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NikeCourt Zoom NXT Tennis Shoe Review

NikeCourt Zoom NXT Black/White Men's Shoes

Upsides

  • Traction
  • Ventilation
  • Comfort

Downsides

  • Nothing we could agree on
Video Review

Summary

Taking the mantle from the GP Turbo, the NikeCourt Zoom NXT offers a lower-to-the-ground and more connected ride. Our playtest team noted some differences and some similarities between the two models, but the end result was certainly a positive one. Weighing in a full ounce lighter than the outgoing GP Turbo, these shoes felt speedy during acceleration and handled transitions with ease. The strategic positioning of the Zoom Air cushioning unit allowed Nike to trim weight while maintaining a comfortable and springy response. Our team was split when it came to fit, with players who wanted a snugger fit opting to move down a half size, while others stayed true to size. The Zoom NXTs worked best for narrow and medium feet, sporting a relaxed toe box and stability through the midfoot and heel. It is worth noting that our wide-footed players had issues with the midfoot being slightly too narrow. The mesh uppers led to vastly improved ventilation and flexibility during changes in direction. Durability and traction were both highlights. The high-wear areas of the outsoles held up without issue, and the level of grip worked just as well for our hard court sliders as it did for playtesters who prefer to sink into their shots. The Zoom NXT reimagines the balance between comfort, durability and speed.

NikeCourt Zoom NXT Shoe Scores

Comfort 3.9
Ventilation 4.4
Arch Support 4.0
Foot Support/Stability 3.0
Overall Sole Durability 3.7
Toe Durability 4.2
Traction 3.8
Weight 3.9
Overall 3.7

Comfort - Score: 3.9

The Zoom NXTs offer plenty of underfoot cushioning, as well as a very breathable mesh upper. Following one of the longer playtests he's had in recent years, Chris appreciated the shoe's balanced response. He said, "The Zoom NXTs were comfortable to wear from the get-go. The mesh uppers flexed and moved with my feet well, so I never had to worry about blisters or rubbing on the tops of my feet. I did experience some rubbing on the bottoms of my feet, though, as the supple uppers allowed my feet to slide around inside the shoes. The fit in the forefoot was a tad wide for my narrow feet, which accentuated the slippage. However, the rubbing was only an issue when I was hitting several times in one day, and that's when the bottoms of my feet got sore. On the plus side, the level of cushioning was perfect for me. It felt responsive and connected to the court, yet I still found a cushioned ride."

Michelle's experience saw an upward trajectory as the playtest stretched on. She said, "Knowing it replaces the GP Turbo, I was excited to try the evolution of the bounciest shoes from Nike, which have gone from the Zoom Zero to the GP Turbo, and now to the Zoom NXT. The GP Turbos were super responsive and comfortable, so my expectations were high with this playtest. I found I liked these shoes more at the end rather than the beginning. I know some players have struggled with the fit of Nike shoes, but I found these to run wider than most of the brand's other tennis shoes. They aren't wide, but they have a more generous fit than other models, specifically the Vapor Pros. The uppers were super flexible, breathable and comfortable, but I could have used a bit more support from the material. I preferred this upper over the more canvas-like upper on the GP Turbos. The underfoot cushioning seemed to unlock itself as I wore the shoes more. When I first put them on I didn't have the same bouncy feel I did in the GP Turbos, but about four hitting sessions later, the bounce came alive. I noticed it every time I laced up from then on."

Brittany adopted the GP Turbos shortly after she finished playtesting them, so the stakes were high with this new model. She explained, "Knowing the Zoom NXTs were a replacement for the GP Turbos was a good and bad thing. I loved the GP Turbos, so I had high expectations. When I first slipped the shoes on and walked around to test them out, I didn't find many similarities between the two; they felt completely different. The fit at the beginning of the playtest felt snug around my midfoot and heel, with enough room in the toe box to be comfortable. The length was standard, and I stayed in my true size. The cushioning felt average to me, neither plush nor minimal, which was quite a departure from the super plush and bouncy GP Turbos. I didn't need a break-in period when I headed down to court and played the first couple sessions, and my feet felt comfortable in the Zoom NXTs. I did find the upper to be more breathable and better ventilated than the GP Turbos."

