The latest iteration of Paul George’s signature looks NOTHING like the rest. A zipper? A look of a spaceship? Well, let’s break it all down in this Nike PG 4 review.
Honestly, I wasn’t the biggest PG shoe line fan. The PG 3 was good but nothing really special. Looking further back, the rest were following roughly the same formula – a guard-orientated budget shoe.
Well, the price tag is still in the budget tier and this time we got a completely different design with new tech specs. So is this worth adding to your basketball shoe lineup?
Let’s find out.
HOW THE REVIEW WILL UNFOLD
I’ve been playing in the shoe for roughly 2 months (as I do for most shoes), mostly outdoors but I did have a chance to play in a local gym for a couple of times.
Here’s what we’ll break down:
- Fit & comfort
- On-court performance
- Overall build quality & value for the price
- Versatility: whom it’s best suited for?
- Is it worth it over the PG 3?
Model: Nike PG 4
Weight: 14.15 oz / 401 g. (size 11 US)
Retail Price: $110
Cushion: full-length Air strobel & Phylon midsole
Best Offers On: Amazon Finish Line
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I. COMFORT & FIT
Alright, so let’s start with the fit and sizing. The PG 4 runs small and quite by a large margin. How often you see Nikey themselves state the shoe runs small on their own shoe page?
I’m myself a wide footer so I thought screw it and went up a full size. It wasn’t really the wrong choice but the final experience after a short break-in period is not something I’m a huge fan of.
Regular/narrow footers should all just go up half a size. For wide footers – it depends but if have some MAJOR wide feet, I’d suggest going up a full size.
So why I’m not a huge fan of these? They’re now a bit too roomy and flimsy-feeling after going up a size. I did have a chance to try these on at 10.5 (half a size up for me) and they were nowhere near compatible with my foot. Tight as hell, so I passed on it.
So the main issue for me personally would be the lack of a proper size to suit my preferred fit. Whether you’ll have the same issue – probably not. I barely know any people with as wide of a foot as mine LOL.
For me though, they’re just too roomy and feel like you have a larger shoe on than it actually is. Containment suffered a tad bit as well. I never fully rolled out of the footbed but I could definitely feel some movement occasionally. Not game-breaking but something I wish wasn’t present.
But regardless, the main message is these are best to try on first or order a couple of different sizes, returning the one that doesn’t fit right.
All in all, if you can get the fit correct for you and give these a bit of time to break in, the overall comfort experience isn’t bad at all and containment should be solid as well.
And if you think that wonky 1990’s looking zip shroud piece has a major effect on how the shoe fits – you’d be quite wrong there.
What does make a difference is the large amount of internal padding literally everywhere, which feels awesome. The zip shroud is extremely light and made mostly of a knit & open mesh material.
The shoe feels light, mobile, very breathable, and does not bring up any comfort issues. So no pinching, break-in pains, or anything like that. If it doesn’t look comfortable while looking at it – playing in it feels quite nice.
The PG 4 brings a very reminiscent traction pattern of the previous PG 3 and it works just as well.
I was biting concrete and a synthetic rubber outdoor strongly at all times – no slips, weak stops, none of that. Inside on hardwood – same result.
As for dust piling up – no worries there either. I did some occasional wiping but mostly out of habit and tendency to think the shoe will grip the floor better for some reason.
Well, that’s not really needed for the PG 4 – even though the pattern welcomes dust and other nasty stuff quite quickly to the outsole, I barely felt a difference in how the shoe was biting the floor.
I would definitely salute Nikey for sticking with a similar outsole the PG 3 had – it’s not classic herringbone but this shows you there are other modern patterns that get you awesome multi-directional coverage at all times, no matter the court.
Don’t take these outdoors too often though – just as on the 3rd PG, the rubber doesn’t feel the strongest + the grooves of the pattern are thin.
Even though you surely can hoop in these outdoors, I wouldn’t put them in my regular outdoor rotation.
