I guess you can call the pattern toward the toe of the Nike Zoom Rize a modified herringbone. It doesn’t really matter, because the rest of the outsole pretty much gives you 360 degrees of coverage from points at both the forefoot and heel, very good groove spacing, and just the right amount of tread depth.
Most, or all colorways available to this point feature a mix of solid rubber and translucent (to show off the huge forefoot Zoom bag), and while both rubbers pick up a fair share of dust and dirt, it seems they are hardly affected by it, whether indoors or outside. I actually got a few hours in one colorway before finding another pair I couldn’t resist, and both seem fairly durable with all the stopping power you can expect – especially when applying torque naturally through different basketball movements.
I doubt this really had anything to do with the actual traction performance, but you may notice a frequent suction-cup like pop in the heel. This comes from a carved-out portion of the outsole that leaves the midsole exposed with more room to compress into. It might annoy some, but then again it might have a placebo effect and give some an extra feeling of security they are sticking to the floor. With or without it, either way traction is no joke in the Zoom Rize.
As the name states, Zoom is featured, and boy is it featured in a big way. Though the huge unit in the forefoot is the main attraction of the sneaker, it isn’t even the most interesting part of the midsole in my opinion. There’s still no confirmation on what foam runs full-length, but I can tell you it feels far from basic, especially in the heel. Expect a ton of plush comfort and bounciness from the foam.
Back to Zoom, those with concerns about it the stability of the unit should rest assured. At a 10mm height in the forefoot, you do sit higher off the ground however at 20 PSI (as spelled out for you across the unit) the Nike Zoom Rize retains a good amount of response. This, with the rubber encasement adds to stability in the shoe as it does tame the bounce a little bit, but also adds to its stability. After break-in the Zoom still feels like a mini trampoline under your foot, just more like one with a higher tension. It’s just awesome.
Engineered mesh and synthetics may not sound amazing but honestly its not the worst we’ve gotten at this price. On top of that, the upper functions very well. The mesh making up the majority of the upper is built strong, providing a lot of containment throughout. I had my concerns that the upper would be a little too crispy before testing, but once you get a few good runs in the shoe begins to break in nicely – something I noticed once I had a second pair out the box to compare to.
Speaking of the second pair, the higher cut collar didn’t bother me at all like the first pair did. My thoughts are since I was able to play more consistently through the second pair it had enough time to flex and move with me and eventually break in also. This just added to a great overall comfort, especially with the memory foam-like internal padding in the collar.
I also think the materials overall have been durable. There is a thin fuse placed for both strategic and branding purposes around the toe box and medial side that take some damage, but I haven’t noticed any out of control fraying anywhere else. Sure, if you play in a white or lighter colored pair, the mesh will dust up quick from getting stepped all over in traffic, but unless people have razor blades for traction, I think the Zoom Rize will hold up well.
True to size fit amazingly well, no complaints at all. It does fit snug from initial try on, but as mentioned with materials, just a little bit of break in is all it took to maintain a cozy fit from Day 2 until now.
Lockdown is aided by the asymmetrical lacing system and nylon cables stitched underneath the upper. It’s also one of the easier sneakers I’ve had to maintain custom fit by tightening up laces in isolated areas without affecting other areas. Wide footers will want to try the Zoom Rize in store because of the initial fit. From there, it should be easier to gauge if true to size may break in well or if it is better to consider sizing up.
Because of the great fit, Nike didn’t need to do anything extraordinary as far as support features in the Rize. The only real standout thing I noticed is that combined with the forefoot Zoom encasing, the Zoom Rize basically has a double outrigger.
Otherwise, everything is simple, yet effective. A wide-enough base, supportive upper, and a pair of external lacing cables to lock you back into the heel all do wonders for support. The heel counter isn’t even all that strong, yet everything works together to keep the entire foot in place and moving one to one with the shoe. Despite the thicker tooling, the Zoom Rize overall has enough to support shifty, lateral movements along with a more linear, vertical type of play.
The Nike Zoom Rize is simply an outstanding shoe and does enough to fight for a top spot among 2019 performers. It epitomizes what a team shoe should be, providing benefits to all types of players. Yes, it looks bulky and I understand that court feel is a strong preference for a lot of players, but I’d still encourage anyone considering the Zoom Rize to give it a go – there’s just too much to love in this sneaker.