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Nike Zoom Cage 2 Men’s Shoe Review | Pink Army

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Nike Zoom Cage 2 Men’s Shoe Review | Pink Army

Nike Zoom Cage 2 Men’s Shoe Review

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Comfort – Score: 4.3

Our playtesters noticed the plush cushioning of the Zoom Cage 2s as soon as they slipped them on their feet, and the comfort continued to be great throughout the test. Mark felt they fit well and were ready to go right out of the box. He shared, “The insides of the Zoom Cage 2s were very friendly to my feet, with no seams or stitching that poked or pinched. The tongue was fairly padded and helped with the overall comfort. Out of the box they were fine, and I had no issues with slipping my feet into a pair minutes before playing. The comfort got better as the test wore on, and the uppers never stretched out to the point where the shoes were losing their fit.”

Chris liked the initial comfort, and he thought the Zoom Cage 2s got more comfortable as the test went on. However, they did offer a slightly wider fit for his narrow feet. He offered, “Like the Air Max Cages, which the Zoom Cage 2s replace, these were comfortable right out of the box. As the shoes broke-in the ride became even more comfortable. The uppers seemed to flex and move well with my feet. I did find the fit to be very, very roomy. I have narrow feet so the overall fit of the shoes was not ideal. However, the supple uppers, nice cushioning and comfortable ride made it easy for me to grab these anytime I was heading to the court – high praise considering I have shelves of shoes to choose from.”

Andy enjoyed the plush feel but felt the outer “cage” of the upper was a bit rigid and unforgiving. He said, “These shoes are all about the cushioning. A nice roomy fit is complemented by a pillow-like feel all around, including the super plush tongue that rests on top of your foot. The Zoom cushioning in the midsole was comfortable and didn’t ride too high off the ground. However, the outer TPU cage on the upper was very stiff and didn’t move all that naturally on each step. The shoes felt a little bulky on court, and this affected the overall comfort.”

Ventilation – Score: 4.3

The breathability of the Zoom Cage 2s was very good and never became an issue for our playtesters. Chris was impressed. He praised, “I found these shoes to be pretty airy on court. I think the mesh on the uppers worked well and the wide fit allowed plenty of air to flow around my feet. Even though I had to wear two pairs of socks to help fill out the width of these shoes, my feet never felt overheated during play.”

Sharing a similar opinion was Andy, who said, “There’s plenty of exposed mesh underneath the TPU cage in the upper, so breathability was never an issue during the test. Hot air was able to escape and cool air was able to get in.”

Even when wearing thicker socks, Mark never had issues with breathability. He said, “These shoes allowed my feet to breathe just fine. I do perspire quite a bit when on court, regardless of the season, but my feet were never the most exhausted part of my body during this test.”

Arch Support – Score: 3.5

Our testers found the arch support of the Zoom Cage 2s to be fairly low, but a rigid midfoot shank helped stabilize the area during aggressive movements. Mark may opt for an aftermarket insole for his next pair. He explained, “I would probably add an insert with a little more rise to the arch, but I had no issues wearing these shoes in stock form either. There was enough support for me no matter what type of movement I was making on court.”

Chris’ high arches needed a little time to adjust, but as the test wore on he began to grow more comfortable with the support. He said, “The fit through the arch felt pretty low at first. However, as the shoes broke in the insoles molded to the shape of my feet. More importantly, the shoes featured a solid midfoot shank to ensure plenty of stability through the arch area. My arches felt well protected both on lateral moves and sprints to the net.”

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Like with other Nike shoes, Andy struggled with the arch support. He said, “Arch support in Nike shoes is generally an issue for me, and these shoes were no exception. I prefer to have some nice pressure underneath my arches, otherwise my feet start to ache at the end of a long day on court. As the test wore on the shoes began to adjust to my feet and I experienced this pain less and less, but I would prefer a bit more arch support.”

Foot Support/Stability – Score: 3.9

There were mixed feelings about the support and stability the Zoom Cage 2s offered. Andy felt protected, but he thought the Zoom Cage 2s didn’t allow him to move as naturally as he would’ve hoped. He said, “Support and stability were strengths of these shoes. The TPU cage helps provide rigidity and stopped my feet from going over the side of the shoes during lateral cuts. My feet sat a little lower in these shoes than they did in the Max Cages, and that also provided a little more stability. However, the bulkiness and stiffness affected the stability of the Zoom Cage 2s in a negative way simply because the shoes didn’t flex and move with my feet all that well. I felt like the Zoom Cage 2s were forcing me to move in a certain way instead of moving with me.”

Chris attributed the lack of support to the spacious fit inside the shoes. He critiqued, “My main issue was with support. These shoes simply fit very wide for me. Even with two pairs of socks, my feet were sliding around inside these shoes. Like with the Max Cages, I found the fit to be too generous around my heels/ankles. I had some issues getting a nice locked-in feel in the rear of the shoes. Fortunately, the ride was pretty stable so I never felt like I was going to roll an ankle, nor did I feel any undue stress on my joints. The guts of the shoes felt very solid, and I thought they resisted twisting well. These shoes would have been dynamite if they had fit my feet better.”

Mark also felt the roomy fit affected the support, and he shared, “These shoes are very stable overall, but I had to tighten the laces up a bit more to keep my feet in place. I normally wear a size 11.5, but size 11.0 would have fit better. The previous Air Max Cage had what seemed like a little more length, but this current version is still a bit longer than what I am used to. I do prefer the firmer feel of the heel cup area of the Zoom Cage 2s compared to the prior model, and I could get a more confident step to the ball from the firmer rear end of these shoes.”

