Nike Rival 6 – 50 Mile Review

This is the story of a pair of running shoes that deserve more run time from me than they have gotten. The Nike Rival 6s are shoe that I run very well in (a 22:33 treadmill 5K today) and don’t have anything really bad to say about them other than they are fugly when you look down at them in my opinion.

The truth of it is that their place in my running shoe rotation was taken over by the shoes that are more than likely going to be my running shoe of the year and probably one of the best pair of running shoes that I have ever run in over the 40 plus years I have been a runner.

It was just bad timing for the Rival 6s.

Back in July I was looking for a pair of “go faster” for me shoes that were comfortable and a little more cushioned feeling than your typical racing flats. After doing a lot of online research, the Nike Rival 6s seemed like a nice match. It was an even better match when I saw a pair on eBay for a great price and they ended up in my mailbox a few days later.

What kind of runs have I done in the Nike Rival 6s:

The Nike Speed Rival 6s are not what I would call a true racing flat, they are more of a half or marathon race day shoe or one that I would use for hard tempo runs or track workouts back in the day. However, at this point in my running life (being an old fart) they are the style I now look for to be my race day shoes as well.

They weighed in at:

I was using them quite regularly and enjoying running in the Rival 6s right up until my birthday and my wonderful wife as a present told me to order a pair of shoes that I wouldn’t normally get. Since those shoes arrived the Rival 6s have been my emergency gym bag shoes for when I forget the shoes that I had actually planned on running in.

What do I like?

Which is too bad because each time I run in them I remember how well they perform for me. In my weekly review from that first week of getting them I said:

My first thoughts about how the Rival 6’s performed was that they are:

  • First and foremost – smooth. I land heel first and these performed exceptionally for this old heel striker. It was a nice feel on the landing and roll through to toe-off was one of the best I have felt in a while.

  • Quiet – there was not any slapping and the Rivals were very quiet, especially with a full-length outsole.

  • Comfortable – No issues with how the shoes felt while running. The toe box felt fine and I didn’t notice any heel slippage.

  • Traction – No issues – that pentagon shaped lugs on the full outsole will be very interesting to see how they wear over the miles.

I ran well in them and yes, it was a bit faster than recovery pace.

Not much has changed from that initial thought about the Rival 6s.

For me to continue to think the same way about a pair of running shoes this much later says a lot about how I feel about them. They are smooth, quiet and comfortable for me to run any distance I run at any speed.

The outsole shows some signs of wear if you look closely on the heels, but that is about the only place after 50 miles. Which for a pair of racing shoes is pretty darn good.

What I don’t Like

I have only two complaints about the Rival 6s

1. I have to cinch the lace loops until they are almost touching too get a good fit. It has been a while since any shoe has done this. While it hasn’t affected the comfort of the shoes, but it is not how I would want my shoes to fit either.

2. When I look down at them on my feet they are fugly. I am not sure of the reason I believe this, but to me they are. Maybe it has something to do with where the swoosh is and how busy the lace loops make the top of the shoe appear? No their appearance does not effect how I run in them, but at the same time…well they are fugly.

The reality is that

I like the Nike Speed Rival 6s a LOT, the only reason that I haven’t run in them all that much over the past couple of months is that I got in a pair of running shoes that I like better – which says more about how much I love the other shoes than anything bad about the Rivals.

The good thing about the Nike Speed Rival 6s is that they are an under the radar running shoe that runs a lot better than its price point and has been overshadowed in the Nike Line-up by other shoes with newer technologies, more marketing hype and to be honest others that look better. So you can find them at some pretty decent price points on Amazon, eBay or other such sites.

Will they get a lot of mileage from me going forward? I am not sure, right now they are my emergency gym bag running shoes, that re-surprise me each time I put them on. I run great in the Rival 6s, but do not have enough miles to go around with other shoes that I like better in my rotation.

So while I don’t see them getting a lot of miles while other shoes are still viable, they will stay in the gym bag, get more miles as the weather gets nastier and I spend more time running on the treadmill. They might be around for a couple of years, which is more than I can say for other shoes.

Overall, a really decent “go faster” running shoe that is smooth, quiet and comfortable and deserves more miles than they will get from me.