Verdict from 11 experts and 6 user reviews

8 reasons to buy

  • Traction: The PG 5's outsole pattern is the same as that of the widely complimented Kobe 9. It works just as well, or even better simply because it has wider coverage.
  • Cushioning: Basketball players can't help but appreciate the impact protection offered by the Air Strobel. They say it feels like "having a pillow below your foot."
  • Court feel: The midsole tooling is still firm enough to provide responsiveness.
  • Support: The extended peaks on the sides provide the much needed lateral push-back to keep the foot securely contained.
  • Quality: Though not premium, the materials, in general, are light, durable, and comfortable. The padding around the ankle gets special mentions.
  • Light: This model is packed with tech, but it still manages to maintain its lightness. 
  • Heel-to-toe transition: This shoe isn't clunky like the PG4 because of its (the 5's) flexible midsole and reduced heel protrusion. 
  • Affordable: Hoopers agree that the Nike PG5 is priced well "for the amount of tech that you are getting."

3 reasons not to buy

  • Narrow: Like the other PGs, the 5 is a little snug, especially around the forefoot. Those who don't like snugness might want to go half a size up.
  • Needs break-in: The outsole, midsole tooling, and even the materials have to be broken in. 
  • Not for outdoors: The outsole is soft, even the supposedly sturdy XDR version. Experts report that it doesn't last long outdoors.

Bottom line

They may explain it in different ways, but players agree that the Nike PG5 is the redemption needed after the disappointment that was the PG4. They even predict that the fifth PGs will be among the top performance kicks of 2021. The fact that this model is cheaper than other signature kicks like the LeBrons and Kyries just makes the outlook for it even brighter.

Tip: see the best basketball shoes.

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Nike PG 5: Return to greatness

Paul George had some missteps during the 2019-2020 Season, but he is definitely on his way back! Nike makes his return to prominence much more felt with the release of the PG5, which generously offers the following:

  • Strong familiar grip. The PG 5 directly lifts the pattern on the soles of the Kobe 9, to deliver once again one of most celebrated tractions of all time.
  • Bounce and shock absorption. The Air Strobel and the Ortholite insole work together to provide a blend of pillow-like cushioning and performance-enhancing bounce.
  • Smooth steps. The minimized protrusion of the heel gets rid of clunkiness for smoother heel-to-toe transitions.
  • Comfortable containment. The light upper material, lateral overlays, and lacing system work together to provide stability and secure lockdown.

Specials colors of the Paul George 5 from Nike

Like the series of PGs before it, the PG5 is expected to release in a variety of colors and versions. Among the most notable are the following: 

  • By You. This model released in rather plain colorways, and that's for a reason. They are to serve as a blank canvas for buyers' colorway customizations on Nike's By You platform. 
  • Fishing. A largely turquoise version strongly references fishing, which is among Paul George's favorite pastimes. Big portions of the forefoot and midfoot feature net-like detailing. The heel counter is covered in what looks like scales. Even the PG logo on the tongue has an added water drop graphic. 

How PG 5 compares

This shoe: 88
All shoes average: 81
55 95
This shoe: $110
All shoes average: $131
$40 $500
Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic

Dimitrije Curcic has been playing basketball for over 22 years. Like Manu Ginobili, he’s a left-hander whose moves led him to a better career-shooting percentage than the Argentine himself. After playing professionally for 10 years, Dimitrije moved to coaching for two seasons before he became a basketball statistician for StatScore, and FanSided contributor for the San Antonio Spurs. Dimitrije loves to tell hoop stories through numbers and graphics and has been featured on Fansided, FiveThirtyEight, Eurohoops, and TalkBasket among the others.