Nike Duel Racer Review

8.4 score
(WalkJogRun) score (8.4)/10

Our WalkJogRun 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.
Editor rating: 8.3 / 10
User's rating: based on 4 user ratings
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Nike Duel Racer Review Review Facts

Nike was introduced by Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman, who happened to be a runner and his trainer. This collaboration sparked an ambitious vision and positively affected the running sneaker as we know it today. The most valued features of this ever-changing brand are the constant bold updates in their models. This company thrives for success every step of the way, hence the name Nike, which stands for the Greek goddess of victory. With victory in mind, following a long line of products that first emerged in 1964, Nike started its modern revolution.

They revived their old styles and transformed them into designs that fit in the contemporary trends and standards. It is not only Nike that got in the habit of updating old classic models into modern lifestyle designs to conform to new fashion desires. Many big names followed this example and breathed new life into their old classics.

The revamped model we are going to be taking a close look at today is the Nike Duel Racer in light charcoal and white-pale grey. Time is unstoppable, and it’s continuously changing, so companies like Nike need to keep up with particular demands. This Duel Racer is living proof to this statement. The Nike Dualist, a running shoe from 1988,  inspired Nike to give life to the Duel Racer. For some, this model is among the fastest shoes ever to be made, but for others, this pair is mainly used for lifestyle or casual wear.

Editor's Pros & Cons


Average support


Responsive midsole cushioning



Blisters or pain at the heel portion

Narrow fit

Runs half a size smaller

Lack of colorways available

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 3.5 hours analyzing a total of 330 reviews.

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

Below you will read a summary of them:

  • Great look and overall feel, sized up and they fit amazingly.
  • I usually stick to another brand of shoe, but since buying these, I could never go back.
  • Great shoe for working out and casual wear as well!
  • I always get compliments on these shoes, they’re great looking!
  • Never had any issues or any discomfort. These are a great, comfortable shoe!
  • Great price for Nike shoes, great style. I really love these shoes.
  • These feel like a sock, perfect for running on pavement! Probably one of the most comfortable shoes for running.
  • Great shoe for runs in the rains, they dry super quick!
  • No issues with these shoes, after a month they’re still comfortable and durable.
  • Great lightweight shoe, and they look amazing. Great for running.
  • Purchased a size up, for more room in the tox box. However amazing shoes and super comfortable.
  • These are my go to shoe for the gym! Perfect for short runs and workouts.
  • Great shoe even if you have wide feet, they’re super comfortable
  • These have to be the best pair of sneakers I’ve purchased to date.
  • Great exercise and gym shoe. Perfect for my daily runs, super comfortable!
  • I would definitely buy another pair, I love the style and it fits amazing.
  • Super comfortable. They fit almost like a sock, very light weight.
  • Love these shoes, they have ton of room in the toe box which is great!
  • Great shoe for those looking for a comfortable traveling shoe. These are true to size and fit great even with an athletic sock on.
  • Amazing shoe for the gym, I love them!
  • Back of heel can rub, causing discomfort.
The Reviewmeter shows you an overall score that you can easily refer to. The highest rating is 10 (100% positive feedback)
Of the 330 reviews we found in total, 21% were negative, and 79% were positive.


The Duel Racer is also compared to another Nike runner, called the Flyknit Racer. Many reviewers who wore the Flyknit Racer reported that it had a very thin outsole that hurt their feet after extended wear. So, what Nike did with the Duel Racer rubber outsole, put smiles on many faces. This design features a broader imprint on the webbed rubber material, which gave wearers more stability. A number of buyers were also pleased with the grip this model provides them with.


The entire body rests on a dual density foam midsole, which on this model is dual-toned. The white colored part is along the midfoot and the forefoot, while the back of the heel is done in light charcoal featuring the Nike branding on the lateral side. These two variant foams also give the wearer different sensation. The cushioning on the white foam feels average and doesn’t energize your running or bounces back harder than compressed when you are walking in them.

On the other hand, the foam incorporated in the heel can put your mind at ease. Although it is made of similar material as the foam on the white portion of the sole, (Phylon cushioning), the foam at the heel feels very soft and well cushioned. While some wearers claimed it is very firm, others reported that it feels exceptionally comfortable.


The upper on this particular model features an engineered mesh material in a combination of light charcoal, pale grey, and black. When you take one look at the duel Racer, you can notice that the way the knit is done reminds of a chain mail that was worn for extra protection under soldier’s armor. While chainmail was made of steel and iron, the knit on the Duel Racer is quite thin, thus flexible and stretchy. The way the mesh was designed works in the same way as the chain mail; although not exactly as stab-resistant as the mail, the TPU overlays on the mesh upper help to some extent, protect the wearer from potential penetration of sharp objects.

The Swoosh logo on this design is in white, and it is embedded into the mesh on both sides. A black fuse material in a triangular shape is placed at the toe area, that holds the bottom eyelet which on this design is in an infrared color. The laces are black, done in a rope style that loops through the eyelets which then allow for the laces to be done quickly and with zero effort. What lies behind the laces is a soft tongue in a neoprene material in a light charcoal color. Nike kept the branding minimal, placing it only on the tongue in black and silver color.

The back of the Duel Racer features a black TPU heel counter which helps to lock your foot down, delivering additional support. It is accentuated with a white foam block and an infrared pull tab with Nike branding in black, for easy putting on and taking off your sneakers.


The Duel Racer is a unisex shoe, with a low-top profile, designed for speed and comfort. This design is done in a one-piece boot-like construction which means that the neoprene tongue material is connected to the rest of the sneaker. There is additional padding located at the back and the side area for extra comfort.


