Did you know that the sales of Nike and Skechers combined in 2021 exceeded the $50 billion mark? Over $15 of those $50 billion came from running shoes alone!
That tells just how great their running shoes are in keeping you going and reducing ankle pain.
If you’re a fan of running, then you’re no stranger to ankle pain. One of the main tricks to avoid such pain is by getting reliable running shoes.
Tens of running shoe brands are out there, but you finally narrowed it down to two brands: Nike and Skechers.
We’ll place Nike vs Skechers running shoes in a small battle to declare a winner that suits you more.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the unique aspects of both running shoes. In the end, you should be able to choose the pair that suits your needs.
It’s hard to talk about sportswear in general without including Nike. It’s currently the world’s largest manufacturer of sports shoes and one of the most recognized brands in the market.
Founded by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight in 1964, Nike first came to existence under the name “Blue Ribbon Sport.” It was a few years later when Nike became the recognizable brand we know today.
Nike got its name from the Greek Goddess, Nike, who is known in Greek Mythology as the Goddess of Victory.
Skechers isn’t as widely known as Nike and it’s also much younger than the gigantic company.
It came into existence in 1992, in California. Despite making a fairly recent appearance, Skechers managed to become the 3rd largest athletic footwear brand in the U.S.
When it comes to footwear (whether athletic or not), Skechers’ main focus is always comfort.
Their GoWalk models, which are designed specifically for long-mileage walks, are arguably one of the best walking shoes out there.
Skechers got its name from the word “skecher,” which means the cool kid who has lots of energy.
Nike vs Skechers Running Shoes: Similarities
Before delving into what differentiates these brands’ running shoes, let’s have a look at what they have in common.
Both Nike and Skechers never come short when it comes to style, colors, and design. If style is one of your main requirements, both brands will have you covered.
Shoes from both brands are often quickly recognizable and easy to spot. You can never go wrong owning either pair.
A problem that most people have with shoes, in general, is how they have different sizes for various brands.
This becomes even more of a problem when buying running shoes.
The problem with ill-fitting running shoes is that sometimes you won’t notice it initially. It may take a couple of days before you notice the effect of ill-fitting shoes.
Fortunately, shoes from both brands are made from comfortable and flexible materials where you could easily find your fit without having to think twice.
Nike vs Skechers Running Shoes: Differences
Now to the heart of our article: the differences between Nike and Skechers.
This could strike some controversy because both brands are known for top-quality materials. However, because one of them is superior to the other, we’ve included quality in our differences section.
Nike is the undisputed champion when it comes to the materials it uses. This top-notch quality is guaranteed by years of manufacturing and user-feedback experience.
Synthetic leather is often the core material of choice in making Nike shoes. Sometimes it goes the extra mile in some models, like the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT%, and uses special mesh weaves to provide even more quality.
Skechers doesn’t disappoint in the material quality department, but there’s a reason why it falls a bit short of Nike.
People have a few concerns about some Skechers models. Despite being made from materials that rival the quality of Nike’s, the shoes feel somewhat “less stable” on the ground.
This problem exists in some GoRun models and is even more apparent in some GoWalk models.
The shoes seem to lose contact momentarily with the bottom of the feet. Runners feel that loss of contact the most when their feet land on uneven surfaces. Because of that, Nike comes out on top in terms of quality.
Nike vs Skechers Running Shoes: Manufacturing Technology
No two brands will use the same technology even if they make the same product. Here’s how Nike and Skechers are different in that aspect.
Nike is more focused on creativity and innovation technology than any other competing brand. It often comes out with ideas and inventions that you rarely see anywhere else.
Nike Adapt is one such innovation. This technology utilizes a self-lacing system that automatically ties your shoes for you. Not only that, but the system also adapts to the feet’s dimensions so that the shoes fit any foot.
That said, this technology is fairly new and is currently only available in a humble collection of Nike shoes. However, the idea is there and should get a much better implementation with time.
