Nike Renew Elevate 2
The Nike Renew Elevate 2 is a good option for those who are looking for a shoe that has a durable outsole. The dual-density foam setup works well.
Colorway: Black/White/Total Orange/Light Photo Blue
Release Date: 2021
The Nike Renew Elevate 2 may look like it features a takedown version of Nike’s React foam, but I think it’s different. How it’s implemented is similar to what another brand has done with a signature model. I was curious how it would feel, and I had an interesting experience that I think many basketball players may want to try for themselves. Just be patient with these shoes, though. You’ll need it.
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Nike hit the bullseye with this one. The traction pattern reminds me of the one used in the Under Armour Spawn 4 with multiple centers for a semi-radial design similar to herringbone. Combined with the rubber compound, it was hard for me to experience slippage anywhere. I only slid once, and after I wiped, it never happened again. These are so good that I once almost rolled my ankle because it didn’t have any give when I tried to slide my toe. These are durable, so I’d recommend them for outdoor use. The grip and bite are A+ wherever you play.
Renew is like the Bounce Pro in the adidas Dame 8 because it’s a dual-density setup. These differ via the amount of softer foam in the bottom half. These have a fluffy foam in the heel but not in the forefoot. The top layer is all denser EVA. It tries to make sure you have impact protection without being unstable. While it did protect me for the most part, it can sometimes be off-putting when the heel compresses. Like many basketball players, I’m often on my forefoot, and I forget the back half is softer.
For indoor courts, impact protection was adequate. For outdoor hoopers, these will be enough if you don’t play too long. If you do, you might feel it in your knees because of the denser and thinner foam in the forefoot.
We get a primarily jacquard upper with mesh panels and fuse overlays in high wear areas. The Renew Elevate 2 does require a solid amount of break-in time. It will get better and better with every wear, so be patient if it feels stiff at first. Where I would like the most improvement is the tongue. It’s skinny and could use more foam to make the shoe more comfortable. I also got a blister on my right heel during the break-in period, but that might be because of my right foot’s shape. Besides these issues, the materials felt good after breaking them in.
Here’s where we get tricky. When I put my foot in for the first time, it felt good length-wise but not so good width-wise. As I mentioned in the materials section, a break-in period is needed for the Renew Elevate 2 to be its best. Here’s a tip: if you feel it’s already hugging your foot without tightening the laces, don’t tighten them. Just let them be, and when they start to get loose, you can mess around with the lacing.
If you’re a narrow footer, you’re going to love these. For regular footers, bear with the break-in time, and you should feel good afterward. Wide-footers will want to go up half a size and be wary of the possible compromise with length.
Support is standard, but it does have some cool features. First is the plastic piece on the lateral sides. They don’t run down to the footbed, which I think would be helpful, but they assist with the lockdown. The containment-helping feature is that the outsole comes up in the lateral and medial midfoot sections. Laterally, it helps to keep your feet from shifting side-to-side too much. It acts as arch support on the medial side, suitable for flat-footers. Just beware that you will notice it. Putting in a pair of Move Insoles or other orthotics isn’t a bad idea to improve the Renew Elevate 2.
Nike Renew Elevate 2 Overall
The Nike Renew Elevate 2 is the second-best budget model I’ve tested, just behind the Nike Air Max Impact 3. These have got those beat in the traction department. Overall, the break-in period is the only part that could be improved. In an era of synthetics and textiles, break-in periods, for the most part, have been eliminated for most sneakers. I wish these followed that trend. Besides that, though, these are killers on the basketball court.
How to Buy the Nike Renew Elevate 2
The Nike Renew Elevate 2 is available now for $80 at Nike.