Nike Zoom Freak 2 Performance Review

Nike and Giannis Antetokounmpo released the reigning MVP’s second signature shoe, Nike Zoom Freak 2, last July 25.

Photo courtesy of Nike

Photo courtesy of Nike

Nike released the first colorway of the Greek Freak’s second signature shoe, the Nike Zoom Freak 2 “Naija”. The pair got its inspiration from the Nigeria’s national soccer team with their green color scheme and leaf patterns. These represent the spirit of Naija: audacious, fast, fun, and stylish.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is currently the frontrunner of this season’s MVP Award, averaging 29.6 points, 13.7 rebounds, and 5.8 assists. The 25-year-old forward leads the Milwaukee Bucks to the best record in the NBA with 53-12 win-loss slate. As the playoffs knock on the door, the superstar strengthens his chances to win his first championship for the Cream City.

The reigning NBA MVP debuts his second signature shoe line during the Orlando Bubble scrimmage, and we are here to provide an in-depth analysis of this dynamic, versatile pair.

Photo courtesy of Nike

Photo courtesy of Nike

MATERIALS

The Nike Zoom Freak 2 features mesh uppers for additional comfort and breathing, along with its heritage green patterns exclusively for “Naija” colorway. The tooling and construction in the upper harness and secure the player’s feet, but still provide enough flexibility for lateral movements. The outsoles and midsoles are built with strong rubber compound that provide firmness and mobility, along with the signature Zoom Unit in the forefoot and extra breathable foams inside.

Photo courtesy of Nike

Photo courtesy of Nike

TRACTION

The outsole is made of rubber compound that is nice and firm. The forefoot pattern is designed in which the little nubs placed in lateral and medial section can work in different ways. The little nub allows the player to move freely due to more friction motion since it is designed to give slide and grip whenever the user is brushing sideways. The rest of the forefoot traction is radial, which is actually good when playing outdoors and will not immediately burn the rubber of the outsole due to its thickness.

The heel traction is patterned after the heritage of Giannis Antetokounmpo as it represents the family and culture where the MVP grew up in. The pattern might be a bit weird, but it is actually made of thick rubber compound which reminds of Nike Air Shakes N Destructs.

Photo from Nike

Photo from Nike

CUSHION and SUPPORT

The Nike Zoom Freak 2, just like its predecessor, is equipped with Nike Zoom unit technology. The difference is that the Zoom unit of the latest version is placed in the forefoot and the heel part focused more on the foam for extra comfort and cushion. The pair is not very responsive as it does not provide the springy vibe that you get when using the likes of Jordan 34.

The shoe is top-notch in terms of mobility and security. The support of the shoe locks to the rear section which cuffs the foot very well. The overall comfort, support, and mobility of this version surpass its predecessor’s.

The pair debunks a shoe belief about having enough support, most especially in the ankle and heel area. Many believe that in order to attain such support, high top shoes are the obvious choice. However, despite being a low top, this pair provides enough support and comfort.

Photo from Nike

Photo from Nike

SIZE and FITTING

The Nike Zoom Freak 2 runs true to size and a bit snug in the forefoot area. Players who prefer tighter and more secured feeling from the shoes they use might go along with their true size. Wide footers and those who prefer to have more space and room for breathing can go half a size up.

OVERALL RATING

Performance-wise, the new version of Antetokounmpo’s signature shoe exceeds the capabilities of the prior. It offers better comfort, mobility, and stability compared to the Nike Zoom Freak 1, especially with its latest’s decoupled built.

The only downside of this pair is the appearance as it looks more of a running shoe. Many also prefer the design and color schemes of the first version. More colorways will still be available soon which will certainly change the perspective of the buyers. Appearance aside, Nike Zoom Freak 2 might be one of the best pairs out there, comfort-wise and foot security-wise.

The Nike Zoom Freak 2 nets an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5.

WHERE TO BUY

The Nike Zoom Freak 2 also had an increase in price. Compared to the first version, this pair will be bought for US$130 in selected Nike Stores and other authorized retail stores.

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