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Nike Air Max Stutter Step Performance Review

Something a little different this time around as we finally have a ‘lower end’ model featured on Kicks On Court.

Nike Air Max Stutter Step Performance Review 1

Traction – Can’t go wrong with herringbone. Not only did they use herringbone but they placed two sections in the forefoot laterally so lateral movements are covered better than the traditional setup featured along the remainder of the outsole. All types of players will enjoy their traction, good enough for Guards all the way up to the PF spot. You can use these indoors and outdoors as well which is a huge plus as it’ll cater to a much wider variety of players. Who knew a lower end model could perform up to par with some of their higher end models.

Nike Air Max Stutter Step Performance Review 2

Cushion – Their cushion isn’t great. Not horrible since the heel Max Air unit works but forefoot cushion is important as you play on your forefoot more than you do on your heels. This is something that I’ve mentioned for years… if you ever find a nice model that is along the lines of a ‘lower end’ type shoe then you can always upgrade your cushion setup with a simple insole swap. For these, I’d recommend grabbing an insole that focuses on forefoot cushion since the back end is covered perfectly fine. Once you add forefoot cushion then you have a perfect setup reminiscent of the wonderful 90’s era.

Nike Air Max Stutter Step Performance Review 3

Materials – The uppers are full on synthetics that mimic leather. They mimic leather well when it comes to movement but are far more durable. If their Hyperfuse like was closer to this type of Fuse then I’d probably enjoy playing in them more than I do… these remind me more of the Hyperdunk type of Fuse… more leather oriented versus plastic. Its durable as hell too so outdoor hoopers… this ones for you.

Nike Air Max Stutter Step Performance Review 4

Fit – Usually with a lower end model you receive a generic fit that can feel sloppy. These are anything but sloppy. They run true to size and lock your foot into the shoe well enough that they’re nearly perfect. Similar to the Jordan CP3.VI AE but with a higher collar in the front… feels awesome.

Nike Air Max Stutter Step Performance Review 5

Ventilation – Air flow is above average. I wish there were some perforations in the toe – where the heat from your body escapes – but other than that I felt they were just fine.

Nike Air Max Stutter Step Performance Reviewv 6

Support – Overall support comes from the fit and the flat base the shoes rest on. Stability is great and as mentioned previously, the fit is nearly perfect so support from top to bottom is solid. Torsional support is in place – you can’t see the internal midfoot shank – and it works for the most part. A TPU external shank would have been best, kept costs low and could have reduced a bit a weight by replacing the midfoot section of the rubber outsole but overall… can’t complain.

Nike Air Max Stutter Step Performance Review 7

Overall – Suffice to say… I was surprised with their traction and fit. Those are actually my top two personal things I look for in a hoop shoe. Cushion comes right after and that is where I felt – as a Guard – they could have been a little better with forefoot cushion rather than heel only. Everything else on the shoe is really solid though and for $84… can’t really go wrong. If you wanted a shoe that will perform and last then this is a viable option. I know there isn’t an athlete endorsing them but they work just as good in the important aspects as some of those signature sneakers. Hell… I’d choose these over the KD VI any day of the week.

If you wanted to try them out for yourself then head over to Finish Line for some exclusive colorways.

Nike Air Max Stutter Step Performance Review 8

  1. Thanks for the review. I’ve been looking at these because of the price point but I haven’t seen a decent review of them until now. I normally get a insole in certain shoes to help with comfort. Thanks again!

    1. All that these shoes need is a little forefoot cushion. Something light and thin is fine. Really depends on what you’d like though. Finish Line literally has dozens of insoles to choose from.

  2. Hey NW
    would you ever do a review on hakeem olajuwon’s shoe the “dr34m shake” they are from dr34m.com…I seen these on nicekicks and wanted to know if you knew about them because I didnt see you post them. They use very high end materials for $185.


    1. I actually met Olajuwon when he did an event promoting his products and I asked his team about the performance. Honestly the guy told me that they were geared towards casual use. The traction looks like it wouldn’t bite the floor. Italian leather is used on the shoe for whatever that is worth to anyone.

