The Zoom Rev 2017 from Nike offers a lot of value in a couple of key categories but a couple of missteps keep them from being a top tier on-court performer. Find out what they do right and can improve with our performance review of the Nike Zoom Rev 2017.
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Traction: You would think that the Rev’s full-length herringbone pattern would work well in all conditions, but the rubber compound Nike uses here just isn’t tacky enough. On clean floors the traction is great of course, but if your floor has any dust whatsoever, you’re going to find yourself wiping quite a bit because dust will get caught in between the many grooves of the outsole. When I would play on level B courts (slight dusty), it felt like I was playing on level C courts (moderately dusty), and when I was actually playing on level C courts, forget about it. The constant wiping was not worth the effort and if you were trying to find a way to mess up full-length herringbone, the Zoom Rev ’17 comes pretty damn close.
You could say that the traction is flat, which it is, and could be heavily improved had the traction peaked in all the right places, but with so much coverage it really comes down to the rubber compound and what is used here just isn’t good enough.
Cushion: Despite only using forefoot Zoom Air, the Rev ’17’s cushion system is a surprisingly comfortable. Will you feel the forefoot Zoom Air bag? Yes. But what makes the Rev ’17 so comfortable is the lightweight Phylon midsole that is extremely squishy. It doesn’t offer much responsiveness, but that’s what the Zoom Air is for. It was so squishy that my feet actually had to get acclimated to its softer nature, which made for a very brief break-in period that caused a little discomfort. After that temporary break in period the cushioning in the Zoom Rev is going to feel very spongy, which is great for those who don’t mind sacrificing a little court feel and responsiveness for a more cloud-like feel.
The outsole also has a ripple-like design which won’t affect the overall stability but does add a light bounce, something that only enhances the Rev ’17’s cushioning. Overall, the cushioning in the Zoom Rev is surprisingly soft, but it is worth noting that if you land directly on the forefoot Zoom unit, you will get a responsive feel, but the Zoom unit Nike uses isn’t particularly big so your chances of getting a direct hit are about 50/50.
Materials: This is easily the Zoom Rev’s best category. The upper is made out of a very soft mesh that is backed by an extremely thin layer of fuse that severely cripples the Zoom Rev’s breathability, but not its comfort, as it allows the mesh to move freely thanks to its thinness. There are also a few areas where the upper is reinforced with fuse overlays, but these overlays are only placed in high wear areas and don’t compromise the Rev’s comfortable setup. Both the tongue and collar areas are heavily padded with foam that perfectly compliments the Rev’s soft feel, and that padding never got in the way of the overall fit. In a market where a woven upper is a “premium” commodity, the Zoom Rev ’17 offers a woven-like feel for a wallet-friendly price.
Fit: If the materials on the Zoom Rev were its best feature, then the fit comes in at a close second. For someone who’s foot is slightly wide, these fit me like a glove and I’d imagine they would fit you the similarly. There was absolutely no dead space in virtually every area, with the front of the shoe being a slight exception. However, a little space in this area helps prevents your toes from slamming into the front of the shoe, so we can forgive the Rev for not being “glove-like” in this area. Wide-footers may find the midfoot to be a little tight, so going up half a size may be the best course of action for those who fall in this situation, but it is worth mentioning that the materials are pretty forgiving. Unless you find the midfoot to be abnormally tight, we recommend you go true and allow the materials to break in around your foot.
Support: If you were wondering whether or not the ripple effect on the outsole would cause instability, don’t worry, because that design element has very little effect on the Rev’s support system. However, the overall roundness of the outsole does make the Rev slightly more narrow than it would be with are flatter base, but it isn’t extremely narrow. The rounded outsole isn’t there for stability anyways, its main purpose is to provide a seamless and smooth transition, which it does. However, if you don’t have near-perfect footwork, you’ll find yourself slipping every now and then (especially with the less than stellar traction).
There is a standard heel cup, represented with a synthetic overlay that does not accurately showcase its usage, since the real heel cup is internal and covers a bit more than what is actually visually represented. Had the traction been more reliable, the support in the Zoom Rev ’17 would have been above average. As the shoe sits right now, both the fit and internal heel cup provide a moderate support system that will either be enhanced or diminished depending on play style.
Overall: The Zoom Rev ’17 retails for $110 and in today’s market you should expect a lot, but you shouldn’t expect to get ripped off either. Know what you’re buying, that’s what these reviews are for. If you’re looking for A1 traction and ample support, you’re not going to want to drop $110 on the Zoom Rev ’17. But, if you’re looking for a cloud-like ride (despite not being full-length Zoom), with great materials and a glove-like fit, the Zoom Rev ’17 is going to get the job done really well. We just hope that you got a clean court to enjoy them on.