Verdict from 7.2 hours of research from the internet

5 reasons to buy

  • The Zoot Ali’i 16 was a fitting choice for racing, according to some runners.
  • Various users said it was comfortable right out of the box.
  • Many reviewers were amazed at the innovative lacing system and how it promoted an even pressure across the foot.
  • The midsole enabled a fast transition that was unlike any other running shoe, a wearer commented.
  • There were no pains nor blisters even after long miles, wrote a consumer.

3 reasons not to buy

  • One tester thought that the midsole looked cheap and flimsy and that it was not appropriate for long-distance running.
  • The upper felt narrow and stiff, a wearer complained.
  • It produced pain in the shin, as experienced by a customer.

Bottom line

The latest version of the Zoot Ali’i had positive feedback from most of its users. Several commended the performance brought by this running shoe. The features were also well-received. On the other hand, a few people encountered problems regarding fit and comfort.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

User reviews:

  • Zoot introduces a fresh look at running with the Ali’i 16, a lightweight gear that is adequate for tempo runs, track workouts, and even racing. This footwear is most suitable for neutral pronators or runners who require little to no arch support.
  • The shoe comes in only one colorway, proudly dubbed the “Flying Hawaiian.” The region of Kona in Hawaii was the inspiration for this eye-catching design. Kona is the home of the IRONMAN World Championships and the birthplace of Zoot Sports.
  • The upper is made from breathable mesh that implements an optimal cooling effect. However, the standout feature is the BareFit™ internal lining, which claims to give a fit and feel that is like a second skin.
  • The midsole consists of the dual-density Z-Bound™ and the ZVA, both signature materials from Zoot. They deliver excellent rebound and ample cushioning, especially during the heel strike. Meanwhile, the outsole uses carbon rubber for a lightweight yet durable traction.

The Zoot Ali’i 16 has a standard running shoe length and is available in diverse sizes. It has a broad forefoot and midfoot, but not exceptionally so; it will comfortably fit runners with a low to medium foot volumes. The width profile is medium for both the men’s and women’s versions.

The outsole of the Zoot Ali’i 16 makes use of carbon rubber. This material conveys a firm structure that guarantees durability. This carbon rubber is also placed in the Makai and Solana 2 running shoes.

There are lightweight tread patterns on the length of the outsole to achieve the necessary traction for up-tempo and long-distance runs.

This Ali’i 16 has a dual-density midsole, which consists of the Z-Bound™ and ZVA, both of which are proprietary materials of the brand.

The Z-Bound is an ultra-lightweight cushioning element that enables an ideal degree of rebound. With an enhanced gait, there is a decrease in the runner’s stress and fatigue levels. Z-Bound™ also grants the shoe a resilient quality because it is a durable material.

The ZVA, on the other hand, is injected EVA foam that has shock-absorbing property. This material works by preventing discomfort and injury caused by surface impact. ZVA also supplies each step with bounce, resulting in a natural stride and a laid back underfoot feel.

The upper of the Zoot Ali’i 16 is breathable mesh, which aims to provide the best level of ventilation for the foot.

Underneath the mesh is the BareFit™ lining that presents a comfortable and seamless interior, assuring to feel like second skin. The smooth surface of this material prevents blisters and other injuries.

A molded 3D heel counter and an integrated heel pull tab offer fast transitions, as well as excellent heel support.

The Ali’i 16 employs Boa® Closure System as its lacing technique, which yields a fast, customized, and comfortable fit. The dial adjuster enables quick application and effortless transition to running.

Size and fit

True to size based on 13 user votes
Small (8%)
True to size (62%)
Large (31%)
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How Ali'i 16 compares

This shoe: 61
All shoes average: 86
53 98
This shoe: $150
All shoes average: $119
$40 $350
This shoe: 9.9oz
All shoes average: 9.5oz
3.5oz 16.2oz
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.