    1. That’s a midsole. They wouldn’t fit into any shoe that already has a midsole. You might be able to get it in but there wouldn’t be enough room for your foot.

  3. I owned these, played in them for two games, and gave them away to the Salvation Army. Someone will enjoy them but I just couldn’t. They were just so hard on my feet even with an insole swap. I had high hopes due to the design but it didn’t work out for me. Everyone is different though so it could very well be a great shoe to play in for someone else.

    1. I own these these are awesome I love them even with out a insole I am getting new shoes but I Iill wear these all the time

  4. I hate to be a downer debby…but whats the point in buying a pair of less expensive 85 dollar shoe if you gotta spend 10 or 20 dollars putting an in sole in them? Never made any sense to me….id rather just spend the extra few bucks on the shoe itself…maybe hit the sale rack for a pair of kd’s or something…I dunno…

    1. It’s not really a few extra bucks, you could spend upwards of $50 additional and those shoes may not be the best option for outdoor players. Plus you can use the insole in any shoe you’d like so it’s not like you’re throwing away $20… You’re spending $20 and it pays for itself by the time you put it in the second shoe. This has been an option for many for years, one of my first tips I gave when I started publishing my reviews. You may not find it to be attractive but there are many that would jump at the chance to save some money and still receive great performance.

      1. Remember that the Jordan 2009 insole has the embeded heel zoom units for double the pleasure and by the way, the adidas “crazy” models have 2 insoles that came with the shoe and the thicker fluffier insole has become an asset fo rme making random swaps and giving shoes new life. Never been a fan of insert swapping – always thought the shoe should have been made Righ the First time. but thats these $00.02

      2. well said, NW!!
        Kobes, Lebrons, XX8s are comfort as hell
        but they all at least DOUBLE the price of these stuttersteps…plus their soles seem to burn out more quickly than these as well
        I do wear a pair of Kobes outdoors, but they are an XDR version I got from Asia…. and I got them for $100 (from somebody I know). Hella sweet deal

        1. there is good content there. it was idle for a while a few months – not sure why – i’m sure iits adressing writers editirs etc. Takes a lot to make things work an d simply have “good relative content”- I had a stint at Google in the editing dept and that was a trip to be a part of so much respect to those driven. Things dont just happen – people make them happen. Things dont Just do it – People Just do it. (that was lame of me but i had to)

  5. Hey Nightwing! Awesome review (as always). Quick question: I’m a PG standing at 5’3 and I’m choosing between the CP3 7s and the D Rose 4s. Which one and why? From what I’ve heard they’re both amazing. Any other replies are welcome!

    1. if you dont have the CP3 6 ae – buy 5 pairs & tell them Chrome Foam Sent you.

  6. Cool – there are many Low end items that woirk. For me over the last few years was the Air Max Turnaround. That shoe was DAMN comfy with the heel air bag and foam forefoor but the forefoot foam broke down over a few games and thank goodnes they were only $30 at the outlet so no biggy. I still rock them for 1/2 court play every now and then – not enough cushion for full court. i must say that this year has been a MELO M9 year for me. My best games have been in the M9 and my legs thank me for it. They have hit the back wall at the outlet with 20% off so – i must get my 4th pair.

  7. Hey nightwing, new reader, love your reviews. I got to know sneaker tech because i kept reading your reviews.

    Anyway, just wanted to ask if you can get a pair of the Nike Lebron Ambassador 6 could you do a review of them. There’s no review out there about these shoes that has the same depth as you. Don’t know if this is because of it’s exclusivity to asia. From what i heard they’d give the lebron 9 a run for there money. Hope you could do a review about them ambassador 6.

    Keep it up NW. Good work. Thanks.

  8. i actually ball in speed turf max when outdoors…there awesome. hey nw try that…wear some trainers next time you play outside…treat them like a basketball shoe, do a review compare and contrast to a typical basketball shoe. could be a good idea? pros and cons type thing

  9. andfor the 80-90 pricepointthere are btter options out there witout having o buy anything extra…the mall near me has reebok shaqnosis for 80 bucks on sale..really just depends on what your looking for I sippose.

