Nike Zoom Freak 2 Review: Detailed Indoor & Outdoor Analysis

After putting hours into the Freak 1 not long ago, I’ve decided to continue with its direct successor – hence I present you my detailed Zoom Freak 2 review!

So, are you in search of a mid-tier shoe that’s durable, provides a bit of everything for different players in a secure, lightweight way?

Despite looking very similar in terms of looks and tech specs, AND having the same price tag, Giannis’s second installment in the Freak series claims that it’s a direct improvement from the first.

BEHIND THE REVIEW

I’ll be breaking down the shoe’s:

  • Comfort experience & fit
  • On court performance
  • Overall build quality & value for the price
  • Differences from the first shoe

SPEC SHEET

Nike Zoom Freak 2 Review: Side 1Pin
image source: nike.com

Model: Nike Zoom Freak 2

Build: Low-Top

Weight: 12.5 oz / 354 g. (size 10)

Retail Price: $120

Cushion: Forefoot Zoom Air & foam midsole

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I. COMFORT & FIT

Nike Zoom Freak 2 Review: TopPin
image source: nike.com

From the fit and overall comfort aspects, the Freak 2 was pretty much identical to the Freak 1 for me.

I have very wide feet, emphasis on very. But despite the shoe having a pretty narrow area for your foot to sit inside in the midfoot and forefoot areas, the shoe felt completely solid after I broke them in.

It took 3-5 days for me to properly break in the first Freak and it was very similar to the Freak 2.

Granted, it sucked big time during that first week. If these would’ve had some kind of a stiff synthetic leather upper, there’s no way I would’ve been able to pull off a true to size.

So, I’d recommend going true to size for most foot shapes, if like a very snug, tight, and strongly contained fit. For those wanting more room inside the shoe, wide/regular footers will want to go up half a size.

These underwent some upper material and some slight fit changes, so the fit is even tighter than the first Zoom Freak.

Not to a point where I should’ve gone up but for people who aren’t used to this extremely contained fit, they should definitely either go up half a size or try them on in a store if possible.

Nike Zoom Freak 2 Review: Pair 2Pin
image source: nike.com

On top of that, I noticed these have more internal padding around a few areas and the tongue on these is CRAZY large, as well as soft, making the experience even more pleasant.

I said this a lot but I’ll say it again – a traditionally separated tongue construction is the true boss sh*t.

Sure, there are benefits to a one-piece upper but for a shoe such as the Freak 2, they’re already very secure thanks to the contained fit, thus putting these on is amazingly fast and easy.

So combine the classic separated construction, more padding inside, and an enlarged tongue, this feels similar to the Freak 1 but just a tad bit better in my opinion.

I love this approach – if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it. And the Freak 1 was certainly not broke in terms of fit and being comfortable.

They seem to have tweaked a few things here and there. The tightness of the shoe will come down to personal preference, so if you get the sizing optimal for you – you can forget about the Freak 2 on-court.

It’s a solid, mobile, secure, and distraction-free experience, making you forget you got a shoe on. That’s always a good thing.

II. TRACTION

Nike Zoom Freak 2 Review: OutsolePin
image source: nike.com

For traction, we’ve got a completely revamped outsole that looks nothing like the Freak 1’s.

So far, the shoe comes in a solid rubber outsole on some colorways, while the regular black colorway priced at $120 comes with a translucent rubber outsole, which is the one I have.

For translucent rubber, it feels surprisingly durable overall. The grooves are very hard and certain areas have very thick rubber that looks like it’s not about to budge any time soon.

That’s awesome but what’s not awesome is that the outsole is inconsistent in terms of the durability of the rubber.

As you can see, the outsole consists of two separate pieces and the back portion of the outsole is EXTREMELY durable.

It’s got thick rubber, it’s not shallow and despite the weird pattern, it’s actually well spaced out, so wiping this portion of the outsole won’t be something you need to do.

As for the forefoot area – the story is a bit different.

I get the design choice, but I still have no idea why brands still go with this super-dense pattern made out of a fragile rubber pattern, such as these dots or knobs, whatever you wanna call them, on the lateral side of the shoe.

Nike Zoom Freak 2 Review: Outsole 2Pin
image source: nike.com

This is the area where dust and debris will be more of an issue – not the worst I’ve seen but wiping will surely be needed occasionally to keep the traction at 100%.

It’s kind of a half-baked deal for me, why they couldn’t have used the same pattern all throughout the outsole or just went with classic herringbone, I don’t know.

As for traction itself, it was fine, I have no complaints. It’s got a very similar bite with lots of squeaking.

I had no major slips or slides, I felt fine and supported during any kind of movement. They gripped the floor equally well indoors and outdoors.

What I’m not cool with is the rubber inconsistency throughout the outsole – I want to call these durable and suitable for outdoor play but when one side deteriorates faster than the other one, it’s tough man.

I’ve seen that the pattern looks exactly the same on solid rubber pairs, so even though translucent, in theory, is not as durable as solid rubber, you can expect similar results.

Overall, I don’t see these chipping away any time soon, especially outdoors but I think a simple fix in the outsole could’ve prolonged these even more.

So in a nutshell, good traction, good durability, just could’ve been better by sticking to what works and ditching the pattern on the forefoot area.

III. CUSHION

Nike Zoom Freak 2 Review: Side 2Pin
image source: nike.com

Despite having different tech specs from the Freak 1 on paper, the shoe feels pretty much the same in terms of cushioning.

You’d think these would have tons of cushion for a big, strong individual such as Giannis, but nope – what we have is far from that.

We have a bottom-loaded forefoot Zoom Air unit as well as a foam midsole throughout the shoe (probably Phylon), so it’s very reminiscent of what the Kyrie 5 and the PG 1 had.

