Runners expect many things from the Nike Air Zoom Structure 22. However, it seems the series is stuck in time. The outsole and the midsole do not do justice to the shoes. Of course, the first miles are fine as everybody things break in is required. But after a few miles, runners slowly start to realize break-in is not coming. The shoes feel stiff and unresponsive at times.
Looking at the outsole is not easier. There is no distinguishable concept of a type of outsole Nike created. The manufacturer probably tried to make peace with all surfaces and even consider the shoes for casual wear. But given the fact no series attention has been given to this area for a few releases, it can be an indication that runners need more. The shoes would be fine if they would simply be fairly priced. But with mid-range prices, runners expect better performance. However, there is one area where the shoes are as good as expected.
11 reasons to buy
- Rough midsole experience
- No real flexibility even after break-in
- Unimaginative outsole with poor cross-surface performance
- Some cushioning from the Zoom Air unit
- Modern lacing allows a tight fit with flexibility
- Good upper mesh for proper feet ventilation
- Large selections of color patterns to choose from
- Plenty of protection for the Achilles tendon
- Supportive for flat feet runners
- Versatility for those seeking casual shoes
- Distinct upper design
2 reasons why not to buy
- Stiff even after a few miles of hard running
- Outsole needs to be upgraded
As seen above, upgrades worth mentioning include the upper. It is now more modern and better prepared for changing temperatures. The shoes can be worn during all seasons. The missing upgrades are, of course, the midsole and especially the outsole. Practically, nothing has changed for the outsole and this is still a mystery as it has not received any awards with the 21st release.
Getting out and simply running should not require fancy shoes. Nike Air Zoom Structure 22 tries to keep things simple. To an extent, Nike has managed to offer this. However, it is still not clear why the manufacturer has opted out of outsole upgrades.
There are a few areas which come with attractiveness. They include the upper, which is beautifully designed and which comes with the right materials. The lacing is as good as needed for most runners. Surprisingly, the extra rigidity of the midsole also translates into a better shoe for flat feet runners.
There are two main approaches Air Zoom Structure 22 fans can have if unsure about the shoes. They can always transform them into casual shoes, as they would be a comfortable option for daily walking. With great colors to consider, they would even be a stylish solution to walk with. However, since the shoes would be used for their aesthetic appeal, their Shield version would be recommended as well.
For running purposes, the shoes work well for flat feet runners running on hard surfaces around the block. They might not be the best in parks or trails. On-track performance should come with a passing grade for all types of runners. It is also probably one of the last opportunities to run with a long-lasting outsole which has now been used for years by Nike.
Made from Duralon blown rubber, the outsole is durable. It will last similarly to some other mid-range options on the market. However, runners don’t actually complain about its durability, as they rarely get to run hundreds of miles in the shoes.
The traction of the outsole is not as good as expected. This is mainly due to the ambiguous design which is more similar to treadmill and gym shoes than to actual outdoor running shoes. Given that runners don’t seek performance, the outsole can be enough to encourage occasionally and even daily running and training sessions.
There is a Zoom Air in the shoes and this is sometimes where the attention of buying runners ends. But this should not be the case with Zoom Structure 22. There is room for improvement in the midsole for the price.
At least, the shoes come with partial sleeve wraps for a snug fit. From this perspective, the shoes feel very friendly to the feet. But if the outsole needs to be updated, the midsole can also see newer technologies to stay in line with the fluent approach from competitors.
It is the upper which raises the final mark of the Nike Air Zoom Structure 22. It is engineered well and it makes the shoes feel comfortable while offering an attractive design. The mesh materials have plenty of support and breathability for any feet. There is some room for mild pronation.
Runners also appreciate the Flywire cables with their snug yet flexible approach. Overlays are added on the heel. But unlike with other shoes, they actually integrate well. The padding on the upper is not too thick either. The one question which remains is when will the upper get the midsole and outsole it deserves?
Size And Fit
The shoes fit well on normal width feet. There is extra room in the forefoot. The engineered mesh upper also has a degree of flexibility which is enjoyed when running frequently in different environments. While its stretchiness is not as important when wearing the shoes with casual outfits, it shows its strengths out on the track.