Kaki Kartel

Is the Nike Air Zoom BB NXT the best cushioning system by Nike ever?

A shoe that was slated to release during the Olympics, the Nike Air Zoom BB NXT definitely caught the attention of many. Find out how it performs now!

Is the Nike Air Zoom BB NXT the best cushioning system by Nike ever? | Kaki Kartel by Huddle

Materials

Nike Air Zoom BB NXT features an overall mesh construction thats both lightweight and durable. While the materials are not bad, I would have preferred a knit or battleknit used. We’ve seen Nike implement this on other non signature shoes so I’m just being picky. The mesh used on this shoe is lightweight and durable. It also flexes really well once broken in and doesn’t hinder any movement. No complaints here, just no frills material.

Traction

The solid rubber outsole provides multidirectional traction and it works. On all types of surfaces the Nike AZ BB NXT provided good traction and required very little wipe at each dead ball. I do think the solid rubber is thick enough to be used outdoors. Just bare in mind that outdoor use will burn the rubber down faster compared to indoor usage.

Cushion

When I first saw the cushion on this model I was super excited to try them out! That beefy react heel combined with the double stacked zoom air?! What a dream! HOWEVER this excitement quickly turned to dissapointment, more on that later. For now speaking solely on the cushion aspect, these are SUPER COMFORTABLE. The react foam in the heel perfectly complements the zoom air found in the forefoot. There is a smooth transition from heel to toe and provides ample impact protection. Court feel? Well that’s something that is seriously lacking. I have heard some of my friends saying the cushion needs to ‘break in’. But I had played in these 2 weeks straight most nights and it certainly did not feel any different from my first try on.

If you appreciate a good cushion set up with super impact protection then you might want to check these out. Beware though because all this cushion may not be a good thing for a basketball shoe.

Support and Lockdown

This is where my main issue with the shoe lies. Previously I talked about how good the cusion was but only from a cushion stand point. Because of the high react foam, heel support was compromised. On the initial try on, I immediately felt unstable. On my first run in these I always had hesitations with cutting or turning corners, something you don’t want in your basketball shoes. The forefoot support was decent enough however the lack of heel support and lockdown was enough to make me want to switch shoes during the testing.

If you’re a big player then this MIGHT be the shoe for you. But for other play styles I do not recommend this shoe as the support and lockdown is just not very good.

Fit

The shoe fits true to size and that is what I recommend most people going. Narrow footers might be able to get away with going a half size down but true to size would be the safest option. As always, I recommend trying in store IF POSSIBLE.

Overall Thoughts

As much as I wanted to love playing in the Nike Air Zoom BB NXT, the serious lack of support and lockdown really put me off wanting to play in them again. Some players might be able to enjoy the shoe because of the abundent cushioning and no frills set up. But I’m definitely not adding these into the rotation.

Overall ratings

6/10

Written by Brannon Tan
@btkicks_ aka Brannon Tan is the friendly face of the Kaki Kartel series. An avid sneaker head and collector, Brannon’s sneaker collection features some exclusive and highly sought after kicks! Through the Kaki Kartel series, BTkicks shares his limitless knowledge and expertise of the shoe game, kick reviews, guides and your 101 on the sneaker scene. Profile

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