The ride is extremely responsive, it’s quick as there’s almost no real energy return from the foam, you sit low to the ground and the precision of your movements is supplemented as well as just about any other shoe.

The heel area feels almost dead but it will budge and give you some impact protection on harder landings, jumps, or cuts.

The forefoot area, you can feel a bit more thanks to a Zoom unit, but it’s still not to a point where I’d prefer. I’m not saying it’s a bad setup – it’s just not really my cup of tea.

For low-profile guards that are light, or spot-up shooters, this is a near-perfect setup. But Giannis plays in them, and he’s a very big guy, so it’ll obviously come down to what kind of a ride you prefer.

If it’s quick, low to the ground, firm, and precise, the Freak 2 is top-notch for that, and I guess that’s what Giannis goes for as well.

For players who need more cushion and impact protection for one reason or another, you’d want to go with something such as the Nikey Zoom Rize.

IV. SUPPORT

Nike Zoom Freak 2 Review: HeelPin
image source: nike.com

The support & security department once again feels extremely similar to the first Zoom Freak.

We’ve got most of the critical support features you’d require from a shoe – a very secure fit, an internal heel counter, larger outriggers than on the Freak 1 for lateral protection, your foot sits inside the midsole for more stability, and a base that’s not as wide as on the Freak 1 but still wide enough to make you feel stable.

The upper still flexes like crazy as you can literally bend these in half, but just as this wasn’t an issue on Freak 1, it’s still not an issue on this one.

The lack of a proper midfoot shank made some people scratch their heads in terms of the Freak 1 but if you’ve played any of the two shoes, you probably realized it’s not an issue at all.

The Freak 2 is very light but provides a secure experience for just about any player out there. I wish I could say the same thing about the cushion but hey, it comes with the territory. You take some and you leave some.

Overall, a great job in the support department – very secure, stable but does not sacrifice mobility. That’s versatility on point!

V. BUILD & MATERIALS

Nike Zoom Freak 2 Review: UpperPin
image source: nike.com

The upper is pretty much today’s mid-tier budget standard – a synthetic textile material with some Fuse and TPU overlays in key areas for more structure.

The shoe took a similar chunk of time to break them in, it’s just as light, just as mobile, and likely just as durable.

This is one of those uppers that makes you forget you’ve got a shoe on while playing which is every bit of awesome. Ventilation isn’t very good due to the nature of the materials, so your feet will get hot during play.

I think these will be just as durable as the Freak 1. If you can live with the inconsistent outsole, I think the upper will hold up well outdoors.

The TPU overlays do a good job holding the shoe together and I don’t see any signs of wear and tear on the upper so far.

Don’t expect a super premium upper but for $120 – this is a solid option. No gimmicks, no fancy tech names, nothing to get into the way of your playtime.

Solid job!

VI. OVERALL

Nike Zoom Freak 1 Review: HeelPin
image source: nike.com

The Nike Zoom Freak 2 definitely feels like a direct sequel to the Freak 1 – pretty much every aspect feels similar with some minor changes here and there.

The shoe is comfortable, it’s distraction-free, it feels every bit of light, it grips the floor well, and provides adequate support for most players.

If you prefer fast and responsive cushioning, and if you can live with the inconsistent outsole, I think the shoe is a great addition to your rotation.

Is it a direct improvement over the Freak 1? In some areas, yes, while in others it feels more of a slight step back. Is it a versatile shoe? Yes, if you prefer firmer cushion.

Could the Freak 2 be even better? Yeah, I think it absolutely could, and all that was needed were a few quick fixes, in my opinion.

Would I choose these over the Freak 1? Yeah. I love that large tongue and more padding around your foot – those two things actually felt like the biggest improvement for me.

Comfort is everything and a foundation for a good performer. I’m not a fan of the outsole but it gets the job done overall, so I give props to that.

Find the final shoe scores at the end!

🛒 BEST DEALS ON THE ZOOM FREAK 2

AMAZON

STOCKX GOAT


As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Also, if a user clicks on any other product links and purchases a product, I earn a small commission.


WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?
Zoom Freak 2 Review: Your TakePin
background image source: nike.com

Alright, that is it for the Zoom Freak 2 review! I hope you found it informative!

You can check out the review of the Zoom Freak 1 to see how it compares in more detail.

I’m always up for debate! Do you have any questions? Perhaps you’d like to share your own experience, or just feel like having a chat?

 

ZOOM FREAK 2 REVIEW: THE VERDICT

Nike Zoom Freak 2

$120
7.9

Fit & Comfort

8.5/10

On-Court Performance

8.0/10

Value for the Price

8.0/10

Outdoor-Ready

7.0/10

Main Takeaways

  • Wide footer friendly: true to size is recommended for everyone
  • Go up 1/2 size if you prefer a looser fit
  • Questionable traction pattern: forefoot & heel areas aren't evenly durable
  • Solid choice if looking for maximum mobility & responsiveness

Recommended For

  • "Below the rim" players
  • Lighter players
  • Shooters
  • Most guards should be fine
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2 thoughts on “Nike Zoom Freak 2 Review: Detailed Indoor & Outdoor Analysis

  1. Thanks for sharing this comprehensive review of Zoom Freak 2. I haven’t bought the shoe yet (obviously) but I’m interested after reading your review. It seems like a good fit for me. 8.2 seems like a good rating. I’m also going to check out the Zoom 1 review to see the difference myself. Just in case, between the two, which one would you recommend? Sometimes the first edition does the best job which sequels can’t achieve ever again.

    1. I’d go for the second shoe. They’re extremely similar in terms of performance and the way they feel on feet. I can’t call the Freak 2 a total improvement over the Freak 1 but as a whole package, I think I’d stick with the Freak 2 just because of them being more comfortable. But again, it’s one of those cases where it’s best to try them both on to see what you like more.

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