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Nike Zoom Crusader Performance Review

How low, can you go… everybody, limbo!

Nike Zoom Crusader Performance Review 1Traction – If I can sum up the traction with one word it’d be “inconsistent”. The inner blue section, with the actual traction pattern in place, worked at times and then other times it couldn’t keep up – lateral movements especially. Dust definitely had a negative affect but even then, it was still fairly inconsistent. It was always a surprise when the outer sections bit the floor, forcing you into a complete stop unexpectedly… while coming to a complete stop is something you’d usually want to do, you also want to know that thats going to be the outcome once you proceed to plant your foot. Inconsistent… little disappointing but at the same time, they tried something new. Just don’t try using it again.


Nike Zoom Crusader Performance Review 2Cushion – After many disappointing Zoom Air experiences over the past months, it was refreshing to wear a Zoom based shoe that actually felt like a Zoom based shoe. The forefoot utilized the same size and shape unit as the KD VI while the heel features a typical Zoom heel unit. I believe the foam is the reason I had a good experience as it felt more like a rubber based foam similar to Cushlon. Comfort, court feel, responsiveness and an overall smooth ride… no complaints on this end.



Nike Zoom Crusader Performance Review 3Material – Fuse and neoprene are the primary materials but there is a little bit of 1st gen Flywire in place. It’s durable and comfortable so just like the cushion, nothing to really complain about.




Nike Zoom Crusader Performance Review 4Fit – They fit true to size and once you get your foot into the neoprene sock, they fit like a glove. Their snug fit is something that I love and its probably their best aspect.

Lockdown in the forefoot, midfoot & heel is practically flawless. This coupled with the snug fit and they would have been great had it not been for the flimsy Fuse right at the top of the collar which also rides incredibly low. I personally love playing in low tops and I would choose a low over most models but this might be too low. Some lateral reinforcement would have been welcomed so if you have weak ligaments then you may want to stay away. I’d recommend using a brace of some sort or tape up your ankles if you plan on playing in them. I guess there is such thing a too low…

Nike Zoom Crusader Performance Review 5Ventilation – Air flow and ventilation are above average. If you are a fan of this attribute then you’ll be pleasantly pleased.





Nike Zoom Crusader Performance Review 6Support – As usual, the support comes from the fit overall and while the forefoot and heel are doing their part to keep you secure… that collar isn’t. There is an outrigger in place, its small but works, as well as an internal torsional shank bar and that is taking care of business as well. Their one drawback is the collar and again, I suggest wearing something additional to help support your ankle laterally and by support I mean restrict a bit of movement for that particular section… I never really suggest wearing anything additional since brace wearers usually wear their braces anyways and same goes for those that don’t wear a brace, however, this is the one time where I’d make an exception no matter if you wear a brace or not.


Nike Zoom Crusader Performance Review 7Overall – I like the look, feel and the feeling the fit brings along with the cushion but the inconsistent traction and the lack of support in the collar are definitely a couple of drawbacks. At $110, its really not all that bad once you factor in a decent brace but that’s up to your discretion. Just a few little tweaks here and there and these would have been a really awesome model versus an average performer.

Nike Zoom Crusader Performance Review 8

  1. Damn I didn’t expect the traction to take bit of a hit. I wonder why Harden chose these over the Hyperdunk 13s?

        1. the other thing to consider is a euro step you plant a much larger portion of your foot than on a crossover or something ( at least i do, i could be wrong) so it could provide the pressure distribution to not slip.

  2. Nightwing, would you put these in your shoe rotation? how does the zoom in this shoe compare to the melo m9 setup?

  3. you watch “the starters”? in NBA.com or TV? they had a clip looking at harden just pulling his feet out of his shoes like loafers.

    surprised though that these had forefoot and heel zoom

      1. do what you can, you must be swamped with all these shoes that are coming out … not to mention being a dad/husband. thanks again for the great reviews!

  4. sir.. please have a review on anatomix spawn low .. please.. i want to know the difference.. thank you so much.. God bless..

