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Nike Zoom Flight ’98 ‘The Glove’ Performance Review

I have nothing creative to say… hate when that happens…

Nike Zoom Flight '98 'The Glove' Performance Review 1

Traction – Not bad but not great. Front to back is where you are covered but lateral movements could used some work. Surprisingly, this outcome was the same no matter the court condition or the type of court… I played outdoors in addition to indoors this time around. They provided the best traction on rough outdoor surfaces, anything smooth and you may slip slightly when making lateral movements.

Nike Zoom Flight '98 'The Glove' Performance Review 2

Cushion – I went over the cushion in their final performance teaser and noted that the cushion was nothing special and on par with some of Nike’s latest releases featuring Zoom that is difficult to feel. I wound up taking these outdoors and playing with them for about 4 hours and the heat really helped break the cushion in tremendously. It makes me wonder if certain shoes I’ve reviewed in the past would have the same outcome after playing outdoors for a while but I doubt I’ll ever get around to trying it out.

I still wouldn’t say the cushion used here is the greatest of all time but it gets the job done just fine.

Nike Zoom Flight '98 'The Glove' Performance Review 3

Material – Most of the colorways that will release will feature a spandex shrouded upper whereas these feature a leather shrouded upper. Both will work perfectly fine but the leather will likely be more durable in the long run while the spandex versions will be more breathable… I’d take the spandex version next time around as the leather made these comparable to an oven once you got going. Other than that I thought the materials were great. I loved the mesh interior and synthetic lacing system. Not really much to complain about at all.

Nike Zoom Flight '98 'The Glove' Performance Review 4

Fit – If there is one thing you can guarantee when hooping in a shoe with a shroud – besides the lack of ventilation – its that you are going to have a really awesome fit. I didn’t feel as if zipping these up was 100% necessary but once you did use the zipper then you knew your feet weren’t going anywhere. For a shoe designed in the 90’s, this is pretty sweet. There are very few shoes from this era that have this great of a fit and lockdown… good thing too, wouldn’t want to disappoint with a name like The Glove.

Nike Zoom Flight '98 'The Glove' Performance Review 5

Ventilation – I’ve had dryer feet while swimming…

Nike Zoom Flight '98 'The Glove' Performance Review 6

Support – The fit provides you with most of the support – which is great – while the reintroduced Monkey Paw actually does its job. Basically, it holds your heel into the back of the shoe and provides lateral support. Add in the shroud and you really don’t need much else.

Nike Zoom Flight '98 'The Glove' Performance Review 7

Overall – There are better performers out there but this is going to be a nostalgic shoe to play in for a lot of people… especially for people like myself that never had the chance to play in them the first time around. Surprisingly enough, I had more fun playing in them outdoors than I did indoors and I usually prefer indoor hooping. The only real drawback is the ventilation and I would hope that the spandex upper will help alleviate some of the moisture buildup… although I doubt it will help much.

The new generation might prefer to stick with their plastic uppers but for us older folks… The Glove came before the XX8 and it’ll take more than crappy ventilation to keep us from lacing these up on-court one more time.

Nike Zoom Flight '98 'The Glove' Performance Review 8

26 comments
  1. The thing you said about the cushion being broken in was the same thing kick genuis said (I say this knowing you, just guessing, already probably watched it hence giving you the idea, again just guessing and trying not to sound like a know-it-all.). Great review just like always.

    1. Great Review Nightwing! Definitely a stylish shoe that stands the test of time! However I have to say that while having to go outdoors to breaking the cushioning is a great idea for reviewing purposes, is but its still pretty disappointing. I know this is a retro but I am saying that most basketball shoes today are not much different such as the Lebron Soldier 7s. I sympathize with what put your body through in order to provide our community with performance reviews, but I still think its an issue because I for one will not take an expensive shoe outside which I bought primarily to play indoors, an subject them to that kind of wear and tear doesn’t make any sense. I have one type of shoe to play outdoors in and another to play indoors.

      1. I agree somewhat but you dont have to play in them outdoors and wear them down. All you have to do is shoot around in them and the heat along with your body weight will break in the shoe a lot faster than on an indoor court. Women have been known to wear their heels in the shower bc the heat breaks them faster than typical wear so they dont hurt their feet too badly so its not really a new concept. On the other hand, Zoom used to be a lot more comfortable and noticeable than it is now.

        1. Yeah you’re right it will break them in faster, but I just worry about grinding down the traction especially with how thin traction patterns can be nowadays especially on the Soldier 7s. What I usually do to break in a shoe is to jump and run around my house for a while lol so that when I get the the courts the shoe is a little more broken in.

