Monday, November 06, 2023

Nike Structure 25 Review : 5 Comparisons

Article by Michael Ellenberger and Allison Valliere

Nike Structure 25 ($140)


Michael: The sun rises and sets. The seasons change. Nike releases a new Structure. Without a doubt, the Structure is overshadowed by its more famous, less-supportive brother, the Pegasus - and while the Peg remains a bit of a tech demo for Nike (and is more consistently updated), the Structure remains a more traditional, conservative platform. Sure, there’s new technology here - we’ll dive into it below - but the similarity of the Structure year-over-year is what drives many runners to it. Hell, I hadn’t worn the Structure line in a couple years and slipping it on was much more familiar than not!


Stability you can feel (without issue); hyper-plush upper; durability and traction; price- Michael/Allison

Great cushioning and overall comfort - Allison


If you want something hyper-modern, look elsewhere; “Midfoot Support System” is noticeable; don’t expect a “secret workout” shoe here-Michael

Styling is somewhat generic - Allison


Estimated Weight: men's 10.15 oz / 288g  (US9)

Sample Weights: 

men's 9.9 oz / 281g US8.5

women's 9.5 oz / 268 g US9

Stack Height: men’s 37 mm heel / 27 mm forefoot (10mm drop spec) 

$140  Available at our partner Running Warehouse HERE

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Michael: As I put in my intro, the Structure 25 is nothing if not familiar. This shoe used to be a go-to trainer of mine (alongside the ASICS DS-Trainer) in my collegiate and post-collegiate days; while I’ve not worn every version Nike has offered, I’ve tested at least Structure 19, 20, and 22 (which turned me of from the line) in recent(ish) years.

Touching first on the upper, there isn’t much to complain about here. The forefoot is wide (I wouldn’t say too wide, but it certainly isn’t a “sock-like” experience) and allows you to really spread out over the roomy platform. There are more overlays here than I’d expect from a 2023 trainer, but they don’t get in your way - indoors or out, I didn’t notice any chafing or hotspots (I’ll add the caveat that I’m just building back training, so while I got several runs in these, I’m not maxing out the mileage yet!). If I had a complaint, it’s that the lace loops and arch top are a little stiff, and sometimes I felt as if the shoe was folding across the laces, rather than rolling gently… but that might have been a function of how tight or loose the laces were, anyway. It definitely did not rise to the level of “problem.”

There’s not a ton to say here - it’s a boring, functional upper! It works! 

Allison:  Unlike Michael, this is my introduction to the Structure, so it is all very new to me.  The look and style of the shoe is very average and perhaps even leaning towards stereotypical big box shoe store sort of running shoe look.  As Michael says though, it is a no frills predictable upper that is all function and delivers very good, but predictable performance.  

My experience with fit varies a bit from Michael’s and this could be the difference with the women’s model, but I do not find them to be broad or wide, but instead have a perfect, if precise, snug and supportive fit for my narrow, low volume foot.  Length is true to size as well.  Nike recommends sizing up a half size for a more roomy fit and I would agree with that.  The mesh upper is light, breathable and airy, with good support and is very comfortable with no hot spots or pressure points.  

The heel collar and tongue are well padded and comfortable.  Also of note, the tongue is not gusseted, but that has not been an issue, as it stays in place just fine.  

Lacing is secure, snug and easy, providing excellent lockdown and the heel counter is secure and stable.


Michael: As recited above, the Structure 25 feels like a return to form - by touching on what works, and ignoring what doesn’t. Last year’s Structure (24) didn’t even indicate that it was a stability shoe (with a wider platform, but mono-density midsole). Not so here. Nike has labeled their “Midfoot Support System” across the medial arch, and you’ll feel the added stiffness when your arch collapses mid-stride. Coupled with the wider platform, you do feel locked in to the Structure, and - especially at slower paces - you feel the shoe nudging your arch back towards the midpoint. It’s gentle, but it’s noticeable, and in my opinion it’s a much more palatable (and universally enjoyable) solution that Nike’s Infinity React platform.

There’s also a hefty portion of cushioning here with the full stack height 37mm heel / 27mm forefoot, though it’s kind of like, I don’t know, mashed potatoes without butter? (Hey, it’s November, food is on the brain!). 

Nike has boosted the underfoot platform with Cushlon 3.0 and a Zoom Air unit but it’s still stiffer and less responsive than many modern trainers - new Vomero 17 (RTR Review), this is not. 

There’s also a gentle rocker here that I’ll discuss a little more below but, again, don’t go in expecting this shoe to be for anything other than easy miles. I love finding those “sneaky workout shoes” - big trainers that can cover faster paces - but this isn’t it. The Structure is for supported, easy miles - and it does that well. 

It is a staple for Nike’s sponsored and professional athletes, and for good reason - it’ll cover a lot of miles without flash; it’s the backbone of many a high-mileage training program.

Allison: Michael describes the midsole very well and I do not have much to add to his thorough description.  I find the cushioning and support to be very good, steady and predictable for longer easy training miles.  The rocker is subtle but helpful, though responsiveness overall is minimal.  While the supportive stability structure is present, it is subtly effective and not overbearing.  

The Air Zoom unit in the forefoot offers a nice soft cushioned feel.


Michael: It’s fall, it’s slick - fear not. As you might expect from looking at it, the outsole on the Structure is more than capable at handling wet, slippery, and (I’m just guessing here) winter conditions. 

