Are Nike waffle one shoes good for running?

Nike’s Waffle One running shoes have become increasingly popular in recent years. As an iconic and nostalgic model originally released in 1974, the Waffle One combines a retro look with modern technology for improved performance.

But are the Waffle Ones a good option for your specific running needs? This comprehensive guide will examine the key features of the shoes and provide advice on whether they are suitable for different types of runners.

Key Features of the Nike Waffle One

The Waffle One gets its name from the waffle-patterned outsole, which was inspired by the tread of a waffle iron. This lugged outsole provides excellent traction on a variety of surfaces. The current model uses a mix of solid and articulated rubber for durability and flexibility.

The midsole utilizes Nike’s lightweight and responsive Cushlon foam. This provides soft cushioning and energy return to reduce fatigue over long distances. For additional comfort, the Waffle Ones feature a padded collar and tongue.

The upper is made from a combination of suede and mesh. The suede overlays add structure and durability in high-wear areas. The mesh increases breathability in a shoe that can often feel warmer due to the higher collar.

Finally, the Waffle Ones utilize a traditional lace-up closure for a secure and customizable fit. There are numerous colorway options available, tapping into the vintage styling of the 1970s original.

Are the Waffle Ones Good for Speedwork & Racing?

With the responsive cushioning and traction of the sole, the Waffle Ones can certainly work for faster training sessions like speedwork. However, most runners would prefer a more specialized shoe for racing distances like 5Ks to marathons.

Dedicated racing flats are lighter and have a lower profile that encourages efficient turnover. The padding of the Waffle Ones, while comfortable for long miles, can feel bulky and slow you down over shorter high-intensity runs. Their retro appeal also comes with some outdated features compared to modern performance shoes.

If you want one shoe for both casual wear and occasional speedwork, the Waffle Ones will serve you well. But for race day or repeating hard intervals, a purpose-built racing shoe will likely produce better results.

How Do the Waffle Ones Perform for Long Runs?

The generous midsole cushioning makes the Nike Waffle Ones an excellent choice for long training runs. Most runners will feel far less fatigue and muscle soreness after double-digit miles in the Waffles compared to a firmer, minimalist shoe.

The Waffle outsole is also built to go the distance. The lugs and rubbers hold up well to high mileage training without excessive wear. The traction continues providing stability on uneven surfaces like trails that you’re likely to encounter during longer runs.

The retro look and colors of the Waffle Ones also make them ideal for open road marathon training. You can pay homage to running’s roots while enjoying modern cushioning technologies within. For logging long miles day after day, the Waffle Ones deliver comfort, stability and peace of mind.

Are the Waffle Ones a Durable Daily Trainer?

As one of Nike’s flagship heritage models, the Waffle One is crafted to be an ultra-durable daily trainer. From the materials to construction methods, every element aims for longevity.

The suede and mesh upper resists deterioration from regular use. The padded collar, tongue and insole retain their plush feel and remain comfortable even when worn consecutive days. The quality rubber outsole doesn’t flatten or lose its springy character over time.

Due to their sturdy build, the Waffle Ones can easily clock 500+ miles with relatively minimal midsole breakdown or loss of performance. Keeping multiple pairs in your rotation will extend their lifespan even further.

For those seeking a solid, reliable shoe to wear for everything from errands to exercise, the Waffle Ones deliver day-in-day-out without falling apart prematurely. It’s a trainer built to stand the test of time.

How Do the Waffle Ones Perform Off-Road?

With the deep flex grooves and aggressive waffle lugs of the outsole, the Waffle Ones provide excellent grip and traction off-road. The lugs bite nicely into loose dirt, gravel, grass and light mud. The wider platform and supportive padding also promote stability on uneven terrain.

The combination of suede and mesh on the upper makes the Waffle Ones sufficiently durable yet breathable for trail runs. Debris won’t easily penetrate the shoe while moisture can still escape. The materials also enable the shoes to flex naturally with the foot over changing surfaces.

One downside is that the collar and tongue padding do absorb moisture rather than repelling it. Your feet may feel a bit sloshy and wet after long off-road excursions in the rain or through creek crossings. Otherwise, the Waffle Ones have all the ingredients of a great light trail runner.

Do the Waffle Ones Work for Walking and Casual Wear?

With their iconic retro look and wide range of colorways, the Nike Waffle Ones have become an extremely popular casual shoe as well. Their simple, timeless design works well with a variety of everyday outfits from jeans to joggers and shorts.

The comfort features like the padded collar, cushioned insole and flexible sole also make the Waffle Ones ideal for extended wear. Whether you’re going for a stroll around the neighborhood or exploring a new city all day, the Waffle Ones keep your feet feeling great even without socks.

The outsole provides excellent traction on concrete, so you won’t have to worry about slippery spills. If you want a stylish, comfortable shoe to wear to the office, around the house or out and about, the versatile Waffle Ones check all the boxes. Breaking them in for running simply enhances their long-term comfort as an everyday shoe later.


Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the Nike Waffle One running shoes:

Do the Waffle Ones run true to size?

Yes, the Waffle Ones tend to fit according to standard length sizing. Those with wider feet may appreciate sizing up a half or full size for some additional room through the midfoot.

Are the Waffle Ones good for overpronators?

The Waffle Ones don’t have excessive midsole cushioning or motion control features for severe overpronation. A stability shoe would be better for those needing pronation correction.

How much do the Waffle Ones weigh?

A men’s size 9 weighs around 11.7 oz while a women’s size 7 is approximately 9.3 oz. They are moderately weighted for daily training shoes.

Can I use the Waffle Ones for CrossFit or HIIT workouts?

The Waffle Ones offer good flexibility and traction for versatile training, but their bulk is not ideal for highly mobile WODs. Look to a lighter cross-trainer instead.

Do the Waffle Ones run hot?

The higher cut and closed construction does cause them to retain more heat. Opt for lighter colorways or more breathable shoes if you frequently train in hot weather.


The Nike Waffle One running shoes provide a retro-styled trainer with enhanced cushioning for logging long daily miles. Though not ideal for speedwork or racing, the Waffle Ones offer a comfortable and durable option for road running, light trails, walking and casual wear.

Just be aware they fit snugly and run warm for some. Overall, the Waffle Ones deliver iconic, vintage appeal with modern performance technologies suited for casual and devoted runners alike.

Leave a comment