I think Nike marketing is brilliant..brilliantly stupid. Everyone is talking about the 360 not because of the tech but because of the price. Jordan brand did something similar in 2001 with the AJ XVII but that went south as well. Even though it’s 2018 and not 2001, I think $200 is a mental barrier to purchase and shoe companies know that. That two in front of two zeros is like Shaq, Dream and Mount Mutombo at the rim. Those super inflated $250 Nike Elite years really messed with CEO brains.
So to be fair to the 360, I won’t consider the price in the review except in the conclusion and buying advice. Sorry money matters especially with all the choices we have nowadays.
Pros: Overall traction is adequate when clean, excellent fit, cushioning, very very very flexible, breathability, lightweight, surprisingly decent containment
Cons: traction does not have the strongest bite even when clean, needs wiping on dusty floors, some nubs starting to tear, materials feel and look plasticky, failed my tip test, flexible but may be overly flexible for some especially PF sufferers
Sizing: runs a touch long but not enough to size down. True to size for most, wide footers will want to try on for best fit.
Best for: guards who want flexibility and minimal support
Buying Advice: wait as always. $200 for a shoe these days for an retired great player is dumb especially when new Jordan’s are priced even lower. Lots of better options at a lower price including the Mamba Instinct/Rage. $140 or less is fair, bottom around $90.
12 ounces which is lightweight relatively speaking to the past few years. That’s 2.5 lighter than the Kobe XI Elite but also one ounce heavier than the Mamba Instinct
Good enough when clean or freshly wiped thanks to this nubby design. The rubber is soft and picks up a decent amount of dust but it flexes enough to brush some of the dust off at the same time. It didn’t have the bite I was expecting on clean floors especially when compared to its predecessors. I could feel some slight sliding on hard cuts and crossovers even on clean floors while the Kobe 8-AD had no issues. I had to wipe frequently to keep traction decent on dusty floors. If I didn’t wipe it was I, Tonya time (great great movie btw)
Definitely not as good as past Kobes but better than the XI translucent. Traction is of the weakest parts of the 360 and it happens to be the most important especially to me. Who wants to make an ultra wide cut just to keep from slipping ?
The Kobe system drop in insole is back again after taking a break with the Kobe AD (1st) and AD mid (3rd) but not the AD NXT (2nd) (the Kobe Line nomenclature is really stupid and confusing and needs to just go back to numbers)
This time around, Nike gave us a drop in insole with React in the middle (very soft) with Lunarlon around the rest of the outsole (less soft)I think the majority of players will really like this set up. It has a nice slight bounce to it in the middle but feels thicker than what was on the Kobe 8 and about the same thickness and feel as the Kobe 9 but with a softer center. I wore the 8, 9 , 11 to compare to the 360 and the the cushioning just feels more refined to me.
Evolution of drop ins over time 8,9, 11, 360. You can see Nike addressed one of my major complaints about drop ins with a taller and taller wall. Mexico is not paying for it though
The insole doesn’t squeak nearly as much as older models and the built up sidewalls make the insole keeps the shoe from pinching. Overall it just feels better. Where was this years ago?
One thing that needs to be noted about the insole is how sticky it is. It feels like it’s going to pull your socks the wrong way as you put your foot into the shoe. The benefit of the sticky insole is to keep your foot on the footbed just that much better. We’ve seen this idea before with the old Elite versions of the Lebron and Kobes but not done this way (I didn’t even notice it with my eyes)
If you want Ultra Boost cushioning look elsewhere but if you want low to the ground yet comfortable and balanced this is your set up.
Well done Nike!
I went true to size with the 360 and it has a tiny bit of extra length in the toe but not enough to size down half a size. I feel like it’s maybe 1/8 of a size long. I think true to size is the way to go for everyone unless you like your toes mashed up at the front.
I felt like the fit is the highlight of the 360. The shoe is very low cut but just locks the heel in place from the get go. No need for break in time or anything in the heel.
There is no deadspace in the toe box or side to side either and the thinness of the upper just feels like a second skin despite how plasticky it looks.
