Coming from college and out into the real world marks a transition for me as a tennis player. It also marks a transition from playing with products that I HAVE to use due to sponsorship, regardless of personal preference. Now, working at Tennis Warehouse, the possibilities are endless. But despite this, I have developed some serious attachment to certain products, one of which being the Nike Zoom Breathe 2K11.
It is in my nature to be hesitant about new shoes of any model or brand, due to often having bad experiences such as blisters and bleeding from the collar lining of some older model tennis shoes I’ve used in the past, including the Nike Breathe Free II. I also usually always hate my first practice in a new pair of kicks because the stiffness is uncomfortable and it takes a couple hours to really break them in. This is always particularly annoying because I often wear through the outsole so fast that I feel by the time I have myself a pair of comfortable shoes, I need to replace them again.
Hence, you can understand my reluctance at first wearing my latest new pair of shoes, the Nike 2K11, but they pleasantly surprised me. It was actually a nice experience because I had forgotten I even had on a new pair of shoes until I thought back and realized I’d been wearing these for a week. I had put them on, had a grumble to myself about how I don’t like to break in new shoes, and simply forgotten about them. I like to rate shoes on how much I notice them – the less they occupy my thoughts the better, as that means they are doing their job: helping me move to the best of my ability while supporting my feet and ankles. And I didn’t think twice about the 2K11s.
Nike has made sure to continue providing a lightweight and comfortable shoe (they’re an updated version of the Nike Max Breathe Free II), that cushions my foot while simultaneously providing the support I need. The width is medium, with no loose or tight places allowing unwanted movement, which could create painful blisters. Comfort inside the 2K11 was great, I have a high arch and although the arch support is low for me, my feet still felt really well supported. The insole is also easily removed so anyone looking to add that little extra with their own orthotic can do so with no problems.
I really like how easy it was to move. The shoes are light and low to the ground, making everything from straight out running, to side-stepping, to small adjustment steps really easy to do. I have a history of ankle problems and Nike’s 2K11s didn’t enhance my ankle pain like some shoes do. I never felt like I was going to sprain my ankle either, because although the shoe is really cushioned, I definitely felt like I was comfortably close to the ground. Although I initially felt a tiny bit of stiffness, I would say it was more something I noticed instead of it being a hindrance. I am thoroughly impressed with Nike and their success in creating a shoe that is match ready right out of the box.
Something to keep in mind is how to tighten the laces. Simply (and this was my lazy version) pulling the lace to tighten and tie, really only tightens the shoe around the ankle. I found that I was having some issues with aching feet and toe numbness, until I realized that I was basically cutting my own circulation off by not putting in the effort to tighten the lace up the length of the shoe. Trust me, it makes a difference.