  5. good review. I thought these were going to be a sleeper. strictly a performance beast. turns out the looks are a bit deceiving. these reviews are super helpful. now I know there are better options and I’ll skip this one

  6. Nightwing -it seems like you slighted these a bit? You’re saying “the fit was good, fits like a glove/no complaints.”..then giving it a 7 for fit. Weird review for me. I had no issues with the traction myself.

    1. I don’t know what slighted means but lockdown is part of the fit section. That was gone over and noted that there was little support in the collar this resulting in a lowered score for both fit/ lockdown and support. There are positive ways to ask a question and there a rude and uncalled for ways to ask. I has very inconsistent traction yet you say you had no problems… Are you slighting that a bit? Hope you understand what I’m getting at. Be respectful.

      1. Ah, my bad-no disrespect intended at all. Didn’t mean to come off that way. So You slid on court during your cuts? Wasn’t sure what the “inconsistent” meant.

  7. Nightwing, thank for the reviews. Been waiting for them ever since you posted about them staring in Nov I think.

    You said before that these might come with XDR outsole. However later on, you never mentioned anything about the outsole being an XDR. So it is safe to conclude that it doesn’t come with an XDR outsole?

    To my eyes, it looks like an in between between a regular indoor shoe outsole and an XDR outsole. Is that correct?

    Many thanks in advance

    1. I know the initial images showed an XDR outsole but those were overseas versions. I don’t know for a fact if these have XDR and just aren’t labeled so I don’t want to say one way or the other since I don’t know for sure. They do seem like more of an outdoor model to me personally but they can be used indoors similar to the Venomenon.

      1. the versions that have been out in asia have xdr outsoles, they were originally designed for outdoor courts, then were made available stateside apparently.

        i think you’d be able to tell between the indoor and outdoor versions of this shoe, NW, if you saw the XDR one…the rubber that they used on those is pretty much the HARDEST rubber i’ve run my fingers along recently, the outsole looks virtually indestructible

        1. Btw, the one that I tried on is the red/orange color and it definitely didn’t have an XDR outsole. There was no XDR logo. The outsole (looks) exactly as the one in the performance review. I’m in Asia btw.

      2. Thanks for the input NW & Tadatsune. I feel so flattered that NW actually replied. Thank you once again!

        I tried these on yesterday. Let me start with the topic at hand first, the outsole. The one I tried on, red color, is definitely not an XDR type of rubber. I would say that they are in between the normal rubber and XDR rubber. Am I right?

        And the tougher rubber along the sides definitely helps.

        As for the shoes itself, I must say that it is the most comfortable shoes (basketball) that I’ve ever put on. I am not a fan of the conventional shoes (mid or high top) though 🙂 I play soccer and I jog/more like running. So it feels so weird wearing basketball shoes that are bulky when soccer boots and running shoes are low top.

      3. Perfectly said. I picked myself up a pair of the outdoor orange/red. Only issue I’ve had is the traction pattern on the out rigger wears down pretty quick if your a smaller guard (5’10, 150) and rely on cutting /slashing on outdoor courts. I have to add… GET BRACES OR TAPE! I about broke my foot off on an ankle roll, and I have ankles of steel.

  8. i just got mine last week.. it is a decent shoe, the only complaint that i had was it took quite some time to get your foot into the shoe.. some might have the heel slippage issue, i think that depends on the type of socks you are wearing.. i used a normal cotton socks and i don’t experienced any slippage during i played.. the rubber used and the traction is very good, i played for almost 3 hours outdoor on a rough surface court, there was no any sign of losing the traction.. and regarding the ankle, if you hoop frequently, sooner or later your ankle will be strong enough, until then don’t force yourself to make moves that might cause injury to that area, because i had a weak ankle when i started playing basketball and i frequently have injury and sore muscles etc. at the area, after hooping for almost 2 years i had no issue with those anymore.. these are only my opinions..