Is this fit due to the 360 construction (flyknit thst goes around the entire foot not glued at the sides to a strobel and midsole)
Errr probably not but Nike marketing would have you believe that. It is just a great fitting shoe simple as that. Well done Nike!
Flyknit 360 construction
This is not the Flyknit we are all used to. If you complained about older knits with TPU strands, well you’re going to hate these.
Knit is a misnomer with the 360 because it implies a soft cloth like feel. This just feels and looks like thinned out mesh or gauze covered in glue. (Sounds nice huh?). It isn’t uncomfortable though because it is so thin and spaced apart in most of the shoe that it allows for pretty natural flexing right out of the box. Obviously, breathabitity is great with the 360 due to all the space. I’ve always said materials don’t matter much and the 360 is truly a case in point. Materials for the most part are about value not performance and that’s why I don’t really consider them a performance aspect. Touch or look at the 360 and you think cheap but play in the 360 and it’s a different story.
Support and Stability
So this is where things go south for me personally. Support is fine for a low top with excellent heel fit and a decent heel counter. However, the construction of the outsole is just asking me for an ankle sprain.
As I’ve said in previous reviews, I look for tippy outsoles because I’ve had a history of horrible ankle sprains due to curvy outsoles, most notably the Lebron X and Kobe IX . Most of the issue is my gait and my feet so don’t let me scare you off especially if you had success with the aforementioned shoes.
Look how narrow and rounded the 360 is vs the XI
There is no outrigger either but the forefoot is so wide it doesn’t need one.
Midfoot support? Pic below is with the insole in it.
Nearly zero just like the Mamba Instinct. I put a credit card in it to make it somewhat stiffer. $200 no shank even has MJ shaking his head. MJ is also wondering why Kobes cost more than Jordans now.
There is a piece of tpu that is supposed to act as a shank but it does almost nothing
How’d I play with these ? Very cautiously and with braces on both ankles. I got used to it but given my history, I wouldn’t use these except for the sake of sneaker science. Hmmm new blog name? Hope someone doesn’t steal that idea or name. The curvature is fine when I land squarely but both times I sprained my ankle in the Lebron X and Kobe IX, I hit that curvature right in the nose and had to sit for 4-6 months. Again that’s my personal experience though. I’d rather have stability than a natural roll and bulge set up like the 360 but every player is different.
Surprisingly not as bad as I thought it would be. The external raised sole at the forefoot is really flimsy all alone but with the raised insole it works pretty well. Not really The best containment ever but more than acceptable.
Almost three pair of Harden 2’s (on sale for 70 bucks on Adidas)
Four pairs of Mamba Instincts
So is the NXT 360 worth the price of admission ? In a nutshell, no, especially for this occasional plantar fasciitis and occasional ankle sprainer. Okay traction on clean floors but poor dusty floor performance kills it for me..well that and a very curved heel kills it for me…well that and minimal midfoot support…well that and the $200 it just sucked out of my wallet…well that and I can get the Mamba Instinct for a QUARTER of the price and get better performance in the categories I place the most emphasis on. Let’s compare
Traction: Instinct easily
Cushioning: 360 but not by much
Fit: 360 by a little
Support and Stability: similar midfoot support but much better stability in the heel
Overall I feel like the 360 is an exercise in Nike’s latest innovations and they use the price point to weirdly “prove” that it’s the latest and greatest. It does certain things well and I think a lot of players will love it especially if you don’t need support and want the feeling of running with a second skin but traction isn’t great and without the basics down, it can’t hang with other top tier performers. When’s the last time you saw a race car not change it’s tires during a race? Lightning McQueen even knows that traction is fundamental to performance. If traction was better and I was younger I’d probably love these but at 180 lbs and still searching for the fountain of youth, these aren’t for me.
I’ll give it a third team rating since traction and stability wasn’t great for my game.
pic courtesy of SI
ever since i read your blog i started to take more notice in stability and containment cuz i tend to put a lot of torque on my feet and shoes. Anyway, great review as always. to me you and nightwing are the two best reviewers online right now
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Thanks Elliot! Appreciate the love !
