Many claim the Nike Zoom Huarache 2k4 to the best performance model to date from Nike. While I’d love to disagree… there is no arguing that these are quite possibly one of their best performance shoes period… and that is without the use of Flywire, Fuse & most of Nike’s more ‘modern’ tech.
The triangle traction pattern looked a bit iffy but that is far from the truth. Many PG/ SG’s will tell you that their forefoot and ball of the foot are the most heavily used sections on their feet. With the traction being anything but standard… it actually held up well following a break-in period. It took roughly 3 hours to break the traction in completely. Once that was taken care of its been extremely good ever since.
I dislike when I can’t explain why something works… Everything works for a reason and this just works yet I cant figure out how. Its frustrating but as long as its good then that’s all that matters.
The traction wasn’t the only area needed a break-in period… the entire shoe actually had a period of adjustment. With the upper being one full piece of leather, that took some time to get used too. Usually you will have panels making transition easier to deal with while the shoes are new. These don’t offer that so again, roughly 3 hours or so and you will be good to go.
Along with the traction and upper, the midsole & cushion took the same amount of time to break-in. This is pretty much the theme of the shoe here… the more you wear it, the better it becomes.
The first few hours weren’t that great as the foam was dense and the Zoom Units weren’t being as effective as I’m used to. My legs felt tired – these weight more than some of today’s shoes – and sluggish overall. I played for 5 hours the first night in these and after the 3rd hour you’d think that I’d be exhausted but that wasn’t the case at all. My last two hours on-court were fast paced, exciting and most of all… fun. I felt as if I had fresh legs for some reason… again, cant really explain it but I’m sure those who have played in these before may understand what I mean.
Honestly, these would have to be my go-to shoe right now… if I was able to have a go-to shoe. They make the Kobe VII look as if it were an outdated model. If Nike were somehow able to re-create this shoe with a thinner and more flexible upper – like what we’ve had on the Kobe V, VI & VII – without sacrificing support; they could easily be one of the best performing shoes of all time.