Prose: Jake Sittler (@jtsittler)

Even though the Nike Zoom Revis not strictly a basketball performance shoe, hoopers still need to train right?

During a trip to my nearest Nike Factory Store last weekend (side note: for the uninitiated, factory stores are awesome for finding performance shoes for a bunch of different sports), I was surprised to find a pair of Zoom Revis’ in the Fir/White colorway sitting on the clearance rack in my size and $30 cheaper than retail. The reason for their presence at the store is still beyond me – normally shoes don’t hit the outlets until months after their release date – but I’m guessing they’d been bought and returned at a retail store. (The shoe is probably going to be slept-on given Revis’ injury and the timing of the release, and will hit the outlets en masse within a couple months – but that’s a great thing for those of us on a budget.)  Regardless this pair showed no signs of wear and after deliberating with Finch, I went ahead and copped.

The purchase excited me for a couple of reasons. First, I appreciated the design from an aesthetic and functional standpoint. The midsole is equipped with real, full-length Zoom Air, something I had dearly missed in my shoes since I was hooping in Zoom BB IIs a few years ago. The shoe is the first in my collection featuring Dynamic Flywire and while I’m on the fence about the usefulness of Flywire in general, this iteration seems to harness the foot better given that it’s directly attached to the eyelets and is used over a pliable mesh upper. The midfoot strap – I like straps, FYI – is the boldest design element in the package, and it’s passable in terms of holding the foot over the footbed though the bootie/innersleeve and lacing system do a good job of locking the foot in place. From a practical standpoint, I usually prefer a solid rubber outsole, but the clear bottom is a nice look, exposes the Zoom bag and makes the traction on demand pods really pop. For what it’s worth, the traction on demand idea seems best suited for training on grass or another soft surface and I haven’t noticed any real difference when just wearing the Zoom Revis in the gym.

Secondly, I felt that the Zoom Revis was a welcome return for Nike signature trainers. I still own a White/Black/Red pair of the Zoom Vick I (purchased the summer before my freshman year of high school; I’m 23 now) and I used them for everything from open gym runs in the summer to weightlifting and plyometrics. The Zoom Vick I is one of the most versatile, durable and comfortable shoes I own and I have hopes that the Zoom Revis is a sign that Nike is getting back to packing their training shoes with technology and durable materials. Nike Free trainers aren’t for everybody, and I found the Air Max trainer series to be solid but slightly too lifestyle-driven for me. The Vick and Revis shoes are similar in that both feature low-profile, responsive Zoom bags, a prominent strap, an inner bootie that provides a great fit, and materials built to withstand some punishment. I haven’t decided if I’ll try the Revis on court yet, but it’s already my go-to for the weight room, the heavy bag and jump rope. Here’s to the swoosh cranking out some more solid performers – perhaps Calvin Johnson or Adrian Peterson are next in line for a signature shoe.

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