The Nike Tanjun often flies under the review radar because they don’t carry a lot of the clout more expensive shoes have. They don’t have any impressive sounding technologies or materials. They don’t claim to be the first in line or to have revolutionized anything. Yet despite all that, they flew off the shelves as Nike’s 2017 best-selling shoe and continue to be bought up at a relentless pace! But how could this happen, and what does it mean?
In 2012, Nike released the Roshe Run. These shoes flew from the shelves as buyers sought a very clean aesthetic with a versatile style for everyday comfort. The Roshe Runs were also a cheaper alternative (just shy of 75 dollars) to some of the more expensive options that carried a lot of hype. Perhaps learning from the successes of their past, Nike released the Tanjuns with a silhouette that seems to have been inspired by the Roshe Runs. And this time they carry an even cheaper price tag!
While the Nike Tanjun is not designed to be a running shoe, as a lifestyle shoe they nail the running style look. As for some of the specifics of this shoe, there isn’t a whole lot of information out there, so we dug a little deeper to try and flesh out as many details as possible.
One of the best and worst things about this shoe is the fact that it has no separate outsole. The combined midsole and outsole makes the shoe very lightweight but limits its durability substantially. Nonetheless, the bottom of the shoe does have modest indentations, set in a waffle pattern, to assist with footing. The lack of a rubber outsole is not a problem for indoor training and obviously won’t matter for casual wear. However, the shoes minimal treading does bring into question its traction for outside exercise
Again, the midsole and outsole connect as a single unit of foam. The foam looks and feels like it is made from standard EVA material. The foam is well distributed throughout the length of the entire shoe giving you a good distance from the ground. As a result, these shoes do a great job of absorbing the impact from foot fall and protect your joints while you move. The overwhelming majority of buyers praise these shoes for their all day long comfort and for this, the EVA foam is largely responsible. The foam under the heel is both ample and stylized. It indents ever so slightly to form a simple looking curve which sits parallel to the emblematic Nike swoosh.
Overall, the upper has a suave minimalist look. The shoe is composed of a light nylon mesh material. The mesh has perforations which run along the shoe in little diamond-shaped patterns. Only the large swoosh emblem overlays the mesh on either side. There is no awkward and uncomfortable lace cage or any protruding eyelets. The flat laces cross directly into the curvy eyestay which connects seamlessly to the midsole and toe bumper.
It is hard to find an exact weight for these shoes. Not even the Nike website gives a specific number to go on. Other reviewers give an approximate estimation, pegging a size 8 as 8 oz and a size 9 at 9 oz. Regardless of its specific weight, this shoe is overwhelmingly praised for its lightweight materials. It is great to see a lifestyle shoe so light even in comparison to performance running wear!
Breathability is important for any lifestyle shoe that also reaches for the versatility of a training option at the gym. No one wants hot and sweaty feet
soaking through their socks during a workout regiment. Unless, of course, you like doing a lot of laundry. Luckily the upper mesh of these shoes is highly breathable, letting airflow in and out effectively. There is no heel counter, so the flow of air is felt uninterrupted at every angle, including the back of the shoe. Try to avoid wearing these during inclement weather as their breathability is also their inability to keep out rain or cold air.
First off, these shoes do fit true to size for a majority of people, including those with wide feet. Many buyers laud the comfort the Tunjuns provide. A good amount of padding lines both the inside heel and the tongue, while the fabric of the insole
is seamlessly smooth. Its textile fabric molds to the shape of your feet, while being comfortable enough to be worn without socks
. Additionally, the bottom insole is removable and can easily be replaced with one designed for orthotic purposes if you so choose. You won't need to break them in and they’ll offer a great instep feel straight out of the box.
Comfort may make these shoes good, but their style is what elevates them into a bestseller. These shoes are aptly named for their aesthetic appeal. In Japanese, Tanjun means simplicity. Their upper appearance is unencumbered by unnecessary tags, logos, or stiff plastic bits. Their sleek looking midsole, clean mesh upper, and large Nike swoosh give these shoes an angular but low profile look. They come in several monochromatic colorways, but it is their simple color scheme that makes them adaptable to your wardrobe
The combined midsole and outsole unit does substantially contribute to the shoes lightweight but at a great cost of durability. By not having a sturdy rubber outsole to protect the foam midsole, these shoes won’t last long running outdoors. If you are going to run in these, we suggest keeping them on the treadmill
where the surface is uniform and smooth.
