Performance Review: Nike Zoom Huarache Trainer

Performance Review: Nike Zoom Huarache Trainer

Nike Zoom Huarache Trainer Performance Review

words // Nick Engvall
images // Nick DePaula

Expectations With No Exceptions

Taking all of the preconceived notions about how a shoe performs can be challenging sometimes. Especially when judging based on things like price, where it is absolutely impossible, specifically when some shoes retail price is set at upwards of twice the cost of shoes in the same category. As strange as it may sound, there is one thing that will always affect my expectations more than the price of a shoe, and that is its legacy.Nike Zoom Huarache Trainer Performance Review

The Nike Zoom Huarache Trainer carries a name and stature that epitomizes this in a couple of ways. Of course, the original Nike Air Trainer Huarache, which was groundbreaking back in the day, is one of the more comfortable training shoes created. Secondly, the Nike Trainer 1, which was basically a revamped version of the original Nike Air Trainer, is a tough shoe to compete with on the level of do-it-all performance.

Seeing as how Amar’e Stoudemire has been wearing the Nike Zoom Huarache Trainer nearly all season in our Sneaker Watch coverage, I knew coming in that would, of course, be a major focal point of my review. Before I get to that, there are a few points about the Zoom Huarache Trainer that need to be touched on.

The first thing about the Zoom Huarache Trainer that I noticed is the weight. It’s light. The design of the Zoom Huarache Trainer, with the exoskeleton and inner bootie specifically, make for a shoe that seems to feel even lighter than it actually is. The only downside to the weight of the shoe, in my opinion, is the lack of balance. It feels as if you are carrying most of the weight right under your heel and ankle.

The lack of balance in weight makes running in the Zoom Huarache Trainer for any sort of distance, or even on the treadmill for that matter, disappointing due to that “slappy” feeling.

Nike Zoom Huarache Trainer Performance Review Midfoot StrapOn the other hand, the low center of gravity and the adjustable midfoot strap make for a shoe that works great lifting and doing other sorts of drills. It’s a pretty stable-feeling shoe and with its lightweight feel, and it’s great for zigging and zagging through cones on the field. In addition, the tread pattern of the Zoom Huarache Trainer is an obvious supporter in my feeling that the shoe is much better at tearing up grass and dirt than it is for making cuts on the court.

One of my only concerns when I slipped on the Zoom Huarache Trainer for the first time was with the ankle portion of the exoskeleton design. The fit and comfort, although I hate to use the term, is sock-like. It’s comfortable beyond expectations. As for concern about the exoskeleton around the ankle, I thought for sure that there would be discomfort from rubbing, especially when playing basketball. While on occasion you can notice the synthetic leather brushing against your upper ankle, it never got to the point of  even a slight annoyance, which was surprisingly pleasing.

Now, as for the basketball side of wearing the Nike Zoom Huarache Trainer – I’m no Amar’e Stoudemire, but after a handful of runs, there isn’t much about the Zoom Huarache Trainer that makes me want to continue wearing it on the basketball court. Frankly, I’d rather take time and energy to bring a second pair of shoes to the gym, specifically to hoop in. Especially if you’re going to run in more than just a 2 or 3 games. The exoskeleton design just doesn’t feel supportive enough for me. Although comfort and weight are on par with, or better than, some of the best Nike basketball shoes out there (like the Zoom KD III), for me, something more substantial supporting my ankles is needed. A more pronounced and supportive heel cup would do wonders. Also, like I said before, the tread pattern isn’t optimal for court sports in my opinion. After playing basketball in the Zoom Huarache Trainer, I give a lot of credit to Amar’e for playing in it night after night, but wonder why he wouldn’t move to the Zoom KD III, Hyperfuse or Fly By.

In summary, if you’re the type of person that likes to do it all, and get a quick game in at the end of your workout, or spend more time on the grass of soccer or football fields, the Zoom Huarache Trainer is a an extremely comfortable and practical option. If you’re like myself, and tend to let your workouts fall heavy towards either running on the treadmill for a couple miles, or getting into more than two or three pickup games, I think the Zoom Huarache could use some slight improvements to make it as do-it-all capable as the Nike Trainer 1.

Available now: Nike Zoom Huarache Trainer

Nike Zoom Huarache Trainer Performance Review - Heel

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Nike Zoom Huarache Trainer – Black/Volt-Dark Grey

Nike Zoom Huarache Trainer – Black/Volt-Dark Grey

words_Brandon Richard

A big part of the reason Nike Training made a strong comeback in 2010 was because of shoes like the Zoom Huarache Trainer. Making modern upgrades to the vintage silhouette, the shoe dropped in several popular colorways throughout the year, and will continue to do so in 2011.

Available now is a pair draped in familiar colors from Nike’s Training heritage. The shoe features a black leather exoskeleton with hits of volt on the cross-strap, tongue branding, inner bootie and outsole. Dark grey takes care of the outer bootie, tongue and a portion of the midsole.

