Team athletes, listen up…
Cushion – While the traction surprised me… the cushion didn’t. Felt the same as the Soldier 7’s, and to me, that isn’t real Zoom. It works, it protects and it allows you to have court feel and a quick first step without thinking you’re sinking into your midsole… but it still isn’t the Zoom Air I remember wearing back in the day. They get the job done, but they weren’t mind-blowing.
Materials – Like the traction, I wasn’t sure the materials would be able to get the job done. They are thin and malleable, like the LeBron 11 Low which sucked, but unlike the 11 Low… these had a much tighter fit around your foot so it was perfectly fine. Durable enough for a season and there were no painful hot-spots of any kind. I was more than happy as I had initially expected the worst… you wouldn’t have blamed me either had you played in the LeBron 11 Low prior to these.
Fit – Besides the traction, the fit is their greatest attribute. They are true to size and really snug. However, like I mentioned before, the materials are soft and thin so while snug – they are pain free. Dynamic Flywire plays a roll in keeping your foot on the footbed while the strap does most of the heavy lifting in the heel since there is no traditional heel counter… the strap system is the heel counter as it uses your own force and weight to keep you contained. Pretty freaking cool if you ask me.
Support – Most of the support comes from the really snug and contained fit. There is a hefty outrigger and TPU shank for additional support as well. But the real standout here is that weird zipper-strap. Mentioned in the fit section, the strap system is really the heel counter system… only without an actual heel counter. It was really cool to try out and even cooler that it worked so well. Like I said in the video… the strap is the glue that keeps the entire thing together.
Overall – Better than last year’s… thank goodness. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Soldier 7 and I didn’t enjoy the Hyperdunk 2014… luckily Nike got it right with the Soldier 8; and they’re relatively cheap/ affordable at $130. Compared to the signature lines and ‘top of the line’ team models at least. Soldier 6 was fantastic, 7 left much to be desired and the 8’s are very solid… enough for me to overlook the shitty Zoom Air and say they’re Nightwing approved. The traction and fit saved them, if you ask me.