The Nike Duel Racer Has too Many Flaws & Not Enough Quality

Wow. The Nike Duel Racer looks amazing. This type of design is right up my alley.

Nike Duel Racer Side View

I’m a huge fan of Nike sneakers.

Anything that doesn’t look normal and stands out is what I like the most.

But unfortunately the reviews seem to be on the down spiral and I’m here wondering how the hell it could be so bad.

At first glance it appears to be of good quality and performs well, but this is never the case.

This is my unbiased Nike Duel Racer review.

I’m going to find out what all the bad reviews are about and how it really performs.


At a Glance

Product Name: Nike Duel Racer

Designed for: Running

True to size: No

Expected lifespan: 2 – 8 months

Price: $40 – $80

My Rating: 3.8/5

I really wanted to like the Duel Racer because it looks the part and it has all good features. But the quality is a big let down, the heel counter digs into your ankle and they run small. There are a few major things wrong with this shoe, so I cannot recommend it.

What is the Nike Duel Racer?

It’s a retro shoe that was first released 30 some years ago, but has made a comeback with modern features and technology.

Basically, it came to make a statement.

They’re made with a 3-tone textile upper to allow your feet to breath, while creating a more dynamic fit that promotes freedom of movement.

The upper is also knitted as one piece for a snug fit.

The dual-density sole is tough yet comfortable at the same time without increasing weight.

The outsole consists of a thin and flexible material, which has immense traction abilities might I add.

One thing that sticks out tremendously is the lacing system.

Typically not something you see everyday.

It offers a cleaner look, they’re quicker to put on and off, and offer a secure fit.

A TPU heel counter that surrounds the heel adds stability and strengthens weak areas.

Customer Feedback (The Good)

Comfortable and light as air

These shoes are incredibly comfortable and customers say they are as light as air.

Actually the special materials are to thank for that.

Nike have included some of their best technology to make it comfortable and light at the same time.

Looks very nice

These sneakers are aesthetically pleasing, that’s a given.

It’s what caught my eye when I first looked at it, it’s what grabbed me in and wanted to learn more.

Everyone seems to like the look and feel, it’s one of the reasons they continue to buy more pairs.

Good for the price

Another popular opinion is that they are good for the price.

Others say they are decent for the price.

When you combine all the features, latest technology, visually appealing design, and affordable price, it just makes sense that the community loves ’em.

Good, strong outsole

I want to talk about the outsole a little more because it’s definitely one of its strong suits.

The web grip has been praised for its immense traction abilities.

Wearers found absolutely no issues with the grip and agree that it can be used on many different surfaces.

They are perfect for road running, pavement running, track and more.

Customer Feedback (The Bad)

Rigid heel counter

The heel counter is actually not as good as Nike claims it to be.

There are multiple reports of the heel counter being hard and rigid.

It can sometimes dig into the ankle an cause pain and blisters, which is the opposite of what you want happening in a running shoe!

Runs small

If you don’t already know, Nike shoes run half a size small.

Most people don’t know this and it’s caused a few issues with people ordering the wrong size.

If you decide to get one for yourself, be sure to go half a size up to get the right fit.

Nike Duel Racer

Frequently Asked Questions

Do They Perform?


They offer lots in terms of versatility.

Some use them for running and say the perform very well.

But others use them at the gym and they work well for that as well.

The thin and wide outsole adds stability which makes them good for crossfit!

Are they true to size?

Yes and no. Let me explain.

If you’re comparing them to other Nike’s then yes, they are true to size.

But if you compare it to different brands, no, they run smaller and you’ll have to go 1/2 a size up.

Are they good for wide feet?

Unfortunately there’s not enough information for me to provide an educated answer.

I would like to answer this question confidently but for now I will have to point you in another direction.

There are other Nike shoes for wide feet.

The Nike Tanjun is a way better choice! And they’re the same price.

How long does the Nike Duel Racer last?

I have looked at this shoe inside and out, discovered the good and the bad, and with my experience from wearing Nike shoes in the past, I am happy to give you a good answer.

These shoes are less than average.

They’ve got the comfort right and lightweight, but sadly that’s all they have going for them.

The quality is nothing to boast about.

And if I were Nike I would not be proud to slap my name in front of these shoes.

The knitted upper was a great concept but lacks durability.

Because of this, and the hard heel counter, I will give these shoes anywhere from 2 – 8 months.

Are they stylish?


They are very stylish.

In fact that’s what caught me eye and made me do this review in the first place.

They are perfect for going on dates, going out to lunch, running errands, standing all day, or even for your job.

But good looks isn’t enough.

It it was, I would’ve given it a much higher rating.

Price & Availability Here

Pros and Cons


  • Lots of different colorways
  • Very comfortable
  • Strong outsole with lots of traction
  • Stylish
  • Lightweight


  • Hard, rigid heel counter that digs into your ankles
  • Runs small

Do I Recommend?

The concept is good. I can see exactly what Nike was trying to do.

They were aiming for a very lightweight and comfortable shoe that breaths and performs.

But they’ve tried to save on materials to keep the price down, and now the quality is lacking.

The knitted upper is extremely lightweight but prone to rips and tears easily.

And the heel counter is only going to cause pain and blisters.

However, there are still some good things about it.

They have good looks, comfort and feel like air on your feet.

If you don’t mind a little pain in your ankle when you run or go about your day, then these are for you.

If you don’t care about them only lasting a few months, then go for it.

But at this price there are far better alternatives.

Do I recommend the Nike Duel Racer?

No. I cannot recommend something with so many flaws when there are much better running shoes at this price.

The Alternatives

My first alternative is the Nike Tanjun.

I talked about it earlier in this review because there’s wide sizes and normal sizes. It has the same concept but it is far more durable and tough, so you’ll easily get your moneys worth.

Nike Tanjun 3

My second alternative is one I reviewed just yesterday.

Feast your eyes on the unbelievable Saucony Breakthru 4. <== no seriously, take a look

Awarded as the “Best Shoe No One Knows Exist” makes me even more excited to show you what it offers.

It performs tremendously in the running department but can be used for other things as well.

It’s in the same price range and does a better job 🙂

Saucony Breakthru Side View

Verdict: Too Many Flaws

I would like to say that Nike should know better but I have suspicions that the ones being sold on Amazon are knock-offs.

And if that’s the case, then I take everything back that I said bad about Nike.

But I think it’s time to wrap up this review.

My verdict is this:

Yes it’s a good shoe but has way too many flaws.

It lacks in quality, it’s hard on the ankles, and the upper will likely rip in the first couple of months.

But if you still want to get one for yourself, you can get them on Amazon.

Otherwise I highly recommend you check out the alternatives above.

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