So I’ve decided to skip the first three shoes in my newly-found budget shoe line by Nikey (I know, I’m a bit late to the party 🤔) and just winged it with the latest one. With that, I bring you my Nike Precision 4 review.
HEADS UP! NOT YOUR TYPICAL SHOE SCENARIO…
But this one could be important for some of you. This will be a shoe that you’ll either glimpse on and forget by tomorrow or something that might turn out to be a super practical investment, provided you’re on a tight budget and looking to play some ball, and quickly!
And that’s because (spoiler alert!) $70 and a quality basketball shoe usually don’t belong in the same sentence. After a couple of months of hooping on the blacktop, I’ll break down the shoe’s fit & comfort aspects, on-court performance, evaluate its value for the price, and might prove to you why the Precision 4 just might be enough.
Model: Nike Precision 4
Weight: 11.87 oz / 337 g. (size 10 US)
Retail Price: $70
Cushion: foam midsole
Best Availability On: Amazon
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I. COMFORT & FIT
SIZING: TRUE TO SIZE FOR MOST
Let’s address the important stuff first. Most people can go with their regular size/regular Nike size. Even wide footers like myself – there shouldn’t be major issues. They didn’t feel very good at first but like all knits are, nothing to worry about. I broke them in within a couple of days and was good to go.
These still feel a little tight width-wise for a wide footer but not to a deal-breaking limit. And they do leave just a little bit of headroom at the toebox area and would likely leave about the same margin width-wise for some of you. Not for me though, due to my boat of a foot.
So if you prefer a complete one-to-one snug fit as a regular/narrow footer, going down half a size can be an option but the midfoot & forefoot areas aren’t fairly compact, so you might end up with an overly tight fit. And if you’d like to go up 1/2 a size as a wide footer, there might be too much unwanted room length-wise.
True to size for most foot shapes is what I’m trying to say.
COMFORT: ALL GOOD ☑
General comfort-wise, nothing to brag about but once I remind myself these retail at $70, I come to my senses.
While there’s a lack of any premium materials, buttery-smooth lining, or pillowy-pillow soft padding, none of that can take away the fact that the shoe is still comfortable, plays well, and offers somewhat of a distraction-free experience.
Forgetting you’ve got a shoe on while playing is the least a budget model should bring and this is a bit more than just that. The Precision 4 is almost ridiculously light coming it at just under 12 ounces (337 g.) and definitely plays that way as well.
It’s got a fairly acceptable ride the midsole provides, step transitions are smooth and the shoe is really damn flexible.
Two main factors that make the sneaker so flexible and nearly overly-flimsy are the lack of a midfoot shank and of course, the nature of a knit upper. While that can be an issue for these kinds of compact, barebones type of shoes, I felt they were secure enough even for an explosive guard.
Foot containment was fine as I never rolled out of the footbed and even though that knit is really thin, a few Fuse overlay pieces help hold it together laterally & medially. And I believe this was just enough to get a pass for me security-wise.
Sure, there will be better options for 200 lbs LeBron-like players coming at 50 miles per hour who need maximum support and lockdown but for most of us mortals, this keeps that mobility/security balance in check.
Surprised to say, I wasn’t disappointed.
I’m not mad that there’s no herringbone on a cheap shoe like this and while that might be a slight throw-off for hardcore traction enthusiasts (if there is such a thing), this outsole had enough bite AND consistency to keep me happy.
You could say the primary focus for this shoe was an outdoor environment, so as expected, traction was completely fine while I was banging both blacktop and a synthetic rubber court outside.
The heel portion of the outsole is a circle pattern that’s a little more spaced out than the section at the front. There were a few times where a shoe using an inconsistent pattern or multiple patterns throughout the outsole lacked consistency in biting the actual courts.
Not the case for the Precision 4. The little circle-shaped area where you plant the ball of your foot bites really nicely but so does the rest of the outsole, provided you find yourself at more extreme angles.
Dust wasn’t much of an issue at the back, while the front area picked up debris a little quicker (due to the denser pattern at a few spots). If you’re not a huge outsole wiper, don’t worry. A few good wipes, occasionally at best, were enough to keep things at 100%.
Are they ready for long-term outdoor play? I think so.
While it’s no XDR, this rubber is tacky, strong and the grooves are mildly deep. Besides some cosmetic damage to the outsoles, the shoe still grips the courts just as well as out of the box. I’m pretty sure it should stay that way for at least a year.
The shoe’s cushion setup is merely a foam midsole and while Nikey didn’t specify what that midsole is specifically, my guess it’s just Phylon. Cushlon would’ve likely felt a little softer and none of the other stuff matches a $70 budget anyway.
But don’t let the description fool you – while this midsole won’t be anyone’s “dream” setup, I would take this type of ride over a Kyrie 2 or a Mamba Fury ANY DAY of the week. And both of those are more expensive than this shoe.
As long as you don’t expect to be walking on clouds or getting yourself LeBron 18-like cushion (or even something close to it), you’ll be good. There’s moderate impact protection at the heel along with a minimal feel of cushion upon impact. No real spring back or “mushiness”, so to speak.
