Our verdict

The Zoom Freak 2 is a decent performer for me due to its amazing fit, lockdown, and traction, but it is weighed down by its minimal cushion. I did not like the lack of ventilation and midfoot support. The Zoom Freak 2 would be a great performer if the cushioning was upgraded!

Pros

  • True to size
  • Secure lockdown
  • Fits nicely snug
  • Multi-directional traction
  • No break-in period
  • Lighter

Cons

  • Minimal cushion
  • Poor ventilation
  • Lacks midfoot shank

Audience verdict

86
Great!

Who should buy it

Do buy this Nike basketball shoe if you are an explosive perimeter player looking for a minimalist shoe that rides extremely low to the ground and has maximal responsiveness. 

The Freak 2 plays best on indoor hardwood gyms but is still capable outdoors with less longevity.

Who should NOT buy it

I don't recommend buying this shoe if you are a player who:

  • prefers sizable cushioning (in this case, consider the Nike Lebron 18)
  • needs strong midfoot support (the Kyrie 7 is praised for its good ankle support)

Superb, snug, true to size fit

One of the main highlights of Zoom Freak 2 was the outstanding fit. Aptly snug with no dead space, on all types of movements my foot felt secure in the shoe with the great lockdown. True to size worked for me as a slightly wide footer which I’d recommend for most people barring a very wide or long foot shape.

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Minimal but noticeable cushioning

The cushion on the Freak 2 is okay - one small forefoot Zoom unit in the forefoot that was felt but not huge with a full-length Phylon that covered the rest of the foot. This is about as minimal as a shoe can get that I'll still enjoy - players who prefer a lower to the ground ride will enjoy these.

The forefoot cushioning provided some impact protection, but was on the firmer side and may not be for players who desire a near-maximal cushioning setup. 

Great traction but picks up dust easily

The Zoom Freak 2 has fantastic multidirectional traction both indoors and outdoors. I tested the shoe in both some workouts on an indoor court as well as several shootarounds on an outdoor court. Despite the indoor gym floors being on the dirtier/dustier end(think local community gym), the traction gripped the floor consistently and had a noticeable bite moving in any direction. 

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Dust does pick up somewhat quickly on the outsole, especially in the circular pattern under the forefoot, and affects the tractions a bit but wiping the bottoms every few plays should handily clean off any captured dust for the most part.

No break-in time is needed for the Freak 2

It's great straight from the box. The upper material loosened up just a teeny bit after wearing a bit, but it was hardly noticeable and did not make a practical difference for me.

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The Zoom Freak 2 is doable for outdoors

I would mostly recommend the Zoom Freak 2s mostly for indoor play, due to the thinner grooves used on the outsole. The shoe will still play the same outdoors and actually hold up decently well in terms of durability, but after using it for a few outdoor sessions it may not likely play well inside due to dirt/dust buildup in the upper forefoot circular traction area.

Weighs slightly light for a basketball shoe

The Zoom Freak 2 weighs 12 oz/340g, on the light end for basketball shoes (average weight is 13.6 oz/386g). Given its minimal cushioning and upper setup, I wasn't surprised. Its weight sits just a tad slower than the popular Nike KD/Nike Kyrie/Nike PG/Under Armour Curry releases.

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Ventilation is poor

The upper of the Zoom Freak 2 uses a mesh-like upper which was below satisfaction in terms of ventilation. The material is thin, yet not so breathable. I noticed a small amount of sweat buildup but it was nothing that could affect my performance to any degree.

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Reliable lockdown in both the heel and lateral positions

Great lateral foot with no foot slippage during hard slides and stops, and the upper wrapped around the ankle area nicely where it did appropriately loosely hugged the ankle for good support. I could definitely feel the plastic extension of the outsole at the back of the heel - it helped keep my heel and foot in place. 

nike-zoom-freak-2-side.jpg

Price is okay if you want a close-to-ground cushion

The retail price for the Nike Zoom Freak 2 is £130 (average price for basketball shoes is £140). For the price, they’re a good get if you’re a quick guard who values traction and fit and wants a minimal, low to the ground cushion setup. At this price however there do exist plenty of other shoes with noticeably greater cushioning, so do consider the Jordan Zion 1, Under Armour Curry 8, or other models if you prefer shoes with more cushioning.