Overall Sole Durability – Score: 4.3

Nike Zoom Cage 2 Men's Shoe Review

The outsole proved to be sufficiently durable for our players, and no one found any surprising pattern of wear during the test. Chris was far more impressed with the Zoom Cage 2s than other Nike shoes he’s recently tested. He said, “These are by far the most durable Nikes in the current line-up. The outsoles held up for the duration of the test. I have a lot of wear under my right foot’s big toe, but I would have burned through three pairs of Lunar Ballistecs in that exact spot during the amount of time I tested this pair. The rest of the outsoles held up very well and showed minimal wear.”

Andy found more than enough resiliency from the outsoles as well, sharing, “The deep grooves and strategically placed rubber on the outsoles gave these shoes pretty good durability. It takes a while to wear down all the rubber to the point of balding. With that said, by the end of the test I noticed that rubber starting to wear down, and pretty soon the outsole will be worn through. The durability is above average, but I see the most aggressive movers wearing through these shoes within a few weeks.”

Mark found the Zoom Cage 2s to be on par with other durability-guaranteed shoes. He offered, “I do not wear through shoes or break strings like I did when I was a junior player, but I can still get through a pair of sole warranty shoes in less than four months. I’ve been playing four times a week for the last month with these shoes, and I would say they are on track for that four-month life cycle.”

Toe Durablity – Score: 4.9

The toe area of the Zoom Cage 2s held up well for our playtesters, and not even our most aggressive toe draggers were close to wearing through that area. Mark was very impressed with how well they lasted, and said, “I am a toe dragger, and these shoes had the total package for me when it came to durability. The toe area held up just as well as the outsole did throughout the test.”

Chris usually puts the toe area of a shoe to the test, and this one passed with flying colors. He praised, “The toes of these shoes proved to be very durable. These shoes held up very well, even after many hours of play and lots of toe dragging. I have a lot of scuffing on the left shoe at the toe, but there appears to be lots of material left on the toe bumper and upper.”

Agreeing with the others, Andy shared, “The toe area is very built up with rubber, and while it showed signs of wear during the test there’s no way I’m wearing through that area of the shoes. I’d imagine even heavy toe draggers (like Chris) would find more than enough durability in that area.”

Traction – Score: 4.2

For the most part, our testers really liked the level of traction the Zoom Cage 2s had to offer. Chris felt they had the perfect blend of grip and give to provide confidence and minimize the stress on his joints. He praised, “No complaints from me here! I found ample grip to scamper about the courts in my usual fashion while wearing these shoes. I could trust them to hold when I needed grip for a quick first step. Likewise, these shoes gripped well with enough give to prevent my stops from being too abrupt. I also liked the amount of grip and give on lateral plants.”

No matter the court, Mark was feeling good moving around in his pair of Zoom Cage 2s. He shared, “The rubber compound and the tread pattern on these shoes were top notch for me. I had total confidence during directional changes on a hard court. I never felt uncertain on any take off or landing on our indoor court or the few other outdoor courts I play on.”

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On the contrary, Andy struggled to get a feel for these shoes and never felt in total control of his movements. He critiqued, “I wasn’t all that impressed with the traction. I slipped at times when I accelerated quickly trying to chase down a ball, but the outsole didn’t always afford me the same give when going for an aggressive hard court slide. The traction was just mediocre to me, and I didn’t always feel confident knowing how the shoes would respond to an aggressive cut or quick acceleration.”

Weight – Score: 3.6

There were some mixed feelings when it came to the weight of the Zoom Cage 2s. Chris thought they felt heavier than other Nike shoes, but he liked the attributes that came as a byproduct of that added weight. He explained, “These are not the lightest or fastest shoes in the Nike line-up, but you do get added benefits to go with the added weight. Firstly, the durability was far better than both the Lunar Ballistec and Zoom Vapor Tour. The toe and forefoot also proved to be durable thanks to the Drag-On style upper. These shoes also have a nice solid chassis to them so they offer a very stable ride. Considering all of that, I’d say these weren’t actually that heavy.”

Andy was not as tolerant of the weight, and he felt bogged down a bit when moving around the court in them. He shared, “While they may not weigh that much, these shoes felt heavy, bulky and stiff on court. They didn’t flex naturally with my feet, and I felt they hampered my movement a bit. Like I mentioned previously, I was certainly feeling these shoes while I was scampering around the court instead of the shoes moving naturally with my feet.”

On the other hand, Mark felt the Zoom Cage 2s were better than the Max Cage in this category, and he never felt slowed down on court. He praised, “These shoes felt lighter than their predecessors and are very comparable weight-wise to most of the other sole warranty shoes we have in our system. I felt I could accelerate easily in them, which gave them that lightweight feel.”

Overall – Score: 4.1

Scores

Nike Zoom Cage 2 Men's Shoe Review

(Scores are determined by averaging individual play test scores)

Playtester Foot Types

Chris – Narrow width / Medium arch

Mark – Medium width / Medium arch

Andy – Medium width / Low arch

Nike Zoom Cage 2 Men's Shoe Review

Review date: March 2015. If you found this review interesting or have further questions or comments please contact us.

All content copyright 2015 Tennis Warehouse.

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