Nike Zoom Live 2017 Performance Review

Don’t overlook budget friendly options just because they don’t have a name attached to them. The Nike Zoom Live 2017 is a great example of why you shouldn’t.

nike Zoom Live 2017 performance review traction

Traction – I’m unsure if this traction pattern used on the Nike Zoom Live 2017 has a story to it or not, but I like to call it the Death Star pattern. It straight up kills it on most courts and conditions without issue. These were a solid go-to option for me anytime I needed to switch into something with more reliable traction — especially when dust was present — as the grooves are deep enough to channel the dust through without it getting in the way. The nubs are also placed multi-directionally so you’re covered from all angles. Outdoor players might not receive long lasting traction because the rubber is a bit soft, but you’ll receive working traction while it lasts.

nike Zoom Live 2017 performance review cushion

Original image via

Cushion – The rectangular Zoom Air unit makes a return in the Nike Zoom Live 2017, but it isn’t bad this time around. When surrounded with the right kind of Phylon, Zoom Air thrives — and that’s exactly what we have here. While the tooling isn’t anything special, it’s comfortable and provides you with a low profile ride with some impact protection. The heel doesn’t feature any cushion, but the foam used is comfortable and I never experienced any comfort issues while wearing the Zoom Live 2017.

I’ve mentioned this on Instagram and I’ll mention it here as well — these are what I call “Mr. Reliable” — and the name sort of speaks for itself. Nike’s Zoom Live ’17 is a very solid and reliable option for on-court use. Nothing that will catch you by surprise or knock your socks off, but that’s not a bad thing.

nike Zoom Live 2017 performance review materials

Materials – He we have mesh, nylon, and a bit of fuse in high-wear areas. Simple, comfortable, and straight to the point. Durable enough to last, but soft enough to not be a pain in the ass while breaking them in. The upper will contain your foot well enough while not feeling overly restrictive. When you factor in the ankle strap then you realize you’re completely locked in at the heel and ready to play.

When you have a comfortable material setup such as this it really makes you scratch your head when you try to think about what could have happened with something like the Kobe A.D. Nike is more than capable of creating product that contains and supports without causing discomfort or restriction; it makes these feel like a purchase worthy of your $100 bucks.

nike Zoom Live 2017 performance review fit

Fit – The Zoom Live 2017 fits true to size and can accommodate an ankle brace for those that need it. I only wear braces if I’ve tweaked my ankle(s) which is why this type of information isn’t provided regularly (for those wondering). Wide footers might be fine going true to size once the upper breaks in, but trying them on is always best, just to be safe.

Containment is solid, but you will have to readjust the laces a bit after you break them in to ensure you’re as locked in as you’d like to be. I know most dislike the thought of straps nowadays, but there are straps out there that serve a purpose — this shoe’s strap serves a purpose. Heel lockdown is fantastic and in turn this low top shoe feels just as supportive as any proper fitting mid or high top.

nike Zoom Live 2017 performance review support

Support – The Nike Zoom Live 2017 features standard support features. Internal torsion shank — you can see it in the cushion image above — along with an internal heel counter. However, the fit and tooling are what allow these basic features to shine. The materials wrap around your foot like a glove and the strap not only locks your foot down onto the footbed but the lateral layers mimic the foot’s natural support ligaments; this draws your foot into the rear of the shoe with the added bonus of strengthening your own body’s natural support system. Basic at its core, yet very effective.


nike Zoom Live 2017 performance review scorecard

Overall – Taking the $100 price tag out of the equation, the Nike Zoom Live 2017 stands up against Nike’s higher priced models and outshines them. When you factor the price into the mix these seem like a no-brainer, so long as they offer you what you’re looking for in a shoe.

The Zoom Live 2017 is all about low profile tooling, isolated forefoot Zoom Air cushioning, soft materials, and solid lockdown. If you’re a fan of low tops then you’ll likely be a fan of these. If you’re not a fan of low tops then try these out — they may surprise you.


