Our verdict

Nike went for a total revamp of the G.T. Cut 3 introducing it as the first-ever basketball shoe to use the cutting-edge ZoomX cushioning foam. This ultra-soft and responsive foam teamed up with the shoe's lightweight design to set our feet flying during the playtest! But as fun as that felt, we didn't think it was enough to justify the Cut 3's soaring price point. As a shoe that's meant for aggressive cuts, our primary concern was the lack of foot containment in the G.T. Cut 3. And we just couldn't let it slide.

Pros

  • Exceptionally light and nimble
  • Super plush ZoomX cushioning
  • Amazing energy return and explosive toe-offs
  • Great balance of impact protection and court feel
  • Stable and rigid platform with an outrigger
  • Fantastic grip on clean courts
  • Excellent upper and outsole durability
  • Comfortable in-shoe feel

Cons

  • Upper lacks the expected support for cuts
  • Not for wide feet
  • Not for outdoor courts
  • Lacks breathabilty

Audience verdict

88
Great!

Who should buy

Having thoroughly tested the G.T. Cut 3, we believe that it is most suitable for players in search of the following:

  • Premium ZoomX cushioning on a basketball court (crazy energy return!) 
  • Super light and nimble option for guards (who don't expect a lot of ankle support)
  • Elite-level grip on clean indoor courts

Nike G.T. Cut 3 review

Who should NOT buy

The shoe's lack of support was the main letdown for us, especially considering the price and the fact that the G.T. Cut 3 is made for cuts in the first place. We recommend looking into the Nike KD 16 or the Jordan Luka 2 if you need more substantial ankle support.

In addition, both options are offered at a much more affordable price point and the Luka 2 is more friendly towards wide feet.

Nike G.T. Cut 3 lab test

Breathability

The number of perforations throughout the shoe's upper tricked us into thinking that it is highly breathable.

Nike G.T. Cut 3 perforations

And yet, a quick playtest and a series of lab tests proved it to be otherwise.

When we filled its interiors with smoke, the G.T. Cut 3 didn't let much vapor out through the toebox or the sidewalls.

We also discovered that the perforations were not exactly see-through as the underlays blocked them from the inside.

Nike G.T. Cut 3 microscope test

Looking at them through our microscope, we found that the inner lining technically corked the apertures.

Disappointed in the shoe's lack of ventilation, we rated the G.T. Cut 3's breathability with the lowest score of 1.

Test results
G.T. Cut 3 1
Average 2.4
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

The toebox of the G.T. Cut 3 is made of several materials:

  • microfiber(ish?) material as the topmost layer
  • sturdier synthetic overlays stitched on the sides
  • translucent rubber toe bumper on both sides of the forefoot (very reminiscent of the toe drag guard on tennis shoes)

Nike G.T. Cut 3 toebox

We had no concerns about the shoe's reinforced areas but were urged to check if the seemingly frail microfiber would sustain abrasion.

Despite its appearance, the material showed pretty strong wear resistance! The sandpaper tip of our Dremel failed to get through it within 12 seconds, leaving nothing more than a cosmetic dent.

Nike G.T. Cut 3 Toebox durability comparison

Successfully avoiding a see-through hole, the Nike G.T. Cut 3 earned a high score for toebox durability - 4 out of 5!

Test results
G.T. Cut 3 4
Average 3.8
Compared to 41 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

Unfortunately, the shoe's interior lining was not as good at fighting our Dremel back.

It only took a couple of seconds to blow through the heel lining of the G.T. Cut 3! Given how much friction occurs in this part of the shoe throughout the game, we don't think it would last a good while.

Nike G.T. Cut 3 Heel padding durability test

Thus, we can't rate the shoe's heel lining durability any higher than 2 out of 5.

Test results
G.T. Cut 3 2
Average 3.6
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

The outsole, on the other hand, amazed us with its exceptionally hard rubber compound.

Nike G.T. Cut 3 Outsole hardness

Our Shore C durometer returned a nice and high reading of 86.5 HC. It implies that the rubber is a little harder than the average which also signals higher durability.

Test results
G.T. Cut 3 86.5 HC
Average 81.7 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
59.5 HC
Outsole hardness
91.0 HC

Outsole durability

Putting the shoe's outsole through its paces in our Dremel test only confirmed our best hopes - this rubber is highly resistant to abrasion! More so than the typical hoop shoe outsole.

