Nike CruzrOne review
The CruzrOne is a shoe designed for running slowly, very slowly. That’s what the designer of the shoe, Tinker Hatfield explained in a behind-the-design press release video.
This is a very unique shoe in the Nike lineup. Currently, all Nike's running shoes are focused on speed: being light and responsive while having racing-inspired uppers.
Even the Nike Vomero 14 which has always been a maximum cushioned shoe for long-distance comfort has become firmer and less plush to suit faster running.
I am not a fast runner, nor a slow runner. My run paces are of an average, mid-pack runner. I bought the CruzrOne not for daily training or tempo runs but for recovery runs on days when my legs are tired or sore and I need a comfortable, soft shoe.
The CruzrOne sounded like the perfect Sunday recovery run shoe. So how did the CruzrOne perform on recovery runs? Is it a shoe for slow running or is it just another Nike trainer for casual wear like the VaporMax and the Joyride?
I was surprised when a black shoe box was delivered to me instead of the normal bright orange box in which Nike shoes usually come in. The word CruzrOne is printed on the top of the box.
Normally Nike reserves black shoe boxes for their premium shoes such as the VaporFly Next%.
Inside the box, there was another unique element: the protective paper. Printed on the paper are quirky images of sloths and tortoises wearing the CruzrOne, reminding us that the CruzrOne is meant for slow runners.
The first thing that I noticed when picking up the shoe was the enormous heel stack height. The CruzrOne has a 14mm heel to toe offset but it looks like it could be 20mm.
The second thing I noticed was the thick inside lining of the heel and tongue. It looked like a shag carpet but it felt soft to the touch and not as dense.
When putting on the shoe, it felt very roomy. I ordered my normal size but I probably could have gone a half size down. The ankle and heel collar felt very loose around my foot.
Walking around in the shoe, I could feel the substantial heel of the shoe. It felt like I was walking on a steep slope as a result of that 14mm drop.
Soft breathable upper of the Nike CruzrOne
The upper of the CruzrOne is made from a soft, breathable mesh. There are overlays around the toe area for increased durability and structure.
On the midfoot of the upper is a material cage to provide midfoot lockdown and support. The material is soft and doesn't dig into your foot like the plastic cage of the Ultraboost versions 1-4.
The upper of the CruzrOne is a bootie construction so the tongue is connected to the upper and there is no tongue slide. The problem with the bootie construction is that there is no way to do a double heel lock lacing system for a more secure foot lockdown.
The fit of the CruzrOne is very roomy so I would recommend going a half size down. I had a problem with massive amounts of heel slippage because of the loose collar fit of the CruzrOne.
When I tried to cinch the laces tighter, it caused uncomfortable pressure on the top of my foot.
I could still run in the CruzrOne but only very slowly due to the loose fit and the heel slippage. Maybe Nike designed it like that so that you can't run fast in them?
Midsole & ride quality of the Nike CruzrOne
The React midsole of the CruzrOne is one of the softest implementations of React foam in a Nike shoe. It's not as soft as the Infinity Run but it's softer than the Pegasus 37, Vomero 14, Zoom Fly 3, and the Phantom Run 2.
There are bubbles on the sides of the midsole for decoration and they only make the shoe heavier.
The 14mm drop of the CruzrOne makes it best suited to heel strikers. There is plenty of cushioning in the heel to soften rearfoot ground strikes. Midfoot and forefoot strikers might find the big heel stack height to get in the way and scrape the ground.
Ride transitions in the CruzrOne are very smooth owing to the single-density midsole and the full contact outsole.
The soft ride and the relaxed upper of the CruzrOne means that it is only suitable for very easy-paced runs or recovery runs. I would have loved to have tested out the CruzrOne on faster-paced runs but the extreme heel slippage makes it impossible to do so.
The insole of the CruzrOne is paper-thin so all the cushioning is provided by the React midsole. There is a unique rubber layer on the underside of the insole which I've never seen before on a running shoe.
Stability in the CruzrOne is good. It has a wide midsole base so foot strikes feel planted. The outsole is also very flat so there isn't much lean bias.
Outsole & durability of the Nike CruzrOne
There is plenty of thick, durable rubber on the outsole of the CruzrOne. It is full contact and there are small square cutouts running from the medial side of the heel to the lateral side of the forefoot to save some weight.
There is only very minimal wear on some of the waffle lugs that stick out on the heel of the outsole. But the CruzrOne has enough outsole rubber to last over 1000 kilometres.
Tip: see the best sneakers.