Nike Daybreak Review: Comfortable and Stylish Athleisure Sneakers

I love the minimal design.

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I was recently looking for a pair of casual day-to-day sneakers. I wanted something with a relatively low profile that would go with jeans, while still having a sporty athleisure look. I settled on a pair of Nike Daybreak in an off-white colorway and I’m happy to report that they more than fit the bill. If you’re considering a pair, then hopefully this in-depth Nike Daybreak review will help you out.

What I Like About Nike Daybreak

  • Stylish, understated design.
  • Super light and comfortable.
  • Goes well with casual outfits.
  • Available in multiple colors.

First Impressions

Nike Daybreak with Jeans
Nike Daybreak go great with jeans

I was drawn to these shoes due to their looks. I love the minimal design and I think it has the potential to go great with shorts in summer and jeans in the colder months. I’m especially happy with the off-white colorway of the pair I choose. But there are plenty of other colorways available.

There are also plenty of cool details. I really like that the sole curves up around the front of the shoe. The two tracks stick out the front giving them a futuristic vibe. I also like the combination of suede and synthetic materials on these shoes.

The shoes I tried on are a version called Daybreak-type. They have a super-thin mesh upper, whereas regular Daybreak have solid material here. The version I bought also has a slightly higher tongue, an extra suede section, and a cool speckled pattern on the sole which is missing from the regular shoes.

Nike Daybreak Fit True to Size

Nike Daybreak fits true to size. There’s around 1cm of room from my big toe to the end of the shoe. This is enough for the shoes to be comfortable. And they still fit tight enough around the mid-foot and ankle for them not to be loose. They don’t move around too much even if I don’t tie the laces.

Nike Daybreak Design
X-ray vision would show around 1cm of room between my big toe and the end of the shoe

To put the size into context, I have a pair of Nike Air Max sneakers, a pair of Nike Wildhorse 7 trail running shoes, and a pair of Nike Roshe Tour golf shoes. I always buy a size 12 when buying Nike and they always fit well.

Are They Comfortable?

My Nike Daybreak shoes felt comfortable from the moment I put them on. They are very light and provide even support around the foot. There’s a medium level of cushioning—more than a pair of Vans Old-Skool, but less than a pair of Nike running shoes.

The material is supple and thin which means I didn’t have to go through any breaking-in process while wearing them. I’ve now had the shoes for just over a week, wearing them every day, and they are definitely a very comfortable pair of shoes.

Daybreak-Type vs. Regular Daybreak
Daybreak also get a seal of approval from my wife.

For the sake of getting another opinion about the comfort of Nike Daybreak, I also asked my wife, who has had her pair for around a year now. She said that she also finds the shoes comfortable. She’s a teacher and she said she has no problems wearing them all day at school.

Are Nike Daybreak Running Shoes?

Nike Daybreak isn’t a running shoe. In fact, Nike lists the shoe in the “Lifestyle” section of its website. The shoes do have running heritage. They were originally released in 1979 as a running shoe and Joan Benoit Samuelson wore a pair of the shoes while winning the 1984 Olympic marathon. But running shoes have moved on a lot since then. And the modern versions of Daybreak aren’t the same pair that was worn in 1984.

Personally, I wouldn’t wear Nike Daybreak as running shoes. They have far less cushioning and support than my actual running shoes. They will be fine for casual activities and a short run to the train station when you’re late. But they’re probably not suitable for much more than that.

Nike Daybreak Review: Bottom Line

Nike Daybreak are a comfortable pair of casual shoes. They have a definite athleisure look that is a good mix of sporty and casual. They come in a variety of styles and colors meaning you have plenty of options when buying a pair.

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Duncan Elder

Duncan is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Boardwalk. He's a menswear writer who has spent the last 15 years developing his own sense of style, which lies at the cross-section of mid-noughties indie and Uniqlo-inspired minimalism.

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