Don’t judge Nike by it’s name
29 Sep, 2008
When it comes to snowboard products…the saying “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” comes into play a lot and with the new release of Nike, it should be “Don’t judge Nike by it’s name”. Until you get first hand experience with a product by either trying on or using…you don’t give a fair review of it.
I briefly saw Nike boots at SIA and didn’t really feel that my lack of experience with them was enough to write about them. SIA was 8 months ago and many products change from SIA to what hits the sales floor. However this weekend while checking out Emage Network in Denver I noticed that they had Nike snowboard boots in stock and was able to try them on. They also carried Nike outerwear but were still waiting on some gear to arrive.
In terms of appearance…they look like Nike shoes. No big surprise there…it’s Nike. It even says Zoom on the side of the boots and countless other ways to tell it’s a Nike. I don’t really care what my boot looks like on the outside…it’s always covered up by my pants except for 2 minutes of the riding day when I roll the pants up to take off the boots.
Now there’s one company that I expect would put a lot of money into R & D and that’s Nike. Both my friend K and I tried on Nike boots, he tried on the men’s Zoom Force 1 and I tried on the Women’s Zoom Force 1. Nike…please come up with names that don’t match for men’s and women’s.
I first tried on a size 8 which is my Vans boot size across the board and my Atomic boot size across the board. I forget what I was for DC, 32 and Burton…but I’ll try those on again this year to see. The size 8 had my toes curled under just barely so I sized up to 8.5 just to get the comfy feel. Normally I’d say screw it, size 8 and heat pack out the boot so it fits me…but not for trying them on.
I rock boots with the boa system…so having to go back to lacing was a bummer. The inner liner had it’s inner lacing system and velcro strap then the outside had the lacing and velcro strap. I will give Nike one thing…the inner liner was solid. K was in love with the built in ankle support and I was in love with the built in J-bars that held my boot securely in the boot. It wasn’t some cheap ass inner liner that I’ve seen other big name brands use…liners that probably came in my first boots in 1995…still being used in 2008.
The flex was stiffer than I imagined for a “freestyle boot” which was fine by me since I prefer a stiffer boot. The forward flex was softer than the lateral flex.
In terms of pressure points I had none…but I wasn’t in the boot longer than 20 minutes trying it on and walking around. I don’t know quality or how long they will last.
But I did walk away surprised that Nike boots weren’t that bad for a first year boot. Some positives and some negatives to the boot. For me…if it offered a boa system, it’d be something to consider for a boot.
Regardless it’s a first year boot…I think they played it safe in making a decent boot but nothing that will really “wow” buyers other than the name and if the boots fits you. We’ll see what they do for SIA in January and what they bring to the table then. My good friend Marc at Vociferous Void made a good point that he’d “like to see Nike try and become leaders and make more ecological boots. It’s in their power to steer the market that way.” So definitely Nike…it’s up to you to get past picking up more team riders and just making the product speak for itself and as a very very very large corporation…you have the ability.
To view more Nike Snowboarding products, check out the new Nike Snowboarding website.