Our verdict

Aptly named, the Nike G.T. Hustle 2 is meant for light players whose playing style involves a lot of running on the court. Our playtests confirmed that the shoe inherits the fast-moving personality of its predecessor, the G.T. Run. Exceptionally light, minimal, and responsive, the Hustle 2 is fun to play in if you want to lose the stiffness and bulkiness of most hoop shoes these days. We loved the natural movement and court connection that this Nike shoe has to offer.

Pros

  • Very light and speedy on foot
  • Unmatched court feel
  • Grounded and responsive midsole
  • Highly flexible and smooth-feeling
  • Great traction on clean courts
  • Stable for non-aggressive movements
  • True to size, one-to-one fit

Cons

  • Not for outdoor play
  • Very little support
  • Minimal impact protection

Audience verdict

81
Good!
  • Top 18% most popular basketball shoes

Who should buy

We believe that the Nike G.T. Hustle 2 must be on your radar if:

  • you are a light basketball player in search of a minimal shoe for sprinting up and down the court
  • you seek lightness and flexibility in your next pair of hoop shoes
  • you prefer a grounded, low-profile platform

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 review

Who should NOT buy

In our opinion, there are a few reasons why the G.T. Hustle 2 may not meet your needs on the court.

First of all, if you're a heavier player, you will need more impact protection and support. We recommend looking into the Nike LeBron NXXT GEN as an alternative. It also offers the benefit of better traction and is more outdoor-ready.

If you are not ready to pay $170 for a minimal shoe that doesn't even have a shank, consider the Nike Ja 1 or the Nike Giannis Freak 5.

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 lab test

Breathability

With its minimal upper, mesh panels, and ventilation pores on the tongue, the Nike G.T. Hustle 2 offers pretty decent breathability.

Look how swiftly the smoke escaped through the shoe's upper in the tongue area!

We are not surprised that this is the shoe's most ventilated area given the many airflow channels the tongue.

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 microscope test

We were hoping that the toebox mesh would enhance the shoe's breathability but the lens of our microscope shows how super densely woven it is. Not much hope for the airflow here.

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 under microscope

Assessing the G.T. Hustle 2's overall breathability, we gave it a lower-than-average score of 2.

Test results
G.T. Hustle 2 2
Average 2.4
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

Compared to a typical basketball shoe, the G.T. Hustle 2 has a very minimal upper design with practically no reinforcements.

The shoe features a large mesh panel on top of the toebox which feels pretty frail to the touch. And as our Dremel test shows, it is very much prone to wear and tear.

The fabric threads tore within seconds of touching them with our Dremel's sandpaper tip. And the damage we saw was notably greater than what we usually see in the lab.

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 Toebox durability test

Thus, we rated the shoe's toebox durability with a lower-than-average score of 3 out of 5.

Test results
G.T. Hustle 2 3
Average 3.8
Compared to 41 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

Gladly, the textile used for the shoe's inner lining proved to be much more resilient.

Its smooth nature stood up to the sandpaper looking almost as good as new after the 4-second test. Thus, we readily rated its durability with a high score of 4.

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 Heel padding durability test
Test results
G.T. Hustle 2 4
Average 3.6
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

Despite looking like gummy bears, the rubber pimples on the shoe's outsole are actually pretty hard.

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 Outsole hardness

Our Shore C durometer returned a higher-than-average reading of 87.5 HC as we pressed it against one of the knobs. This is a very promising start.

Test results
G.T. Hustle 2 87.5 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

We went on to test the abrasion resistance of these pimples with a high Dremel speed of 10K RPM.

But after 22 seconds of exposure, the rubber didn't give in more than 0.5 mm! That's even shallower than average!

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 Outsole durability test

So if you've never dealt with translucent rubber before, we hope this test assures you of its hard-wearing characteristics.

Test results
G.T. Hustle 2 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

Last but not least, the shoe also uses a sufficiently thick rubber layer for the outsole. Measuring its thickness with a caliper retrieved a solid reading of 4.4 mm.

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 Outsole thickness

So, with all that said, does the Nike G.T. Hustle 2 make a great option for outdoor basketball courts? Unfortunately, we don't think so.

