The Nike Zoom Huarache 2k4 is one of the most highly acclaimed performance models from the brand other than the Zoom Kobe IV.
This is my first time owning a pair so I’m hoping they live up to the hype…
Traction – Herringbone is the primary source of traction while the ball of the foot features a triangle pattern. The herringbone should be solid enough so long as the court conditions aren’t too dusty.
The rubber feels good, so it should do well… this is just an assumption but I almost feel as if the triangular pattern may hold up very well on a dusty court whereas the herringbone may fall a bit short.
Cushion – The heel has a Zoom Air unit in place while the forefoot houses a Met bag like most Kobe models of the past. Personally, I couldn’t really feel the Zoom under foot – I can visually see it so I know it’s there – and it doesn’t give you that step-in comfort that I’m used to having on a Kobe model although the foam midsole felt very nice.
The reason may be from the insole used. It’s fairly thick and has additional padded sections in the heel and forefoot. This type of insole has been used on the latest Air Jordan XIV Retro… I’ll show that to you when I get to those later on this year.
Material – With each colorway you have different material options. This pair has a leather upper while the others I had seen were a suede or nubuck. I went ahead and grabbed the leather version because I feel it will retain its shape better while being used on the court but it will require some break-in time.
The surface layer placed on the leather is textured and feels almost like vinyl. I don’t really like it too much but again, this should retain its shape throughout the course of a game versus higher quality leather or a suede/ nubuck.
Fit – The overall fit was very impressive given they were designed quite some time ago.
Once fully laced they provide a snug and secure feeling thanks to the Huarache inner sleeve.
Most Huarache models are low top shoes in a high top shell. These are no different and there is an additional lace loop within the shoe that provides a very secure fit as it keeps the heel in place.
One thing that actually does work quite well – at least when trying them on – is the strap placed at the top of the collar. The Huarache Free Bball 2012 didn’t offer a very secure feeling once they were laced up completely. These not only offer a better overall fit but the strap harnesses the foot into the shoe much great than the flimsy wings featured on the original Huarache & Huarache Free Bball 2012.
Ventilation – The medial side panel and Huarache sleeve are perforated which will allow for some air flow. It isn’t great but it pretty much meets the standards that most of today’s shoes utilize.
Support – The external heel cup should offer similar support found in the Kobe line as well as the Hyperdunk line.
The strap, as I said before, actually keeps the foot in place so it should work well with the external heel cup.
Carbon Fiber is also in place at the base of the shoe for some rigidity along the arch furthering the support.
Overall, I can’t say at this point that these are the greatest hoop shoes ever… mostly because I haven’t stepped out onto the court in them. However, they look promising and quite a few features were carried over to the Zoom Kobe line – which I love – so these will hopefully fall into that category for me as a top performance model.