Let’s take a moment to appreciate the simplicity and beauty of the Zoom BB
The Zoom BB came out in 2007 when Steve Nash was near the peak of his powers and the BB was getting some serious team shoe time.
Why Nike only made three of the Zoom BB is beyond me. I never tried the Fuse 1.5 but I’ll bet it performs as decently although it is only forefoot Zoom. Out of the BB I and II, I preferred the I because the upper had a tighter overall fit with no deadspace. And in case you didn’t know both generations of the BB feature the same outsole and full length Zoom set up. I suspect a retro will be coming in the next year or two.
Pros: traction, cushioning, fit, support and stabilty, containment, low fast ride
Cons: piece in outer forefoot gets soft and containment suffers over time.
Best for: Guards
Sizing: true to size
17.5 ounces so not a lightweight nowadays
I remember the first time I played in these like it was yesterday. Just seriously loud squeak and stop traction.
I actually used these last week in my open league and prior to that, I played with these side by side with the Hyperdunk 2016 to compare the cushioning and the traction is still fantastic. It does require some wiping on dusty floors but it can still almost hang with the top tier traction set ups and still better than most.
Nike used a simple and innovative approach to making the cushioning a guards dream
Step 2: do not use any fillers such as EVA or Phylon. Before Pure Boost there was Pure Zoom
Step 3: remove strobel board and use cloth instead
Step 4: use Pebax to stabilize the Zoom yet keep it flexible and springy
Even the sockliner had a little extra spring to it
This is as pure of a Zoom set up as you’re going to get. Low profile and springy or every guard’s wishlist. No foam allows the player to feel the Zoom and eliminates any extra ride height.
Regarding the lows, I thought the set up was the same but upon further inspection it is heel (very small and short heel but thick) and forefoot Zoom. Still a great ride but not as springy from heel to toe.
The only reason why Nike got rid of this set up could be due to the Zoom popping although I have never read of any but I could see it happening since you’re essentially stepping directly onto the Zoom.
The Zoom BB I simply fit true to size. No need to size down or up to get a one to one fit because back then, there weren’t as many choices in materials. My normal size 11 fit perfectly length and width wise.
Sit back, let the basic lacing set up and mid cut do its job. No heel slip or movement side to side or front to back.
So simple, so effective, so so nice
These are the suede version and although it isn’t my first choice in materials, it works.
The suede version is just softer and stretchier than the leather plus patent version and gets sloppier over time but these have held up well after ten years. I have the Tony Parker PE somewhere but I can’t find it 😦
Support and Stability
The leather version actually has more support than the suede because of the materials. I actually left the top loop undone on the leather pair because it was almost too restrictive. This suede pair is a little more flexible and conforms to the foot like a sock.
Here you can see the simple heel counter. Notice it only extends to the lateral (outer) side, similar to what the CLB 16, to save weight.
Low to the ground with a flat outsole, these just keep you planted to the ground. No worries of any instability.
People think I’m crazy when I talk about lateral containment but look at the pic above and you can see it mattered at some point to Nike. Unseen, there is a plastic piece behind the upper that sits where that leather rand is. I’ve worn my BB down so it’s a little flimsy now but still miles better than the new generation of mesh and knits that have a total disregard for this performance aspect.
Do away with all the technical mumbo jumbo and marketing and just give me a shoe that performs like the Zoom BB and you’ll have my endorsement. There was no fanfare, no YouTube reviews back in 2007, just word of mouth from genuine basketball enthusiasts like Niketalk. Even the Nike ad was simplistic.
QUICK IS DEADLY
Technology may have changed but it really hasn’t improved in a significant way in ten years and the Zoom BB proves it. It’s also why I don’t just pick ten shoes every year and give them a ringing endorsement.
Thanks for this throwback review, thats why I always check your blog. One of the best in the biz. Reminds me of of the early 2000s when guard shoes had great design and performance. Loved the 2k3s, Zoom turbines (with all the colors, esp the unc one) and the zoom drive. Hope you can do a review on the bb4s. Thanks and great work
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Thanks ! You mean the shox? I really need to add a better search function
My bad, yup the shox. Thanks man!
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Zoom turbine was amazing. The cushioning was amazeballs and lacing was unorthodox
Good review by the way
Amazeballs will be my new tag line for exceptional shoes.
I never owned the turbines since I had my xivs
Still but I’ve heard of the greatness
I really wanted to like these back in the day. I got a white and orange TB pair and was super excited to play in them.. Especially hearing how good they were. But I found the heel cushioning to be not enough. I take hard lunges and plant my heel first to pull up for jumpers, etc and I bruised my heel one too many times. Kobe 3 is another shoe I hurt my heel doing same thing. Great read as always!
Wow you must really mash your heel. Guess that’s why the stopped making the BB lol
I found the Kobe iii heel thick ..but traction was bleh so never really got into the rotation
Yeah it’s crazy cause I’m not very big either… 5’11, 155lbs. I’ve even felt some slight jarring in my heel with the rose 6 (but mind you that wasn’t on hardwood which has some give, it’s like a coated concrete).
The Kobe 3 I find to be very odd, it’s decently thick straight up and down but.. You know how some shoes have a very pronounced heel, like the 2k5, Kobe 1, kd8.. I feel like the Kobe 3 is the inverse of that. There is no material in terms of guiding the foot on impact when striking on an angle. It’s just a hard stop. I guess it’s just my style of play that doesn’t work with some shoes. I also run on the “side” of my heels when cutting hard ala Gilbert Arenas so I have to watch out for slippery outer heel surfaces too (caged zoom air for example).