Even a 22-second exposure to sandpaper at a 10K RPM speed could not break through the rubber armor of the G.T. Cut 3. We found that the indentation was as shallow as 0.5 mm which is smaller than the average by half!

Nike G.T. Cut 3 Outsole durability test

Yes, that's impressive but when you stop and consider the shoe's brutally escalated price of $190... you take that durability as a given.

Test results
G.T. Cut 3 0.5 mm
Average 1.0 mm
Compared to 29 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

Based on our caliper measurement of 3.2 mm, the rubber layer on the G.T. Cut 3 is about a millimeter thinner than the average. However, it doesn't seem to affect the shoe's shelf life as much considering how hard-wearing that rubber is.

Nike G.T. Cut 3 Outsole thickness

But here is the question: is the Nike G.T. Cut 3 durable enough to tackle outdoor courts? We don't think so...

Why?

Even though the rubber itself is strong, the traction pattern on it is not. We are afraid that the lugs are too thin to resist hard outdoor courts and the treading will smooth out rather quickly.

Nike G.T. Cut 3 traction pattern

Test results
G.T. Cut 3 3.2 mm
Average 4.0 mm
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.9 mm

Weight

We don't know what diet the G.T. Cut was following but its weight has dropped by a whopping 2.3 oz (65g)! The third iteration tips the scale at only 11.8 oz (335g)!

Nike G.T. Cut 3 Weight

Ah, wait, we do know the name of that diet - it's called the ZoomX foam (more on that in the Cushioning section).

Nike G.T. Cut 3 shoe weight

The lightness of this Nike shoe, as well as its amazing energy return, made it feel very fun and nimble on our feet. A fantastic option for quick guards.

P.S. If you used to wear the G.T. Cut 2, expect the third iteration to be a complete reimagining of the shoe.

Nike G.T. Cut 3 vs G.T. Cut 2

Test results
G.T. Cut 3 11.82 oz (335g)
Average 13.90 oz (394g)
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
11.29 oz (320g)
Weight
17.46 oz (495g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

Having sliced the G.T. Cut 3 in half, we were surprised to measure its heel stack at a lower-than-average 27.0 mm.

Nike G.T. Cut 3 Heel stack

The shoe gloriously buffered every landing of ours during the playtest. We can confirm that its impact protection will remain solid and consistent through all four quarters.

However, we do have reservations about heavier players using the Nike G.T. Cut 3. Given the plush nature of the ZoomX foam, we believe that it would lose cushioning properties faster if the wearer is in the heavier weight class and/or if their playing style is jump-centered.

If you recognize yourself in the latter, we promise that you will enjoy the cushioning setup of the G.T. Jump 2 and its whopping heel stack of 35.6 mm much more.

Nike G.T. Cut 3 vs Jump 2 heel stack

Heel stack on the Nike G.T. Jump 2 (some of the tallest at 35.6 mm)

Test results
G.T. Cut 3 27.0 mm
Average 29.3 mm
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
23.6 mm
Heel stack
38.4 mm

Forefoot stack

Checking the shoe's forefoot stack, we discovered that it falls right into the average of basketball shoes.

Nike G.T. Cut 3 Forefoot stack

At 21.5 mm, it provides a balanced experience between underfoot protection and court feel.

Test results
G.T. Cut 3 21.5 mm
Average 21.7 mm
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
18.0 mm
Forefoot stack
29.2 mm

Drop

The difference between the shoe's heel and forefoot stack heights is rather low (5.5 mm). But this offset is very beneficial for shifty guards who want to feel closer to the ground.

Nike G.T. Cut 3 Drop

When the heel is not significantly elevated above the toes, it puts the foot in a flatter position which in turn, makes the wearer feel more stable and in control of the movement.

Test results
G.T. Cut 3 5.5 mm
Average 7.7 mm
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
4.0 mm
Drop
14.8 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

The G.T. Cut 3 is a truly ground-breaking release for Nike. It is the brand's very first basketball shoe that features a full-length ZoomX foam!

If you're wondering why that's a big deal, let us tell you that when the foam first appeared in the running shoe realm, it started an entire cushion revolution. It is a unique Pebax-based foam that is incredibly soft and offers the best energy return in the industry - around 80-95%! In addition, this foam is light as a feather.

