Verdict from 8.5 hours of research from the internet

8 reasons to buy

  • Several racers mention that the Nike Zoom Rival S 9 is easy to run in.
  • The shoe is comfortable enough for daily runs, according to some commenters.
  • Many users praise the excellent grip of the shoe.
  • A few reviewers have written that the Zoom Rival S 9 is a flexible shoe.
  • Although it is designed for short-distance events, the shoe also performs well on 800-meter sprints, said an athlete.
  • The shoe has a slight lift in the front that helps with forward propulsion, wrote a reviewer. Another runner attests that their toe-offs are much smoother with the Rival S 9.
  • Various users report that the shoe is lightweight.
  • A couple of athletes have been pleased that the Zoom Rival S 9 does not require a break-in period.

3 reasons not to buy

  • The shoe broke within only a few months of usage, said a buyer. Another mentioned that their shoe had torn apart after only two uses.
  • Some runners find it difficult to remove and replace the spikes.
  • One buyer is disappointed that the spikes that came with the shoe are made of low-quality material. Others claim that the spikes wear out and get dull quickly.

Bottom line

The Nike Zoom Rival S 9 is an excellent track-and-field shoe for many users, mainly because of how comfortable it is and how it positively transforms their running experience. Although some purchasers encountered issues about the shoe’s durability, the majority of runners likes the shoe enough to consider repurchasing it or even recommending to their peers. 

Tip: see the best tracking shoes.

Expert reviews:

User reviews:

Use - Designed for the intermediate level sprinter, the Nike Zoom Rival S 9 is best for hurdles, short distances and jumping events. With a lightweight, unisex design, this track shoe provides comfort as well as speed, power, and traction. The Zoom Rival S 9 performs best on track surfaces because of its lightness and rigidity.

Spike Type - The shoe is equipped with seven ¼-inch pyramid spikes. The spikes are strategically attached in the forefoot to deliver reliable traction on rubber surfaces. They are made from stainless steel, which ensures durability. The Nike Zoom Superfly Elite is another track shoe that is likewise equipped with the same spike type.

Spike Plate - This track shoe utilizes a Pebax spike plate that extends from the heel to the midfoot. It is slightly flexible and designed to help users move forward with ease.

  • The overall structure of the Nike Zoom Rival S 9 has been updated to become lighter and to provide an even snugger fit than before, therefore promising smoother transitions. However, just like before, this shoe is still aimed toward intermediate-level athletes who specialize in sprints. 
  • An all new-mesh upper brings a lightweight coverage yet with a secure fit, especially at the midfoot area. It is paired with a redesigned 7-pin spike plate to equip the shoe with a reliable grip. Thus, it is perfect for various track-and-field activities, including sprints, hurdles, and jump events.
  • The design of the spike plate has also been redesigned to contribute to improved traction and transition. Meanwhile, its accompanying rubber outsole has a revamped tread pattern for optimal grip and durability.

The Nike Zoom Rival S 9 is built to be true-to-size; thus, athletes can expect an accurate fit from their usual size preference. The shoe’s heel and toe box widths are narrow, while the midfoot height is low. This structure makes it most ideal for wearers with low to moderate foot volume. The Zoom Rival S 9 is a unisex track-and-field shoe that follows men’s sizing schemes; women could convert their measurements accordingly by going 1.5 sizes down.

The outsole of the Zoom Rival S 9 is made from sturdy rubber. The material runs across from the heel to the midfoot area of the shoe. The rubber portion displays a tread design that is reminiscent of high-end racing flats, which give the shoe excellent grip and durability.

Meanwhile, the rest of the shoe from the midfoot to the forefoot is covered with a Pebax plate. Pebax is a thermoplastic elastomer that has a low density. It is also flexible and has high impact resistance. The Pebax helps with softening the impact during the footstrike to prevent the joints from pain. 

The Pebax plate is incorporated with seven receptacles for spikes, which could be used to aid with traction.

A Phylon wedge makes up the midsole of the Nike Zoom Rival S 9. It comes in the form of a thin piece of foam located at the heel of the shoe. The Phylon is made from compressed ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) pellets that provide a lightweight and resilient cushioning. It also aids in a smooth and responsive ride.

The shoe’s sockliner is made from EVA foam as well. It conforms to the shape of the foot, thus giving a supportive fit.

The lightweight mesh upper of the Nike Zoom Rival S 9 efficiently supplies ventilation via its breathable quality, thanks to the perforations in the forefoot area. It is supported by synthetic overlays placed on the midfoot area of the shoe, which provide a secure fit.

Beneath the mesh is an internal cleatie that connects the midsole to the upper while providing the athlete with a sock-like fit. This detail promotes the flexibility of the shoe and the foot’s natural movement. It also contributes to a lightweight structure as the shoe does away with unnecessary layers.

Then, wrapped around the midfoot area is an internal arch band, which keeps the foot locked down in place.

Size and fit

True to size based on 6 user votes
Small (33%)
True to size (50%)
Large (17%)
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Same sizing as Nike Zoom Rival S 7.

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How Zoom Rival S 9 compares

This shoe: 93
All shoes average: 88
66 99
This shoe: $65
All shoes average: $102
$60 $180
This shoe: 6.1oz
All shoes average: 6.5oz
3.2oz 14.4oz