Thanks for this review. I would never ever consider a shoe like this for playing basketball (especially since 90% of my game takes place in the paint).
However, I do wonder if the Lebron X is really a shoe that’s prone to ankle problems. I never owned the shoe but tons of people in my sports club still play it and it looks like it has a super stable, flat outsole. Very interesting that you got infured in it. Also, I’m really sorry that happened to you. I’ve had tons of injuries playing ball in the past as well.
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I just read the review of the LeBron X and what can I say other than “I’ll be damned” and “I’m glad I passed on those”!
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Ha it was years back live and learn.
Thanks, Schwollo I had been looking forward to your review. A few others I read got caught up in the marketing hype. I knew these couldn’t fool you.
$200 is a non starter for me. On top of that I’m in my early 30’s and can’t afford to play in anything that’s unstable at this point. Lebron 15 is about as far as I can go and at least the cushion on those takes some pounding off of my knees.
Salute to the GOAT shoe reviewer that you are. Looking forward to the KD 11 review at a less disrespectful price point.
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Is it possible the heel design and flex is to make it more like a real foot (possibly promote more natural movement)? Not saying that would be better especially for basketball but just wondering and looking at the design choice makes it look more like heel and those five finger or climbing shoe heels.
That’s probably the reasoning for the design.
So in terms of quick guard shoes for wide feet, do you have a standout this year? I liked the Hardens but they are so bottom heavy. My requirements are grip, heel and forefoot lockdown (no more clb 16 heel or toe jamming), and lightweight. I’m surprised about the grip on these. I felt the silver gum sole ones in the store and I thought the stick on these would be crazy. It seems nothing was really outstanding this year performance wise.
Harden is my top shoe so far but no nothing really stands out. 2017 was a good year imo. I think 2017 was much better than last year but who knows what the second half of the year brings ..that’s when most releases come out anyways .
Plantar fasciitis killer right here. This new react cushion feels no different than lunar. Not enough arch support for me. I sent this back bro. Fit and containment were fantastic. But just walking around the house I was picking up mad dust. Nike, Nike, Nike… smh
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I think it feels a little softer but it’s just in the middle.
No midfoot support at all though .
Thanks for the review, appreciate the work you put in ! Will you be reviewing soldier XII ?
Wouldn’t exactly call it work haha
I was going to the got too busy and now st this point might as well wait for sales before I do
Understandable, those things will hit the discount pretty soon.
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Yep very soon and very fast price drops
Mamba instincts for 50 dollars!? Teach me your ways master.
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Nike clearance sales on Nike.com. Usually 20% off clearance prices. Also Finishline and Eastbay have big clearances too
Hi Schwollo. Just wanted to ask regarding your review here, by midfoot support do u mean torsional support? I’ve been thinking about copping these to play in, but I have a bad history with knee sprains and meniscus tears so that really dampens my enthusiasm about copping these. Tho I’ve played in my KB11 EMs and AD NXTs with no problems so far (knock on wood).
Another issue for me is the durability of the super-thin flyknit. I mean, I know all shoes eventually rip or tear but this 360 flyknit kinda reminds me of my first ball shoe, the adizero crazylights, that were also super thin and which did eventually rip on me on the sides tho that was when I only had one ball shoe. Thanks man.
I mean more in terms of too flexible at the midfoot not really torsionally. If you’ve been ok w the 11 and nxt you should be ok. Just not a fan of all the support coming from a drop in.
oh ok so i guess u mean more midfoot support for people with plantar fascitis then correct?
Yea more or less
Do the drop in insoles of these shoes fit in the Kobe 8?
It can but the thickness (height) of the insole thinner than the 360 so fit would be off. Why would you swap it anyways?
I wanna try the drop in from the 360, but the heel is too rounded for me. Thus I wanna put them in my kobe 8’s since I don’t have an issue with stability in those.
The rounded heel is on the outsole so I don’t really think putting in a different insole is going to fix stability much aside from being maybe a little lower. Stick to the 8 imo