    1. If we’re talking on sale then thats a whole different ball game. We’re talking retail price vs performance. I can buy a top of the line performance model that retails at $150 for $49 if Im at the right place at the right time, however, thats irrelevant. Bottom line is that for their retail price, its a very solid shoe in most of the important attributes. Add $20 for an insole that you can swap out between these and any other shoe you may own and the insole is a great item that can increase the comfort of any shoe.

      So if we are to go off of retail price vs performance then these do very well. If you want to go to an outlet and find a pair of shoes at a heavy discount then that is an option as well.

      1. Are you planning to take a look at the Under Armour Micro G Torch 2s? That’s another very good shoe that is $90 retail.

        1. Just a heads up to anyone that is interested, Eastbay have the UA Torch 2s on sale now for $69.99, plus they also have a 20% discount until tomorrow. Seems like a great deal if you ask me, don’t think you will be able to get a better budget shoe than this.

          Man, I wonder if UA makes a great deal of money on their shoes? No one seems to buy them. I can’t believe that they are on sale already. I guess people don’t know that they make some decent basketball shoes.

          I’m really glad they were able to sign Steph Curry to an endorsement deal, hopefully that helps boost their sales a bit. I’d hate to see them struggle after releasing a great shoe like the UA Anatomix Spawn.

  10. hi nightwing. im 13 and im a guard for my park league. my old kobes are starting to wear out. what shoe do you suggest me to get since im a guard? Lebron 11, CP3 7, Kobe 8, or air max shutter step?

  11. thanks nightwing so im wondering whats wrong with phylon.. if its 2013 why are they using it to provide a midsole for a 80 dollar shoe and not something at walmart.. just saying.. i need to look up the properties of that phylon.. to see what a orange superfeet insole would feel like with it. also wanting to say dont they use phylon on these entry level nike running shoes that seem to offer a nice cushion so is it used different or even a different type used for basketball. i always wondered why you could never really feel good running in a basketball sneak yet what are you doing in basketball part of the time .. running so the short bursts of taking off must require a stiffer midsole balance where the running has to cover more repitive impact protection..

  12. Good thinking doing a lower end model Chris keep up the good work 😀 oh yeah after your done with the d rose 4 can you do a teaser for the hyperfuse 2013?

  13. glad to see no one fighting or complaining…pretty cool to see mature conversation on the internet. I was sure that was a thing of myth…like the unicorn or those jordan gatorade VI’s….neat!

  14. I played indoors and thought the traction kind of sucked. It was just too hard of an outsole for me, but I also play on some pretty crappy floors.

  15. Hello nightwing2303, my name is Juan villela and I am a young hooper san Antonio Texas, and I am having a problem with playing in outdoors because since I live in Texas it gets really hot, so I am looking for a fairly cheap shoe with great ventilation and great traction that will last a good amount of time, can you please help me, I would really appreciate it.thank you for your time.

  16. For the next review of affordable performance kicks…my i request/suggest nike visipro 4, if u don’t mind. Looks good, plenty of color, lightweight, full herringbone traction, no fuse = 90’s material :D, cheap, had some kind of dynamic fit ala SF2 on the laces.

    Anyway …keep up the good work nightwing2303, i’m always following your site.

  17. Would the other budget shoes; Nike Hyperchaos be a better shoe in terms of cushion, traction, etc.? In my country even though Hyperchaos is considered a budget shoe, it is still around USD120 while the Stutter Step is US80.

  18. These are great to play in, and for me, once they’re broken in they’re SUPER comfortable. Only problem is durability; I’ve had mine for about 8 months now (only wore them for about 4), and the toe ripped, so I had to duct tape the toe to the outsole. I would’ve trashed the shoes when they tore, but i duct taped them because these shoes are incredible to play in and ultra mega comfortable, so it’s worth it.

  19. I am curious on the weight of the shoe. I like the look an price but don’t want a heavy shoe while playing. What do you all think?

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