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Nike Book 1: The Most Anticipated Shoe Of The Year

Nike Book 1 English Review

Nike Book 1 Spanish Review

Nike Book 1

Devin Booker’s first signature shoe, the Nike Book 1 is the most anticipated basketball shoe of 2024. Does it live up to the hype?

Price: $140

Release Date: 2023

8/10
Total Score
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The Nike Book 1 is Devin Booker’s highly anticipated first signature shoe with Nike. Ever since the Swoosh announced they were launching a Devin Booker signature line, sneakerheads have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the maiden model. One of the main reasons why this is such an anticipated release is because of DBook’s love for Kobes. It would stand to reason that a guy who rarely wears anything else besides various colorways of the Kobe 5 would request a very similar shoe as his first signature. And who doesn’t love the Kobe 5.

Not only is it a highly anticipated shoe, but it’s also a very polarizing one. This is due to the old-school aesthetics and build Nike decided to go with. Booker is also an “old school” kind of guy and clearly this was a point of emphasis for him in the design process. The Book 1 looks much more like a shoe made in 1985 than one made in 2024.

But of course the most important question is, how do they perform on court? Are they a Kobe 5 clone? Are they an 80’s style brick? Let’s find out:

Nike Book 1 Review

Nike Book 1 Specs

Nike Book 1 Traction

Nike Book 1 Traction

Traction on the Book 1 is simple, no-nonsense, straightforward and excellent. What we have is full-length, thick herringbone, the most reliable traction setup out there and it works great. The rubber is tough and grippy, and the traction pattern offers flawless multidirectional coverage. The colorway of the shoe we tested, comes with a translucent rubber outsole, but have no fear.

First, there will be colorways of the shoe that come with solid rubber, and secondly, the translucent rubber that Nike used on the Book 1 works great on every type of surface, even outdoors. The rubber is strong enough and thick enough that it should hold up well outdoors which is a big added bonus in our opinion. Not everything on the shoe will work well outdoors (more on that later) but the traction clearly will.

Nike Book 1 Cushion

Nike Book 1 cushion

The cushion setup of the Book 1 sounds great and Kobe-esque on paper, but the implementation of the different elements doesn’t allow it to shine as much as it could. What we have is a full-length slab of Cushlon as the midsole, which houses a Zoom Air unit in the heel. The issue is that, because of the retro build of the shoe, where your foot sits atop the midsole and not within, stability becomes a big issue.

To make sure the midsole is as stable as possible, it’s almost caged entirely within a rubber cupsole which nullifies much of the compression, and “plushness” a full slab of Cushlon should provide. It’s not a bad cushioning setup, it’s just much more on the reactive and stable side of the cushioning spectrum, so don’t expect a cushy and elastic ride on court.

In regards to the heel Zoom Air unit, it would have probably been better if it had been placed in the forefoot of the shoe, where most basketball players would get more use out of it.

The fact that the cushioning of the Book 1 is more neutral feeling means that, as far as cushioning goes, you may want to keep these on the hardwood and avoid the blacktop.

Nike Book 1 Materials

Nike Book 1 materials

The materials are without a doubt the highlight of this shoe. If you like 90’s and 00’s style shoes, you will love the Book 1. What we have is a mix of premium materials with some textile details mixed in. The forefoot, heel, and swoosh are all either leather or Nubuck, and both are good quality. The midfoot of the shoe features a canvas-style textile which helps reduce weight and aids in ventilation.

This setup takes a little bit more time to break in than a more modern textile-based shoe, but when it does, it feels amazing on foot. It’s also no slouch when it comes to performance. Containment and lockdown are also top-notch in the Book 1 thanks to the sturdy materials of the upper.

This mix of materials also makes the shoe feel more valuable in hand. This might simply be a mental trick, but when you have a shoe with these types of materials, you feel like you got a lot more bang for your buck.

Nike Book 1 Support

Nike Book 1 support

Support is another strong point of the Book 1. We have a wide outsole with a lot of contact area with the court and that well-contained cushioning system which provides a very stable base from which to make our moves on court. The upper utilizes those leather overlays to boost the shoe’s containment. Much like the traction, it’s no frills, and everything just gets the job done.

There is also a TPU midfoot shank plate housed within the midsole which provides a good amount of torsional rigidity and a sturdy heel counter that keeps your heel locked in as you play.

Nike Book 1 Fit

Nike Book 1 fit

Fit is a bit tricky. The shoe technically fits true to size, but it’s a very snug 1 to 1 fit. The materials of the upper do take some time to break in, and when they do you will gain some space, but initially, they feel almost suffocating. This is one of those shoes that, if you’re not in love with a tight fit, you can go up half a size and have no issues.

Nike Book 1 Overall

Nike Book 1 overall

The Nike Book 1 will be an awesome hoop shoe for some people. If you like 90’s style basketball shoes, this is a no-brainer. The Book 1 has everything you could ask for in terms of simplicity of design, quality of materials, and no-frills on-court performance. The Book 1 proves that lightweight textiles are more of a gimmick than a performance feature and they are widely used as a cost-cutting measure for companies and not to create better products for the consumer.

This being said, no, the Book 1 is not a high-tech, lightweight, streamlined performance model with all the bells and whistles. If you’re into that than this is definitely not the shoe for you. But they look good, they play good, and they just get the job done. End of story.

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