Our verdict

If you want to ace your next cross-country competition with utmost speed, we believe that it's hard to find a better option than the Nike Zoom Rival Waffle 5. It's loaded with so much grip, bolting through unfriendly terrains with sheer confidence is a piece of cake. Even more, it helped us up the speed! With its highly responsive platform, bolting through the race is an easy feat.


  • Lightweight
  • Fast and snappy ride
  • Grippy
  • Supportive fit
  • Comfortable sole
  • Breathable
  • Durable


  • Not for wide feet

Audience verdict


Who should buy the Waffle 5

The Zoom Rival Waffle 5 is a cross-country shoe that's perfect for athletes who want to set PBs or win the race. It's a great value shoe that can go fast and go the distance. 

Nike Zoom Rival Waffle 5 nike zoom rival waffle 5

Who should NOT buy the shoe

If you want to get the most lightweight XC spike out there, have a look at the Nike Zoom Victory XC 5 and, if you want something that feels more like a road racing flat, look at the Nike Zoom Rival D 10

Nike Zoom Rival Waffle 5 vs. 4

There's not much change made to the fifth version of the Nike Zoom Rival Waffle. But here are a few notable ones:

A more secure lockdown

Instead of using traditional laces, the Zoom Rival Waffle 5 features thin laces that are way better at keeping the foot in place. Even more, they do a better job of staying tied through the run. 

Nike Zoom Rival Waffle 5 lace-up design

Amped-up durability

Sporting a new overlay design, the shoe also dons an enhanced level of reinforcement. This upgrade hits two birds with one stone — better fit and strength. 

Nike Zoom Rival Waffle 5 overlay

Nike Zoom Rival Waffle 5: set new records

The Zoom Rival Waffle 5 from Nike is an update to the Nike Zoom Rival Waffle 2019. Like its precursor, it's light and traction-ready that grips all types of cross-country surfaces.

We were astonished by how much it helped us maneuver the dirt courses.

Nike Zoom Rival Waffle 5 traction

We also appreciated the shoe's highly responsive platform and how it kept pushing us forward. It shaved 3 minutes off our finishing time!

Nike Zoom Rival Waffle 5 cushion

Light and speedy

The Rival Waffle 5 weighs 4.6 oz (130 g) which is 10% lighter than the average 5.1 oz (144 g). This contributes greatly to the shoe's capacity to speed up.

We felt as if there were no shoes on our feet! It just turned out to feel much lighter than we expected.

Not for wide footers

As expected from this kind of footwear, this cross-country shoe from Nike runs pretty tight in the toebox, especially when worn straight from the box. It is unlikely to break in and fit a wide-footed runner. Even for average-sized feet, going half-size up might be necessary, in addition to a break-in period.

Nike Zoom Rival Waffle 5 upper

Flashy colors, stylish design

The shoe's visual appeal is quite nice too! We love all of the colorful options available for the RIval Waffle 5.

Nike Zoom Rival Waffle 5 heel