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 outsole design

We are concerned about the protruding rubber knobs as their shape makes them more prone to wearing out on hard outdoor surfaces.

An occasional game most likely won't do a great deal of damage but we can't recommend this Nike shoe for regular outdoor use.

Test results
G.T. Hustle 2 4.4 mm
Average 4.0 mm
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.9 mm

Weight

Positioned as a super nimble shoe for sprinting up and down the court, the Nike G.T. Hustle 2 lives up to the marketing 100%! We are happy to report that it proved to be some of the lightest basketball shoes in our lab.

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 Weight

Clocking in at 12.0 oz (340g) in a men's US size 9, it is two ounces lighter than the average hoop shoe.

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 shoe weight

Its weightlessness, minimal cushioning, and streamlined upper made us feel at full speed during the playtest.

Test results
G.T. Hustle 2 11.99 oz (340g)
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

The G.T. Hustle 2 also stands out as the least cushioned shoe in our basketball roster. Measuring its stack height in the heel, we were amazed to see as little as 23.6 mm on our caliper!

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 Heel stack

It is by far the lowest hoop shoe in our lab along with the Nike Sabrina 1 (23.7 mm).

As you can probably guess, this Nike shoe offers very little impact protection, especially if you are a big guy! But in return, the G.T. Hustle 2 offers the most speedy setup for light and nimble players who sprint from baseline to baseline.

Test results
G.T. Hustle 2 23.6 mm
Average 29.3 mm
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
23.6 mm
Heel stack
38.4 mm

Forefoot stack

Just like we expected, the forefoot stack of the Hustle 2 is some of the lowest in the industry, showing only 18.2 mm on the caliper.

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 Forefoot stack

If you enjoy a more intimate court feel, there is nothing more grounded than the Nike G.T. Hustle 2 (as of today).

Test results
G.T. Hustle 2 18.2 mm
Average 21.7 mm
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
18.0 mm
Forefoot stack
29.2 mm

Drop

A lower-than-average drop was also expected in this Nike basketball shoe.

The height difference between the shoe's heel and forefoot stacks comes in at only 5.4 mm which is a bit lower than the average.

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 Drop

This setup encourages a flatter and thus more natural foot position in which the heel sits only a few millimeters higher than the toes.

It feels less cushy and supportive than the higher drop but promotes a more planted experience in return.

Test results
G.T. Hustle 2 5.4 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.

Having sliced the Nike G.T. Hustle 2 in half, we discovered that its cushioning setup is very similar to that of the Air Jordan XXXVIII.

There is a full-length Zoom Air Strobel sitting on top of a full-length foam layer. We are almost 100% sure that the shoe uses Cushlon foam because the compound is on the soft side and feels quite responsive.

Pressing our Shore A durometer against it returned 21.0 HA which is 22% softer than the industry average.

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 Midsole softness

However, you don't get to feel this plushness to the fullest because the foam is sandwiched between hard rubber and a firmer Zoom Air unit.

But overall, the G.T. Hustle 2 provides an immensely responsive ride that promotes speed above all else.

Test results
G.T. Hustle 2 21.0 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

To make sure your foot has enough buffer from the thin midsole and the firm Zoom Air Strobel, the shoe adds a well-padded insole.

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 Insole thickness

It has a slightly higher than-average thickness of 5.3 mm based on our caliper measurement.

Test results
G.T. Hustle 2 5.3 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

Even though stability is not this Nike shoe's forte, we are happy to say that it doesn't lack inherent stability as a minimalist shoe.

Its low-to-the-ground profile creates enough steadiness to provide balance for quick movements on the court. It is not the best option for super forceful cuts but is nice enough for light players with agile footwork.

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 lateral support

But even if the unfortunate ankle roll does occur, the shoe's platform is low enough to prevent the worst-case scenario.

Torsional rigidity

The G.T. Hustle 2's midsole comes without a stabilizing shank but its full-length Zoom Air unit and high midsole topline generate enough stiffness to provide essential stability.

We rated the shoe's torsional rigidity with a pretty high score of 4 out of 5 in our manual test. Sure, it's a bit lower than the average of basketball shoes but we can't complain considering the intention behind its design.

