The Nike Juniper Trail 2 hit the shelves recently and we would not miss the chance to take a closer look and review its features. The Juniper Trail series made its debut in 2022 as an entry level trail shoe under $100, much like the ASICS Venture and New Balance Nitrel. The low price of $70 was surely appealing to those looking for a dependable everyday shoe that they can also take on the trails. If the first edition featured an old school look, the second one released in 2023 is a more modern take on the same principle. Much like with other budget series Nike created a dependable, good looking shoe that is made up of basic materials and it is quite versatile.

How They Fit 

The pair we came across was the sandrift colorway which was one of the first in this second series. This pair is part of the Move to Zero campaign, much like the Crater Impact model,  which means that aside from the plain carboard Nike box the shoes contain some recycled materials, especially in the outsole where you’ll find 8% Nike Grind materials. Out of the box the shoes look very stylish and they are relatively lightweight. They fit true to size, with plenty of room in the toe box for even those with wider feet like myself. They do feel a bit stiff at first when it comes to the sole unit but they break in pretty fast.

Nike Juniper Trail 2 Review 2

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Upper

The upper of the Nike Juniper Trail 2 is made of a mix of materials including mesh, ripstop nylon synthetic overlays and synthetic leather. They are placed in such a way that the shoe provides decent breathability in the toe box while also providing a good amount of protection and stability on the sides. As it was the case with the first edition Nike used Flywire cables to connect the lacing system to the sole unit for a good lockdown fit. The brand got a bit creative with the trail branding and the Swoosh logo which resulted in a nice look that is more of a casual shoe than a trail shoe, at least when compared to its predecessor. This is the feeling that we first got when starting the Nike Juniper Trail 2 review, one that the casual buyer will appreciate more than the experienced trail runner.

Sole Unit

The sole unit is pretty simple and it’s made up of a foam that is quite dense and delivers pretty good comfort. The sole is a bit high stacked, something that was not the case with the first edition. This gives it a more modern look but it takes away from its responsiveness and stability. Nike added a TPU piece in the middle of the shoe to make up for the lack of stability. Given the height of the midsole the shock absorption in the heel is pretty good but given that the heel drop is about 8-9mm the shoes may feel a bit clunky for some. If you carry some weight and need a lot of support these may do great as everyday shoes. The outsole features medium sized logs that provide some traction but not for more rugged terrains. It looks very similar to the Pegasus Trail 4 which is more of a home trail shoe.

Nike Juniper Trail 2 Review 2

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Are Nike Juniper Trail 2 good for running?

The shoe is suitable for everyday use and caters to those who want a dependable, all-around shoe rather than high-performance trail running shoes. While it may lack some of the responsiveness and stability of more specialized running shoes, it could be a solid choice for general running activities, especially considering its affordable price of $85.

Are Nike Juniper Trail 2 waterproof?

The Nike Juniper 2 Trail 2 upper features mesh, ripstop nylon synthetic overlays, and synthetic leather. While these materials contribute to breathability and stability, they do not necessarily indicate waterproofing. It is not advertised as waterproof and the materials used don’t do much in this regard. If waterproofing is a crucial feature for your running needs, you may want to explore other options specifically designed for wet conditions.

Bottom Line

All in all, the impression we got from this Nike Juniper Trail 2 review is that the brand wanted to make this shoe more appealing to the casual trail runner that is looking for a versatile shoe. By doing this Nike may have turned away the more experienced runners which anyways tend to go with the more performant, more expensive trail shoes like the Salomon Speedcross 3 or the Nike Pegasus Trail. At $85 price tag the Nike Juniper Trail 2 is a solid all around shoe that you can take with you pretty much anywhere. It is quite durable, despite its basic materials. If still not convinced and you look for a more casual looking trail shoe the Columbia Fairbanks Low is a great alternative. 

Nike Juniper Trail Red

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