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Nike Legend Essential 2 Performance Review

Nike Legend Essential 2 Featured

Nike Legend Essential 2

The Nike Legend Essential 2 is a good option for your gym needs if you’re on a budget. It has all the essentials in place.

Colorway: Obsidian/Metallic Armory Navy/Thunder Blue/White

Release Date: 2021

Price: $60

Total Score
Buy Nike Legend Essential 2

The Nike Legend Essential 2 is the brand’s cheapest training shoe. However, that never means that the design and production team assigned to this shoe just did whatever they wanted and butchered the whole thing. Budget models tend to be more performance-driven than their expensive counterparts. And I can say that no dollars were wasted in making this shoe. It delivered.

The Legend Essential 2 has been replaced by the Nike Legend Essential 3 on our Best Cross Training Shoes and Best Budget Training Shoes lists.

You can check out all of our Cross Training Shoe reviews here.

Nike Legend Essential 2 Traction


Not all of the outsole is rubber. There’s a mix between rubber and foam. But the rubber you do get is thick and durable. These will surely last you a while. On all surfaces I’ve tried them on, whether on the wooden floor at home or the density mats at the gym, they’ve stuck well, and I didn’t slip whatsoever. Sweat doesn’t affect it too much, but be cautious and do your best to stay in dry areas.

Nike Legend Essential 2 Cushion


The cushion is basic Phylon all the way through. It feels denser in hand than the Renew in the Nike Renew Retaliation TR 3, but it’s decent underfoot. There’s no drop, so you’re stable wherever you put pressure. To me, there’s nothing special here. It feels and performs standard and nothing more.

Nike Legend Essential 2 Materials


Mesh makes up the main build of the shoe. It feels more comfortable than the mesh used in the Retaliation TR 3. There are few overlays on the sides and pieces of felt for the eye stay areas. The one aspect I enjoyed most was the leather. It’s not much, nor is it premium by any means, but at least there’s some of it on a budget shoe.

Nike Legend Essential 2 Fit


The fit is true to size. Mesh, as you know, loosens over time, so wide footers can still get away with going true to size. I used the topmost eyelets to get the best lockdown possible.

Nike Legend Essential 2 Support


Stability wasn’t ever a problem. Lunges, squats, lat pulldowns, and deadlifts all felt okay in the Nike Legend Essential 2. Parts of the midsole come up the sides, and the midsole on the lateral side is reinforced with part of the rubber outsole. It’s Nike Metcon 7-ish in looks, but that shoe is on a whole other level. I do not recommend these for running because there’s no arch support. I also suggest inserting an aftermarket insole/orthotic like Move Insoles to get the best experience. The support was not terrible, but not impressive either. Kind of just right for the shoe.

Nike Legend Essential 2 Overall

Nike Legend Essential 2 Overall

The Nike Legend Essential 2 provides acceptable performance for an affordable price. If you’re more of a casual lifter, someone who isn’t super into it but enjoys the activity anyway, the Legend Essential 2 will work fine for you. There’s no need to spend really big on workout shoes when it’s more of a casual pursuit. It does, however, help to have a shoe that is built for the gym. The Legend Essential 2 offers a shoe built for the gym at a price that allows you to save money for other shoe categories like basketball, running, or retros.

Buy Nike Legend Essential 2
Total Score

How to Buy the Nike Legend Essential 2

The Nike Legend Essential 2 is available now for $60 at Nike.

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