Great review! Unfortunately I never got a chance to check these out. My 2nd kid was born and I was probably 25 lbs overweight. lol.
Nice to see your kicks have held up well. Nowadays, I can’t see the knits and wovens be that durable.
Do you remember how much these cost? Any retro that Nike comes out will probably retail for an additional $20-30 and then discounted to where the 07 price was and even more. lol
Haha yep exactly ! Nobody cares about retro team shoes.
I think they were 120-125 but I picked
Mine up for 80. They are very durable esp the patent ones.
Hmm wife didn’t let you hoop when child was born how familiar…
I had the BB2, to me they were just a cheaper version of the BB1.
Traction was very good, cushion was responsive, but a bit too minimal for my taste; upper didn’t conform well to my feet so I ended up not liking them very much.
At that time I was surprised by how quickly Nike launched the BB2 after BB1, whiich actually had a very short life (half a season I think) even if it was a very popular model.
The upper is minimal
On both but the II was just sloppier overall and too much movement inside the shoe. Half size down helped but not all the way.
air zoom drive, bb1, 2K4… good times man…
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This review and these comments got me feeling like I really missed out. I was always up on sneakers in the 90s-early 00s. But those 04-08 years were my end of college-first few post college years where I was broke as hell and I became almost completely oblivious to what was out there. I say “almost” because I do remember copping the first Starbury’s.($15 got my attention and the white ones were kinda clean IMO) I still hooped often in those years too, but have no idea what was on my feet. Probably the same pair for the entire time period.
Ha ha starbury was clean looking. I’m curious about them and might pick up a pair of the new ones. Nike golden years were 1998-2009 and then a drop in zoom quality and crazy price increases but they are stepping it back up while bringing prices back down.
Since these are pure Zoom as you said, would you liken these to the KD9s which are “completely unlocked Zoom”?
Not as soft as the KD 9 since its only 6mm normal zoom plus the Pebax along midsole makes it less squishy on the outer portions . Perfect set up for quick guards who want to be low
Thanks for the reply! I was contemplating for a long time about what to ask and I guess I just wanted to know your opinion on all the full-length Zoom shoes, particularly the Hyperrev 2014, KD9, BB, HD 16 Flyknit, and any other shoe you think had outstanding full-length Zoom. Which among these did you enjoy the most and how would you compare them to each other?
To be honest, Nike usually doesn’t mess up full length zoom since it’s always the same size and uses less foam. KD 9 does feel the best though since it is 360 zoom and no fillers. BB is second hd16 then hr14 . Hr14 was too minimal of a shoe for me btw but comfortable
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I had the same color. Played in them for a good 7-8 years, and even had to glue the rubber at the toe numerous times over the years. The only real issue I had whole I played is the uppers losing their shape. Otherwise, this is the best shoe I’ve ever played in. I’ve been trying to find a Zoom Air feel like this for years, and nothing has come close.
Yep the suede upper is soft which in today’s world is considered a good thing. I preferred the leather patent upper but I can’t find mine lol
If they did some sort of remix of these with a mesh + Flywire upper, and maybe a thicker Zoom unit (I was 180 lbs. when I bought them, and now I’m almost 220. Gotta save the knees!), these would be an even better shoe. I’ve played in the Hyperdunk ’13, Soldier 8 and 9, and none of those come close to the cushioning. Only the Soldier 8 matches the fit, maybe slightly better.
Yep hard to replicate that Zoom feel the way the BB was set up. HD 16 flyknit isn’t bad but still not the same. I really liked the fit of the soldier 8 but that was about it lol
how do you think these shoes compare to the current day performance shoes? i’ve been using the curry 2 for a while but a couple of months ago i broke out my low steve nash grey toes and the traction just doesn’t feel as good as the curry 2. might also be because i’ve worn them down cos i used to play in them so much. great memories in the zoom bb though. i still have about 3 pairs of nash lows, 2 pairs of the ben gordon PE and 1 pair of the kidd. still on the hunt for a pair of the larry hughes and biggie PEs!!
That’s a nice collection of BB.! I’ve been rotating them into my rotation and they are in my top 10 now (top 5 actually ). Does everything well, traction included although not as good as the curry 2 traction.
You know what I just realized? The Zoom BB might’ve been a sequel to the Flight 2K3. I’d love to get a retro of those, and Nike not butcher the Zoom by just giving it a paper-thin heel unit. I should’ve copped the white/orange pair back in the day when I had a chance.
how do the BB 1s compare to the BB 2s in terms of cushioning
Same set up feels the same in both
Thank you. How do they compare in other aspects (ps: I’m asking bc I found a pair of BB 2’s on ebay so I’m curious to see how they compare to the BB 1s; I’m only gonna cop iif they’re just as good as the BB 1’s)
I found the bbii to be a little sloppier fit wide especially in the forefoot . Just more space overall. The bbi fit me perfectly. All that being said if the price is low the BB2 is still great but I’d take the BB1 over it
This was the best basketball shoe I have ever played in. Loved it. Would buy them in a second if I could find it
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eBay is really the only place now but yes it is a great great great show