Nike Flex 2016 Rn Overview
At only $80 MSRP, the Nike Flex 2016 Rn does a lot well while remaining at a manageable price for most. The Flex Run 2016 offers a lightweight running shoe that flexes and responds to your foot extremely well. Not only that, but it has much better Arch support compared to my recently reviewed Nike Shoes, the Nike Revolution 3’s. With an offset from heel to toe as low as 8 mm, these Nike runners allow you to truly run in a natural and comfortable motion.
Great Arch Support.
Highly Flexible Upper and Soles.
Shoe is a little narrow and is not offered in wider sizes.
Sizing, Appearance, and Design
One of the biggest knocks on this running shoe by users would be the sizing/fitting. Similarly to many of NIKE’s shoes, the Nike Flex 2016 Rn’s run a bit narrow in comparison to popular running shoe brands such as ASICS. If you’ve worn different running brands that include a flux of Nike shoes, I’m sure you know what I’m referring to. I would probably recommend sizing up in these Nike Flex Rn’s if you have any doubt based on previous experiences with your Nike running shoes.
The Nike Flex 2015 Rn (The previous model) the running shoe holds a sleeker, long appearance. The newest model in the Flex 2016 Rn holds a little more arch support and has more rubber support in the sole of the running shoe near the high impact spots, the toe and heel regions. Those are a few of the differences with a simple look with the eye test. If we’re comparing just these two color combinations of the Flex Rn’s, I’d give the 2015 edition an edge in a simple design/visual appealing contest.
Construction of the Nike Flex Rn 2016
Upper: Similar to the 2015 edition, the Nike Flex 2016 Rn holds a very light upper with highly breathable mesh. The mesh is constructed partly of foam and partially of mesh to form a lightweight, breathable, and highly flexible experience. The Breathe Tech located on the sides of the shoes add for extended breathability of the foot. This is a feature that a lot of running shoes don’t have, so you can definitely expect the Nike Flex 2016 Rn to hit the mark with breathability. In my personal opinion, I felt the tongue could’ve offered a little more padding. It’s not absence, but the way I prefer to tie my shoes, I enjoy extra-padded tongues over the added weight that it may bring with it. Lastly, I think the fly-wire technology that connects with the midsole offers a very securing lacing system.
Midsole: The midsole may be one of the features that didn’t change much between the 2015 and 2016 models of the Flex Rn. Both offer a Phylon midsole, and both have structures of two layers of this support. If you’re looking for a maximalist type of cushioning in a shoe, the Flex Rn line-up probably isn’t for you. I do firmly believe the cushion does an ample job of absorbing pressure as you your foot goes through the gait process. As long as you’re a neutral runner, you’re pretty likely to feel comfortable in this shoe, in my opinion.
One addition to the Nike Flex 2016 Rn is that there is a removable insole, which allows more flexibility for the runner if they prefer their own insoles and enjoy the comfort of running without any insoles.
Outsole: Sometimes offering no pods of stronger rubber means that the lighter rubber takes a beating. This was a concern of mine in the 2015 model, but it never truly came to be an issue. It’s definitely something to look out for, because I have had outsoles wear out quick in other brands and models before. However, in the Nike Flex 2016 Rn model, there is a tri-pod system of stronger rubber to increase traction and durability. I haven’t been able to run enough to fully test the durability, but I’ve also done quite a bit of research online. I haven’t found any complaints regarding the durability of the outsole, or the running shoe overall. Well, I take that back, I did find one runner complaining that the outsole was getting breaking down after 1,000 miles, but I never expect running shoes to last 1,000 miles. You shouldn’t either regardless of make/model.
One improvement I found is that the construction of the outsole prevents smaller rocks from sticking into the outsoles compared to the previous model. I didn’t consider it a major issue with the previous model, but because it has improved, I felt it’s worth mentioning for potential buyers.
Performance of the Nike Flex 2016 Run
Because they are light-weight, lower to the ground, and are extremely flexible, their use may not be so cut and dry as other running shoes. I think they’re flexible enough for a lot of uses, whether it’s speed training or long-distance running, depending on how serious you are about each of the fields. There are better specialized shoes for both categories without a doubt. However, I like to think that the Nike Flex 2016 Rn’ can do both and are somewhere in the middle.
I thoroughly enjoyed the comfort of the Nike Flex Rn 2016’s. Admittedly, they were a little tight the first day, but I was able to break them in comfortably. I typically do not have a lot of issues with widths of shoes because my feet are fairly narrow. Every once in a while the sizing will still be too small based on length though. I don’t want to compare these running shoes to clouds, because I’ve run in some amazing cushioned shoes before, but they do have an amazing feel to them due to its balance of weight, flexibility, and natural feel. I rate the performance comfort extremely high regardless if i’m standing, walking, or performing my medium distance runs.
Areas of Concern: There aren’t a lot of concerns here, and nothing that I haven’t already mentioned. The area of concern I have for other runners is making sure you get the correct size. I would say it’s better to size up than take a chance at your normal sizing, unless you firmly believe you know what you’re doing. On a more personal level, I prefer more cushion on the tongue, so as a runner, that is my area of concern.
Performance Bottom Line: For a MSRP of $80, the Nike Flex 2016 Rn’s far expect my standards for a neutral, running shoe. They’re in-between the prices of a $60 pair of Nike Dart 11’s and a $110 pair of Nike LunarGlide 6’s. Overall they’re much better than the Nike Dart 11’s, and given a specific budget, I’d have no problem recommending these over the LunarGlide 6’s or other more expensive running shoes.
How Do I Rate the Nike Flex 2016 Rn?
As a quick reference on how I rate:
I rate running shoes based on comparable shoes in the same market. For example, I’ll rank a $60 road running shoe with a road running shoe priced at $70. I will not rate a $60 neutral running shoe with a $200 neutral race-performance running shoe. They’re not only not near the same market price, but they are designed for two completely different types of running.
1 star = Well Below Average, 3 stars= average, 5 stars = superior, near-perfect.
Cushioning = 3.5 out of 5 stars. The cushioning is decent in this shoe, but compared to other running shoes marked at $80, it isn’t too ahead of the pack, but honestly, I don’t think Nike intended it to be. I believe the Nike Flex 2016 Rn still has ample cushion for most users.
Responsiveness = 5.0 out of 5 stars. Between its lightweight nature, flexibility, and breathability, the responsiveness of this running shoe is beyond my expectations. There are better responsive shoes out there, but it’ll be tough to find it for under $80.
Design = 4.5 out of 5 stars. I actually really like certain color combinations of this Nike running shoe. Some of them are little bland looking, and for that alone, I dock 1/2 a star.
Weight = 4.5 out of 5 stars. There aren’t a lot of cheaper-end shoes that sit at 8 ounces or less buy still perform at high levels. I can’t rate this at a perfect score simply because I know there are some that can do it better, for example, the more expensive, and the shoe that offers much more cushion in the Hoka One One Clifton series, sits at an even lower weight than the Nike Flex 2016 Rn’s.
Overall Performance = 4.5 out of 5 stars. Performance should be the #1 factor in any performance driven shoe, whether it’s a shoe for running, cross-training, or any other sport/activity out there. For its satisfactory levels of cushion, its uncanny smoothness and flow, and its breathability, I thoroughly enjoyed testing this running shoe out, and wouldn’t think twice about recommending these shoes to a friend for a multitude of uses. Overall the Nike Flex Rn’s may not be a line-up as popular as the Nike Pegasus’ but that doesn’t take away from what the shoe is: and that’s a mighty good running shoe.
My final rating for the Nike Flex 2016 Rn’s are a 4.5 out of 5.