Verdict from 1 expert and +100 user reviews

7 reasons to buy

  • Many impressed buyers like the aesthetic appeal of the NikeCourt Air Zoom Vapor Cage 4. 
  • Most of the reviewers who drag a lot find this trainer to be very stable. 
  • Lots of playtesters affirm that this stability shoe is well-protected in quick-wearing areas.
  • It’s sufficiently cushioned, according to plenty of users.
  • It grants a reliable ground connection, according to several purchasers.
  • As noted by some players, the upper flexes well after giving it a few tries on the court.
  • The tongue and laces are tucked well during sliding, according to some comments.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Quite a lot say that the Air Zoom Vapor Cage 4 is heavier than other Nike Zoom shoes. 
  • Some feel that the snugness of the Nike Air Zoom Zero is better than the fit of this model.

Bottom line

Next to its killer looks, the NikeCourt Air Zoom Vapor Cage 4 excels in stability, durability, and comfort. The aesthetic and technical components integrated into this hard court shoe make it by far more advanced than the past Cage and Vapor iterations. The Kurim rubber gets an innovative twist, working as a supportive caging system on the upper. The Zoom Air is ready for impactful hard court games while keeping the aggressive court spinners and toe draggers close to the ground.

Tip: see the best tennis shoes.

Good to know

Nike whipped up another explosive profile suitable for the uncompromising, aggressive court players. Although the NikeCourt Air Zoom Vapor Cage 4 is created for the King of Clay, Rafael Nadal, this trainer is meant for the hard court. Such a hybrid model, which carries the top-speed quality attached to the Vapor series, is faster and more dynamic than the earlier Cage iterations. 

Cage 4 is one of the most stable, durable, responsive, and speedy designs from both lines. The cosmetic charm of this shoe, consisting of a burrito-resembling tongue, a unique lacing system, and a wild play of colors, screams attention. These functional and aesthetic attributes of the Cage 4 reflect the no-nonsense playing style of Nadal.

Outsole strength. Ready for the roughness of the hard court, the bottommost level is constructed with a generative rubber design. Additional heavy-duty rubber is concentrated in the high-wear areas. The thinner patterns are integrated into portions that are less susceptible to abrasion. Such a construction is meant to help you optimize your agility even on concrete courts. 

Added perimeter support. The hard-wearing rubber layer isn’t only found on the underside of the shoe, but over the tip, lateral, and medial sections too. This added level is responsible for extending the court life of the trainer, which makes it uber fitting for the most aggressive players and those who love to slide on the court. 

Durability warranty. Like the previous iteration, the Nike Cage 4 outsole is supported by a six-month durability warranty. This guarantee tag is an assurance from the brand that the outsole can last for a minimum of half a year from the time of purchase, regardless of your level of play.

Nike’s proprietary Zoom Air unit, made of pressurized air with tensile fiber, is one of the essential elements integrated into the Cage collection. For Vapor Cage 4, this midsole cushioning system is lodged under the ball of the foot to protect it from a hard impact. The springy sensation of the Zoom Air aids the foot during takeoffs, making the Vapor Cage 4 better cushioned than the earlier Nike Air Zoom Cage models.

Protection. The overwrap rubber on the Cage 3 is replaced by the soft Kurim material on the Vapor Cage 3. Instead of the web-like overlay seen on the previous model, the rubber arrangement on this shoe comes in linear dots. This pattern that wraps around the medial forefoot works as an added protection, especially for toe draggers. 

Stability. Stability and durability are among the known attributes of the Cage line. A well-defined full-length foot frame on the lateral side makes this fourth version more stable than the earlier models. It helps in providing balance during side-to-side movements. This support system also serves as a solid base when transitioning from one shot to another. 

Extra support. For added support, this fourth-generation Cage court trainer is assembled with a unique lacing system. The medial lace loops are covered by a supportive upper to keep it from ripping off quickly when sliding. 

Comfort. It still offers a bootie feel with the presence of a half sleeve construction that extends in-shoe comfort and form-fitting feel.

  • Cosmetic-wise, the shoe is a head-turner with its unique two-face upper concept. In the Beaverton camp, it’s called the “Harvey Dent shoe,” implying the scared two-faced supervillain character in DC Comics, an adversary of Batman.
  • Most highly-advanced hard-court trainers are tagged by the brands with a 6-month outsole durability guarantee. 
  • The durability assurance is a one-time replacement benefit that’s applicable within six months from the time of purchase. The user can have their shoe replaced if the outsole significantly wears out and exposes the midsole within the allotted duration.

NikeCourt Air Zoom Vapor Cage 4 “Fairy Bread”

Nike’s popular models such as the Air Zoom Zero, Vapor X, Air Max Vapor Wing, including Vapor Cage 4 were updated with a Fairy Bread colorway. These were released in time for the Australian Open 2020. These trainers are peppered with multi-colored dots, mimicking the vibrant sprinkles on the Fairy Bread — a traditional party snack in Australia.

Cushioning. NikeCourt Air Zoom Zero is the first Nike tennis trainer that contains the proprietary Zoom Air. Such a springy cushioning unit is laid on the entire midsole of the Zoom Zero, whereas with the Cage 4, it’s concentrated under the ball of the foot.

Overall built. Nike Zoom Vapor Cage 4 has a curved outsole with a rear that partly sticks out. Such design is also evident on the Air Zoom Zero. Of the two hard court athletic shoes, the Zoom Zero weighs much lighter. The cored-out mid-section of the Zoom Zero outsole is wider, taking away a lot of weight from the shoe. 

Durability. The rubber compound and groove system of the Nike Zoom Vapor Cage 4 are meant to withstand the abrasiveness of hard court over a protracted time. It’s backed by a six-month durability guarantee, which is missing in the Nike Zoom Zero.  

Fit. Both shoes offer a snug fit with the presence of half inner sleeves. 

Shock-absorption feature. Both shoes are equipped with the trademark Zoom Air but deliver different levels of comfort. This responsive air unit is lodged on the forefoot of the Nike Zoom Vapor Cage 4 to create a springy action when taking the next shot. On the other hand, the Zoom Air bubble is placed on the rear side of the Nike Zoom Vapor X  to provide cushioning right under the heel. 

Weight. The Nike Air Zoom Vapor X, which weighs the same as the Air Zoom Zero, is a lot lighter than the Air Zoom Vapor Cage 4. Although both Vapor trainers are conceptualized for speedy court movers, the hollowed-out mid-section of the outsole and spacious grooves on the Vapor X slashed down much weight from it. 

Ventilation. The upper mesh structure of the Vapor X makes it more breathable than the Vapor Cage 4. 

Inner structure. Though it doesn’t have the internal sleeve design as the Vapor Cage 4, the Vapor X still provides a glove-like feel due to the integration of the Dynamic Fit system.