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Nike Zoom Freak 5 Review: The Best Freak Model Yet?

Nike Zoom Freak 5

Nike Zoom Freak 5 English Review

The Nike Zoom Freak 5 is very different from the Freak 4 and has the potential to be the best Giannis shoe we have seen yet.

Nike Zoom Freak 5 Spanish Review

Total Score

The Nike Freak 5 is the fifth signature basketball shoe in Giannis Antetokoumpos’s signature line. The Freak signature line has been a bit of a mixed bag in terms of on-court performance, and we haven’t seen a top-tier performance model yet. The Freak 5, however, has a good chance of being the best Freak model to date. There have been some major changes in regard to the Nike Zoom Freak 4, so let’s dive into the review to see exactly what has changed and what to expect from the Freak 5.

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Nike Zoom Freak 5 Review

Nike Zoom Freak 5 Tech Specs:

Nike Zoom Freak 5 Traction

The Nike Zoom Freak 5 comes equipped with a solid rubber outsole with two different traction patterns. In the forefoot, we have a tightly configured pattern made up of Giannis’ logos, which should provide good multidirectional coverage. In the heel of the shoe, we have Nike’s Smear traction which was featured on last year’s GT Cut 2.

Smear traction didn’t work out great as a traction system and suffered durability issues. So, it was a good decision to move it to the heel of the shoe, as basketball is a forefoot-heavy sport. The forefoot is grippy and should perform well on court but that rubber isn’t the most durable, and, because that pattern is so tight, the shoe will tend to accumulate dirt on dusty courts.

Nike Zoom Freak 5 Cushion

The Nike Zoom Freak 5 does away with the exposed Zoom Pods of the Freak 4 and the Freak 3, and instead what we have is a firm phylon midsole with an encapsulated Zoom Air unit in the forefoot. This setup should be smoother, more consistent, and more stable than what we had in the 3 and the 4, so this change, in our opinion, is for the better.

In the heel of the shoe, there really isn’t any tech, but there is a notch cut out of the foam in that area. This will help to add some compression to that firm foam midsole. Therefore, you can expect a low-profile, reactive hoop shoe with just enough compression and impact protection.

Nike Zoom Freak 5 Materials

The materials are just what you would expect from a $140 modern performance basketball shoe. We have a combination of textiles and synthetic leather. The textiles are placed in the areas of the shoe where you need more flexibility and will help keep the shoe lightweight and with almost no break-in time.

The synthetic leather adds containment where you need it. Everything works ok on the court, but there really isn’t anything amazing in terms of materials or build on the Freak 5.

Nike Zoom Freak 5 Support

Support is decent on the Nike Zoom Freak 5, but nothing special. The Freak 5 has a broad base, and the cushioning is very stable, but that’s about it: no shank plate, spring plate, or chassis. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing necessarily, but it could be an issue if you need extra torsional support.

In terms of lockdown, there are four internal pieces, two on either side of the shoe. When you tie the shoe, those pieces wrap around your foot to keep you on the footbed as you play.

Support and lockdown should be adequate but, nothing special, which is odd when we are talking about a shoe built for one of the most physical players in the NBA.

Nike Zoom Freak 5 Fit

The Nike Zoom Freak 5 fits true to size, so go with whatever size you usually use with Nike. Now, if you have a wide foot, definitely go up half a size. The Freak 5 is on the narrower side of things and it’s pretty unforgiving in that sense.

Nike Zoom Freak 5 Overall

The Nike Zoom Freak 5 is a very simple hoop shoe and includes very few bells and whistles. Now, simple shoes can be great performance models but, the Freak 5 has a lot to prove. If the traction ends up offering great grip on court, if the lack of torsional support doesn’t affect performance, and if the fit ends up being excellent, then, these could be elite. But we will have to see…for now, they feel like a solid basketball shoe.

  1. These are in the bottom 3 basketball shoes I’ve ever owned. The midsole is ripping off after 1 week of use. Yesterday I rolled my ankle horribly. That’s the first time I’ve rolled my ankle in 2 years. These shoes are not good.

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