          1. I do the same thing usually but the heat (its been 80+ as of late here in the Bay) sped the process up tenfold. The rubbers used nowadays are really soft (new performance models) so if you wanted to try it Id suggest just wearing them outdoors to shoot around and be careful that you dont drag or grind your soles too much then clean them when you get home. Trust me, you’ll feel a huge difference.

          2. Or you could just do like I do, and hit the sauna. Do a few jumping jacks and what not and there you go. No wear and tear, and lots of heat. Quick and easy way to break in a shoe.

      2. Sorry, couldn’t reply directly to Nightwing above in regards to the rubber used on newer shoes. Why do they use softer rubber on new performance shoes these days?

        Is it that much better, grip wise, playing indoors with it than if the same shoe had an XDR outsole?

        1. It’s just money. Xdr is fine for indoor use, it can actually be better if the traction pattern is well designed. But go on nike Id and you’ll see that you can’t get Xdr soles in anything but ugly grey, even though they can easily colorize it. They just want you to buy two pairs or burn up your lebrons so you need a new pair sooner.

  2. like what you said about the shoe really breaking in when outdoors being the culture of basketball sneakers actually is in my view the begining of sneakers/ outside shoes to begin with so yeah there are kicks being worn for style and sneakers for balling but dare i say .. ok this is a large group of people wear sneakers just to have shoes and with the technology to have something comfortable to wear this sounds simple and it is but relevant to the modern evolution of the sneaker found in the basketball sneaker.

  3. What I’ve noticed is that bigger guys tend to break in these new models with ease, perhaps since you are guard sized it takes you longer?
    But once ya to unlocked zoom its hard to go back to anything else
    ^.^

    1. Possibly but I’ve been wearing Zoom based sneakers since High School. I love the tech and its my favorite type of cushion besides Lunarlon when it comes to Nike tech. The Zoom is just different than it once was. I know Im not the only one that feels this way since I talk to a lot of other hoopers but I already assume that heavier set players will have a slightly easier time breaking in a shoe vs a smaller guy… that part is common sense lol.

      1. Didn’t really feel the zoom in these when playing. It’s a shame they skimmed on the zoom in the retro because the OG felt much better. The lack of zoom ruined the shoe now. I don’t mind the aesthetic changes so much as they’re minor but nike sportswear managed to make a basketball shoe uncomfortable for basketball.
        My feet were really uncomfortable. My soles had hotspots and and I kept feeling lumps in all sorts of places.
        I obviously wasn’t expecting it to perform like the XX8s but I would have been happy if they only performed like the originals did.

  4. The Monkeypaw thing was great. I had 2 shoes with them, the first ‘the glove’ which was very similar to this one except for a ‘flap with a strap’ instead of the shroud. awesome shoes but the strap kept breaking.

    I really, really hope they’ll retro the second one i had though: the T-Bug, Tim Hardaway’s only signature shoe. Which was basically this shoe but with less shroud, just a zipper in the middle (which worked better than the zipper on the gloves) and the monkeypaws. I remember them being extremely lightweight for that era too. Lovely foam/zoom setup too. And good looking!

  5. Hey that’s my bad for not watching the video and not seeing where you did actually say the kick genuis suggested that you take them outside. Oh and the same thing happened to me with the zoom flight clubs my feet would start to wrinkle and get all nasty after playing in them eventually I started switching socks after every hour or two of playing.

  6. Hey Nightwing great review as always! I’m just curious, have you played in other shoes from the zoom flight line? Like zoom flight 96 for example. If you did, any thoughts? Im thinking of getting a pair for upcoming league but I’ve never played in any zoom flight shoes before.

  7. I tried on the zoom sonic flight in the Seattle sonics color way in store today, being a sonic fan that I am. Anyways it felt awesome! Question for you Nightwing, would you say these play the same like the 28/28se?

    1. Not really, they have a shroud but the XX8 is a beast while these were more basic by today’s standards. The Sonic Flights use the Nike KG3 tech – forefoot Zoom and heel Air Max – which is really comfortable.

      1. I agree on the comfort part. Cuz the look of the shoes can be deceiving, didn’t look like it would be a legit performer, but the moment I put them on it was “sex for your feet”. anyways love your stuff nw. Mucho props to you man

  8. Hello NW, i just have one question i hope you can answer me 🙂 How much impact protection do this provide? You know on the joints and the body, i care about that more than the responsiveness, Thanks Man!

  9. Hi Chris, do you think i can trust the traction in these? I’m accostumed to A1 traction but these are one of my favorite shoes all time.
    PD: Keep up with the AskNightwing project it’s freaking great!

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