Available: Nike Zoom Huarache Trainer – Black/Black-Volt-Dark Grey

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Nike Zoom Huarache Trainer – Black/Volt-Dark Grey

Nike Zoom Huarache Trainer Pitt Closer Look

words_Nick Engvall
images_Nick DePaula

Last month we talked with Aaron Cooper about the Nike Zoom Huarache Trainer and revealed a number of the college inspired colorways that have been created. We also looked at the Virginia Tech Zoom Huarache Trainer and the Miami Hurricanes Zoom Huarache Trainer. Today we have a look at another college inspired colorway, this one designed for the athletes attending the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.

As expected the Pitt school colors of Blue and Gold are placed on the Zoom Huarache Trainer. The dark blue is offset with a white midfoot strap and midsole for a well balanced look. As with all colorways of the Nike Zoom Huarache Trainer, the performance details are here as well. Responsive Zoom Air technology combined with the exoskeleton design makes for a lightweight training shoe. The midfoot strap serves up sufficient lockdown, apparently enough for Amar’e Stoudemire to hoop in (See our Sneaker Watch coverage).

Available now: Nike Zoom Huarache Trainer

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Nike Zoom Huarache Trainer – Black/Volt-Dark Grey

Nike Zoom Huarache Trainer “Miami” Closer Look

words_Brandon Richard
images_Nick DePaula

How many schools can be identified by simply calling out one letter? That honor resides solely with the University of Miami, better known as “The U.” The school is so easily recognizable because over the last decade, they’ve cranked out more top tier NFL talent than any other institution. Since 1999, Miami has sent 67 players to the NFL, only second to Ohio State. However, 33 of those players were selected in the first round, 8 more than any other school in the country. Earlier this year, 11 former Hurricanes were selected to play in the NFL Pro-Bowl, setting the record for the most players from one school selected to play in the annual game. While things have slowed down in recent years, there’s no doubting that Miami has produced some of the best talent in football over the last 10 years.

Miami’s status as one of college football’s elite programs made them an obvious choice for Nike’s 2010 Pro Combat program. For the program, a special Pro Combat uniform was made for Miami with elements of their heritage worked into the design. Tonal Fir palm-frond print representing South Florida was incorporated into the jersey numbers, pant and footwear. The ‘Canes unveiled their Pro Combat gear in a game against the Virginia Tech Hokies on November 20th.

In addition to the Pro Combat uniforms, Nike also hooked Miami up with a special Pro Combat colorway of the Zoom Huarache Trainer. The shoe, which is available here at Eastbay now, sports a fir green exoskeleton with black working the inner bootie, midfoot strap and tongue. Hits of team orange appear on the midsole and branding on the tongue and strap. Also orange is the insole, which also features the University of Miami logo and fir palm print. A large Swoosh on the heel is done in white, while an orange-grooved black rubber outsole finishes things off on the bottom.

Available: Nike Zoom Huarache Trainer “Miami”

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Nike Zoom Huarache Trainer – Black/Volt-Dark Grey

Nike Zoom Huarache Trainer “Virginia Tech” Closer Look

words_Brandon Richard

Over the last decade, the Virginia Tech Hokies have been perhaps the nation’s most consistent football program. With their 37-7 beatdown of in-state rival this past Saturday, Tech extended their active record of seven consecutive 10+ win seasons. The school also has the nation’s second-longest bowl game streak, participating in the postseason every year since 1993. Next up for the Hokies? A date with the Florida State Seminoles in the ACC Championship Game on December 4th.

Acknowledging Virginia Tech’s rich heritage, Nike made the school part of their 2010 Pro Combat program. As part of Pro Combat, Virginia Tech received custom uniforms and footwear to wear during the season. When onlookers saw the uniform designs, they questioned why they were done in black instead of Hokies maroon. The answer came at the official unveiling, when alum Col. Rock Roszak was on hand to help explain the concept.

As you probably know, Virginia Tech has a prestigious military background that traces as far back as 1872. Their Corps of Cadets has produced 7 Medal of Honor recipients and over 100 graduates that have been promoted to General and Flag Officer Rank. The black Pro Combat uniforms worn by the Hokies this season were done in tribute to the Corps of Cadets, as well the cadet gray-and-black regalia worn by Virginia Tech’s original football team.

Nike didn’t limit the Pro Combat collection to on-field gear. For the 10 teams that were selected for the program this season, Nike also designed custom versions of the Zoom Huarache Trainer, including a pair for the Virginia Tech faithful. Like the Pro Combat uniforms, the VT Zoom Huarache Trainer features a black on black synthetic and mesh exoskeleton. Hits of orange turn up on the inner bootie, tongue branding, trim, heel counter Swoosh and outsole. Capping off this sleek looking sneaker is a custom Virginia Tech branded orange insole.

Available: Nike Zoom Huarache Trainer Pro Combat Collection

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