Full-length Air? What is this, 2001? Despite the surprising “old-school” inspired elements the PG 4 brings, the cushion setup isn’t that bad.
A full-length Air unit means buttery smooth step transitions and solid impact protection throughout the whole foot. This is exactly the strongest suit of the shoe’s cushion setup.
But if you’re expecting a very bouncy ride with spring back that you can feel underfoot, look away.
This Air setup works performance-wise but in terms of the actual feel of the cushion, I barely could feel anything. BUT, I was still comfortable in these, all movements were supplemented to where I felt safe and impact was absorbed at all times.
It’s a setup that’s not the most fun in the world but gets the job done and makes you forget that you have a shoe on, or in my case, that I’m testing the shoe.
One thing I would say is this Air midsole isn’t the fastest setup you can get. Due to it being thin by nature, it won’t noticeably slow you down or make you feel like you’re sinking into it too much but a more responsive, quicker setup can definitely be found among Nikey’s catalog. The Zoom Rize for example.
I didn’t feel slow or clumsy in these – don’t get me wrong. This is basically pillows without the feeling of pillows. I know that sounds weird but when you put it into perspective – it makes sense and the shoe plays well.
Guards, forwards, even some larger frontcourt players will likely enjoy this setup. Plenty of impact protection for everyone, just not as fun or fast as some premium Zoom or Boost setups offer.
If only these would fit me perfectly… The support area would’ve fed off of that and I presume the shoe would’ve felt great.
But reality is reality and I had to work with what I’ve got. The shoe is stable laterally and medially, the platform you’re working on is nice and wide. There’s an internal webbing system to pull into under the zipper shroud for extra lockdown as well.
The upper is very minimal though, so if you’ve got a playstyle that’s very explosive or you’re considerably heavier than an average player, chances are you’ll run into some containment issues.
This kind of upper design just won’t keep your foot in place at all times if you abuse explosive, aggressive movements, and I felt that too.
Yes, for me it was also due to the fit but taking that away, I’d still say there could’ve been something added to add some structure.
So in a nutshell, I was stable but wasn’t contained as much as I would’ve liked. I suppose lighter players, low-profile guards, or just anyone who isn’t relying on explosiveness/athleticism will still find the PG 4 sufficient in terms of overall support.
V. BUILD & MATERIALS
The upper is a synthetic textile while the zipper shroud is a knit & mesh combo.
For an old-school inspired shoe, the upper is nothing like OG stuff used on older models. So I guess it’s a nice blend of both worlds, and the materials here are pretty good.
This will not be the most durable choice, nor the most supportive. But in terms of lightweight mobility, ventilation and comfort – these get the job done and then some.
Don’t count them out though – the shroud with the zipper does hold your foot during lateral movements and the one-bootie construction adds to the overall security.
So even though the upper is kind of barebones by itself, the shoe doesn’t feel super weak or flimsy. Like I mentioned earlier, not a tank-like setup but something that should provide both comfort and adequate security for certain players.
I never really care much about ventilation but I do have to point out this is one of the most breathable shoes I’ve played in a while. So for those sunny days at the park – these will be great.
But if you’d like to put them in your outdoor beater rotation, I’d steer away from that. I can only imagine how quickly this textile would start deteriorating if you bang these on concrete day in and day out.
For $110 – I think it’s a neutral type of deal. I wouldn’t call these overpriced, nor would I put them in the bang for your buck category.
The Nikey PG 4 is a solid shoe but it does have its flaws. Not horrible or deal-breaking flaws but stuff that could and should be fixed in the next shoe.
The PG 4 is a comfy shoe but make sure you go up a full or half a size. Traction is fantastic just as on the PG 3, the Air cushion setup isn’t the most premium or fun ride to be on but it surely gets the job done for most people.
Is it better than the PG 3? Not really – it’s kind of a trade-off in certain areas. The PG 3 is better in terms of overall support and containment, while I’d prefer the PG 4’s cushion setup. So go with what you need more of.
