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Nike Zoom Venomenon 4 Performance Review

Something like a Venomenon…

Nike Zoom Venomenon 4 Performance Review 1Traction – Surprisingly solid on an indoor court. Funny thing is that when you throw dust into the mix (on an indoor court) they end up not gripping nearly as well… its funny to me because they excel outdoors and outdoor courts are usually filled with dirt, dust and other debris. The Nike Zoom Venomenon 4 is an outdoor specific model so I’m very happy that they played well on outdoor surfaces, testing them indoors was mostly out of my curiosity. One added bonus (besides working) is that the outsole is made of XDR so they’ll last a while. For their retail price, that’s not bad.


Nike Zoom Venomenon 4 Performance Review 2Cushion – Forefoot Zoom is utilized and its one of the – what I like to call – normal variations and not that newer thin rectangle unit. It works fairly well and you can feel some responsiveness but its nothing to write home about. The foam used is nice and plush without being too hard or soft… its pretty much just right. Its a nice mixture especially if you are going to go the route of using thinner Zoom Air units… they tend to screw things up when they couple thinner units with hard foam. Thank goodness they didn’t do that with these.


Nike Zoom Venomenon 4 Performance Review 3Materials – Fuse is used along the upper along with a first gen implementation of Flywire. Nothing much to say here that we don’t already know. It’s durable and retains its overall shape nicely while allowing your foot some range of motion. Would I have liked to have seen something else used? For this shoe… no. Fuse was created for outdoor players and having Fuse on this model makes sense. Indoor shoes though… that’s a different story.



Nike Zoom Venomenon 4 Performance Review 4Fit – They start off a little snug – like most Kobe’s – but they are true to size. Containment along the forefoot midfoot are nice as is the heel lockdown but I did have some issues with the throat or front collar area. I never felt 100% secure in that section of the shoe and that was a bit of a letdown when making lateral movements. Maybe that section of the shoe is just a little too low which I didn’t think was possible but that’s just the only way I know how to explain it. Not horrible if you wear lows regularly or have strong ligaments but if you have weak ligaments then just be a little careful when making your moves.


Nike Zoom Venomenon 4 Performance Review 5Ventilation – The tongue is the only area that provides you with any air flow. It does a decent job but for an outdoor model I was surprised at how little ventilation there is. Some perforations or mesh panels – since Fuse was used – would have been nice but it is what it is.




Nike Zoom Venomenon 4 Performance Review 6Support – The overall support is adequate. Nothing crazy and would have been a bit better overall had the collar/ throat been a bit taller… I just feel it would have contained better. Other than that, the outrigger and shank do all the usual heavy lifting along with the heel counter and those areas really worked well.



Nike Zoom Venomenon 4 Performance Review 7Overall – I think they are a solid model overall. They offer above average attributes in key areas that are important for outdoor hooping with the exception of ventilation. I’d like to have seen a slightly larger volume Zoom unit and a collar that was just a tad bit taller (one additional eyelet would do) and I think that would have taken them from a noticeable take-down model to an actual ‘Kobe’ caliber model.

Nike Zoom Venomenon 4 Performance Review 8

  1. i hope these hit the outlets in several months, so I can get them for outdoor balling in
    the summer.

  2. Great review. Got myself a pair and loving it. I grind my traction down crazy to a point where i will expose an air unit within 2 months. So ill take this XDR model with decent cushion and great fit anyday. XDR is almost a must have requirement for me, which sadly removes a lot of options for me outdoors.

  3. XDR!!!! I wish Nike would make more shoes with it or at least offer it. The Zoom Soldier III was my favorite outdoor shoe!!! Too many indoor only shoes nowadays, that aren’t worth buying for outdoor ball since they won’t last outside. Great review as always Nightwing!

  4. They’ve been selling Venomenon series (along with Kobe’s Dream Season series and LBJ’s Ambassador series) in China for quite a while. I’ve never liked any shoes of these series so far. Because they’re supposed to be made for outdoor usage but cannot last very long on cement courts, and they are very expensive compare to other outdoor shoes (especially the ones from Chinese brands, which you can get with only 30~50 dollars and have better performance).

