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First Impression: Nike Zoom Rookie (LWP)


Nike’s latest Hybrid combines two of the most popular Flight models in history with some extra flare. Is this an upgraded performance beast or a ploy to get Penny fans to spend their hard earned cash? Find out my First Impression on the Rookie before I head out on-court with them…


Traction- Nike could have easily gone the ‘story telling’ route with these, yet they didn’t. They went with Herringbone which is awesome. Not only did they use Herringbone, it’s very soft and flexible… flexible in the sense that the traction pattern moves a little bit like a brushes bristles which should make for a nice base when on the go.


Cushion- I’m a little disappointed with the cushion to be perfectly honest. I can’t feel any Zoom Air in the forefoot (can’t see it either) but I did find a Zoom unit in the heel. This Zoom unit is oddly shaped and I couldn’t really feel it under foot. Usually the Zoom located in the heel looks like a ‘U’ shape while these feature a thin rectangle shaped unit. The Foamposite usually has some period of adjustment with break in time allowing everything to properly mold to your foot… I’m hoping this is the case with these because as of now, they really aren’t that comfortable from a cushion standpoint.


I’m hoping you can see what I mean in the images…


Material- Foamposite located in the heel and forefoot while Nubuck breaks up the two sections. An inner boot made of mesh, which we’ve all seen numerous times with Foamposite sneakers, has also been used. Materials are nice and I have no complaints so far.


Fit- This is another area of concern. They are very stiff, which most Foamposite based sneakers are, but these are very stiff. It will require quite a bit of time to not only break in but also allow the material to mold to my foot shape. The heel is a key issue as I can’t get that area to lockdown. I even tried on a ½ size smaller to see if that helped… it didn’t, I just felt my toes being crushed in the front of the toe box.


The black pods found on the heel and forefoot are a nod to the Air Flight One and serve as support for both the ankle and lateral forefoot area. This is nice and all, but I can actually feel the forefoot pod pressing against my foot which is pretty uncomfortable as well. Looks like I’m going to have to break out some thick socks to try and calm down any friction or pressure points it’ll give me.


Ventilation- There isn’t much other than the mesh inner boot. This is normal for a Foamposite based sneaker and it is a necessary evil that comes with the material. It won’t mold to your foot if all of your heat escapes so this is an area that won’t be judged harshly.


Side Note- I found this interesting. The insole is just your basic insole found in most Nike products while Nike’s performance products have been featuring Ortholite insoles. While the box is a dead giveaway, comes in a standard Nike Sportswear Box, this Ortholite-less sneaker screams casual use only to me… this is disappointing as we have seen Penny rocking these to hoop in which gives off the impression that these are basketball sneakers. Not to mention the combination of two highly popular performance models that make up the shoe were used as inspiration.

Below you will see some side by side shots of the Rookie & Nike Air Go LWP. I wish I had the Air Flight One but I don’t have a pair at this time… next year they will Retro so I’ll have my chance soon enough. Thanks for reading all of this and stay tuned for more!


  1. This is a disgraceful effort from Nike to make $200 from consumers. Pushing out 2nd rate products with cheap insoles to try to make money of them because it is a ‘foamposite’. This scheme reminds me of the half cents. Very shameful attempt…Adidas would never do this to us.

  2. I, too, expected these shoes to be much more performance oriented. To some extent it is unfortunate what you have revealed here because these shoes are an excellent execution of what a hybrid should be. I’m not going to mention the price range as mastergrim8 have already alluded to that already.

    1. They are a great hybrid. The best IMO… I have played in them once since posting this and i will wait until ive had more time in them prior to posting a teaser… Price def doesnt reflect what you get though.

      1. if nike plans to have a hybrid they should make it for performance, i’m tired of seeing basketball inspired shoes used for casual means, like the jordan 15 lasers, 1/2 cent, and especially this shoe in my opinion should be a high performing bball shoe, not a lifestyle shoe.

  3. it’s a shame these only have zoom in the heel. If thee had full length zoom double stacked in the heel like the foamposite ones i wold totally get them.

    1. I think the Foamposite One has heel and forefoot zoom air while the Flightposite 1 has heel and forefoot with double stacked in the heel. You are right though, its a shame… Especially since the heel doesnt even have a full heel zoom unit which makes it even more disappointing.

      1. Please allow me to chime in here, the Foamposite One supposedly has full length zoom and double stacked at the heel, the same set-up is found in the Flightposite 3. I don’t know about Flightposite 2 but Flightposite 1 has forefoot and heel zoom as separate units.

        1. Im not positive on the foamposite one setup having double stacked heels but full length for sure. I have the flightposite 2 and those have the zoom embedded in the heel and forefoot on the insole. Flightposite 1 has heel and forefoot while the 3s i honestly have no clue.

  4. crap… i just bought a pair of these and i’m waiting for a package… thought that i made a good choice… but now i’m feel like somebody who buys a porsche and find a volkswagen engine in it… shitty deal…

  5. Its really sad because I felt the same thing when I tried them on at Footlocker the other day. I’m actually wearing the Half-Cents right now and while they’re not really a performance shoe…i can definitely feel the great cushioning.

    1. Wow… Thanks for sharing that. The Rookies are the first shoe ive seen the rectangle zm bag in. I wish they wouldve double stacked the zm in the Rookies like they did in the LeBron 6s.

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