  9. i was wondering I wear a 10.5 in basketball shoes but i noticed these are similar to the nike hyper gamer low. In those i ended up needing a 11 to hoop in what would you recommend?

    1. Hey DJ, hope u don’t make the same mistake I just did. Bought these yesterday and played them for about 2 hrs. I am 10.5-11 usually. And I went for the smaller ones. My toe was really hurt after the game. So I would recommend to go with half size up. That is prob because I got a wide foot. NW won’t have this issue.

  10. Is the material on the side enough though i mean i have really wide foot so i expect they wouldn’t tear quick right?

  11. Well, nightwing was off on these. Traction is 9. I played on a fairly dusty court and was able to stop go and cross and spin without slipping. Speaking of slipping, no heel slippage. These fit like the kobe 5 but with heel notches. Cushion id a 9.5. Imagine the kobe 5 but with a full fore foot zoom…lawd. support was about a 8.75. Not the best but i dont see any problem like u gurssed it, the kobe 5. I feel as if he is biased towards someshoes like the hyperrev. The trsction on those are slick out the box, the strap offers no extra support and the full length zoom is not really felt. Meaning try shoes out yourself and dont just take the word of a reviewer. I almost missed a gem by listening to nightwing

    1. You should learn what biased means. If this was your experience in the shoe then I’m happy you enjoyed them. Saying that my experience was incorrect is being biased towards your own thoughts and not the thoughts of others. These don’t feature a full forefoot zoom unit and I said the rev had minimal support, never once said the strap added support at all and I specifically stated the zoom in those was not responsive.

    2. After re-reading my review, its seems as if you didnt even read it at all. Sounds as if you just looked at the scores which is not where the real info is located.

  12. If your scores dont match your written report on shoes then either just do scores or dont do scores at all. According to your scoring, the hyperrev has better cushioning and support but now they have mininal support? I believe they do have full fore foot zoom air based on feel and comparing them to kobe v and vi which had met bags

    1. Support scores are identical in both shoes as per their scores, full length cushion provides better impact protection and disbursement. Just bc you dont feel a response doesnt mean the cushion is less than another. Air Max units are not responsive at all yet they offer the great amount of protection. The Zoom in the Crusader is not full length, I said what size bags they were in their initial video/ impression and there is even a deconstructed post here for you to visually see that they are not full length units. Please, refrain from telling me what to do on my own site. If you dislike my reviews then just move on and leave it at that. Im sure there are other reviews out there that will tell you exactly what you want to hear.

      1. I didnt say full length i said full forefoot zoom like covering the forefoot and not just a met bag

  13. hey nightwing, great review . i was wandering if the zoom on crusaders feels like the kd6, keep up the great work!! 🙂

  14. No beef bro. U do good work. I normally dont try shoes unless they get an 8…except these i just had a feeling about them lol

  15. I found these for around $80. I also found Superfly 2 in the same range. What shoes would you pick? Keep up the good work chris!

  16. Hi NW, i have kobe6 and soldier6 and they are both size 8.5..i feel comfortable on them because i have a wide foot..if i will wear the crusader, would you recommend me getting a size 9 because of my wide foot?thanks and keep up the goodwork!

  17. Hi Sir, would just like to ask, do these fit like the kobe 8? Thanks for the time. Great reviews as always.

  18. hi nightwing. are there any other players wearing this shoe aside from James Harden? Just wanted to know since it’s a model too. thanks!

  19. Hey John paul.. Paul George also wear these during the All star. I cant decide which willbI.buy? Cp3.VII or the crusader.. or hyperrev?

  20. appreciate the great review. watching your videos i am guessing that we could be of similar build so these shoes could give me a bit of a problem on court in terms of traction and support. watching just a short clip of how you shoot and move you’re def faster than me and i am also overweight. i did tried them on at the store and did move around a bit and felt ok, maybe it’s because it’s new w/o any dust or anything. just want to say thank you for your work in these very informative reviews!!!

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