Should we say that we were beyond excited to experience ZoomX in a basketball shoe?

Nike G.T. Cut 3 Midsole softness

Just as we expected, the foam showed a very low reading on our Shore A durometer. At only 14.0 HA, it is 84% softer than the average hoop shoe midsole! It sits in the plushest corner along with the Boost foam on the Adidas Harden Vol. 7 (11.0 HA).

Nike G.T. Cut 3 zoomx

To keep the squishiness under control, Nike encased the ZoomX inside a firmer foam carrier. So technically, you can't even touch the bare ZoomX from the outside of the shoe. The pinky panel you see on the side is plastic and not the foam itself.

This whole setup translated into fabulous impact protection and shock absorption upon hard landings. We also felt that we were able to transition into the toe-offs faster and jump even higher in the G.T. Cut 3.

Test results
G.T. Cut 3 14.0 HA
Average 25.6 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
11.0 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
38.6 HA

Insole thickness

A well-padded insole inside the G.T. Cut 3 makes its cushioning feel complete.

Nike G.T. Cut 3 Insole thickness

With a thickness of 4.7 mm in the heel, it is just as cushy as the average basketball shoe insole.

Test results
G.T. Cut 3 4.7 mm
Average 4.5 mm
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Insole thickness
8.6 mm

Stability

Lateral stability test

Nike's G.T. (Greater Than) series features shoes that above all else help you perform a particular basketball movement more effectively.

The G.T. Jump 2, for example, helps you jump higher and land better, the G.T. Hustle 2 helps with...well, running action on the court, and the G.T. Cut obviously helps with cuts (V-cuts, L-cuts, backdoor cuts, you name it).

We ran a series of tests to check if the Nike G.T. Cut 3 has enough lateral stability to live up to the promise.

In our on-foot demonstration above, you can see that the shoe's platform remains strong and stable whereas the upper has a bit of a give that feels suspicious. This is exactly how the shoe felt during the playtest - the sole kept us surefooted but the forgiving upper allowed for some ankle play.

While it was not detrimental to the overall stability, we found it strange that a shoe designed specifically for cuts did not provide a higher level of stability.

Just look at the Jordan Luka 2 below! That upper puts actual barricades on both sides of the ankle.

On the upside, if you have strong ankles and prefer to feel less shoe around your feet and ankles, you might enjoy the Nike G.T. Cut 3.

Torsional rigidity

As we mentioned earlier, the platform of the G.T. Cut 3 is very stable and sturdy. We are glad that Nike came up with a way to combine plush cushioning with a steady sole.

Failing to twist the shoe in our manual test convinced us to rate its torsional rigidity with the highest possible score - 5 out of 5!

In addition to the firm carrier foam, the G.T. Cut 3 also features a stiff rubbery shank as a leading stability component. 

Nike G.T. Cut 3 shank

Even though it is only visible in the midfoot, the shank also runs through the shoe's forefoot helping to prevent the foot from twisting.

Test results
G.T. Cut 3 5
Average 4.5
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

On the downside, we found that the heel counter of the G.T. Cut 3 was not as substantial as in most other basketball shoes. This is part of the reason why the shoe's upper support and heel hold felt weaker than we expected. It was decent but not as solid as in some of the other low-cut hoop shoes.

Assessing the shoe's heel counter stiffness in our manual push-and-squeeze test, we gave it a lower-than-average score of 3. It's just not quite there...

For comparison, the Jordan Luka 2 and the Nike KD 16 have a highly secure heel lockdown with higher scored for heel counter stiffness.

Very stiff heel counter on the Jordan Luka 2

Test results
G.T. Cut 3 3
Average 3.6
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

Looking at the bottom of the Nike G.T. Cut 3, we immediately noticed that it had a slimmer profile than the average basketball shoe.

Nike G.T. Cut 3 Midsole width in the forefoot

Luckily, the forefoot part of the sole proved to be just as wide as the average at 114.5 mm. Our forceful lateral cuts felt supported by a sufficient outrigger on the lateral side.

Test results
G.T. Cut 3 114.5 mm
Average 114.5 mm
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
106.2 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
122.2 mm

Midsole width in the heel

The G.T. Cut 3 saved a lot of weight by shaving a chunk off its heel. Measuring the sole in the widest area of the rearfoot, our caliper showed only 82.6 mm. It is one of the narrowest heels we've seen on a basketball shoe.

