Since no real reviews are to be found on this one – let me save the day. After about 3 months of hooping & shooting around indoors AND outdoors as well as stepping into the first shoe again for reference – here’s my comprehensive Nike Renew Elevate 2 review.
I’ll break down this budget basketball shoe’s fit & comfort aspects, on-court performance, build quality, versatility, value for the money, provide alternatives and also decide whether it’s a worthy upgrade from the already pretty damn solid Renew Elevate.
SHOW TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Spec Sheet
- 1-Min Review
- Fit & Comfort
- The Build
- Alternative Options
- Which Renew Elevate Will You Go For?
- Nike Renew Elevate 2 Review: The Verdict
I. SPEC SHEET
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BEST DEALS OF THE RENEW ELEVATE 2 🛒
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II. 1-MIN REVIEW 🕒
Short on time? Here’s the quick version: the Nike Renew Elevate 2 is pretty much the same shoe from last year just with a few tweaks here and there.
It’s got the same outsoles, so expect great outdoor traction & durability but indoors is where I did experience more slips than I would’ve liked.
The same Renew cushion returns and offers a low-to-the-ground ride that’s fast, responsive and yields a tad bit of feedback to keep things acceptably comfortable. The foam didn’t bottom out as quick as it did with the first shoe though.
Support was fine and I’ve had no issues with it. The basic mesh setup feels a bit cheap but never once I had issues with it performance-wise. They should also hold for a while.
The biggest change was the fit. The second Renew Elevate fits in a much more snug manner and I have to say most wide footers should either go up half a size or skip the shoe entirely.
The plastic component throughout the lacing system killed my feet. Regular/narrow footers – stick with TTS or try them on in-store first.
> The full review is below
III. COMFORT & FIT
True to size or should you adjust? How comfy are they? Anything else to remember fit-wise?
The most noticeable difference in feel from the last shoe was undoubtedly the fit.
The Renew Elevate 2 is clearly a more compact, tight-fitting shoe. I had no real issues stuffing my gigantic wide feet into the first sneaker.
However, with this one – I had a much tougher time to a point where I’d have to admit this is just not a wide footer’s cup of tea.
I went up half a size and if you’ve got even a slightly wide foot – you should too. The forefoot portion is more narrow now, and the TPU piece on the lacing system is what mainly caused nightmares.
I’ve got a tall midfoot as well, so the moment I stepped into these – I could already feel annoying pressure from that plastic component all throughout the lacing system.
Unfortunately – it only got marginally better in a couple of weeks’ time.
Length-wise, these are just fine with about 3 quarters of an inch of space for my toes and I could also live with the more narrow toebox.
It’s the height and plastic that was pretty much deal-breaking and even though I did put 3 months into these, I wouldn’t want to put in another 3.
For those with more forgiving foot shapes (narrow to average) – sticking with your regular size might do the trick but expect a very snug experience. If that’s not your preference – go up half a size as well.
In a perfect scenario, I’d still recommend trying these on in-store if possible or order two sizes online regardless of your foot shape since there’s a chance the TPU piece might mess things up for you too.
Due to my foot being pretty much incompatible with the shoe – it’s tough to offer an objective opinion in terms of comfort since I didn’t have much of it. But if I didn’t have the TPU pressure issue – the Renew Elevate 2 is a decently comfortable sneaker.
There’s a moderate amount of internal padding around the ankle (about the same as last year’s), my heel gets cupped very nicely once I slide my foot in there, and the shoe is just as feathery light as the first one.
They’re just a little bit tougher to put on in comparison to last year’s model due to more structure throughout the upper and the tongue doesn’t bend as easily this time. But it’s fine – nothing to write home about.
Luckily, the ankle collar didn’t dig into my ankle bone as it did with the previous sneaker. One step forward – one step back. Oh well.
Overall, these aren’t mad comfortable, nor do they provide a premium experience but they’re fine considering the price tag. Provided you don’t have the same issue I did.
Does it bite various surfaces & under different conditions? How long will the outsoles last?
I didn’t have the chance to hoop in the first Renew Elevate indoors when I put out the review but since my local gym is now open again, I was able to both put in a good amount of hours into the second shoe on hardwood and also bring the first shoe to compare the two.
Just as the reports said – the first Renew Elevate had a bit of a tough time providing consistent traction on more forgiving floors such as hardwood or rubber. Since the second shoe has identical outsoles slapped on – the results are about the same.
The base level of traction was decent and I was able to play just fine, however, it’s the slips and slides on dustier or moist spots that made the overall experience below average for me.
If you’ve got access to a pristine court that’s being regularly cleaned – you’ll probably be just fine. For us mortals though – weary courts aren’t the Renew Elevate 2’s best friends.