Jason and Tiffani are our resident wide-footed team members, and they offered a different perspective. Jason started by saying, "Was the cushioning adequate? Yes. Was it a comfortable shoe for me? That's a tougher question to answer. If I didn't have wider feet I'd have no issues with the comfort, but because I do, I was definitely experiencing some discomfort in the midfoot. The hard plastic pieces on both the lateral and medial sides don't flex very much. It did get better as the test went on, but I was experiencing arch soreness early on. That said, I thought the uppers were nice and soft and flexed well." Tiffani continued, "Coming into the playtest I had heard that these Zoom NXTs fit wider than most Nike shoes. Having wide feet, I was excited to hear this. However, once I got them on my feet and headed to the court, I quickly realized that these shoes aren't wide everywhere. The toe box does feel generous, and the uppers are soft, but because the plastic on the midfoot is stiff, my feet constantly felt squeezed. The result was these shoes not being comfortable enough to wear throughout the review. That aside, I liked the cushioning level. I also thought they felt responsive underfoot, and the ventilation was average."

Foot Support/Stability - Score: 3.0

Our playtesters were somewhat mixed on whether NikeCourt Zoom NXTs were supportive enough for their needs. Jason, for one, was impressed. He said, "I was pleasantly surprised by the level of support and stability. It's improved over the GP Turbo in the sense that I wasn't getting any toe jamming. The Zoom NXTs were stable enough for me to move aggressively, plant my feet and change directions."

Following a positive start, there were a few downsides for Brittany. She said, "The first half of the playtest, I felt that the shoes held my feet nicely in place, even on the most aggressive movements. As the playtest wore on, the soft uppers started to loosen up and stretch out, and my feet started to move around a little inside the shoes. Toward the end of the playtest, the uppers were not holding my heels in place either. However, I will note that I never had any ankle soreness and felt fairly stable for the most part." Chris added, "The Zoom NXTs have good stability under the arch and heels, but they were very flexible up in the forefoot. This combination gave the shoes a very fast feel because I could trust that my heels were protected, and I got some nice flex at toe-off. Ideally, I would have liked a snugger fit in the forefoot, as well as some more supportive upper materials. My feet were sliding around inside the shoes, and on aggressive lateral stops, my feet would slide over the edge of the midsole because the supple uppers would balloon out."

Tiffani found the setup that worked best for her through trial and error. She said, "I thought these shoes offered good support and stability. However, because these shoes fit so tightly around my midfoot, I was fiddling with the lacing quite often. I would try loosening them to help alleviate the squeeze, but if I loosened them too much, I would get a lot of heel slippage. So to keep them feeling more secure, I usually opted to keep my shoes tied fairly tightly. When doing that, I felt confident moving laterally and didn't have any issues."

"I thought these shoes provided adequate support and stability," Michelle continued. "While the uppers were very comfortable, I wouldn't say these are the most supportive shoes, but they still offered good support for my court needs. When lacing the shoes up, there is a stylistic loop at the top, which was fine, but I would have preferred seeing this be more functional. With that being said, I never felt like I was going to get injured in these shoes and never slipped over the shoes or twisted an ankle. The visible stability shank at the middle of the shoe held me upright and kept me confident when changing directions."

Overall Sole Durability - Score: 3.7

The newly designed outsole of the NikeCourt Zoom NXTs held up very well for our team. While some of the testers on our super review, hosted by TWE, had issues wearing through the mesh uppers, none of our playtesters here had any trouble. Even after plenty of time on the court, Chris' pair was still looking fresh by the end of the playtest. He said, "I was very impressed with the outsole durability of the Zoom NXTs. I put a ton of hours on the shoes and I'm amazed at how much rubber is still left in the high-wear areas. I only drag my toes onto the uppers at the tips of the shoes, and the Zoom NXTs have a decent bumper guard, so I had no durability issues." Jason continued, "I'd estimate I put in about 15 to 18 hours, and my shoes still have plenty of tread life remaining. I think I could easily do another 15 hours before needing a new pair."

