Who should buy the NikeCourt Zoom Lite 3

The Nike Zoom Lite series was designed with a particular target audience in mind. Consider this tennis shoe if you recognize yourself in the points below:

  • someone who is only starting out with tennis or plays recreationally (once a week)
  • a person looking for a classic tennis shoe with a clean synthetic leather look and monochromatic colorways that can work for streetwear
  • a budget-conscious buyer who needs a cost-effective tennis shoe

NikeCourt Zoom Lite 3 who should buy

Who should not buy this tennis shoe

If you are serious about tennis and want a pair for regular practice, you are going to need a more durable option. Among the cheaper options, this could be Adidas CourtJam Bounce. And if you don’t mind stretching the budget, check out the K-Swiss Hypercourt Supreme or the Adidas Adizero Ubersonic 4.

It’s a snug-fitting shoe

On its official website, Nike recommends getting a half size larger for the Zoom Lite 3. Most people followed this guideline and ended up satisfied with the fit. On the other hand, there is a large number of reviewers who mentioned that the shoe fits true to size but requires some breaking in:

  • “they loosen up with a little play”
  • “slightly tight but after a couple wears you break them in”
  • “after a few wears they became extremely comfortable”

NikeCourt Zoom Lite 3 fit

This is all due to synthetic leather covering up a significant portion fo the shoe’s upper.

On the downside, some people found the shoe way too snug for their needs (especially those with wider feet). This showed up in the narrow toebox and one player even thought that the platform itself is too narrow to keep them stable enough.

Zoom Lite 3 feels really supportive

With the shoe’s substantial synthetic overlays, many playtesters reported feeling well-supported in the upper part. This refers to both side support as well as the ankle. This is where the shoe’s snug fit pays off.

NikeCourt Zoom Lite 3 support

Comfy in-shoe experience

Quite a few people commented on the overall comfort of the NikeCourt Zoom Lite 3. They say it’s even enough to make it a casual wear shoe. As one reviewer shares, the materials are “not rigid and didn’t give [her] any blisters.” Another person was able to enhance the comfort by inserting a pair of custom orthotics.

NikeCourt Zoom Lite 3 comfort

Total miss on the durability

Nearly every tester of the Zoom Lite 3 complained about how frail the shoe is. It literally starts falling apart after hours of court time. For some it took 15-20 hours, for some it was 5 games, and for one person the shoe started to tear even on the very first game!

This was a major point of disappointment for the buyers. A person who owned the first two iterations of the Zoom Lite also claims that it is “an incredible step-down.”

NikeCourt Zoom Lite 3 durability

But at least it feels light

This fact came as a bit of a surprise for the players. Given that the shoe uses a synthetic leather upper, they expected it to feel heavier on the foot.

And yet, they seem to agree that it is lighter compared to many other tennis shoes on the market.

Zoom Lite 3 is breathable too!

With the mesh inserts on the sides and perforations on the toebox, this NikeCourt shoe manages to keep the shoe ventilated. This was highly appreciated by the athletes whose feet tend to get warm and sweaty easily.

NikeCourt Zoom Lite 3 breathability

Good enough traction

Despite the fact that the shoe’s outsole is not as durable as expected, it offers a solid level of grip (while it’s there, of course). As one reviewer says, it is “excellent for quick direction changes.”

Style is the shoe’s best selling point

If you are feeling nostalgic for the old-fashioned classic leather tennis shoes, the NikeCourt Zoom Lite 3 is sure to please your eye. Clean and sleek, it is offered in monochromatic color variations which are easy to match with many outfits, according to many buyers. A tennis shoe experts says  that you “definitely can get away with wearing them off the court and still get some style points.”

NikeCourt Zoom Lite 3 style

Facts / Specs

Weight: Men 12.9oz
Shoe Type: Hard Court
Features: Breathable
Construction: Stability
Material: Synthetic upper
BRAND Brand: Nike
Colorways: Black / White / Purple / Blue

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Brenton Barker
Brenton Barker

Brenton is an Australian with 20 years of experience coaching WTA and ATP professional tennis players, whom have won a total of 10 international professional Tournaments. Brenton holds a Degree in Sports Coaching and was the former Head Tennis Coach at the Japanese Government Sports Science Institute. Brenton was also a former Manager & Head Coach of Australia’s Governing Sporting Body, Tennis Australia, and has been a Dunlop International Advisory Board Member since 2010. Additionally, Brenton was the Head of Player development for World No 7 and two-time Grand Slam Champion Johan Kriek.