Our verdict

We found that the Nike Zoom Freak 4 is a worthy follow-up to the Freak 3s because of the noticeable improvement that it brings. It brings out the best in us, especially those among us who do a lot of rebounds and fast runs to the basket because of the high levels of energy that it returns with every step. It's pretty safe to say that this basketball shoe from Nike is worth every penny spent on it.


  • Noticeable upgrades
  • Amazing grip on indoor courts
  • Dust-resistant outsole
  • Smooth steps
  • Pretty good court feel
  • Dependable impact protection
  • Jump-improving bounce
  • Reliably supportive structure
  • True-to-size fit


  • Not ideal for outdoors (but OK)
  • Not for bigger players and wide footers
  • Cheap-feeling materials

Audience verdict


Who should buy the Nike Zoom Freak 4

The fourth of Giannis Antetokounmpo's basketball shoes fits the following well:

  • Speedy basketball players who are lighter
  • Players who love to do a lot of rebounds and jump shots
  • Hoopers who play mostly or better yet exclusively indoors
  • Wearers with narrow to medium feet


Who should NOT buy this basketball shoe from Nike

The Nike Zoom Freak 4 is a signature shoe from Giannis Antetokounmpo, an unusually big player. However, we believe that it is not really that good of a match for bigger players. It doesn't have a solid midfoot shank so we worry that the cushioning bottoms out quickly when worn by heavier players. The Nike LeBron 20 is a better option. These picks are nice for those with wide feet, as well.

For something that is outdoor-friendly, we recommend the Nike Impact 4


Nike Freak 4: A worthy upgrade

All the modifications made to the Nike Zoom Freak 4 resulted in tremendous improvements, with our favorites being the foot containment and stability.

We also appreciated the cushioning, which we thought was massively improved due to the innovative cut-outs in the heel area. Given these, the Freak 4 is indeed a worthy predecessor to the Freak 3s.

Traction is great indoors

While we do not consider the traction top-tier, we still concede that the Nike Zoom Freak 4 has a very solid bite, especially after we have properly broken them in. We also found the traction tremendous on organic surfaces such as those courts that are made of hardwood.

Dust won't be a problem

We observed that the grooves in the outsole of the shoe are wide enough not to trap dust. Hence, dust pick-up is not really a problem we faced with this basketball shoe from Nike.


The Freak 4 doesn't shine outdoors but OK for occasional play

We also felt that the outsole is not composed of very thick rubber, which we thought to be ideal for indoor games rather than outdoors.

The rubber layer on the outsole is 4 mm thick. It's actually not the thinnest one among basketball shoes and is 0.5 mm thicker than average. This means that if you do take them on an outdoor court, it won't be as bad as some of the other shoes.


Quite breathable

If you choose to rock the Nike Zoom Freak 4 indoors a lot, your feet are sure to stay well-ventilated thanks to the shoe's breathable upper.

Notice how the light passes not only through the toebox but through the sidewalls too.

Smooth heel-to-toe transition

Freak 4 made us experience really really smooth transitions from heel to toe because of the curvatures on both ends. We discovered that the shoe rocks you forward without a glitch.

In addition to the curvatures, the shoe also has a good flex to it.

Flexibility helps the foot bend naturally as it rolls to the toes.

Impact protection is ensured

Putting on the shoe, we realized it was equipped with a soft foam that offered a lot of compression. Because of this, you can rest assured that impact protection is going to be sufficient. Additionally, we found the step-in comfort is superb, especially in the heel area where the innovative cut-outs are.

Based on our durometer measurements, we learned that its softness is right at the average of basketball shoes.


Disclaimer: We take the measurement 5 times to make sure we got it right.

Looking at the shoe's heel stack height of 32.7 mm, it is a good 5.2 mm thicker than the average. It is much more generously cushioned than most shoes.

Disclaimer: We include insole thickness in the measurement as well.

The insole of the Zoom Freak 4 is 4.1 mm thick.


Court feel is not forgotten

Even if the cushion is quite thick under the heel, it becomes thinner in the forefoot area. Hence, we acknowledge that the court feel is still really good.

In the forefoot, the midsole is 8.3 mm thinner than the heel (24.4 mm).


Energy return is good

The midsole offers a great bounce so it is able to be incredibly fast in the midst of our games. We recognized that this is because of the independent Zoom units that are placed side-by-side in the forefoot.

Cheap-feeling upper, but comfortable on-foot

We were convinced that the upper materials have a very cheap feeling, so we thought they were definitely a letdown as far as the quality goes.


Fortunately, the upper still feels great on foot, and it is overall pretty supportive.


But we were surprised as it turned out to have good durability.

Warning! The Zoom Freak 4 isn't for wide-footers

Going true to size yielded us a nice snug fit that fits our foot like a glove. The shoe is slightly narrow, so wide-footers and those who want a more spacious fit can go at least half a size up.


Foot containment and stability that you can depend on

Although the Nike Zoom Freak 4 is not the most supportive shoe, we definitely had zero issues with this one.

The heel counter has some good stiffness and padding to it, making sure our heel is also locked in place.

We found that the fully-gusseted tongue on both sides makes sure that there is no side-to-side shifting of the foot either.


We also can't help but notice that the Freak 4 is a lot more stable than its predecessor.

This is no surprise given how wide its platform is! In the forefoot, it is 115.7 mm wide, 6.2 mm wider than the average.


Nike Zoom Freak 4: Featherlight goodness

At only 11 ounces or 312 grams, we absolutely felt that Freak 4 is extremely light.

It is significantly lower than the 13.5 oz (383 g) average that we have on record.