While Nike focuses a large chunk of its technology on innovating new ideas, Skechers often focuses on how to make their shoes more comfortable, and it shows.
Skechers’ latest technology, Hyper Burst™ midsole, offers a new foam processing technology that provides the “walking on a cloud” sensation. The responsive foam reduces the impact of running to the minimum.
Still, since Nike has newer and more creative ideas, they win our technology comparison.
No matter how reputable your running shoes are, you won’t wear them if they’re not comfortable. Here’s how Nike and Skechers deliver in that department.
Nike is no stranger to comfort and cushioning technologies. In fact, it went the extra mile and introduced three different cushioning technologies to suit all tastes.
These are the Nike Zoom, Nike Free, and Nike React, each with its own audience.
Nike Zoom is the best cushioning technology for long distances and fast-paced running. The multilayered cushioning system provides high impact resistance while still giving you a superior grip.
Nike React is Nike’s attempt to provide maximum comfort. The base of the shoes is filled with foam that reduces any impact’s effect on the ankle.
Shoes that have the React technology tend to wrinkle when used for extensive running, so they’re best suited for long walks.
Nike Free aims to give you that “barefoot” sensation. Running shoes with this technology are obviously not intended for running long distances but rather short ones on soft surfaces, like grass.
There are many benefits to gain from running on bare feet. Nike Free offers to help you with that without getting your feet dirty.
Unlike Nike, Skechers doesn’t aim to get various sensations in cushioning technology. Instead, it focuses on only one aspect: comfort.
Advertised as “We Define Comfort” on its website, Skechers gives your feet more comfort while running than any other running shoes on the market.
Their running shoes also have more space for toes, and they fit wider feet better than Nike’s.
Despite not having various cushioning technologies like Nike’s, Skechers offers more comfort and that makes their running shoes our comfort section winner.
Running shoes are subjected to harsher conditions than casual shoes. Because of that, they should have high durability.
Nike doesn’t only use premium materials, it also knows how to manufacture them correctly and build the shoes to be durable.
You can expect an average of three years from a pair of Nike running shoes. Keep in mind that you need to be taking good care of your shoes to reach that average.
What’s more, competitive and long-distance runners’ shoes have a shorter lifespan.
Skechers targets comfort as its main goal and that makes it somewhat lacking in the durability department.
We’re not saying that Skechers running shoes aren’t built to last. However, compared to Nike, your Skechers won’t last as long.
You can expect your running Skechers to last around two years before they start to degrade. Most of the damage will appear in the backside of the shoes that supports the Achilles tendon.
To reduce that damage, try not to grip the shoes too hard as you wear them.
Cost is usually the deciding factor and the one that sometimes overrides other factors.
Nike is a luxurious brand that no longer puts affordability as a top priority. It’s made for those who can afford it. The average cost of Nike’s running shoes is around $110.
The new models with newer technologies often cost quite a bit when they come out for the first time. The Nike Adapt shoe collection, for example, costs well over $300.
Skechers doesn’t have the strong brand name that Nike has accumulated over the years. They’re still a well-known brand, but they don’t charge that large brand-associated fee that Nike charges.
Skechers running shoes cost an average of $85, which is considerably cheaper than Nike. Because of that, Skechers wins our price competition.
Nike vs Skechers Running Shoes: In a Nutshell
Putting Nike vs Skechers Running Shoes head to head, Nike wins our quality, technology, and durability categories. Skechers, on the other hand, managed to get two points by winning our comfort and affordability sections.
This puts Nike as the overall better running shoes. However, is the extra cost worth it? That falls down to how much you value each of the categories we mentioned.
If you need durable shoes that implement better technologies, Nike running shoes are your go-to. If you prefer more comfortable running shoes at a better price, Skechers offers that in exchange for a shorter lifespan.
In the end, both are fantastic running shoes and you can’t go wrong buying either of them.