* sorry Spring Break threw a wrench in my schedule*

Executive Summary: the PG1 is a good all around shoe that does nearly everything well and outperforms a lot of shoes at higher price points. Cushioning isn’t premium feeling but it works fine.  Glad to see PG13 finally get his shoe. And glad Nike learned how to design an aesthetically pleasing shoe again.

The PG1 Tackle Box Pack: Shimano Curado, Seaguar InvizX, and Senkos not included

Paul plays basketball, Paul is great player, Paul should have gotten a sig shoe years ago but broke his leg, Paul is back to balling, Paul loves fishing and basketball, I love fishing and basketball, I like Paul. Let’s hit the lake PG13!

My best bass last year, a 7-7.5 ish pound bass caught on the PG1 pack above sans the shoes. Fish was released after pic 

PG13 really should have gotten his sig shoe a few years ago but better late than never. The reel question is if the PG1 a good shoe or is it a stinker(bait). Does it kick bass or is it just crappie? It it a keeper or a throw back? Did we get catfished by Nike ? Did we fall for Nike marketing hook, line, and sinker ? Are we hooked on Nike basketball shoes again or is this just a snag?

Pros: traction, fit, materials feel like they should be on a more expensive shoe, support, stability, containment, price

Cons: cushioning feels like firm Phylon but works fine and should be expected at this price point, rides higher than other guard shoes

Best for: guards

Sizing: wide footers should go half a size up, narrow and footers could get away with true to size


15.5 ounces which is about average for today’s shoes


Micro Grooves on the PG1 are reminiscent of what we saw on the Mamba Instinct. The rubber is soft and pliable and I had zero issues with traction on any court conditions. While playing at one of my goto dirty courts aka 24 Hour Fitness, I didn’t wipe at all for over an hour while the Curry 3 Low required wiping within ten minutes. *Side note, I’ve said it before but the Curry 3 traction isn’t close to Curry 2, it’s more like the Clutchfit Drive 1*

I’ve had very good success with every Nike that featured micro grooves or one of its variants except for the Kobe XI but that may have been due to the translucent rubber that just picked up too much dust. I feel the grooves are spaced just far enough so dirt doesn’t stick in between them and the rubber don’t pick up dust like glue. Traction on the PG1 is on par with the Mamba Instinct, Kobe AD which is pretty damn good.

Well done Nike!

Ride Height

Usually I don’t talk too much about ride height but the PG1 does sit a lot higher off the ground than normal guard shoes. It isn’t Lebron X high but when you switch from the PG1 to an average guard shoe like the Lillard 2 or Curry 3, you feel like you’re on the ground. You can see the a general difference in height in the pic above. Not a deal breaker by any means but it’s worth noting.


At $110, I didn’t expect much in terms of Zoom and it feels decent overall but feels just like a budget Nike shoe set up to me.  The cushioning feels mostly like Phylon (which I expected) and I could feel the forefoot Zoom just enough to notice it. The designer of the PG1 stated that they used a larger Zoom bag in the forefoot but I really couldn’t tell.

 If the Zoom wasn’t protruding slightly, I probably wouldn’t have known there was a Zoom unit at all. 

If you’ve never played in a Phylon shoe, it feels fairly firm with very little spring or bounce but it’s still comfortable enough. Phylon firmness can vary from shoe to shoe and this set up is firmer than other team models such as the Run the One but cushioned more than the Kyrie 2 or 3. The PG1 one has a lot of Phylon so the cushioning is definitely there. The downside to Phylon, like basic foams like EVA, is long term comfort and durability as it starts to break down.  However, the super thick sockliner helps hide the “Phylonness” of the PG1

Curry 3 Low sockliner vs the PG1

There is a lot of the step in comfort comes from this super thick sockliner. It has to be at least 10 to 15% thicker than a normal liner. The thick sockliner probably contributes to the tighter than normal fit of the PG1. Nice segway eh?


To me, the fit is the highlight of the shoe but you need to get the right size or your forefoot might get uncomfortable. I tried on my normal size 11 and my neuromas were firing because my toes couldn’t spread out at all. Part of the reason is the previously mentioned super thick sockliner. I opted for half size up and all was better though. One other option is swapping the sockliner for a thinner one (still a tad tight for me). I had zero movement side to side, no dead space, and minimal heel slip from the get go. Heel fit improved after a few wears to near perfect for me. Why can’t they all be this simple?

The PG1 is a one piece mesh upper made up of mesh and nubuck on the lateral side as well as around heel for support and strength (and looks).

In addition there is a forefoot strap that does its job by narrowing the forefoot when you pull it tightly. I had no need to tighten it since it’s already a narrow shoe for my wide feet. I could feel the Flywire on the medial side when I pulled tight but it wasn’t an issue.

Lastly, the heel is very padded and contoured which is a refreshing change.

I was so excited to wear them I didn’t take the sticker off 

There is a deep notch that is hard to see but all the padding just gives a nice one to one feel.  I’d say it took two wearings for the padding to really learn my foot but it was solid from the start.

Well done Nike!


What is this space age material? FlyLthEr? Nope it’s just nubuck and mesh. It’s a nice blend of old and new school materials that really gives the feel of a much more expensive shoe.  I have a feeling we will see more of this type of set up as Nike tries to capture more of the lower price point customers.

I like this strategy, keep doing it Nike!

Support and Stablity

Support comes mainly from the fit, heel counter and countered raised midsole. It kind of looks like a low top but I feel like it is high low top or a low mid top. No issues with the support at all. Midfoot support is also very good thanks to a stiffer than normal cushioning set up as well as an internal plastic shank.

Stability is fantastic on the PG1 thanks to a large forefoot outrigger and flat outsole.

Add in the firmer cushioning set up and you have a solid stable shoe.

Well done Nike!


The PG1 does a very good job on containment thanks to a raised  midsole similar to the Hyperrev 2016’s. It does flex a little bit on hard cuts but it’s better than most which is good enough for me.  I can’t believe I single handedly brought back containment the past few years.


Expectations, value, and looks on this $110 sig shoe is what will probably win over a lot of buyers and it’s a great strategy by Nike to steal back some customers from UA and Adidas. Almost everything about the shoe is great and the cushioning, while not premium feeling, does a good job (Nike had to cut costs somewhere right?). I really liked the throwback feel to a padded lined interior.

Should you jump on it at the $110 price point ? I feel it is worth $110 but look around enough and you can find them for $90 with coupons. I used a Dick’s Sporting goods coupon to get these for $90. And if they are at Dick’s they are everywhere. Don’t fall for the online sellout tricks.

Overall, the PG1 is a great start to a new signature shoe, far better than the Kyrie 1 in my opinion. I actually think the bow tie logo is a fantastic and creative design (I think the Kyrie and KD logos are lazy and uninspired). Cushioning isn’t the best or very fun but it works fine while  the rest of the shoe performs very well.  Personally, I have the PG1 and Curry 3 Low as my top two shoes in 2017 but neither is really in my top 10 rotation but overall you can still say the PG1 kicks some BASS.

75 Comment on “Nike PG1 Performance Analysis and Review 

  1. Pingback: Nike PG1 Shoe Review & Shoe Performance Test Roundup | Only The Coolest Basketball Shoes

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