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Nike Legend Essential 3 Next Nature Performance Review

Nike Legend Essential 3 Next Nature

Nike Legend Essential 3 Next Nature

Rundown: The Nike Legend Essential 3 Next Nature is a huge upgrade from its predecessor and is worth consideration as your next cross training shoe.

Release Date: 2022

Price: $65

Weight: 9.05 oz (size 10)

Fit Guide: True to size

8/10
Total Score
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Pros

  • Heel Lockdown
  • Lacing System
  • Lightweight Feel

Cons

  • Tall Stack Height

The Nike Legend Essential 3 Next Nature is the follow-up to the okay Nike Legend Essential 2. When I reviewed those, they were the most basic cross training shoes. And they were at the time. So I expected its follow-up to be much of the same. I can confidently say that’s not the case. This is the most significant upgrade from one model to another in cross training shoes I’ve ever tried.

Nike Legend Essential 3 Pros

Pros

Heel Lockdown

Admittedly, most cross training shoes don’t have excellent heel lockdown. Take the Nike Metcon 8, for example, Nike’s premier cross training shoe. The heel is the worst part of that great shoe and is the one aspect that holds the shoe back from being great in things other than lifting. While the heel design is suitable for stability, it’s clunky and uncomfortable.

This budget model, the cheapest in Nike’s lineup, has the best heel lockdown I’ve experienced in a cross training shoe. Bar none. There was no heel slip at all, and it was amazing how much I felt secure in them since I had already gotten used to the not-so-good heel containment in other cross trainers. I’ve worn thick, thin, loose, and tight socks in them, and it didn’t make a difference. My heel was always where it was supposed to be.

Lacing System

The lacing system mimics that of speed lacing from Jordan Brand. When you tighten the laces from the top, everything else cinches down and wraps around your foot beautifully. But don’t worry if you want to customize the fit in each section. That option is still available. However, if you wish to quickly lace up and go to work in the gym or at home, this will easily do the trick.

I tried to get a feel for what made it different, and it feels similar to the Nike SuperRep Go 3 Next Nature’s lacing system, which had terrible lockdown. They’ve perfected the lacing here, and I’d love to see this kind of system in all other shoes, not just cross-trainers.

Lightweight Feel

The shoe is lightweight, thanks to its overall construction. The upper is a wholly knitted build with a few synthetic overlays. The knit isn’t overdone. It’s also thick and supportive in all the right places while being flexible and breathable in others. The overlays are not thick either, which can be a good and bad thing depending on preference. But for weight’s sake, I’d take it as a plus. The midsole is full-length lightweight Phylon, and there’s not much rubber on the outsole either.

Nike Legend Essential 3 Cons

Cons

Tall Stack Height

This is the one aspect that might get you thinking for a bit. Right off the bat, you’ll notice that the midsole is exaggerated. I thought I’d sit well within the midsole. I did sit within it, but not as much as I had hoped. This caused me to feel a bit higher off the ground than usual. If you use the Legend Essential 3 for jumping exercises or plyometrics, it shouldn’t bother you as much because of the extra impact protection it will provide. But if you’re primarily using the Legend Essential 3 for lifting weights, you’ll have to get used to it as I did. It doesn’t take too long, but the learning curve still exists.

Nike Legend Essential 3 Summary

Nike Legend Essential 3 Next Nature Summary

The Nike Legend Essential 3 Next Nature has the build of a budget model, understandably, since the price is the lowest Nike can offer. But the Legend Essential 3 packs performance worthy of higher priced options. I know I said the Nike Renew Retaliation 4 was the best budget cross training shoe. It still could be, but the Legend Essential 3 gives it a run for its money. The heel lockdown, lacing system, and lightweight feel make this shoe so well-rounded that it can do all sorts of training without many issues.

8/10
Total Score

Pros

  • Heel Lockdown
  • Lacing System
  • Lightweight Feel

Cons

  • Tall Stack Height

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