Many reviewers praised this model for its comfort which mainly comes from the insoles. These insoles are removable, and in this model, they are featured in an infrared finish with the Nike branding on the heel, colored in silver. In addition to the insoles, the dual density foam midsole at the heel also contributes to the overall comfort while the mesh upper plays a significant role in keeping the feet dry and fresh. One downside as reported by customers is that the firm heel cup may feel a bit uncomfortable after extended wear or a short run, causing blisters in the process.


The Duel Racer model is regarded as a lightweight sneaker with decent stability and support. Which part does the Duel Racer draw its support from? In this case, it has to be the dual density foam, which is nothing but a high-density and low-density foam bonded together. While the high-density part disperses the blow, the low-density foam absorbs the impact, thus enhancing the natural movement of the foot. In addition to the supportive midsole, the non-traditional lacing system in this model also works well to provide a more secure fit, therefore providing more support to the foot.


When it comes to stability, you may want to choose one of Nike’s Torsion system outsoles, if you tend to overpronate. While it’s true this design is lightweight, stable and supportive, the lack of firmer sock liner construction makes it less desirable amongst runners and fitness fans alike.

On the other hand, the synthetic layers on the upper and the TPU overlays on the heel counter contribute to the shoes’ longevity and stability.


Many buyers reported that despite the firm Phylon midsole, the Duel Racer is not all that bad when it comes to flexibility. By utilizing a knit upper that is somewhat more flexible than any other part on this model, Nike tried to compensate for the firm sole construction. However, what the style lacks in flexibility, it makes up in responsiveness, which is provided exactly by the firm Phylon midsole.


The protective features on the Duel Racer take strength from the protective sole made of Phylon cushioning. This cushioning, despite being firmer than other models, still provides the wearer with decent softness whether he/she is walking or running. In addition to that, the lightweight, mesh upper has great breathing properties, which help protect the foot from excessive sweating, and therefore the sneaker is less likely to cause blisters and discomfort.


One more thing that customers were pleased about was the responsiveness and comfort that they received from this design. Much like its predecessor, the Nike Duelist, this Duel Racer features the same technology called Phylon. Nike has used this cushioning for many years in many of their famous shoes, like the Nike Cortez for instance. This Phylon material is extremely lightweight and responsive. Today, Nike still uses Phylon but upgraded it to what we call now the Lunarlon. As mentioned before, the Duel Racer features a semi-firm Phylon midsole, (stiffer at the front and softer at the heel counter), which helps increase the sneaker’s energy return.


According to some buyers, the thin webbed rubber outsole is somewhat substandard. It provides good traction on flat terrain indoors or outdoors, but one needs to take extra care when walking on wet terrain, since it may be slippery.


Due to the thin rubber outsole, it is not recommended to wear this model on rough terrain, since it may cause for the outsole to wear down quickly. They do, however, perform well on even surfaces, both indoors and outdoors.


Even though the outsole is made of thin material, it is said that it holds up well over time, provided you don’t wear these shoes on rugged terrain. Wearing the Duel Racer on rough surfaces for a long time may cause the outsole to wear down ahead of time. The upper is made of high-quality overlays and is also reported to last long.


The sleek and stylish design makes the Duel Racer suitable for working, running or everyday wear and it can be matched with pretty much any sports attire. Duel Racer is yet another Nike model that drew inspiration from an 80’s runner model and was transformed into a lifestyle sneaker.

When it comes to sizes, the Duel Racer according to some runs true to size, so it’s a good idea to stick to your standard Nike size. But some buyers reported that it runs half a size smaller, so you may want to pay extra attention when choosing a pair for yourself. The fit is compared to the Nike Flyknit racer, with the difference being in the mesh which is quite stretchy, making the shoe even more appealing to those with wide feet. Released on June 22, 2017, the Duel Racer can be found in many different colorways, like grey and white, black and white, black and red, or black and blue to mention a few.


This modern looking lifestyle sneaker owes its breathing system to the upper construction, which is made of stretching mesh material, allowing for ample airflow. Good ventilation then helps your feet stay dry and cool throughout constant use, adding to the overall comfort ratings of this design.


No information has been released about the actual weight of the Duel Racer, but according to reviewers, it is really lightweight and very comfortable.


There is no data available to explain the drop of the Duel Racer. Many reviewers were happy to say that despite the lack of strong stability features, this model provided them with enough sturdiness.

Key Features

• Mesh upper for breathable comfort
• Web treaded rubber outsole for durability
• Dual-density Phylon foam midsole for support and cushioning
• Elastic lace-up fastening
• TPU overlays
• TPU heel counter


Nike released the Duel Racer in June 2017, therefore continuing to transform old classic styles into modern lifestyle footwear. The changes that the Duel Racer went through, turned this design into a trendy, runner-inspired style. Featuring a stretchable mesh and neoprene upper that wraps around the foot, this model bears a close resemblance to the Flyknit Racer. The top of the shoe appears to have a sort of a sock-liner which most customers were pleased about since the sock-like upper is trendy these days. This knit upper not only wraps your feet for a snug and comfortable fit, but it also allows the feet to breathe well giving the wearer extra comfort. The lightweight foam sole, together with the removable insole, work well to provide the wearer with decent cushioning at all times. At the bottom, the rubber tread has a role to give the sneaker a good grip while you are walking or running on various surfaces.
Bouncing back from the Nike Duelist, both these sneakers are representations of one of Nike’s best concepts, the Nike Free. This is probably one of their best ideas, which help runners with speed and support while at the same time allowing more freedom in movement. For a very affordable price, you can also add this Nike's remake from the 80's and be trendy in the 2000's.