When I went through customs in New Zealand I check marked “hiking shoes” on the form to be checked for contamination. Although I didn’t have legitimate hardcore hiking shoes, my Nike Flex Experience Run 2 — Women’s Running Shoes have been through a lot so I thought I’d play it safe and mark it. The customs officer checked my form and then glanced down at my shoes and asked: Are those your only shoes? As I answered yes, he scribbled out my check mark, deeming them as just ordinary shoes.

It was a relief to avoid the hassle of waiting for the officer to wash them, but I still had a slight urge to say: You don’t understand sir…these shoes have climbed the Great Wall of China, hiked over a snowy mountain pass in the Himalaya, walked Champs-Elysses in Paris, stepped on sandy beaches in Thailand, and trampled through Siberia. They probably need the most washing out of anyone here.

These shoes were made for running…and then some. After a year of exclusively wearing Nike Flex Experience Run 2 around the world, I can attest to the amazing durability and comfort of these shoes in all circumstances. Don’t let their casual look fool you!

Nike Flex Experience Run 2 passed off as regular casual sneakers while taking the abuse of long walks and steep climbs. Sure, I may have had some people stare at my footwear, quietly thinking to themselves that I was naive and unprepared for the hike I was about to take on. But almost every single time, I’ve made it with ease.

Nike Flex Experience Run 3 at Torres del Paine

The Himalayan mountain pass was probably the biggest challenge where I slipped around quite a bit on the snow and iced trails. However, a guy next to me with his fancy name-brand, ankle-topped hiking boots was slipping just as much. I think regardless of the shoes, only Yaktrax would’ve solved that problem for most hikers on the trail.

My favorite thing about Nike Flex Experience Run 2 is that the design is made for wide feet. It makes the shoes even more comfortable especially since my feet become swollen after walking so much and feel constricted if wearing narrow shoes. The synthetic and mesh material also helps air out my shoes and keep the smell at a low.

I was originally going to take a pair of high-tech waterproof shoes with me, but luckily I tested them at home first and the unbreathable material made my feet and shoes smell really bad in just two days. That’s when I made the wise choice to go with the Nike Flex shoes instead. Mark also chose to pass up waterproof footwear and seemed to enjoy similar satisfaction with his lightweight Salomon Synapse shoes throughout our travels.

Lastly, these shoes are lightweight and small enough to fit well in the shoe compartment of my Kelty 44-liter backpack. Comfortable, durable, stylish, and lightweight—you can’t go wrong with these shoes for traveling around the world.

These shoes have been my best friends as we explored the world together. They have never let me down and provided great companionship for my feet.
  • Stylish, yet practical
  • Passes airport custom checks
  • Handles mileage well
  • Confuses hardcore hikers
  • Not waterproof
  • Low traction
4.8Overall Score

About The Author

Britnee traveled around the world with her husband on a shoestring budget for a year. A few of her favorite destinations include Scotland's Isle of Skye, Chile's Torres del Paine, Bolivia's Salt Flats and Nepal's Annapurna Circuit.

2 Responses

  1. Catherine

    Awesome! I am going to be hiking Torres del Paine in December 2016, and stumbled upon this page while looking up information about whether small shoes like this would be okay.

    I recently made the decision to wear my nike frees on this hike, but have been second guessing it, since there is a lot of conflicting information.

    I was thinking along the same lines as you: thin, breathable, comfortable, fast drying.

  2. Elizabeth

    Like you, I wore mine to climb macchu pichu and travel all over South America. Best decision ever, as they’re durable, comfortable, well ventilated, light, and quick to dry if you do get them wet. I love these shoes and wish they still made the FE2.