Nike’s waffle sole remains a top-tier choice for when the conditions are rough, and I anticipate the durability being very good here as well.

Allison: The outsole is excellent, integrating seamlessly with the shoe, offering great coverage and has a soft feel.  Grip is excellent and sticky, with a really effective lug pattern that provides excellent traction on intended surfaces and even light trails.  Durability thus far is proving to be very good and I expect a long life out of them.

Ride, Conclusions and Recommendations

Michael: I promised I’d cover it, so I’ll also make note of the mild “rocker” geometry here that does benefit the Structure 25 - when you’re in stride, you’ll notice a gentle roll to the forefoot that I really enjoyed. What’s more, you’ll notice that slight pressure keeping your medial side locked in, but it doesn’t impair your stride or otherwise cause issues. With a high-stack midsole, I expect the Structure to excel for longer, slower runs - maybe those base-building winter miles as we get ready for spring racing?!

In summary, I can’t truthfully say I’m enthused about the Structure 25 - at its core, it is an “ordinary,” perhaps boring trainer - but I’m also really happy to have it as an option. 

Stability shoes are few and far between, and especially at the cost ($140 MSRP, and $99 on RunningWarehouse at time of writing), I think the Structure 25 is a no-brainer if you want a stable, no-frills, easy-miles trainer. 

Michael’s Score: 8.8/10

Smile: 😊😊.5

Allison:  The ride of the Structure 25 is smooth, steady and predictable.  While they are not particularly lively or exciting, they provide a nice, stable, structured ride for longer easy training miles, long days on your feet and are also an especially good walking shoe.  As a nurse, I spend long days on my feet and the Structure 25 is a great shoe for wearing to work as well, as I feel well supported and they are breathable and comfortable.

Allison’s Score: 9.1/10


4 Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

Nike Vomero 17 (RTR Review)

Michael: This one will be pretty straightforward; if you need the stability (or are just offended by the idea of leaving the Structure line), get the Structure 25. It’s good, not great, and will absolutely get the job done. For anyone else in-between the two - get the Vomero. They’ve taken a shoe that used to be like the Structure (good, boring) and made it into something really quite exciting. 

Nike Infinity React 1- 3 (RTR Review)

Michael: I’m glad Sam grouped these three shoes together as a comparator, because while the Infinity React has gotten better over the years, it’s fundamentally remained the same - a firm but bouncy (that’s React, eh?) trainer with a distinct plastic clip ‘round the back. I do see these out on the road a lot, so they must be pretty well-received, but I actually prefer the more-traditional, less-exciting Structure! I like the upper on the new React, better, though.

Saucony Tempus (RTR Review)

Michael: Whew, the Tempus remains the gold-standard for modern stability shoes. Seriously, there’s nothing I’ve found quite as stable and enjoyable as the Saucony Tempus. My knock on it was (and remains) the relatively long break-in period - fortunately not an issue on the Structure - but it’s worth it, once you get over that. It’s livelier, springier, and just more fun - get the Tempus!

Allison: The Tempus is much faster and performance oriented, while the Structure might be a bit better for slower miles, walking and casual use due to their more relaxed nature.

ASICS GEL-Kayano 28/29 (RTR Review)

Michael: I sometimes forget that the Kayano is a stability shoe because, frankly, there’s just so much shoe to it that it has to be stable. But practically speaking, the Structure and the Kayano take two paths to reach the same place - the Structure is a slightly duller ride with a lower weight and more rocker, whereas the Kayano is a little heavier, a little chunkier, but also a little springier in its foam and more lively at faster paces (if you can believe that!). The Kayano Lite - even better. So! It’s close. I slightly prefer the fit and profile of the Structure 25, but I’d try both on!

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 (RTR Review)

Allison: Both are great structured stability shoes, close in weight, stack height, drop and price.  I would say the Brooks looks and feels a bit more modern in materials, design and styling.  The Brooks also has a wider, more accommodating fit and more plush cushioning.  The Structure 25 has a slight advantage in traction.

Tester Profiles

Michael is a patent attorney and graduate of Northwestern University Law School. Prior to law school, he competed collegiately at Washington University in St. Louis (10,000m PR of 30:21). Michael’s PRs include a 67:43 half-marathon (Chicago Half-Marathon) and a 2:21:19 marathon PR at the 2023 Grandma’s Marathon. Michael continues to race on the roads, and is chasing a sub-2:20 marathon and potential OTQ in the future.

Allison is a 5th generation Coloradan who is passionate about the outdoors and has been hiking, backpacking, skiing, snowshoeing and running in the mountains since she was young.  She has completed all but 5 of the Colorado 14ers (a dozen or so in winter), has many hundreds of year round ascents of 14ers, 13ers and other peaks in Colorado and the West.  Allison has also traveled the world and trekked to over 18,000 feet in the Himalayas, to high altitudes in Ecuador and has worked for the National Park Service mapping plants in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California . Her almost daily routine involves runs/power hikes in the foothills above Boulder, or 4-5 mile flatter runs at 8-10 minute mile pace if schedule necessitates.  But what really keeps her on her toes is working as a nurse and taking care of her 12 year old twin daughters who are also growing to share her love for the outdoors.

Nike Structure 25 is available at our partners 
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Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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