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Nike Zoom Soldier VIII (8) Performance Review

Team athletes, listen up…

Nike Zoom Soldier VIII Performance Review 1Traction – They call it Power Flex traction… I just call it awesome. Worked great on every floor I played on. I wouldn’t recommend them for outdoor use just based on durability issues, but they worked so well indoors that even floors that needed some TLC (refinishing) were no match for them. Was I surprised? Hell yeah I was.




Nike Zoom Soldier VIII Performance Review 2Cushion – 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.




Nike Zoom Soldier VIII Performance Review 3Materials – 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.




Nike Zoom Soldier VIII Performance Review 4Fit – 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.




Nike Zoom Soldier VIII Performance Review 5Ventilation – Very well ventilated. If you were to iD a pair of these with the XDR option then they’d make a solid outdoor hoop shoe.





Nike Zoom Soldier VIII Performance Review 6Support – 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.




Nike Zoom Soldier VIII Performance Review 7Overall – 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.

Nike Zoom Soldier VIII Performance Review 8

  1. Hey Nightwing, is the traction on these better than the one on the KD7? You gave a better score to these, but you said on the kd review that that traction was kobe 9 awesome. By the way, how does the forefoot cushioning compares to the same kd?
    Great review as always….

    1. From my experience with the shoe the heel-to-toe transition was really good due to the soft phylon that the midsole was made up of

  2. Hey Chris, if my ball shoes’ outsoles get dirty or dusty would it be okay to rinse them off with water or another substance and dry them? Would it affect performance in a positive or negative way? Incase you’re curious, the shoes I’m specifically talking about are my playoff 11’s.

    1. A simple water and soap combo should be OK. Liquid handsoap, liquid detergent, or liquid dishsoap works fine. Don’t use bleach because it will cause the rubber to harden over time. But yeah, I’ve been doing this for years.

      1. Hey thanks man! Will the translucent rubber stay sticky as it is? I clean my kobe 8 outsoles regularly but wasn’t sure about my 11’s since they have both solid rubber and translucent

        1. I’ve been doing this to my blackout Air Jordan 2010. Even after almost 4 years, rubber is about 90% as sticky compared to brand new. I don’t hoop on it a lot since I have a decent-sized rotation, but still, not bad for almost 4 years of washing.

  3. Which Of The Shoes Out Right Now U Think Is The Best For Basketball? OR Which Is Better The Zoom Solider 8 Or The KD 7? i Currently Have The JORDN PRIME.FLY Black And Red There Beat Up Already So I Want To Buy New Shoes…

  4. Can you please put your name (“by NW”) on your reviews in the heading I get confused by the other reviews

  5. Hey nightwing Im here just to say I like ur new style of videos, I think its cool, like shorter and more dynamic showing this kind of piramid with all the scores at the same time.
    Innovating is good for you to continue being one of the best reviewers outt there
    Greetings from Spain

  6. i really want to get these… but the cushioning is suspect based on your review… how does the forefoot zoom cushioning compare with KD which used a small rectangular bag, but I felt it being pretty responsive.

  7. Hey,nightwing! I want to ask you a question. Air jordan 14 and Air jordan 10 which one is better(I’m Asian I play outdoor)?And why you don’t pick aj14 sports blue? Appreciate it!

    1. Totally the Soldier VIII. The grip is better than both and it has better support than the kd 7. I would say hyperdunk 2014 but… the grip just doesn’t work that well if there is dust on the court. Minimal dust really shouldn’t be an issue but if your court isn’t fairly new, cleaned at least once or twice a year, and if it’s not swept for before use then you will have some issues. Hd 2014 probably better outdoor.

  8. Do you have a video or article that covers all the different types of Nike cushions, compares them, and maybe puts them in quality order? Thanks in advance!

  9. Would you recommend soldier 8 or jordan superfly 2? I was looking for a quick responsive shoe due to my gaurd like playing style but I also want it to be nicely cushioned since I got back surgery and I don’t want a shoe with way too minimal cushioning. Any other shoe recommendations are welcome but I don’t want a shoe with lunarlon since it bottoms out and I wan’t this shoe to last me quite a long time.

    Thanks, love your reviews!

    1. Soldier VIII all the way. Since there is unlocked zoom in the superfly 2 you will get a cushioned ride, but due to the raised portion in the forefoot you won’t have the same quick no slip traction as a shoe with a totally level outsole like the soldier VIII.

  10. Hello. Can we compare the soldier 6, 7, 8 andthe ektio postup or breakaway? Wich brand make the best tools shoes to protect ankle injury? Thanks

  11. Great write up! Its sweet how you go into furthur details in writing but your vids are more condensed really awesome! these shoes are unique I’ll prolly cop a blue pair look sweet and I wanna try out that ankle zipper strap love the style. thought 6s and 7s looked too plane jane 4 me

  12. Hey Nightwing, great review. I just bought a pair and wearing them right now. The y feel a bit snug, do they they break in and loosen up after a while?

  13. Been wearing Ektio breakaways for over a year and needed something new as they where getting too worn. I decided to give the Zoom Soldier 8 a try. They felt pretty good overall and my foot speed was much better than in the Ektio’s. Cushion was disappointing and a bit painfull since I had injured the ball if my left foot prior. Hands down the best Nike shoe I ever put on my feet though, but less than a week in I suffered a mild Achilles sprain. So I went back to my worn ektio breakaways. Can’t wait for the Ektio Barricades to drop. Did you get a test pair yet, Nightwing? I will be looking out for your review.

  14. i feel the zoom air on mine. Nightwing, when you try zoom models on do you make sure the ball of foot rests on the bag? Most of the shoes that you say you cant feel, I can feel the zoom. Seems best when theres a thumbs width

  15. What if… When the unlocked zoom released we forgot how the old ones felt thinking that they’re not the same anymore when we’re just looking for the unlocked zoom feeling.. Hahaha just a thought 🙂

  16. what would be better for a guard for the basketball season I play premiter slashing type So the Kobe ( em the hyperdunk 2014 or the Lebron soldier 8

  17. I’ve having trouble deciding which shoe to get and I was hoping you could help me. I’m a guard, and I’m stuck between the Kobe 9 em vs the Zoom Soldier 8. The biggest performance criteria I have is traction. Next is cushion. But price is very important. So my confusion is the fact that one is a better performer and the other is a lower price. So I was wondering which is best for me. Thanks

  18. How fast does the traction last on outdoor courts and is it ok to walk in these casually without the traction burning ???

  19. I was wondering should I get these, hyperdunk 2013’s, kobe venomenon 4’s, or kobe mentality’s? They are all the same price (on some websites i’ve found. Also I will be wearing the shoes outdoors and indoors (but only outdoors for a week), so that might change your opinion.

  20. Is this shoe more snug than the lebron10? I have the soliders and i had to go up a whole size. Just wondering if im going to have to do that with my 10s

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