    1. Hi Wuke, great reply.

      Let me get this straight, so you’re saying that even though the Dream Season, Ambassador, Venomenon’s all have XDR outsoles and are supposedly geared for outdoor play, still don’t last that long outdoors? In other words, they can be a waste of money? Would you say that the same applies to Nike’s regular models that have XDR outsoles? For example, the Kobe 8 XDR, would that also not hold up well outdoors? I assume that it wouldn’t, as I don’t think that an outsole change is enough because you also have to take the upper into consideration.

      I wonder what Nike classifies as outdoor usage, because looking at the pictures of some of their shoes that have XDR, it still doesn’t look like they would last long outdoors, especially on a cement court. I’m talking about the overall shoe, not just the traction.

      Adidas on the other hand, their old models like the Top Ten 2000, Real Deal, Crazy ’97 looks like they would hold up better outdoors and I don’t think they were even originally geared towards outdoor play.

      Also, just curious, what would you recommend for outdoor play from those Chinese brands that you mentioned? Also, what would you recommend from Nike, Adidas etc.?

      1. Hi Ice09,

        In my experience, Nike shoes’ outsoles never last very long when play on rough cement courts(extremely common in China)…Models that are originally made for indoor usage but feature XDR (Hyperdunk XDR, Hyperfuse XDR, Kobe XDR, etc.) will be worn-out very quickly, because the outsole and the grooves on it are not thick enough. Nike’s outdoor shoes (like Venomenon) can last for a while, but when compare to other brands they still last shorter. I assume it’s because the XDR in most of those models is not hard enough.

        Old Adidas models usually last pretty damn long. Even the TS models(technically designed for indoor usage) can hold up extremely well when play outdoors. But I don’t know how would any Adidas model after TS series last on cement court, since I never wanted to take that chance… Look how thin the Crazyquick’s outsole is…..

        Chinese brands are a different story.. Most American sneakerheads can name some models like Way of Wade and TP9, but the most durable models are the ones that are made for outdoor usage only, like Peak Monster series and Anta Badao/Cement Killer series. I used to have a pair of Peak Monster 1, it feels like roller skates when play indoors but performs like real Monster on cement courts. I played in them for 10 months (2 times per week) and the traction pattern are still clear..

        I don’t know how you can get a pair of outdoor shoes from those Chinese brands though, since you don’t live in China. There’re some websites that sell them here in America but their prices are ridiculous. I’d say if you really want to try shoes from Chinese brands, get a pair of PEAK’s shoes since almost all of them hold up well on outdoor courts. As for Adidas, Crazy 8 is a pretty good choice among all the Feet You Wear retros since it lasts longer and has better cushion. Nike’s lower-end models last longer than these signature outdoor shoes, I had a pair of Air Max Dominate XD and they lasted over half a year. The one I wear when play I go play outdoors now is the Reebok Kamikaze 2.

        1. Hi Wuke,

          Thanks for the reply and the great info.

          I’m actually in Australia and I probably buy 90% of my shoes online. Usually, I get them from the US, but I’ve also ordered from other countries, so I’m quite willing to order from overseas (factoring in a combination of the price of the shoe and the shipping cost) if I can get a good deal. I’m open to ordering directly from China if you can recommend any online stores that aren’t too hard to figure out for people that don’t speak Chinese?

          Also, I’ve ordered the TP9 Team Lightnings last week and now I am looking forward to them even more since you’re recommending Peak shoes, just don’t know about the fit. The biggest size I could get was size 11 and I normally wear size 11.5 US with Nike, Adidas, Under Armour etc. Hopefully they are not too small and fit OK. What do you think?

          I also thought that the TP9s might hold up reasonably well outdoors. What other Peak shoes would you recommend that are widely available for outdoor play?

          I’ll also put the Crazy 8 on my list. I haven’t seen a colorway that I like enough and that is available for me to buy. They’re definitely on my list though.

          I also keep forgetting about Reebok. I haven’t worn a pair of Reeboks since I was a kid, so I always seem to overlook them, but I’ll consider the Kamikaze 2s if I can find a colorway that I like.

          1. You could try the website “hibasketballshoes”. It ships internationally but I don’t like this website due to its high price. The website that most Chinese people use to buy shoes is called “taobao”, which is basically a Chinese version of ebay. However, the website is in Chinese and hard to figure how to use for people who don’t speak Chinese, so I wouldn’t recommend you to buy stuff on taobao.

