind of runner you are, I recommend reading up on this article.
Cushion Changes– I would rate the nike Dart 10’s cushioning about a 6/10. That seems poor and it is for a running shoe but do not think there is no cushion in the Nike Dart 10. There should be ample cushion for lightweight runners, runners who do not look for cushion, or lighter-activities. In the Nike Dart 11 the cushion is about the same except for in the forefront. There is actually a little more cushion in the forefront. Overall, I might give the Nike Dart 11 a half-point extra in cushioning as a result.
What Hasn’t changed in the Nike Dart 10 vs the Nike Dart 11 – There are still plenty of the same, some good and some bad about what hasn’t changed between the two nike running shoes. This includes the construction quality, upper materials, overall weight, price, and lacing system.
Upper– Like its predecessor, the Nike Dart 11 is made up of mesh and synthetic overlays for added durability. I would rate the breathability and comfort of the upper as almost the exact same between the two trainers. Considering the durability of the Nike Dart 10’s upper, I do not see any reason right now why that could be any different in the Nike Dart 11’s as well.
Construction Quality– I really enjoy the surprising durability in both the Nike Dart 11’s as well as its predecessor. It is always a nice surprise when a cheaper shoe can hold its own in life-span compared to some of the more expensive running shoes, even more so than some of the real light-weight running shoes that can be found such as the Nike Roshe Run.
Other Features– As mentioned before, the price has remained the same for both the Nike Dart 10 and Nike Dart 11. The Merchant Retail Suggested Price sits at $60. Considering the Nike Dart 11 is a newer model, you will probably find less deals on the shoe until some time passes. The Nike Dart 11 is still extremely new on the market, and not widely available.
Both shoes weigh almost the exact same amount. I clocked the Nike Dart 10 at 9.4 ounces. I clocked the Nike Dart 11 at 9.3 ounces. Both were in my fairly small shoes of 9 Men’s D sizing.
Lastly, the lace system is the same: traditional. The laces length is about the same. There is a little less laces though because of the padded tongue. Do not worry about not having enough laces, I still had sufficient laces.
Who Should Wear the Nike Dart 11
Nike Dart 11’s are meant for the hard pavements for the road, but I only agree with this statement somewhat. It’s hard for me to tell any runner you will be fine buying a pair of 60 dollar running shoes to run long distances on pavement. Typically it wouldn’t make much sense for a large mass of runners, although I’m sure some runners will be able to handle it just fine. Ultimately it is up to you. Whatever has proven most comfortable to you. Given the lack of cushion and some lacking in flexibility, I find this to be more of a versatile trainer meant for lighter uses or heavier uses in smaller doses. For example, if you are going to work out at the gym or play some basketball, these shoes may be great for you. If you like to walk daily, these shoes may work for you. However, I’m not sure I would go out recommending the Nike Dart 11 for a marathon.
Summary of Nike Dart 11
The Nike Dart 11 has shown great improvements over its predecessor, the Nike Dart 10. Such updates include an improved, 2-layer outsole, and a brand new construction design for added cushion, comfort, and fitting. At the same time, the Nike Dart 11 has also kept some of its predecessor’s other features such as the same mesh breathable upper and solid durability. Overall, the Nike Dart 11 is a great versatile shoe that I personally believe is great for light exercises and casual use for any neutral runner.