14 users: 2.9 / 5
5 experts: 81 / 100
Terrain: Road
Weight: Men 9.7oz / Women 7.9oz
Heel to toe drop: Men 8mm / Women 8mm
Arch support: Stability

Verdict from 6.3 hours of research from the internet

5 reasons to buy

  • The shoe is very comfortable and lightweight as mentioned in some reviews.
  • Some runners applauded the quick lacing scheme of the Zoot Makai.
  • Many mentioned that the Makai has the right amount of cushioning for underfoot protection.
  • It has a flexible and breathable upper.
  • The Makai is a responsive shoe according to some testers.

2 reasons not to buy

  • This shoe is expensive.
  • Based on some reviews, the laces are too light and stay loose.

Bottom line

The Zoot Makai is a reliable running shoe designed for natural foot motion. It delivers a good combination of cushioning, protection and comfort. Despite being expensive, some users still considered the Makai a good investment. This shoe is ideal for daily training and short-distant runs.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Expert reviews:

User reviews:

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  • A new racing shoe is presented by Zoot with a very attractive sole. The Zoot Makai comes with a lightweight and unique sole construction that delivers durability and traction. Cool and breathable, the upper mesh material offers excellent ventilation while the Z-lock lace systems offers both speed lace and standard lace options. Because of this, a custom-fit lacing is available allowing the runners to easily put it on and run right away. This new lacing system is a great addition to its design as it helps make sure that the laces are not loosed along the run and will not disturb the stride.
  • This shoe also comes with a new and clever way of rapid transition with a rubber tongue on the heel and a surprising material loop on the front. This addition aids the Quicklace system for quick transition, which is also an advantage for runners to have an edge in the race.
  • The cushioning system of this shoe is enhanced. This shoe features a unique cushioning system in two different degrees. The midsole are flexible but solid, and this is because of the Z-bound and ZVA, which both provide the support needed while keeping the shoe soft and responsive.

The Zoot Makai has an accommodating size to fit a runner’s standard foot size. The toe box area is wide enough, actually wider than other versions, to allow toe free movement. The mid-foot and heel area are both locked with the new lacing system that also provides the custom-fit for a more comfortable running.

The outsole of the Zoot Makai has the Carbon Rubber technology, combined with the new Z-Bound and ZVA sole. This technology is placed both on the heel and the toe for a more responsive rebound that is light, soft, and of minimal support. This outsole material is similar to the Zoot Solana 2.

The midsole are enhanced with better cushioning at a less weight with the new Z-Bound and ZVA technology. As a result, the shoe offers faster stride, responsive rebounds, and reduced stress on the foot.

The upper construction of this shoe consists of the breathable mesh that is also soft and cushiony. It is enhanced with the newest Quicklace lacing system of combined standard lacing and speed lacing. This construction makes it easier for the racers to put the shoe on and have a quick stride. To enhance the soft and comfortable feel, it is also constructed with a seamless internal fit that offers comfortable running even without socks.

Size and fit

True to size based on 8 user votes
Small (13%)
True to size (88%)
Large (0%)
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How Makai compares

This shoe: 63
All shoes average: 86
58 99
This shoe: $135
All shoes average: $119
$40 $350
This shoe: 9.7oz
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.