            I normally wear size 10 but my TP9s are size 9.5, fits well and don’t feel uncomfortable. TP9’s outsole is fairly durable so you wouldn’t have a problem. But there could be some small tears in the upper after several times of play.

            I recommend Monster series since it’s designed for outdoor play, but I don’t know if you could easily get them cheaply though.

          2. Hi Wuke,

            Just wanted to ask about those small tears in the upper of the TP9s that you mentioned. I recall reading another member mention them before. Are they just cosmetic? They don’t affect the performance or functionality of the shoe, do they?

            Also, the cheapest I can get the TP1 is $129.99 + $30 shipping. I won’t be buying a pair for that price. I’d rather get Under Armour, Nike or Adidas shoes if I am paying that much.

            I would love to try more Peak shoes, but not at those prices. I’d be interested in getting a pair if you’d be willing to buy them for me and have them shipped to me (I’d pay you beforehand and also add some extra money for your trouble). Not sure if it’s possible to do it that way though and have them shipped directly to me so that there isn’t a double shipping cost? That’s cool if you can’t or if there is other factors that won’t allow it to be done the way I suggested, just thought I’d ask, because the prices available to me aren’t very good at all.

  5. Great review. Funny thing is I broke these out for the first time to play indoor and first thing I notice is the lockdown is missing in the forefoot toebox area. Almost too much room for my toes to wiggle. I have the correct size as it definitely true to size. The heel lockdown was there and I felt secure for my ankles. The forefoot zoom air felt thin and flat… almost a cheap shoe feel back when my parents bought me payless in the 8th grade. Now probably I’m biased because I love my Regular Kobe’s so much (4’s-8’s) and these don’t even compare. I’m going to play in it more and hopefully it starts feeling as good as my other rotation of nike basketball shoes. Overall I love the colors/design and the traction was great indoors on a somewhat dusty court. I give then a 7.5 out of 10 myself.

  6. The new Venomenon seems to have their price increased compared to VM3, and took away the top triangle extra eyes for better lockdown.

    However how do you compared it against VM3? Is it an overall upgrade?

    I find putting extra insole with heel supports (cheap zoom type bags) makes the shoe much better when landing.

  7. Hey Wuke, doesn’t seem like it’s letting me post a reply above, so I’ll try posting my reply to your last reply here :

    “Hi Wuke,

    Thanks for the recommendation. I saw/found “HiBasketballshoes .com” a while ago, but never went back as I wasn’t sure if it was a legit site. So they are definitely legit?

    The prices are a little high though like you said, but still, I might consider ordering something from there. I’m just confused at their shoe sizing, the numbers don’t seem to match with Nike, Adidias etc., especially in regards to the cm sizes. Are their US sizes true to size, or at least close?

    Also, why do they charge extra for larger sizes? For example, if I want a larger size than a US 11 in the TP9 Team Lightning, they want $40 extra. Never seen that before, where you have to pay an extra $40 for a larger size. Seems kinda crazy.

    btw What numbers should I be going off of for a for a size 12 US? A Nike US size 12 is usually 30cm, but Peak’s numbers and sizing seems to be different. I’m confused.

    I also had a look at the Monster series shoes and they look pretty good. Price is around $79, which isn’t too bad, not sure what your local pricing is on those? They also have different designs, not sure where to start with the Monster series. The sizing is also the other issue. I can’t make heads or tails of their sizing as the numbers are different to what I am used to. If they don’t have the US size listed there (some sizes don’t), I’m a little lost.

    One more question – What is the difference between Gradient Dual and Cushion-3 as far as cushioning goes? Are they both just as good as each other?

    Sorry for all the questions. You don’t need to reply right away if you’re busy.”

    1. Hi, Ice09,

      I’m not busy at all recently, and I’m glad to answer your questions.

      There’re some Chinese people buy shoes from that “taobao” website and resell them to foreigners, that “hibasketballshoes” website is probably owned by a Chinese guy like that. I wouldn’t worry about if it’s legit since most of the shoes they sell don’t even have knocked-off versions..

      Li-Ning and PEAK’s US sizes are correct, just ignore the CM sizes, go with your regular US size (if it’s not listed, use your EUR size) and you’ll be fine. Chinese CM sizes are different. Don’t trust Anta’s US size though, if you want to try Anta shoes, buy them base on the EUR size.

