I Tried It: What Happened When I Wore the Best-Selling Sports Shoe of 2018

Of all the sports shoes on the market, analyst firm NPD Group Inc. has named the Nike Tanjun the best-selling style of 2018 so far. Inspired by one of the brand’s most beloved running shoes, the Roshe Run, the Tanjun has earned the top title three times since its debut in 2015. This got me thinking: Why are people so obsessed with these sneakers, and are they actually any good? To get to the bottom of this, I decided to try the coveted kicks for myself. Here’s what I found.

They’re extremely comfortable and supportive. 

From the outset, I was pleasantly surprised with how comfortable they were. The body of the shoe is made of a flexible mesh material, which not only allowed for superb ventilation (no smelly sneakers here) but also meant I didn’t have to break them in at all. Even despite their snug fit and tapered toe design, they molded to my wide feet without any pinching.

Nike Tanjun front

Nike Tanjun back

Beyond the exterior, the shoe includes a plush foam insole that kept me comfy throughout all sorts of activities. It expertly absorbed shock while I was running or jumping and provided long-lasting arch support on days I spent walking around NYC (I live in the city and am always on the move). Not to mention, the shoe is super-lightweight, so it neither weighed down my feet nor bag if I needed to carry the kicks with me.

They’re super-stylish.

I’ve never been one to wear athletic sneakers outside the gym, but the Tanjun has officially made me a convert. The lo-fi silhouette and sleek color palette make the pair a less obvious “sports” shoe, so I easily styled them with jeans and cute blouse without feeling like I looked crazy. They could even pass for a more affordable alternative to Balenciaga’s Sock Sneakers — a comparison that initially drew me to the Nikes.

Nike Tanjun Outfit

They’re extremely durable. 

Even despite the extra mileage on my pair — I wore them three times a week to the gym and periodically with everyday outfits over the past four months — they still look practically brand-new. They haven’t lost their shape, and the tread — while slightly worn — remains largely intact.

Nike Tanjun bottom
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Nike Tanjun bottom

They’re low-maintenance. 

This was a huge selling point for me. While I love a good pair of white sneakers, I’m not a fan of the upkeep required to keep them looking presentable (all my favorites have quickly become at least three shades darker with wear and thus remain indefinitely hidden at the back of my closet). On the other hand, the Tanjun rarely shows dirt, thanks to its dark exterior — so only its base requires a few touchups every now and then. Another major bonus? Even if you decide to do a full wash of the shoes (say, if they get dusty after a hike), the breathable fabric means they dry super-quickly and won’t leave behind a mildewy smell.

Nike Tanjun side

They’re a great bang for your buck. 

Retailing for $65, the Tanjun is one of Nike’s most affordable pairs of sneakers (even the other styles that made NPD’s list this year, like the Huarache, start at $100). And with all the wear you’ll get out of them, they’re practically a steal at that price.

Overall, the shoe impressed me in many different ways. I now swear by these kicks and feel anything but guilty about purchasing them — even if it was initially for scientific purposes.

Nike Tanjun
Nike Tanjun

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