Who should buy the Nike Air Zoom Structure 21

  • A great stability shoe for runners (who have over-pronated foot motion) who want a reliable shoe with a solid stability, cushioning and comfort.
  • An excellent choice for anyone who is looking for a breathable and durable stability shoe for long-distance running, walking, or all-day wear.

Nike Air Zoom Structure 21 logo

Updates to the Nike Air Zoom Structure 21

  • Updated upper material now made of a seamless Wrap-knit Mesh which has significantly improved on the ventilation and flexibility.
  • Reduced the weight of the shoe.
  • Redesigned Dynamic Flywire system, in which the wires were flattened out and widened.
  • Added an internal heel counter that wraps around the Achilles to give extra stability to the foot.

Nike Air Zoom Structure 21 updates

Propels runners forward during the toe-off phase

On the forefoot is the Duralon Blown Rubber, which is also used in the Nike Structure 22. This material is a lightweight synthetic compound that has tiny air pockets introduced during its making.

Nike Air Zoom Structure 21 outsole

These small pockets help in propelling runners forward during the toe-off phase of the running cycle. Additionally, the Duralon provides a softer underfoot feel while generating traction as the runner goes over different surfaces.

The rest of the outsole is covered by the BRS 1000 carbon rubber. BRS stands for Blue Ribbon Sports. Not only does it supply the bottom of the shoe with enough traction to take on several surfaces, but it was also designed to last long.

Structure 21 provides support and resilient cushioning

The 21st version of the Nike Air Zoom Structure has a supportive midsole. It is made up of both Phylon and Cushlon foams which have different densities. Phylon is a soft, core foam wedge while the Cushlon was designed to be the carrier foam, enveloping the central unit and delivering support.

Nike Air Zoom Structure 21 resilient cushioning

The combination of both foam densities makes force distribution equal, resulting in resilient cushioning that’s responsive and dynamic. The heel part has a segmented crash pad that absorbs impact upon landing and corrects overpronation.

More efficient transition through the gait cycle

Nike made this pad gender-specific so it can cater to specific weights. The dissipation of landing force results in a potentially more efficient transition through the gait cycle.

On the forefoot area is Nike’s Air Zoom technology. Stretched-out tensile fibers were knit inside a pressurized Nike air unit, to produce a snappy rebound.

As the runner comes in contact with the ground upon impact, the fibers compress. Then, they spring back to their original state like a rubber band. This mechanic allows runners to feel a forward propulsion during the toe-off.

Nike’s Wrap-Knit Mesh makes the shoe well-ventilated

The upper is mainly made up of a lightweight Wrap-Knit Mesh. This mesh is composed of a network of monofilament yarns that allow air to pass through its holes, making the inside of the shoe well-ventilated.

Nike Air Zoom Structure 21 well-ventilated

The mesh also expands quickly, catering to different foot shapes and delivering a custom in-shoe feel. The Nike check has been embedded as an overlay to give the mesh some structural support. Aside from that, the top part of the shoe is clean and seamless.

Nike Air Zoom Structure 21 delivers a soft, sock-like comfort

Nike’s Dynamic Fit system is made up of widened and flattened Flywire cables, the lacing system, and the interior band around the middle of the foot. The purpose of such a design is to support the arch and to enhance the fit, making it more adaptive.

Nike Air Zoom Structure 21 flattened Flywire cables

Inside is an inner mesh cleatie which delivers a soft, sock-like feel to the runner. The cleatie improves the in-shoe feel and the supportive coverage. An internal heel counter was added to lock the heel in place minimally. It protects the Achilles from irritation, injury and impact.

Facts / Specs

Terrain: Road
Weight: Men 295g / Women 255g
Drop: 10mm
Arch support: Stability
Update: Nike Air Zoom Structure 23
Forefoot height: 18mm
Heel height: 28mm

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Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.