Test results
G.T. Hustle 2 4
Average 4.5
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

Please do keep in mind that the Hustle 2 also has little to no ankle support and a pretty weak rearfoot hold. We don't mean heel slippage but the lack of a structured heel counter that would create a barricade-like effect around the ankle.

Assessing the shoe's heel counter stiffness in our manual test, we couldn't rate it any higher than 3 out of 5. It is notably more pliable than the average.

Test results
G.T. Hustle 2 3
Average 3.6
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

Another component that helps the G.T. Hustle 2 feel inherently stable is the lateral outrigger in the forefoot.

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 Midsole width in the forefoot

The widest part of the shoe's sole showed 116.5 mm on our caliper. That's even a couple of millimeters wider than average!

It's great that the shoe's forefoot stability helps to compensate for the lack of rearfoot support.

Test results
G.T. Hustle 2 116.5 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

Looking at the width of the shoe's heel also confirmed that the G.T. Hustle 2 is best for players who mostly stay on their toes.

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 Midsole width in the heel

Our caliper measured 84.6 mm in the widest part of the heel which is almost 6 mm narrower than the average. Not the most stable landing area.

Test results
G.T. Hustle 2 84.6 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

Very few basketball shoes can boast flexibility these days, which makes the Nike G.T. Hustle 2 a white crow in this department.

Packing no shank in the midsole, it took much less effort to bend the Hustle 2 to a 90-degree angle in our stiffness test. With a force gauge reading of only 28.9N, it is 40% more flexible than a typical hoop shoe.

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 flexibility

This Nike shoe treated us to buttery smooth heel-to-toe transitions with its easy flex and consistent cushioning.

Test results
G.T. Hustle 2 28.9N
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

To be honest, the look of the shoe's outsole made us feel skeptical about its performance on the court...But that's why we are here to test it!

As it turns out, the shoe's gripping capacity is quite average, nothing to write home about. We are not sure if the brand went for this unusual design to save weight or just for fun.

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 traction

Its traction was good enough for quick stops and accelerations but it did attract dust like most other hoop shoes. Occasional wiping is necessary to keep the grip solid.

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

Trying the Nike G.T. Hustle 2 in our regular men's US size 9, we were very happy with its one-to-one fit. There was no pinching or pressure on the sides of our feet.

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 fit

Applying our caliper to the widest part of the shoe's toebox, we got 100.3 mm which is consistent with the other hoop shoes in the same size.

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
G.T. Hustle 2 100.3 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

The shoe has a minor tapering towards the toes but it doesn't get narrower than the average. Our caliper showed a standard width of 76.3 mm around the big toe.

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 Toebox width at the big toe

In case you're wondering, the shoe's mesh toebox has absolutely no give to it. Don't expect the material to stretch out after a break-in.

Test results
G.T. Hustle 2 76.3 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

We experienced a nice and secure foot containment inside the Nike G.T. Hustle 2. This is in part thanks to the shoe's semi-integrated tongue.

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 Tongue: gusset type

Staying securely in place, it didn't shift around, bunch up, or cause any other trouble.

Test results
G.T. Hustle 2 Both sides (semi)

Lacing

For the most part, we found it easy to deal with the shoe's flat laces. Our only concern is that you might want to double-knot them for longer games because they seem a little slippery.

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 laces

In addition, the shoe offers two reinforced eyelets on the collar to give you the option of tying a runner's knot and getting the most out of the lockdown.

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 medial support

Comfort

Tongue padding

The shoe's tongue is moderately padded with foam, showing 7.0 mm of thickness at the topmost part (where the lace pressure is usually the greatest).

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 Tongue padding

Even though it is a couple of millimeters thinner than average, it got the job done beautifully.

Test results
G.T. Hustle 2 7.0 mm
Average 9.5 mm
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1.3 mm
Tongue padding
15.9 mm

Heel tab

The Hustle 2 provides no finger loops or pull tabs to assist in  the on-and-off.

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 Heel tab
Test results
G.T. Hustle 2 None

Removable insole

You can always replace the stick insole of this Nike basketball shoe with your own orthotics if that's what you prefer.

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 Removable insole
Test results
G.T. Hustle 2 Yes