Nike Flex Contact Review

9.7 score
[Editors rating (9.7) + Users rating (10.0)] / 2 = (WalkJogRun) score (9.7)/10

Editor rating: 9.7 / 10
User's rating: based on 1 user ratings
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Most casual exercisers and professional athletes truly love Nike. From their slogans using athletic mega-stars to their sporty lifestyle wear, Nike is often regarded as the industry standard for their price point. Nike’s Flex Contact makes it no surprise as to why. With a custom feel, fabric that changes throughout the upper to best support your foot, and a fully cohesive set of foam soles, this Flex Contact is a nice boost to an athletes wardrobe. Flyknit technology is super cute, giving an almost woven feel, and yet, the performance of it far exceeds even the on-trend look. Nike may be young, only having started in 1964 under the name Blue Ribbon Sports, yet still, their shoes are time and time again a chosen favorite for the old, young, and young at heart. Cornering the market in comfort, style, and special technology, it isn’t hard to guess why you can’t step out without seeing their iconic check mark.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Intuitive Upper
  • Flyknit Technology
  • Hot-Knife Cut Outsole
  • Foam Sole Structure
  • Fit Feels Custom
  • Reinforced Midfoot
  • Least Popular Flex
  • Very Thin Material


Nike is one of the hands-down, most popular shoe brands there are. This should be a great thing, and no doubt, it adds credibility to every shoe they create. In this instance, however, I feel it needs mentioning that although Nike is a consumer favorite, it just makes the fact that this Flex Contact was not a favorite that much more significant. Compared to their other trainers, running sneakers, and assorted athletic minimalist running shoes in the Flex line, the Flex Contact didn’t spend much time being direct from the distributor.

Though they still offer Big Kids versions of the shoe on their website, the Flex Contact overall can be seen mostly on third-party sites. There isn’t anything wrong with this mode of sale, but it is unusual for a shoe that maintains its popularity to only be offered there, is the point. Reviews from Nike die-hards show that this wasn’t their favorite Flex that Nike has created and distributed.


Synthetic isn’t a bad thing, especially when you need to go beyond your naturally available materials to create high-performance, hybrid blends. Nike’s Flyknit technology is new and better than ever. For this Flex Contact, what Nike did was engineer a material using fabric and variations of yarn that have support only where you need it. This trims down bulk without giving up the structure.

Nike often develops ways to incorporate knit or mesh into an athletic shoe to really give you an unparalleled feel. Keeping your feet cool and dry is integral when you’re working out in a shoe or even wearing them on a hot day. If you keep trying to buy sneakers that miss the mark or have knit that is only for show and becomes really is hot, stuffy, and overall stifling, we are sure you’re ready to stop being disappointed. This is an awesome style that incorporates the benefits of Flyknit mesh and the style of a casual runner.


Comfort is truly the next level in this option from Nike. Nike’s Flex Contact has this phenomenal soft upper which is something to behold and they still decided to amp that up by using a soft lining to compliment it. The insole is foamed and incredibly forgiving of each step, their midsole is also made of a high-compression foam. Plush support will contour to your footbed and give exactly where you need it to while holding up where you don't.

All-day comfort comes from the hot-knife grooves in the outsole of this, which literally expand and contract while wearing. The definition of a customizable feel here! Feeling steady while wearing these is a symptom of slipping them on. Walking on air isn’t literal with these like it would be with say, the AirMax, but Nike’s Flex line is nothing to turn your head at. Reviewers loved how this shoe performed, even after multiple hours of wear.


The bane of a very lightweight shoe is durability. They simply won’t outlast an all-leather option. While the sole is extremely well made and reliable, the soft upper is going to go long before that sole gives out. This can be frustrating, and understandably so, but it doesn’t mean this shoe is a total loss. If you aren’t going to be hard on your next pair of sneakers, this will perfectly suffice.

Their upper has protections in the most vulnerable part of the shoe, despite how thin it is overall. The thinness is the main problem with this material. The upper also has some of its best benefits from how thin the fabric is, but that doesn’t change the fact that it will wear to some extent over time, especially in the toe. This isn’t a dealbreaker, however, it is something to seriously consider when you are shopping for your next sneaker.


Nike is famous for running a bit small. People who work in shoe retail often have to laugh when men are shocked their feet don’t fit in their usual Nike size when trying another brand. There is nothing wrong with a slightly different fit range, it can just cause slight problems for higher arches or wider feet. The Flex Contact stops that problem in its tracks. Their lace-up closure aids in a secure, but forgiving fit. However, the real star here is the materials used and how they are cut. A circular knit pattern is what covers the forefoot. This stretches with the toe's natural movement and flexing.