At the forefoot, virtually nothing there but responsiveness and court feel, as you stay very low to the ground. A pretty usual budget type of setup but one that offered a little more than I’ve expected. Low-profile guards that are light and quick, spot-up shooters, or just guys that prefer a quicker ride will like the Nikey Precision 4.
For heavier players that put more torque on their legs, and/or explosive playstyles that involve a lot of athleticism could absolutely get away with this type of setup but I’d be lying if I said there are no better options.
I’m myself a 175 lbs guard and while I do play explosively and didn’t find this setup ideal for me, it does get the job done. If we’re talking critical cushion components that is: impact protection, stability, and a little bit of stepping comfort to make sure things don’t feel like bricks.
With some of the support features you’d see on a pricier basketball shoe missing, a correct fit & a platform that promotes stability are what hold the support department together.
As mentioned in the fit section, you can achieve a secure fit with these that’s close to a one-to-one for me to begin with. The platform of the shoe is fairly wide externally and it’s also pretty flat. Pair that with these little outriggers we’ve got and lateral support becomes pretty sufficient.
While the upper is a thin knit, it does a fair job of not over-stretching. So once again, pair that with Fuse overlays in a couple of areas and containment becomes solid.
There is no real midfoot shank in place, so flat footers should think twice about this one. The lacing system is traditional, with no flywire cables this time but overall lockdown was mostly fine.
I did have to tighten the laces up a few times during the course of a game/session but that comes as pretty expected with a limited budget to work with. That mainly had to do with cheap laces used & the piece that holds the lacing system together isn’t the best quality either.
So, are there shoes that provide stronger overall support due to a more structured upper & additional support components implemented? Sure. Are there shoes with more torsional rigidity? Absolutely.
But putting it into perspective, it’s a VERY cheap shoe and even with the absence of certain stuff you usually see on a hoop shoe, I still feel a whole bunch of guards should find the Precision 4 sufficient.
I would usually prefer something with a little more rigidity and additional support but that’s because of my playstyle and the constant issues I have with my right ankle. It might just be enough for you.
So, if you’re looking for a mobile, quick little shoe that puts focus on freedom of movement while still keeping a fairly secure ride, you’ve got it. Once again, probably not the best option for a big guy or someone who’s super explosive but I’ve played in $120 shoes that offer less than that.
Cut ’em some slack.
V. BUILD & MATERIALS
As you know by now, the upper is a basic knit material along with Fuse overlays on the toecap and around the laces. Not a $200 knit, sure, but what does that really mean? As long as it’s a knit and holds your foot together, I don’t have many complaints.
But if you wanted to nitpick – sure, there are arguments to be made. It’s not the most breathable knit I’ve experienced (even though ventilation is pretty good overall). It’s not the most durable looking knit I’ve seen. It’s not the softest or the most “premium” feeling knit for your foot.
But if these came at $140 and Nikey called the upper “Ultraknit 1.0” or some other fancy name (I’m looking at you, Flyknit), a lot of people would’ve not seen the difference.
That is the real troubling stuff about today’s deceiving shoe market when nothing can truly be compared. However much the brand decides the shoe will cost, they just wing it and call it a day. Well, it’s probably not that simple, and much more thought goes into the process but you get the idea. The market is inconsistent as s**t.
But going back to this upper in particular, I would’ve been fine if they had priced the shoe at $100 or something. It’s really not that bad. It’s comfortable, breaks in super quickly, offers some ventilation, and containment wasn’t bad.
I’d imagine something like Battleknit on a LeBron 16 will last longer than what we’ve got here but that’s hardly a comparison with the price difference.
There’s no real damage to the upper 2+ months in except some frays around the toecap area but that’s pretty normal for a soft-based shoe. Speaking about practicality, this is a no-brainer in my book. Outdoor-ready and will last longer than today’s average $100 indoor shoes you see so much of.
And there you go. Another day, another market anomaly.
Why does this one cost so little, while a “flagship” AlpdaDunk is priced at $180 with its knit upper marketed as actual Flyknit, but feels like crap? We’ll probably never know. But hey, you can grab a solid pair of outdoor hoop shoes for $70 – enjoy it while you can!
The Nike Precision 4 offers a little bit of everything: they’re fairly comfortable and offer a secure fit, traction is great and outdoor-ready, cushion isn’t that impressive but still provides moderate impact protection & step comfort, all-around support is very lightweight and minimal but should work for a lot of guards.
The upper is a knit but it’s not as bad as the price tag suggests.
Picking these up even at $100 shouldn’t feel like a scam, and that’s more than enough for me. Best shoes under $100 candidate for sure!
Why Amazon? 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
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 Nike Precision 4 review! I have to say, these caught me off guard. How about you?
Did you have a chance to pick these up? Perhaps you feel different about ’em? Or you’ve got a question I haven’t answered in the review?
Leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as quick as I can!
Nike Precision 4$70
Fit & Comfort7.5/10
Value for the Price9.0/10
- True to size is recommended for most & including wide footers
- Breaks in super quick: 2-3 days for a wide footer
- Needed to tighten the laces back up occasionally
- All-around performance is solid for most
- Most guards
- Lighter players
- Spot-up shooters
- Players preferring a faster & lower ride