I Just Moved to NYC, and These Staples Make Long City Walks So Much More Comfortable and Supportive

Photo: Amelia McBride
Sponsored by Nike
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Earlier this year, I did something that many 20-somethings around the world dream of doing: I moved to New York City. With the help of my loving boyfriend, I packed up all of my most prized possessions into my Jeep Wrangler and made the three-day trek from North Texas to New York. Having a car here has been a blessing during the transition from suburb to city. We’ve been able to help pals move between apartments, make trips to big box stores outside of the city when we need to, and pack up our friend group for weekend visits to Rockaway Beach. It's been a four-wheeled source of security, hands down.

While my car has been an invaluable resource for us in Brooklyn, I’ll admit that I’ve begun to rely on it a little too much. It’s so much easier to hop in the Jeep for a large-haul grocery trip than to schlep our reusable bags across six blocks.

In an effort to get better acquainted with the different corners of NYC, I wanted to first walk my way through the neighborhoods of my own borough, Brooklyn. As an avid weightlifter and dedicated Nike fan, I’ve run my fair share of flat-footed Blazer Mids into the ground, but I knew they weren’t going to cut it for miles-long walks in the city. And since I’ve worn the same style of plain black leggings and high-neck sports bras for years, I decided my city girl strut was in need of a wardrobe update.

Ahead are the four cute-yet-durable Nike walking essentials I’ve been using this summer on my NYC walks: Nike’s Free Metcon 5 workout shoe, Alate Trace bra, and Universa Leggings and biker shorts. These walking essentials from the big swoosh have helped me transition to city life and are helping me explore my burrough in comfort and style. Here’s what to know about each, plus how they fared against the humidity and heat of the Big Apple.

4 Nike walking essentials I use every day on my walks in NYC

Nike, Free Metcon 5 Women’s Workout Shoes — $120.00

Sizes: 5-12

Nike labels its Free Metcon 5 as a workout shoe, but I’m here to say that some of its features make it a great walking sneaker, too. The outer sole is rugged, with high traction areas of the sole–where the balls of the feet and heels sit–outfitted with a grippy rubber tread, suitable for walking on notoriously-inconsistent NYC sidewalks. It also comes with a deep heel cup and a flexible webbed interior that keeps your foot in place without compromising the natural movement of your feet during HIIT workouts (or in my case, hot girl walks).

Depending on the shoe brand, I float anywhere from a 10 to an 11 in women’s sizes. I used a tape measure to get the length of my sole in centimeters, and using Nike’s shoe size chart, ordered them in a 10.5. Upon initial try-on, I was worried that I had ordered them too small; this sneaker is super cushiony from top to bottom. After a bit of wear, though, my feet settled in and felt supported–not suffocated–by the thick uppers.



  • Upper has a soft, cushiony feel
  • Half sized available
  • Wide heel and heel cups add stability
  • Internal webbing in the upper adds extra support around the foot
  • Rubber tread adds traction


  • The ultra-cushiony nature of the shoe makes it fit a bit tight upon initial wear
  • Raised heel isn’t ideal for barbell lifts like squats
Nike, Universa Women's Medium-Support Mid-Rise 7/8 Leggings with Pockets — $110.00

Sizes: XXS-XXL

Nike’s Universa leggings feel (and fit) like a second skin, thanks to the slick Infinasmooth material they’re constructed with. They have no seam on the edges of the waist or legs, meaning they fit totally flush to my skin. As a plus size woman, I often struggle with too-tight waistbands that cut my midriff in half; these leggings, however, contoured my curves without pinching at the waist.

According to Nike’s size chart, I would fit best in a 2XL. My pant size ranges from 16 to 20, so I was a little worried that Nike said I belonged within their standard size range, but alas, the measurements never lie. The 2XL fit perfectly: not too snug, nor too loose. Just right.

The Universa leggings come with deep side pockets on the outsides of both pant legs, large enough to snugly hold my keys and smartphone. The waistband of the leggings hold up well throughout my walk, but unfortunately for me, they were not gym-proof. The slick, second-skin waistband looks amazing, but would sneak down during squats and deadlifts.


  • Available in 9 colors
  • Deep pockets
  • Made of recycled nylon
  • Smoothing, supportive fabric
  • Sweat-wicking material


  • Slick material can cause the waist to creep down while running or jumping
  • A premium price point
Nike, Universa Women's Medium-Support High-Waisted 8" Biker Shorts with Pockets — $65.00

Sizes: XXS-XXL

The biker shorts contain all of the premier qualities of the Universa leggings, just with less material in the legs. Because the biker shorts have no seam on the legs, my thick thighs were free to move and bounce about without being dug into. Score!

These shorts effectively kept me cool and wicked moisture away on my walk, and the extra storage in the side pockets were great for days that I didn’t want to bring along a fanny pack.


  • Available in 9 colors
  • Seamless legs won’t cut into thick thighs
  • Deep pockets
  • Made of recycled nylon
  • Smooth, supportive fabric
  • Sweat-wicking material


  • Slick fabric can cause the waist to creep down when running and jumping
Nike, Alate Trace Women’s Light-Support Padded Strappy Sports Bra — $55.00

Sizes: XS-2XL, 1X-4X

Now, for the real star of the show: the Nike Alate Trace sports bra. From straps to band, this bra is a homerun, IMO.

As a 40G, I fall under 2XL according to Nike’s sports bra sizing chart. Since the Alate Trace bra comes in extended sizes, I could have sized up to a 1X for some extra coverage and wiggle room in the band, but I’m glad I didn’t. This bra fit perfectly snug right out the packaging. The V-neck silhouette really made my chest pop, a welcome change of style from the modest, full-coverage compression bras I usually work out in.

Nike touts the Alate Trace bra as a “lighter-support” bra, so I was shocked when I saw how lifted and secure it made my chest. No, it definitely doesn’t pass the jump test, but it fared fantastically when I wore it on a stroll to Prospect Park.

It’s made with a super-soft, super-stretchy moisture-wicking recycled nylon material that feels light to the touch. The double straps didn’t cut into my shoulders thanks to this, and because it has a sewn-in stretch of padding that stays put, I was able to walk around sans jacket without all of Bushwick seeing my nipples poking through. Another perk of the thin straps was that they looked great under all of my workout tanks; no unsightly, thick straps here.


  • Comes in 10 colors
  • Molded, sewn-in cups stay in place and provide nipple coverage
  • Thick bust band fits flush to the skin
  • Made of recycled nylon
  • V-neck highlights cleavage
  • Soft and smoothing fabric


  • Not enough support for HIIT workouts
  • Creates a ‘uniboob’ effect due to no breast separation

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