Through the midfoot, the actual mesh of the material used gets tighter. This provides more support and holds where your foot needs it while maintaining a whole lot of giving in the other areas of the foot. Close, natural fits on the Flex Contact that are virtually seamless feel as though you aren’t even wearing shoes when you put them on. Every stride is adaptive, making the shoe feel as if it were meant for the wearer.


We mentioned how amazing the knife-cut outsole is, but that isn’t the only feature that lends itself to the flexibility and overall mobility of this Nike. No hard midsoles or plastic additions to any part of the shoe’s construction mean there are no super hard areas that hinder your natural motion. Shock absorbing rubber isn’t too stiff or uncomfortable, it will work perfectly for you whether you decide to break them in first or not. The knife-cut outsole ensures that the shoe comes up at the toe when your foot does, and doesn’t add an element of resistance with every step or motion. Unlike many shoes with a heavier, flared base, all the open space in the outsole of the shoe frees you up for maximum movability.


The outsole and insole wouldn’t mean much without a well-molded insole that plays off them in the best way possible. That is exactly what you get with the Flex Contact. Their compound material midsole also absorbs shock and impact of each step, which relieves cramping and muscle fatigue. If you are worried about injury, a shoe that diminishes pain and creates an effective base is one to look for.

Balanced cushioning all the way to the outsole is what sets this apart from a more bare construction adorned with a cushioned insole and flexible out. Multiple layers of curated and blended materials are not often made in an attempt to save money on athletic sneakers. It is figured if they feel good on first wear, that is enough. Except it really isn’t enough, nor is it sustainable for a sneaker you will be wearing often. The Flex Contact nips that problem in the bud.


Part of what makes this shoe so interesting is the outsole. Nike molds their outsoles with injection molding, which creates a bouncy, intricate outsole. This isn’t only stunning due to the detail they are able to put into their laser cut molds before filling, but the function is otherworldly. Not only do these rubber blends do not mark or skid, making them quieter and less risky to wear even in fully tiled grocery stores, but they provide a great base for the rest of the shoe’s function. In particular, the Nike Flex Contact has cuts and grooves in their outsoles. Spaced perfectly apart, these cuts make for a completely new shoe-wearing experience. Every way your foot moves, the shoe stays connected to the ground where you want stability and moves with your foot where you want mobility. This is a very hard balance to find in athletic shoes these days, so Nike’s achievement doesn’t go unnoticed


Overlays can be for aesthetic, but really they add to the overall abrasion resistance of any given sneaker. Though this upper feels and looks completely solid, it has simple and subtle reinforcements which protect it from snags or tears, a common problem with soft upper sneakers. You can see that around the heel and base of the foot, the sneakers are coasted as to protect their mesh upper, a strip on the heel keeps the fabric from getting caught if wearing these at the gym. The shoe is still more delicate than some other sneakers, but these will hold up as an everyday casual sneaker or gym shoe for the moderately athletic type. If you want a light and airy shoe to throw on before a casual day on the town, the Nike Flex Contact will exceed your expectations in performance.

Shock Absorption

Another great benefit to injection molding is how well these lighter-than-air soles hold up and bounce back. Recovery is a feature that we look for in anything that will be compressed, and because these injection-molded insoles already go through an expansion and compression process, it is almost as if they have a muscle memory of how they are intended to move and react. Energy gets absorbed by the outsole with every footstrike, and in return, the shoe should be stabilizing each step, while also allowing for quick recovery of the material itself. Nike’s Flex Contact will alleviate strain, fatigue, and overall pain that is associated with wearing the wrong sneaker for your activities. Every step will be cradled when your shoe construction understands that's exactly what you need.

Bottom Line

For many athletes, teens, and elderly, Nike is considered an absolute must in their leisure wardrobe. This Flex Contact is everything the average joe wants for comfort, at a price that doesn’t break the bank. If you are a hardcore athlete, however, a more performance-based shoe from Nike will be the wiser choice. If you tend to only buy a pair of shoes every few years, you should probably stick to all-leather options or leather overlays because they will long outlast any mesh you can get your hands on. So, for someone who switches it up seasonally or even every 9 months or so, this is a fine option. Just don’t expect a shoe like this with such delicate material to outlast natural fabrics, and you won’t be disappointed.