The CruzrOne is a shoe designed for running slowly, very slowly. That’s what the designer of the shoe, Tinker Hatfield explained in a behind-the-design press release video.
This is a very unique shoe in the Nike lineup. Currently, all Nike's running shoes are focused on speed: being light and responsive while having racing-inspired uppers.
Even the Nike Vomero 14 which has always been a maximum cushioned shoe for long-distance comfort has become firmer and less plush to suit faster running.
I am not a fast runner, nor a slow runner. My run paces are of an average, mid-pack runner. I bought the CruzrOne not for daily training or tempo runs but for recovery runs on days when my legs are tired or sore and I need a comfortable, soft shoe.
The CruzrOne sounded like the perfect Sunday recovery run shoe. So how did the CruzrOne perform on recovery runs? Is it a shoe for slow running or is it just another Nike trainer for casual wear like the VaporMax and the Joyride?
I was surprised when a black shoe box was delivered to me instead of the normal bright orange box in which Nike shoes usually come in. The word CruzrOne is printed on the top of the box.
Normally Nike reserves black shoe boxes for their premium shoes such as the VaporFly Next%.
Inside the box, there was another unique element: the protective paper. Printed on the paper are quirky images of sloths and tortoises wearing the CruzrOne, reminding us that the CruzrOne is meant for slow runners.
The first thing that I noticed when picking up the shoe was the enormous heel stack height. The CruzrOne has a 14mm heel to toe offset but it looks like it could be 20mm.
The second thing I noticed was the thick inside lining of the heel and tongue. It looked like a shag carpet but it felt soft to the touch and not as dense.
When putting on the shoe, it felt very roomy. I ordered my normal size but I probably could have gone a half size down. The ankle and heel collar felt very loose around my foot.
Walking around in the shoe, I could feel the substantial heel of the shoe. It felt like I was walking on a steep slope as a result of that 14mm drop.
Upper & fit
The upper of the CruzrOne is made from a soft, breathable mesh. There are overlays around the toe area for increased durability and structure.
On the midfoot of the upper is a material cage to provide midfoot lockdown and support. The material is soft and doesn't dig into your foot like the plastic cage of the Ultraboost versions 1-4.
The upper of the CruzrOne is a bootie construction so the tongue is connected to the upper and there is no tongue slide. The problem with the bootie construction is that there is no way to do a double heel lock lacing system for a more secure foot lockdown.
The fit of the CruzrOne is very roomy so I would recommend going a half size down. I had a problem with massive amounts of heel slippage because of the loose collar fit of the CruzrOne.
When I tried to cinch the laces tighter, it caused uncomfortable pressure on the top of my foot.
I could still run in the CruzrOne but only very slowly due to the loose fit and the heel slippage. Maybe Nike designed it like that so that you can't run fast in them?
Midsole & ride
The React midsole of the CruzrOne is one of the softest implementations of React foam in a Nike shoe. It's not as soft as the Infinity Run but it's softer than the Pegasus 37, Vomero 14, Zoom Fly 3, and the Phantom Run 2.
There are bubbles on the sides of the midsole for decoration and they only make the shoe heavier.
The 14mm drop of the CruzrOne makes it best suited to heel strikers. There is plenty of cushioning in the heel to soften rearfoot ground strikes. Midfoot and forefoot strikers might find the big heel stack height to get in the way and scrape the ground.
Ride transitions in the CruzrOne are very smooth owing to the single-density midsole and the full contact outsole.
The soft ride and the relaxed upper of the CruzrOne means that it is only suitable for very easy-paced runs or recovery runs. I would have loved to have tested out the CruzrOne on faster-paced runs but the extreme heel slippage makes it impossible to do so.
The insole of the CruzrOne is paper-thin so all the cushioning is provided by the React midsole. There is a unique rubber layer on the underside of the insole which I've never seen before on a running shoe.
Stability in the CruzrOne is good. It has a wide midsole base so foot strikes feel planted. The outsole is also very flat so there isn't much lean bias.
Outsole & durability
There is plenty of thick, durable rubber on the outsole of the CruzrOne. It is full contact and there are small square cutouts running from the medial side of the heel to the lateral side of the forefoot to save some weight.
There is only very minimal wear on some of the waffle lugs that stick out on the heel of the outsole. But the CruzrOne has enough outsole rubber to last over 1000 kilometres.
The CruzrOne feels very well built. The React midsole won't lose much cushioning over time and the thick rubber outsole feels bomb-proof.
- Extremely durable outsole
- Very stable ride
- Cushioned ride
- Heel slippage
- Not versatile
- Top foot pressure when tied tight
The CruzrOne has plenty of soft cushioning, a breathable upper and a thick, durable outsole.
For the next version of the CruzrOne, Nike needs to improve the upper fit for a more secure lockdown and to improve the sizing so that it fits true to size.
The CruzrOne’s midsole has a lot of potential but unfortunately its upper prevents it from being a serious performance running shoe. Like a car seat that doesn't have a seat belt, the CruzrOne feels unsecure and unsafe at any pace above a snail.
Its loose collar around the ankle results in plenty of heel slippage so I can't recommend the CruzrOne for anything other than casual wear. The Nike CruzrOne is a great concept but unfortunately, its execution is lacking.
Good to know
Designed for steady-paced runners and relaxing walks, Nike CruzrOne is designed to provide a comfortable fit. The sneaker is for those who prefer to have a steady and easy-paced workout routine. To allow a natural transition from heel to toe, a snug rounded heel is provided. The midsole is done in all Nike React foam that ensures perfect cushioning for easy movement. It also has a lace closure system that allows an adjustable fit for personal preference.
Nike CruzrOne features a soft wool on the collar and stretchy mesh details on the upper for excellent breathability and easy entry.
Nike CruzrOne is designed by one of the most well-known shoe designers, Tinker Hatfield. It debuts five colorways as it releases, including a bright crimson, coastal blue, wolf grey, classic all-black and pure platinum. The midsole has bubbles/dots over it, which sets the shoe’s vibe sporty.
As the shoe features a minimal design to it, it should be perfect for a casual look if one opts for a laid back and sporty style.
A shoe that caters to people who prefers an easy pace when running or walking, Nike CruzrOne offers just that. With a midsole that is crafted out of Nike React, an excellent comfort is surely provided. A padded fuzzy liner that is done with a soft wool does not only provide an easy slide and an extra layer of support but also gives out unique features to the shoe.
Tinker Hatfield started joining Nike after college in the early 1980s. He has designed quite a lot of iconic silhouettes for Nike. He designed the first kick to have a translucent bubble sole, Nike Air Max 1. He also designed quite a few of Michael Jordan’s annual signature sneakers. It is undeniable that Hatfield has a ton of experience in the industry. He has become one of the most innovative athletic shoe designers of all time. Thus, he continues to design shoes with great grounds, including Nike CruzrOne.
The creation of the Nike CruzrOne was sparked through a conversation with Nike’s co-founder Phil Knight and Hatfield. As Hatfield asked Knight about his daily eight-mile walk to which Knight responded, “ I do not walk. I run, just really slowly." This exchange of conversation has prompted Hatfield to design a shoe for athletic people that changes over time.
Hatfield noticed that the foot moves differently at a slow speed as he looked at the running shoe Knight uses when he runs, or “cruises” as Hatfield addresses it. He finds that there is a greater heel to toe transition. To meet the needs of the slower runners, Nike CruzrOne was created.
- The shoe weighs 286 grams.
- It comes with a removable padded insole.