I have always been a fan of Nike stability shoes, owning stalwarts like Zoom Structure Triax and Lunar Eclipse+3. The lunarlon foam is the most cushioning sole I have ever used. With discontinuation of the model, I had to switch over to the competitor Asics GT 2000 4 GTX.
Assisting my friend to buy a perfect pair at the Nike showroom, I stumbled across the Air Zoom Structure 20. Can it be a replacement for its predecessors? I will discuss in the final verdict.
The shoe is graded on 4 parameters: Aesthetics, Stability, Comfort, Durability
The model which I tried followed a crimson red, black fusion with a bland grey sole. There is a big white Nike ‘swoosh’ that stands out. Then, there's a mediocre black lace to suit the shoe.
I didn't expect the degradation in quality from Nike, the dominating brand in India. There is no element of fluorescence in the shoe. In the Lunareclipse+3, from sole, to the swoosh, to the “Flywire” laces latch, everything had an element of fluorescence.
This is critical to prevent accidents while running in dark mornings. I did like the transition from red to black but overall the color combination isn't appealing and can't be used as a replacement for casual wear.
Figure 1. Upper with Tongue and Lace
The shoe incorporates the Dynamic Fit technology with a flywire lace holder. The technology incorporates a thin canvas upper sole endowed with a network of flywires, which can ensure custom fit, to the required level.
The state of art Dynamic support arch on the sole is still undoubtedly the best in the market. As a flat footer, I have frequently experienced sudden twist of my ankle while walking through the pavement, with the inability to land properly.
Nike have ensured a deep grove arch and a rubber crash rail to avoid such accidents. The addition of crash rail is a plus above the Lunareclipse+3, ensuring stability from toe to head, while running under high speeds.
Figure 2. The Dynamic Support Outsole
The Flymesh upper sole is a boon for runners who sweat excessively. Immediate transpiration occurs, letting in adequate airflow. The patented Ortholiner sock liner is as comfy as the ones used in Dr Scholl medical slippers.
At 11.2 ounces (317 grams) the shoe is marginally lighter than the GT 2000 4 GTX and fits in the mid weight category. However, the midsole is stiff compared to the GTX and not a match for the comfy lunarlon foam.
The shoe incorporates a honeycomb pattern with a lateral side crash rail. The crash rail design reminded me of the cycle brake pads. The pads are meticulously stuck to the outsole with a central guide line.
Every part from the upper sole to the gripper pads are designed to be rugged and wear resistant. However, I find the maintenance will be a tad difficult since there are gaps between the honeycomb pads which can collect dust and stones, damaging the grip.
Figure 3. Honeycomb grip with the lateral crash guard
The shoe I tried was priced at 11000 INR, which I found to be overpriced. The shoe is highly recommended for a flat footer for daily running. For professional runners, this shoe is heavy. The stability offered is at par with Lunareclipse+3 and the Asics GT 2000 4 GTX.