Verdict from 8.9 hours of research from the internet

90
Great!
254 users: 4.5 / 5
14 experts: 79 / 100

8 reasons to buy

  • The Nike Zoom Freak 1’s traction works well on clean courts, a good number of players report.
  • According to a few owners, these Nike basketball shoes are great for the price.
  • The double-stacked Zoom feels awesome, a good number of players declare. They claim that it is very bouncy and offers a ton of impact protection. 
  • These basketball shoes are quite comfortable to play in, many wearers comment. The same is said about the Nike Zoom Freak 2
  • The fit and lockdown are just amazing, nearly all testers assert.
  • Most players love how soft and flexible the upper feels on-feet. According to them, the materials require little to no break-in time.
  • The Zoom Freak 1 feels like a guard shoe, many reviewers report. They claim that the forefoot cushioning is very responsive and offers a lot of court feel.
  • A few testers think that these Nike basketball shoes should be OK for outdoor use.

4 reasons not to buy

  • A couple of users complain that they can’t feel the heel Zoom units.
  • The materials feel cheap, most testers gripe.
  • Nearly all reviewers are frustrated that the translucent portion of the outsole performs poorly on dusty courts. They say that it quickly collects dust and requires frequent wiping.
  • Several players are disappointed that there is no zoom unit at the forefoot. 

Bottom line

Nike basketball is kicking off Giannis Antetokounmpo’s signature shoe line with a decent on-court performer. Taking cues from Kobe basketball shoes, the Zoom Freak 1 provides locked-in support, a comfortable fit, and a responsive ride. However, the shoe’s materials, traction, and impact protection could be a lot better.

Overall, the Nike Zoom Freak 1 gets the job done.  On the other hand, signature models such as the Nike PG3 and Adidas Dame 5 perform much better and are also cheaper.

Tip: see the best basketball shoes.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo is a freak on the court. His combination of size, speed, and length make him unstoppable in the paint. That is why designing a signature shoe for the 2019 NBA MVP was no easy task. 

"He's using space with great efficiency," Senior Creative Director Ross Klein explains. "He uses length to take defender's off of their position. In a euro step, for example, he can pull a defender one way and because his left step — the lethal step — is so long, he cuts a huge, almost two-step, advantage."

The Nike Zoom Freak 1 boasts a double-stacked Zoom Air unit that provides extra responsive cushioning as you run and jump on the court. At the forefoot, an internal containment system keeps you stable and fully contained.

These Nike basketball shoes also feature a multidirectional traction pattern that offers superior grip when making quick starts, stops, and changes of direction.

Cushion. The Nike Zoom Freak 1 features resilient foam midsole with a double-stacked Zoom Air unit. 

Under the heel, two Zoom Air bags are stacked on top of each other to provide extra cushioning during hard landings. This cushioning setup also offers explosive responsiveness as you get back down the court.

Traction. These Nike basketball shoes boast a combination of solid and translucent rubber that provides increased multidirectional grip on the hardwood.

The solid rubber portion is equipped with a geometrical traction pattern while the translucent section features a rose pattern that commemorates Giannis’ late father.

Closure. The Nike Zoom Freak 1 features a lace-up closure system with internal bands that lockdown the forefoot every time you lace up. A padded collar helps lock you in at the heel area.

For increased stability and containment, the Zoom Freak 1 also boasts a rubber clip that extends up from the outsole up to the midsole. 

These signature Nike basketball sneakers feature a textile upper that provides lightweight support and breathability. 

The Nike Zoom Freak 1 takes design cues from another Nike signature line. "Since I was little, I have been wearing KOBE shoes," Giannis explains. "The fit, feel and function has always been comfortable for me."

The Zoom Freak 1 features a low-mid-high design for increased support and mobility. "We wanted to heighten the sensation Antetokounmpo has loved in the KOBE," Ross Klein explains.

The Nike Zoom Freak 1 also introduces Giannis’ signature logo. According to Nike.com:

“The pattern is built from a repeat of the Antetokounmpo primary logo, an interlocked "G" and "A" that gives hierarchical privilege to the family name. Negative space is used to reflect the meandering path of the hero's journey, while the clipped corner of the "G" references Antetokounmpo anomalous athletic talents. He is, after all, nicknamed the "Greek Freak" for all that comes with his singular combination of length and agility.”

The Nike Zoom Freak 1 is available in several tonal and eye-catching hues.

  • Atmosphere Grey/Oil Grey-Cool Grey-White ‘Atmosphere Grey’
  • Black/Black-Red Orbit-Opti Yellow ‘Soul Glo’
  • Black/Multi-Color-Photo Blue ‘Black Iridescent’
  • Black/Multi-Photo Blue ‘Greece’
  • Black/White/Lucid Green/Black
  • Multi-Color/White/Black/Metallic Gold ‘Coming to America’
  • Total Orange/Dynamic Yellow-Black ‘Multicolor’
  • Total Orange/Midnight Navy/White 
  • White/University Red/Metallic Gold ‘Roses’

Nike Zoom Freak 1 ‘All Bros’

The Zoom Freak 1 ‘All Bros’ collection is inspired by Giannis’s relationship with his brothers Kostas, Francis, Alexis, and Thanasis.

Nike Zoom Freak 1 ‘Coming to America’

Nike basketball and Paramount Pictures team up to create a special colorway of the Nike Zoom Freak 1. Inspired by Giannis’ favorite movie, the ‘Coming to America’ colorway boasts a leopard print upper as a nod to Prince Akeem’s shawl. Other details include a furry black tongue with “Coming to America” written in gold.

Nike Zoom Freak 1 ‘Greece’

The Nike Zoom Freak 1 ‘Greece’ was launched to commemorate the 2019 FIBA World Cup. These Nike basketball shoes feature a photo blue upper and a white midsole as a nod to the Greek flag. Gold accents complete the silhouette.

Nike Zoom Freak 1 ‘Roses’

This colorway of the Zoom Freak 1 pays tribute to Giannis’ late father Charles. These white basketball shoes feature metallic gold and university red accents.

Nike Zoom Freak 1 ‘Soul Glo’

This colorway pays tribute to the amusing “Soul Glo” commercial in the movie Coming to America. These Nike basketball sneakers feature a black upper with yellow and red contrasts.

Size and fit

True to size based on 10 user votes
Small (14%)
True to size (71%)
Large (14%)
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Same sizing as Nike Zoom Freak 2.

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Fit
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How Zoom Freak 1 compares

This shoe: 90
All shoes average: 86
34 99
This shoe: £120
All shoes average: £140
£40 £500
This shoe: 340g
All shoes average: 393g
256g 812g
Author
Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic

Dimitrije Curcic has been playing basketball for over 22 years. Like Manu Ginobili, he’s a left-hander whose moves led him to a better career-shooting percentage than the Argentine himself. After playing professionally for 10 years, Dimitrije moved to coaching for two seasons before he became a basketball statistician for StatScore, and FanSided contributor for the San Antonio Spurs. Dimitrije loves to tell hoop stories through numbers and graphics and has been featured on Fansided, FiveThirtyEight, Eurohoops, and TalkBasket among the others.

dimitrije@runrepeat.com