Up is down. Left is right. Flying pigs. Me, a runner with wide feet, running in Nikes. This is a list of things I previously thought made no sense. But alas, here I am in my Nike Structure 22s.
This wasn’t my first attempt at running in Nike shoes. I previously purchased the Structure 21 in 2E wide. When they arrived, I put them on, immediately took them off, and put them back in the box. That was the most narrow wide shoe I have ever worn. I saw the Structure 22 were available in 4E wide and figured what the hell.
Nike touts the new Structure 22 as a shoe that looks fast (I’ll get to this later), feels secure, and provides a smooth and stable ride.
New to the Structure is the engineered mesh upper. I actually am a big fan of the upper in this shoe. I’ve previously run in mesh shoes where they have stretched out and my foot is all over the place. Nike managed to create a mesh that is very breathable, yet also stable and form-fitting. They should definitely keep this.
Nike decided to keep the same midsole and outsole for this iteration. It’s definitely a bit of a stiff shoe, but I like the cushioning provided by the Zoom Air unit in the forefoot and the Duralon blown rubber underneath.
Depending on the color, the Structure 22s can be found in regular, wide (2E), and extra wide (4E) for men as well as regular and wide (D) for women. I can’t say how the regular or women’s fit, but the 4E men’s feel like other brands’ 2E. Nike makes narrow shoes. Everyone knows this. If you wear 4E in brands like ASICS, New Balance, or Brooks, these are not for you. If you’re a 2E, go for the extra wide. Trust me.
The toe box is a great size and provides excellent toe splay. Your little piggies will be pleased.
Nike has five different color options available on their site. Most are rather reserved and only one has relatively bright colors. That being said, I think these are great looking shoes. Mine are almost all black. I normally wouldn’t wear my running shoes out, but I’ve gone to parties and even work (thanks casual Friday!) in them and never felt awkward.
These are heavy running shoes. According to Nike’s website, they weigh 11.5oz (men’s 10)! The Structure 21 weighed 10.4oz. Somehow Nike managed to add 10% more weight to the shoes. I find it rather funny that Nike touts the Structure 22 as a fast-looking shoe… because you can’t actually go that fast in them. Personally, I don’t get it.
Nike also claims that the shoes feel secure. This is half true. My midfoot feels secure. But my heel slips like crazy. The heel counter is firm– and that’s nice– but every time I walk I feel like my heel may come out. I thought maybe I got too big of a size, but my fiancée (oh la la!) has the same shoes and said the same exact thing without me bringing it up. It never caused a big issue or blister, but it’s something I definitely noticed. Even with the heel lock lacing technique.
Another new feature is the revamped Flywire cables to the lacing. I don’t know if it’s the thin laces, the Flywire cables, or the tongue not being thick enough, but I hate this. I constantly feel the laces digging into the top of my feet. Almost every time I have run in the Structure 22s, I have re-laced one of them when putting them on or within the first quarter mile. Once I loosen them up, it’s much better, but there’s a fine line between locking my heel in to prevent slipping and not cutting across my feet.
Nike Structure 22 CONCLUSION
The Nike Structure 22s are perfectly fine for shorter runs or trainers, but for me they are just too heavy and stiff to be a race day shoe. I love how they look though. Even if I don’t get a ton of running miles in, they will definitely be used in a more casual way. So if you’re looking for some crazy hybrid shoe that you can wear out with a pair of jeans and then immediately switch to shorts for a short run, these are the shoes for you! They currently retail for $120.00.
Robbe is the Senior Editor/Review Manager for BITR. He lives in Baltimore with his wife and two sons and runs with the Faster Bastards. When he’s not running in weird places or getting injured in odd ways, he can be found hiking, camping, bikepacking, or hanging with friends.