Nike G.T. Cut 3 Midsole width in the heel

Also, please note that the shoe's heel has an unusually rounded shape (for a basketball shoe). It helps the G.T. Cut 3 feel more streamlined and nimble but heel-dominant landings might feel somewhat shaky.

Nike G.T. Cut 3 rounded heel

Test results
G.T. Cut 3 82.6 mm
Average 90.4 mm
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
82.4 mm
Midsole width in the heel
105.1 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

Now let's turn to the shoe's strong points.

During our playtests, the G.T. Cut 3 treated us to pretty explosive toe-offs. This is in part thanks to the shank and the forefoot stiffness it provides.

Our 90-degree bend test revealed that this Nike shoe requires 20% more force to flex compared to the average hoop shoe.

Nike G.T. Cut 3 flexibility

Test results
G.T. Cut 3 48.7N
Average 39.8N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
23.8N
Stiffness
67.2N

Grip / Traction

Another major highlight of the G.T. Cut 3 is a really hard bite on the court.

The shoe's stopping power gave us plenty of confidence during quick cuts in particular (it's what the shoe was made for after all!).

The grip was especially efficient on clean indoor courts thanks to the shoe's thin and zig-zaggy tread lines.

Nike G.T. Cut 3 outsole

We would call it perfect if it wasn't for the quick dust buildup on the outsole. So do expect frequent wiping if you want to experience the shoe's peak performance.

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

The Nike G.T. Cut 3 accommodated our medium-width feet very nicely around the metatarsals. But because of the tapered shape of its toebox, this Nike shoe feels tighter than than.

Nike G.T. Cut 3 fit

Measuring the shoe's toebox width our regular way was challenged by the rubber overlay on the inner side. We cut off the rubber piece on the lateral flange and found it to be 2 mm thick. Thus, the widest part of the shoe's toebox comes in at 105.6 mm as opposed to 107.6 mm.

Nike G.T. Cut 3 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
G.T. Cut 3 105.6 mm
Average 101.5 mm
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
92.6 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
108.2 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

We strongly advise that wide-footed players stay away from the Nike G.T. Cut 3 because of its very aggressively tapered toebox.

Nike G.T. Cut 3 Toebox width at the big toe

Measuring the shoe's toebox width around the big toe, the caliper reading made our brows raise. At 72.0 mm, it is one of the narrowest measurements we've received in basketball shoes.

Test results
G.T. Cut 3 72.0 mm
Average 76.7 mm
Compared to 44 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
71.2 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
85.1 mm

Tongue: gusset type

Just like most hoop shoes, the G.T. Vut 3 features a fully integrated tongue in a bootie-style upper.

Nike G.T. Cut 3 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
G.T. Cut 3 Bootie

Lockdown

On paper, the Nike G.T. Cut 3 checks all the boxes for a lockdown fit: the bootie-style upper, the supportive side overlays, the webbed Flywire cables holding the forefoot...

Nike G.T. Cut 3 laces

But it felt as though something was missing to make the fit as secure as it could be. Perhaps more padding, sturdier overlays, or more substance in the heel counter? We're not sure but it seems like Nike aimed for a light and fast shoe above all else in the G.T. Cut 3.

Comfort

Tongue padding

To keep the weight down, Nike chose targeted tongue padding for the G.T. Cut 3.

About 2/3 of the tongue has no foam at all but there is a puffy little pillow at the top where the lace pressure is most apparent. Measuring it with a caliper, we found that it is actually thicker than average at 15.9 mm.

Nike G.T. Cut 3 Tongue padding
Test results
G.T. Cut 3 15.9 mm
Average 9.5 mm
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1.3 mm
Tongue padding
15.9 mm

Heel tab

There is no pull tab at the back of the shoe.

Nike G.T. Cut 3 Heel tab

But there is a handy finger loop on the tongue to assist the on-and-off action.

Nike G.T. Cut 3 eyelets

Test results
G.T. Cut 3 None

Removable insole

This basketball shoe from Nike comes with a pretty comfortable contoured insole.

But some folks (like those with very flat feet) may find the bump on the medial side to be annoying. If that's the case, they have the option to easily replace the stock insert.

Nike G.T. Cut 3 Removable insole
Test results
G.T. Cut 3 Yes