Winter running is all about mindset and preparedness. If you’ve got the proper gear and a good attitude, cold weather running can be really enjoyable. In Canada, there are very few days where running outside is impossible, and the Nike Shield makes sure your feet are taken care of in the cold temperatures.
Shoe Category: Stability
Surfaces tested: Road/Trail
MSRP: $175 CDN
The Nike Structure Shield 22 is not only a winter running shoe, but it’s lightweight and includes moderate stability. That’s a lot for one shoe to deliver. The Shield Structure is everything it advertises: water resistant and good looking with great grip. Gone are the days of clunky winter shoes, and even clunkier stability versions.
The upper is designed to be water repellent, and the Shield lives up to the hype. I wore these shoes on muddy trails in late November and early December. Because the ground wasn’t frozen yet, it was some of the sloppiest running of the season. These shoes held up very well and kept my feet warm, and as someone with terrible circulation and chronically cold extremities, that’s saying something. The upper is made of durable woven material with reflective details.
Many winter running shoes features a firmer upper, which can be great for repelling water, but can also cause the foot to become very warm. The Shield kept my foot warm and dry while allowing it to breathe. The lacing system is also different than your traditional running shoe, with an easy slip-on, slip-off system thanks to their toggle laces. The shoe comes in two colourways, green and grey for men and pink and grey for women.
The dynamic support technology uses wedges of foam to create a smooth ride with extra support where runners need it most. The medial side of the shoe is reinforced towards the heel with additional posting and Nike’s dynamic support system. The shoe fits a little wider than other Nike’s I’ve worn, which is ideal for a winter shoe as you can wear a thicker sock without worrying about the shoe becoming too snug.
The outsole is made of Storm Tread rubber that is designed to work optimally on wet surfaces. The shoe didn’t slip at all on the pavement or the trail. I went out after a snowfall to make sure that the shoes kept me stable through my run. Nike claims that this is their best Shield shoe to date, and I’d agree. The shoe features a sturdy heel counter which will help those who tend to overpronate when they run, but the shoe isn’t so corrective that a person with a neutral foot couldn’t wear it. As a runner who tends toward a neutral shoe, the Structure worked for me on the days when I was feeling a little beat up and looking for some extra support.
Not an overpronator? Consider trying the Nike Pegasus Shield 35, a very similar shoe, but without the medial posting towards the back. The Pegasus 35 is a neutral cushion trainer, and one of Nike’s longest-standing and best-selling models.