One of the hottest shoes today, the Jordan Westbrook Zer0.1s are labelled with a futuristic, techy design, by one of the most exciting players in the league. These shoes have been highly anticipated by many who received word that Russ was coming out with his first signature shoe. Already a massive hit, the pump is out on the Nike website for $115. This article will review the shoe’s material quality and look, durability, comfort and cushioning, as well as its traction.
Materials & Aesthetic
The “Michigan” Colorway. This has a less techy vibe and is a lot more simplistic for those who don’t like the design.
Inspired by Russell Westbrook’s notorious fashion & style, the Zer0.1s has a very futuristic and different look compared to many others. The upper part is entirely made of two pieces of fused mesh. Because of this, the shoe is controversial in its looks, as some do like its aesthetic, while some think it’s not very good. Regardless, it is undoubtedly one of the unique shoes we have ever gotten on the basketball court, inspired by Westbrook’s unique NBA style.
The thin fused mesh, along with the heel component, allows the shoe to become lighter than it looks. I mean, the shoe seems heavy. This material is also known for being soft while being incredibly supportive. The general feel towards its content doesn’t seem low quality at all, despite being an MSRP $115 shoe. The look compliments its materials well.
While the top material is quite light, the rubber on the bottom, its general chunkiness, and cushioning make a somewhat heavy shoe. I wouldn’t say it feels like it’s heavy though because I did not feel held back by it during games, as well as during our customized playtests. It’s also really stretchy and, personally, how they created its aesthetic looks fantastic. The back plain colouring also contrasts well with the techy, more complex upper front, which is a nice touch.
Jordan Zer0.1’s full fused mesh upper allows for it to be both lightweight and durable. Its overall chunkiness and full sides certainly give it a sort of “durable feel”, and it does not deceive. This shoe is an absolute tank. It’s also pretty well made and the fibres held together well throughout our playtests. The very high quality of the material also comes in handy when playing and keeping these shoes intact. I’d have to say, however, that the nodes on the bottom can wear down pretty fast if you’re playing outdoors, so once again if you are deciding on shoes for playing basketball outdoors, this one probably won’t be your best bet.
Comfort, Fit, & Cushioning
Six different colourways for the “Why Not?” Westbrook signature shoe
The shoe may not necessarily look like the most comfortable shoe, but it’s pretty damn convenient. The airy mesh gave some breathability to the pump, but the mesh was held pretty close together, so I never felt very much ventilation. That is probably one of the more significant downsides to the mesh-based material: it can get a little hot in there.
The significant heel component of the shoe comprised of moulded foam is quite distinctive and works with the padding to do a spectacular job at holding the heel in place, and also protects your Achilles tendon well. Hence, its lockdown on the back end was spectacular. However, some users of the shoe report the heel component as feeling a bit clunky. At least for me as a pretty regular footed guy, it was a bit of a pain to get the shoe on, and it takes a bit of breaking in for the pump to fit perfectly on the court. Because the Zer0.1 is almost entirely fused mesh, it takes a while for it to break in too. Once the shoe finally broke in though, it fit nicely and was comfortable during movement. This shoe can likely fit well with any foot type also, which is a great plus for those with more full feet, so there’s no need to adjust foot size; get your exact size as this is one of the rare shoes that fit true to size.
The Zer0.1 has fantastic cushioning. Boasting a full-length bottom-loaded Nike Zoom, the Jordan “Why Not?” gives you everything needed to become an explosive player like Westbrook. But what is most notable out of the full-length Zoom is its strong responsiveness. Jordans, in general, does an exceptional job at making their Zooms, and it can be seen in shoes such as the Jordan 31s. The Zoom and the cushioning create an exceptionally well-balanced shoe, where it is neither too bouncy nor “mushy”, where the bounce fails.
The shoe by itself doesn’t make you feel low to the ground, which is what you might expect coming out of a signature shoe from a point guard. The shoe also features a phylon material found inside the midsole, which only adds on to the extra comfort. Also present is an ankle strap to lock the ankle in place. The ankle strap may also require a bit of breaking in too, as at first, it cut my ankles a small amount. Wear high cut socks, at least until the shoe breaks in and the materials aren’t so straight-edge right out the box. The overall shape of the shoe gives a fantastic outrigger to provide some lateral support for twists, turns, step backs, and the like.
Russ rocking his first signature shoe before its official release
The Zer0.1s have a simple multidirectional herringbone-criss cross pattern with individual nodes, which aid in the overall bite and stopping power of the shoe in a clean court, making it an extremely effective shoe on those surfaces. This pattern also allows for strong movement in any direction. Even without such an aggressive traction pattern, the sole is excellent for stopping and going in any direction.
On a dusty court, it’s not as good, making it skate quite just a tad bit, but wiping your shoe should do the job just right. Because the shoe rubber itself is quite hard, you could get away with using them outdoors. However, there are individual nodes present in the shoe could be a bit soft, so they are obviously subject to wearing down outside. At the very least, you have a bottom sole that is durable and works well on most courts with a simple wipe down.
“Why Not?” Zer0.1 Review: Conclusion
Westbrook’s “Why Not” Zer0.1 is a powerful shoe with strong traction, comfortability, and style that can be pulled off by only the boldest. All that holds it back is the ankle strap which may cut and chafe the ankle until it’s broken down further. Others might find it pretty uncomfortable even then, but as long as high-top socks are worn, it should not be a long-term issue.
Its full-length Nike Zoom Air is impressive given that it’s Westbrook’s first signature shoe, and it has a comfortably low price of $115. On a clean court, these shoes work wonders, but wiping will be necessary on a dustier court. The shoe’s stronger rubber underside will allow it to work on an outside court, but its nodes are subject to wearing down. Overall, they are an excellent start to Russ’ signature shoe collection with Nike and have me excited for what more is to come for the fashion aficionado.
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