Michelle put her Zoom NXTs through their paces, and they came out on the other side in good shape. She described, "I was expecting to wear these shoes out before the end of the playtest, and while they still have some life in them, there is some smoothing under my big toes on both feet. I'm not always the hardest on shoes, and by no means do I slide on hard courts. I can see why these shoes might not be the most durable option for players who do slide, but for me, they worked great!"

While she wasn't able to spend quite as much time with these shoes as she usually does, Tiffani still thought the Zoom NXTs seemed nice and durable. She said, "I didn't wear these shoes as much as I normally would because they weren't a great fit for me. However, I put in a solid 10 hours of hard court time in the Zoom NXTs, and I'm not seeing much wear on them at all. There's just a bit of scuffing on the toes."

Brittany saw some room for improvement, but she was pleased overall. She explained, "I was able to get about 15 hours of playtest time on these shoes, ranging from doubles to practice to singles play. Checking out the outsoles at the end of the playtest, I can see typical wear under my high-wear areas, including the big toe. There's nothing out of the ordinary, but they're also not the most durable shoes I have playtested. The toe bumpers held up extremely well. They are nice and thick, and I see no damage, even cosmetically."

Traction - Score: 3.8

The new tread pattern designed for the NikeCourt Zoom NXT brought top-notch traction. Tiffani explained, "The balanced traction is a highlight for me. I liked how these shoes gripped when I needed them to, but they didn't grab the court too hard and trip me up. I really count on my footwork with my game style, and I felt I transitioned well in these shoes."

Michelle found similarities between these Zoom NXTs and the GP Turbos. She said, "When I first looked at these outsoles I didn't think they would provide high levels of traction, but I was happy to find a nice blend of tack and give. Again, I'm not a hard court slider, and I prefer being able to stop on a dime rather than slide into a ball, so these worked ideally for my footwork."

This was a standout category for Brittany. She said, "The outsole pattern on these Zoom NXTs is a little on the unique side. I found them to be slightly more sticky at the beginning of the playtest, giving me a little more grip than I needed. As the playtest wore on the traction settled in, and I didn't notice the grip as much — maybe even getting a little more give. Combine this with a lower-to-the-ground feel (especially compared to the GP Turbos), and I felt very connected to the court." Jason added, "The new tread pattern allowed the shoes to grip the court enough that I could push off without slipping, yet I had enough give in them that I was able to slide out of my shots when needed."

The Zoom NXT's tread pattern gave Chris everything he needed to move aggressively on court. He described, "The distinctive tread pattern on the Zoom NXTs proved itself on the hard courts. I found plenty of grip for aggressive push-offs when sprinting around the court. When coming to a stop, I was able to control my movements well thanks to the blend of grip and give."

Weight - Score: 3.9

Weighing in significantly lighter than the model they replace, the NikeCourt Zoom NXTs felt nimble. Brittany explained, "Without even looking at the weight of the shoes, I found them to be lighter and quicker when moving in all directions compared to the GP Turbos. They felt more streamlined, and I appreciated how smooth they felt underfoot. I was able to get a nice heel-to-toe transition and didn't have to think about the weight at all during the playtest."

"These shoes feel lighter than the number shows on paper," added Jason. "They feel low to the ground, and the cushioning is more responsive. I wouldn't mind if they were actually lighter, but the weight was a non-issue for me."

The weight aligned perfectly with what Michelle wants on court. She said, "Throughout this playtest, I kept trying to compare the weight to that of the GP Turbo. And based on the new knit upper, a little less cushioning and some visible weight taken out from the middle of the shoe, these Zoom NXTs are definitely lighter. That said, I still concede that the GP Turbo is bouncier, which can make it feel more responsive and speedier at times. These shoes are the perfect middle-of-the-road weight for tennis shoes, in my opinion."

Chris was impressed with how the specs came together. He said, "When walking around in the Zoom NXTs, I'd say they felt pretty middle of the road in terms of weight. However, the shoes had a fast feel on court. I think the flexibility in the forefoot made them feel very fast when I was up on my toes. Combine that with the traction, and I was moving well. I would have liked more support, and if that came at the expense of adding some weight, I'd be fine with that." Tiffani agreed with Chris, saying, "The Zoom NXTs felt on the speedier side. I didn't feel weighed down, and I could pick up and move easily around the court. I have no complaints in this department!"