The shoe isn’t the most supportive and I would’ve liked them to improve on the containment department if Nike wants us to call these versatile. Lastly, the upper and overall build quality we’ve got for $110 isn’t the worst of deals in my book.
It’s a solid shoe for players that aren’t jumping out of the gym and also for someone who would like to try out something different, with 90’s vibes.
Why Amazon and Finish Line? Click to find out!
I’ve been ordering a solid 70%-80% of my hoop shoes from Amazon and can confidently say it’s almost always the most trustworthy and convenient option to buy your shoes.
Yes, it’s great to find the shoe you’re looking for on an original retailer such as Nike or Adidas but the reality is a bit different – a lot of times, especially for shoes older than 1-2 years, it’s a very small chance you’ll find the shoe or better yet find it in your size & color.
You’ll mostly find the latest releases directly from the brand’s store but the period is usually pretty short until they’re out of stock.
This is where Amazon comes in.
Amazon is not strictly one retailer giving you the products, it’s a whole chain of thousands of different sellers, all supplying different products, including basketball shoes. You will mostly find more color and size options on Amazon for your desired shoe than on an original retailer or even a general sporting goods store.
Sure, there will be exceptions where Amazon won’t have a particular shoe but that’s on the rare side.
And the best part is the pricing – you can find older shoes and at times new shoes priced under retail, sometimes at crazy low prices, which is something you’ll never see on Nike.com, adidas.com, and other retailers (except during discounts/sales of course).
To sum things up and give you a generalized idea of why Amazon beats other stores more often than not, I’ve compiled a shortlist of the most notable advantages the massive store chain has over its competitors.
- Usually, higher stock, size & color/edition availability compared to other stores
- Blazing fast shipping times (sometimes delivered the SAME DAY if you’re close to the seller’s stock)
- A good chance to find shoes priced under retail
- Extremely convenient return/refund policies
WHY FINISH LINE?
Finish Line is my usual #3 option to get my basketball shoes from if Amazon currently doesn’t have it and the brand’s retail store (Nike.com, adidas.com, etc.) might be out of stock or doesn’t have my size.
I find them, along with a handful of other sports stores, to bring in new major and also lesser-known releases just as quickly as the main brand retailers, most of the time.
Very similar advantages to manufacturer’s stores here: very quick shipping times (and it’s free), convenient return & refund policies and you’ll never find any shoe priced over retail.
For some reason, Finish Line seems to be good at keeping a healthy stock of products, as there’s always a wide variety of sizing for most mainstream models. Something you can’t say about Nikey, Adidas, AJ, or Under Armour stores.
Of course, there will be exceptions and rare shoes that are hard to find globally won’t magically be available in large quantities here either.
Buying from the store will only be applicable for U.S. residents, so not an option for international users (unless you’re using a third-party service to ship internationally from US stores as I do).
Overall, I consider Finish Line to be the top pick out of the US’s popular sports retailers. Or perhaps I’m a little biased but regardless, I think I’ll be sticking to it for quite some time.
- All shoes priced at retail
- Good stock most of the time
- Fast & free shipping for the U.S
- Convenient refund & return policies
- You can find quite detailed and relevant reviews left by buyers
Still not sure? I’ve made a comprehensive guide and compiled some general tips on where to buy basketball shoes online. Check it HERE!
Alright, that’s it for the review! Are you digging the OG look of the PG 4? I’m not quite sure how I feel about the spaceship-inspired look but hey, they work on the court and that’s good enough for me.
I rarely see a traditional Air setup on a modern shoe but it seems that Nikey’s throwing a few models here and there to spice things up. The LeBron Witness 3 is another one.
As always, if you have any questions, want to share your experience, or just want to chat,
Leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as quick as I can!
Nike PG 4$110
Fit & Comfort8.5/10
Value for the Price8.5/10
- Most foot shapes: go up 1/2 size
- Wide footers: go up a full size, try on if possible or skip entirely
- A trade-off from the PG 3: weaker support, better cushion
- "Below the rim" players
- Lighter players