Not the worst I’ve seen but definitely not ideal.
Outdoor hoops are what the Renew Elevate line is all about if we’re talking traction. I usually play on a classic blacktop and on a rubber court – the shoe handled both with no issues.
That’s pretty normal since outdoor surfaces are much more abrasive, so you can get away even if the outsoles aren’t the most aggressive. I did wipe the outsoles down occasionally but I can’t say frequent wiping is needed outside.
There are a few areas where the rubber is torn off, so planting the feet on those naked spots did result in a slight slip from time to time but that’s completely normal for most shoes to do.
Apart from that – you will definitely be a-okay biting the outdoor courts with the Renew Elevate 2.
Just as last year’s shoe, you’ll have little to no issues in terms of long-term outdoor durability. The traction pattern might not be the most aggressive looking but the rubber used is definitely very strong.
3 months in and there’s barely any visual evidence of wear & tear – the same can be said about actual performance. I have had the first Renew Elevate for over a year now, and those are still fine as well.
Granted, I didn’t consistently play in those outdoors for a full year but you get the idea. You can expect at least a couple of full seasons of regular outdoor play with these, and possibly even more.
Signature models and pricier shoes from Nikey – you should learn a thing or two.
I don’t know if this will ever balance out but for now, BUDGET models are your best options when hunting for a reliable outdoor sneaker from the Swoosh.
Bonus tip, grab the gum rubber colorway if you’d like to maximize your chances of the best possible durability. Not always true but this coating has proved to be the most reliable.
How’s the protection from impact? What about ride comfort, height, and energy return?
The exact same cushion is back from last year’s model: a dual-density midsole consisting of Renew and a firmer foam compound that isn’t specified but it’s there to help stabilize Renew and provide some extra resilience.
My experience with the first Renew Elevate was a little weird – the foam bottomed out to a degree just 3-4 weeks in, albeit the setup still felt fairly decent afterwards. This time – things started off just a bit firmer right away but stayed there for much longer before I could notice a drop in feedback.
Don’t expect A-class cushion with an $80 shoe – Renew feels fine but it’s definitely nothing crazy at all. A little bit of feedback at the heel, responsive at the front, and the ride is low to the ground.
It’s a fast setup but one that doesn’t feel completely dead. 3 months in and while the foam rebound properties aren’t at 100% anymore, there was never a drastic drop at any point like with the first sneaker.
Perhaps this wasn’t a conscious change from Nikey and a quality control issue of the first shoe – who knows. If any of you played in either of the shoes – let me know in the comments who it was for you!
Guards, lighter wings or even nimble forwards should be okay with this one but only if you can live without tons of impact protection and bounce. If you ever had experience with Lunarlon – this is very very close.
I’m not hating on the setup though – for 80 bucks, this is much better than nothing. And believe me, there are setups that feel every bit of nothing for even more than 80 dollars out there.
How’s the foot security, stability, and containment? Any restrictions as a result?
Much of the same security components stayed the same from last year’s Renew Elevate: the second model sports internal heel counters for ankle & heel lockdown, small TPU sidewalls cupping the midfoot portion for better containment, and a fairly wide forefoot area for stability.
Additions new to the second shoe would be the inclusion of proper outriggers to further improve stability (the midsole slightly protruding externally in the forefoot portion) and the TPU component on the lacing system that further pulls down on the upper once you crank up the laces.
It worked fairly well but I could never lace these up as tight as I would’ve liked simply because the plastic killed my feet. I truly hope this won’t be the case for you.
The added outriggers didn’t really separate this year’s shoe from last year’s one but it’s still good to know that I’ve got ’em in case of a more awkward foot plant/stepping on someone’s foot, etc.
Luckily, those things never happened to me during my time with the shoe.
The upper also received a bit more structure and the end result was solid all-around support that brought me no issues besides the already mentioned plastic not gelling well with my feet.
While the shoe is extremely light to play in, the build is still stable, foot containment is fine, as I never felt like I was going to slide out of the footbed.
Yes, there are beefier setups for a 200-pound freight train and those guys might want to think twice about getting a minimal shoe such as this one. For the rest of us though – you’ll likely have no issues security-wise.
VII. THE BUILD
What are the upper materials and how do they perform? How’s the durability of the build?
Basic, thin mesh makes its way back to the second Renew Elevate. You’ll find most of it on the forefoot & heel areas while the midfoot & ankle areas are backed by more structured screen mesh. The tongue and ankle areas are backed by subtle amounts of foam.
There are also Fuse overlays on the toebox and the lacing component.