      An example of how cheap we(Chinese people) can get shoes: A pair of TP9 would be around 285 RMB which is about 47 dollars. A pair of Monster would be only 200 RMB which is about 33 dollars. That’s why they buy these shoes from Taobao and resell them.

      Some sellers sometimes charge extra for what they call “golden sizes”… Also, they get different sizes from different sellers and resell them to others, so it depends on how expensive the original seller sells it.

      Cushion-3 is mushier than Gradient Dual and it slows down your reaction speed a little bit. Plus the shoes that have Cushion-3(include Battier series) almost always use an extremely soft insole (Monster series don’t). That’s why they replaced it with Gradient Dual on most Guards models, because it’s not as mushy and soft, gives you a bit better court feel.

      1. Hey Wuke, thanks man, you’re awesome! You’ve explained the sizing questions perfectly. At least I can now be a lot more confident if/when ordering them online.

        I’m really becoming very open minded about off brand shoes and don’t mind trying Chinese shoes out at all. If it’s a good shoe, then it’s a good shoe. I prefer more competition to Nike and Adidas, and hopefully that also brings better shoes for all of us. It’s also good that NBA players are wearing these shoes on the big stage. Guys like Parker and Wade wearing them in the NBA playoffs is a good for exposure, but I guess people are also using that to their advantage to make a profit, like that “hibasketballshoes” site.

        Are those retail prices that the shoes go for, or are they bargain prices you can get from purchasing them from Taobao? I think that those are fantastic prices and I think you’d be hard pressed to find a better value for money shoe from almost any other brand selling Basketball shoes.

        So the Cushion-3 is mushier? It sounds like Gradient Dual would be more to my liking, but Cushion-3 sounds like it would be very comfortable to just wear.

        1. It’s very nice to see that many people are becoming more open-minded and willing to try Chinese shoes. It matters because we are seeing too many brand-haters who think anything other than Nike/Jordan is crap

          The prices I listed are the bargain price. In China retail prices are always ridiculously high(sometimes even higher than American retail price), but people can always get them cheaper in different ways.

          Your understanding of the difference between Cushion-3 and Gradient Dual is correct. I like Gradient Dual regardless since it feels more supportive.

          1. Hi Wuke, I was wondering if you could give your general impressions on the Lebron Ambassador 6 (if you played in them). I just ordered a pair off ebay because the air max heel and forefoot zoom + XDR outsole really fits my bill as the shoe to go for outdoors. I grind my traction down like butter because of my playstyle (stop and go, aggressive defense, drives, etc) plus my weight at 210 pounds. I’m wearing Venomenons but I sprained my ankle twice on those. Not going to blame it on it being low-cut, but the shoe itself not having a proper outrigger (and pure dumb luck).

            I would really appreciate your input on fit and cushion as those two are my biggest attributes when I look for balling shoes. I’ve been looking on the internet for hours to find some kind of performance review or even a short impression on how it plays, but I had no luck. Much appreciated if you could help. Thanks!

      2. Hi Wuke,

        Not sure if you’re on the board here recently as I don’t see any posts of yours in the new threads.

        I asked a question about Asics shoe sizing in one of the Anta threads, don’t think you saw it though.

        I’m going to try ordering some Asics Basketball shoes, but not sure on the sizing.

        I noticed that Asics list 29.0 cm as size 11.5 US in their running shoes. Does the same apply to their Basketball shoes? If I get 29.0 cm in Asics Basketball shoes, will they be equivalent to size 11.5 US? Are they a true to size 11.5?

        Usually with Nike, size 11.5 US is 29.5 cm, so that is why I am confused.

        Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  8. @Nightwing2303 i need your help men i can’t decide on which shoe would i cop for this year i am pg/sg would you recommend Anatomix or HD2013 i am not particular with the brand i just want to know what shoe is best for me they HD and Anatomix are close based on your scores. Thanks for the response and more power!

  9. Ever since I’ve hooped in these the forefoot cushion is great and I love the zoom… But, the hell and back of my foot always kills me after an hour or two, I wish they would’ve put zoom throughout the whole unit itself.

  10. Ever since I’ve hooped in these the forefoot cushion is great and I love the zoom… But, the heel and back of my foot always kills me after an hour or two, I wish they would’ve put zoom throughout the whole unit itself.

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