It is difficult for a shoe to be both very lightweight and protective. Protection requires rugged, weighty materials that are usually not very flexible. Due to the lightweight nature of this shoe, we should expect them to offer some minimal form of security
but nothing major. The midsole unit does provide some decent impact absorption that take the strain of footfall off your bones and weight-bearing joints. Some form of heel counter would be beneficial to this shoe because its mesh upper is so flexible and flimsy. A heel counter would help secure your ankle while adding a protective foam layer over part of the mesh.
The responsiveness of this shoe is nothing to write home about, but then again, even the most responsive shoes out there are only capable of a very small percentage (1-4%) of preventive energy loss. EVA foam is durable and will provide you with the typical bounce that comes with shock absorption. The response, however, won’t feel especially significant compared to shoes that use similar EVA material.
These shoes are best worn casually, but can also be used for the gym
. They can be worn for some short distance running on pavement, but they will probably last you longer if you run indoors because they lack a rubber outsole. Users who used these shoes for the gym overwhelming reported a comfortable, secure, and breathable experience. They are a neutral shoe with a rather low drop, so you won’t need to worry much about rolling your ankle or having an awkwardly angled foot position while weight lifting. Slipping won’t be a worry for you either because despite not having a rubber outsole, the EVA foam is sticky enough for good traction.
Another reason these shoes are probably a bestseller is their modest price tag. At their most expensive they cost 65 dollars. These shoes do go on sale all the time because of their inexpensive composition and because of how long they've been released. Right now you can buy them at Kohls for 48 dollars! You can't get a deal better than that.
Flexibility is an essential trait that any decent pair of gym worthy shoes ought to possess. Stiff uppers or midsoles can lead to discomfort and even injury if worn during exercise. Fortunately, the mesh upper on the Tanjuns is elastic and plentiful. Because the shoe lacks the stability feature of a heel counter, the flexible mesh is able to cover the whole exterior of the shoe. Having no rubber outsole also has the less apparent benefit of making the heel and midfoot super bendable. As your foot arches forward, so will the shoe. Additionally, the shoes lack of a lace cage also contributes to its overall comfort and malleability.
Many users report these shoes to perform well as a neutral gym shoe. While they have no prominent support system, their low-level design gives you the natural support you expect from a neutral runner. These shoes were not designed to support people with “flat feet” or “high arches”. Cushioning is great for comfort and this shoe has plenty of it, but cushioning isn’t preventative against unhealthy pronation caused from an unusual foot structure. The overall lack of any substantial support system is what makes the Tanjun a great lifestyle option as opposed to a shoe you’ll want to use for a lot of distance running.
While the shoe had overwhelmingly positive reviews in general, some buyers complained about the lack of stability for high-intensity training
. Some mentioned that the mesh upper was too flexible and didn’t do a good enough job of holding their foot to the insole. Others commented on the shoes lack of lateral stability which is definitely something to keep in mind if you are looking for a sports sneaker. Again, there is no heel counter for ankle support and the generous flexibility of the mesh upper does little to protect you against injury during quick lateral movements. However, we can’t stress enough that a shoe ought to be judged for its intended design purposes--in this case, as a lifestyle runner.
The precise elevation between the heel and forefoot of the shoe is not available. Based on visual approximation, the difference in height from heel to toe is substantial. These most likely have a standard 10-millimeter drop. The high drop makes sense for a shoe like this with such a thick heel. During your stride, the heel of your foot will make the first contact with the ground and roll forward. The bulk of the heel protects your feet from the impact as it absorbs the shock, easing the transition to your next toe-off.
A low profile design that looks great with most outfits
Many monochromatic colorways for a clean appearance
Highly breathable mesh material covering the entire upper
Composed of very light weight materials
Combined midsole and outsole
If we gave the Nike Tanjuns a rating based on their performance as a running shoe, their score would be pretty dreary. But this would be on par with chastising a fish for its inability to breath out of the water. We have placed in the cons section the qualities that make these shoes insufficient running wear for anyone who confuses their design purposes. They were simply made to look and feel good in a style inspired by the sleek curvature of performance running shoes.
The affordability of such a stylish wardrobe option is alone enough of a reason to feel good about purchasing a pair of Tanjuns. While appealing to many demographics, they look great in most casual settings and are simple enough to match with most outfits. They can be worn around the house, in a casual office space, and even out in the city. On top of that, they are comfortable for long hours of standing and for some cardio or weightlifting at the gym. You can also use them for some outdoor running but just be aware that they might only last a couple of months before you begin to observe some corrosion of the outsole.