Overall - Score: 3.7

Likes

Michelle - "The NikeCourt Zoom NXTs have a soft, comfortable upper paired with a bouncy midsole that feels responsive, and they got more comfortable the more I wore them."

Chris - "I like the comfort of the uppers and cushioning, as well as the fast feel. The outsoles also do a good job providing great traction and being impressively durable."

Brittany - "The Zoom NXTs do everything well."

Tiffani - "These shoes feel light and have good traction."

Jason - "The stability, much-improved support and traction stand out the most for me."

Dislikes

Michelle - "I would have enjoyed an extra eyelet to cinch the NikeCourt Zoom NXTs up a bit more for added support."

Chris - "These shoes are a tad roomy for me in the forefoot, and they're not supportive enough."

Brittany - "The uppers stretched out toward the end of the playtest and caused a drop in playability."

Tiffani - "Although the Zoom NXTs have a more generous fit in the forefoot than some other Nike tennis shoes, the plastic stability features in the midfoot squeeze my wider feet, making them uncomfortable to wear."

Jason - "The fit through the midfoot region is definitely not for the wide-footed player."

Comparing the shoe to others they've tried, our testers said:

Michelle - "I spent most of this playtest comparing this Zoom NXTs to my memories of the GP Turbo, and I found that the fit of this model is wider and the underfoot cushioning isn't as bouncy, but I liked the flexibility and breathability of the upper on this shoe. These shoes also feel a bit speedier than the GP Turbos."

Chris - "Compared to the GP Turbos, the Zoom NXTs are lower to the ground and feel more responsive, but they lack the super plush cushioning and don't feel as supportive. The React Vapor NXTs are much stiffer and more supportive shoes, but they aren't as comfortable as the Zoom NXTs."

Brittany - "As I have mentioned in the other sections, I don't find the Zoom NXTs to play anything like the GP Turbos. On the positive side, they are better ventilated, lower to the ground and lighter. The negative is they are not as cushioned or as comfortable. Also, at the end of the playtest, I thought they were slightly less supportive and stable. Other shoes in this category to try include the KSwiss Ultrashot 3, Yonex Eclipsion 3 and Lacoste AG-LT 21."

Tiffani - "These Zoom NXTs are the replacements for the Nike GP Turbo, but I wouldn't say these two are alike. The GP Turbos are known for their ultra-plush cushioning, and these Zoom NXTs feel more like Nike Vapors because of that Zoom cushioning underfoot."

Jason - "They are supposed to replace the GP Turbo, but to me the Zoom NXTs are a different type of shoe. These shoes feel more responsive and less pillow-like. They remind me more of a Vapor Zoom."

Chris' Scores
Overall Comfort4.8Overall Sole Durability4.5
Ventilation2.6Toe Durability4
Arch Support4Traction5
Foot support/Stability3Weight4.3
Overall4.3
Michelle's Scores
Overall Comfort4.2Overall Sole Durability3.8
Ventilation4Toe Durability3.8
Arch Support3.5Traction4
Foot support/Stability3.5Weight4
Overall4.2
Jason's Scores
Overall Comfort3Overall Sole Durability4.4
Ventilation4.7Toe Durability
Arch Support2Traction4.7
Foot support/Stability4.6Weight4.3
Overall4.1
Tiffani's Scores
Overall Comfort3Overall Sole Durability3.8
Ventilation3.5Toe Durability3.8
Arch Support3.5Traction4.5
Foot support/Stability4Weight4
Overall3.8
Brittany's Scores
Overall Comfort3.9Overall Sole Durability3.7
Ventilation44Toe Durability4.2
Arch Support4Traction3.8
Foot support/Stability3Weight3.9
Overall3.7

NikeCourt Zoom NXT

Play Tester Profiles. Click to learn more about our play testers.

Playtester Foot Types

Chris - Narrow width / Medium arch

Michelle - Medium width / High arch

Jason - Wide width / Low arch

Tiffani - Wide width / Low arch

Brittany - Narrow width / Medium arch

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