    1. I don’t like wearing braces at all, but they’re all different for different needs. The one you linked is a level 3 brace which is a lot of restriction. The one I used is pictured in the images on the review and its just a simple lace-up system. It allows me to apply more pressure only to where I need it while recovering from the tweak while playing.

    2. I was a volleyball player throughout high school and the ankle brace that we all used were Active Ankle T2 Rigid Ankle Brace. This one is suitable for both volleyball and basketball and I’ve used it a ton over the years. Bit more expensive but I prefer this one over anything else. I’ve tried many other types and my biggest issue was having blood flow restricted to your feet that are painful and too difficult to play in. The T2 doesn’t have that issue while providing pretty good support. Now this one is a bit bulky around the ankle area so it’ll fit best with low tops. I’ve used them with high tops before but it gets in the way and too clunky for my taste.

      The brace will not prevent an injury as I’ve still rolled my ankle plenty of times with this brace on. But I believe it helped in reducing the severity of an injury.

    3. McDavid is a good brand, but you have to find out what you need. do you need total restriction or are you allowed to have some movements? if you aren’t sure, the best advice I have is to try these things in-store.

  1. Great review NW.
    Everything I need and nothing I don’t.
    I’ve seen the green Thomas PE, and a yellow one with a logo on the tongue. Not sure if it is a PE or not.

    I really enjoy the Crusader and Hyperchase, so I’ll def cop it.

  2. Hello! A newcomer to your site, and I definitely enjoy it, great reviews!!
    Just as I consider a new shoe, how would you put this head to head vs Nike Air Max Infuriate Low? Similar price range too

  3. Sure enough a lot of years since then, but I do wonder how this stacks up to the KD IV to see how takedown model performance has progressed. Similarly low with the strap.

  4. Great review, probably i’ll be getting these if i have a chance and BTW I just wanna ask, what happened with your performance review in the Anta KT outdoors and the wade all city 5?

  5. What about the velcro strap being on the inside of the shoe? Did you notice it coming undone easily? Just seems like a velcro strap on the inside of the shoe would be more likely to come undone then one on the outside. Love the site!

  6. Great review Nightwing. I can’t wait to try these out. Without reviews like this, these kind of shoes get left out because they’re not featured front and center at a Nike store. They sound like a great deal of performance for the price.

    One note: Can we ever get a tour of the room where you are filming these? A little Behind the Scenes action? I’m impressed by not just your collection of shoes, but collectibles, figurines, etc. Everything is so neatly organized. I would totally love to see what kind of cool stuff is in your collection. I’m nerding out and loving it!

  7. If The Kyrie 3 didn’t have Kyrie’s name on it, that would be this sneaker. a minimally cushioned, great traction, good materials, a low price tag, and being a great performer are the things they could share.

  8. Tengo estas zapatillas desde hace un mes, y para mí la parte superior es un poco dura. Espero que se ablande con el tiempo, porque para frenar el dedo gordo sufre un poco.

    La amortiguación si que me parece perfecta, y la tracción muy buena. La tira de velcro tampoco me parece muy util, con los cordones sería suficiente.

    I have these sneakers for a month, and for me the top is a little hard. I hope it softens over time, because to brake, the big toe suffers a little.

    The cushion to me is perfect, and the traction very good. The strip velcro also does not seem very useful, with the laces would be enough.

  9. I would rate this shoe slightly below the PG1 for my feet. It’s basically just the right amount of cushioning in the front and rear. That allows for responsiveness and court feel without beating up your knees. There’s also just enough arch support which a lot of times goes neglected in shoe reviews.

    I’ve pretty much tried every shoe for the 2016 season and so far my top four in order are PG1, Hyperdunk 2016, (non flyknit), Zoom Live, Kobe 11 EM. I’m 6-2 180

  10. Man I got these for 30$ at our clearance store in Memphis. They had a 30% off sale and I must say that was a steal! Very very solid budget shoe from Nike. Got the IT4 colorway.

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