Classic lace & tongue construction returns as well but this time, we’ve also got the plastic-backed lacing system that the laces go through. The shoe definitely has a bit more plastic this time around but this isn’t a bad thing in this case.
Both Nike swooshes are made from a synthetic and tightly stitched onto the upper.
Much like the previous sneaker, there’s nothing really wrong with the way the upper feels, plays, and moves with the foot beside my foot’s incompatibility with the top portion.
The upper requires little-to-no break-in time before feeling as intended, it’s not the worst in terms of ventilation and the build’s really damn light. The laces work well and don’t loosen up as fast as some other budget shoes (especially ones from adidas) tend to.
Besides feeling a little cheap to the touch – I didn’t have any performance issues with this build. Except… alright let me spare you from mentioning it for the 16th time in this review.
The overall build quality seems much like the first shoe. I can’t give you a detailed breakdown of how long will these last since I’ve only played in them for 3 months so far but there’s no reason to believe they’ll get me through a few seasons.
I believe the first things to go will be the questionably stitched Nikey swooshes, the internal ankle lining, and the laces.
They’re all fine at the moment but Nikey always uses crappy laces for their low-budget models and the cheap lining around the ankle often gets torn up from constantly putting the shoe on and off.
I’m not saying a few months but if you plan on playing in these solely for a long time, you can expect those things to start getting messed up first.
There are definitely worse options out there though. You’re getting just about what you’re paying for here – not the most durable shoe but I’d be lying if I said they’ll break down on you quickly.
Rounding the Nike Renew Elevate 2 review up: are they versatile? Who’s the best fit? Is it a good buy for the $$$?
The Nike Renew Elevate 2 is just about what I expected it to be – the same shoe with a few tweaks applied. Those tweaks arguably make the shoe better than the previous iteration – it’s just a shame I won’t be hooping in these anymore due to my wide feet.
The shoe’s main change from last year’s sneaker was the fit – these are noticeably more snug. Some of you will get away with your usual size but slightly/not-so-slightly wide footers should definitely go up half a size, try them in a store or skip the shoe entirely.
Traction was great outdoors and they should last a while but there were inconsistencies on the hardwood. The same cushion setup is back and it’s decent for the money. I had no issues with support and despite the basic mesh build, they played just fine.
Wide footers – stick with the first shoe. For others – you might just be looking at a slight upgrade from last year’s model. Up to you to decide if it’s worth it.
BUY THE NIKE RENEW ELEVATE 2 🛒
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IX. ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS
Not entirely convinced the Renew Elevate 2 is for you? Check out these potential replacements
NIKE KD TREY 5 VIII, $90
If you found the Renew Elevate 2 not suitable for the mentioned drawbacks, take a look at the KD 5 Trey VIII – Durant’s 8th budget signature model.
It’ll fix the wide footer’s issue by providing a roomier fit – even my pair of clogs fit in those properly. It’s also a good option for outdoor play, it features a very similar Renew midsole and the shoe is priced at $90.
NIKE COSMIC UNITY, $150
For those who are looking to step things up a notch and can afford a price bump – the Nike Cosmic Unity is still among the best all-around basketball shoes Nike has to offer right now.
It’s got durable outsoles, a wide foot-friendly construction, a fantastic full-length Zoom Air strobel cushion setup, and a comfy knit upper. Any player or style could rock those!
X. WHICH RENEW ELEVATE WILL YOU GO FOR?
Share your thoughts below and help out the future buyer!
Alright, that wraps up the Nike Renew Elevate 2 review! As always, I truly hope you found the review comprehensive and helpful.
It’s awesome that the indoor basketball scene is slowly making a return after the tough times and I can once again bring you well-rounded reviews from multiple angles. I’ll leave links to useful posts that were referenced in this review – those should definitely help you out as well!
And of course, it’s time for you to share your thoughts. They’re invaluable to me and also the future reader who’s looking to get a variety of different opinions & perspectives on the shoe.
If you’ve got any questions, suggestions, or just want to chat – don’t hesitate!
Drop a comment down below!
XI. NIKE RENEW ELEVATE 2 REVIEW: THE VERDICT
My personal ratings, takeaways, and recommendations
Nike Renew Elevate 2$80
Fit & Comfort6.5/10
Value for the Price8.5/10
- Narrow/regular footers: TTS for a very snug fit or 1/2 size up for a roomier fit
- Wide footers: up 1/2 size or skip the shoe
- Performance is the same as the first shoe
- A few tweaks: cushion didn't bottom out as quickly, no more ankle digging from the collar, more structure throughout the upper
- Positions 1-3
- All-around players
- Non-wide footers
- Outdoor hoopers