Each year we find ourselves hoping and praying that the newer version of the shoe we love wasn’t ruined by some “revolutionary” idea that changes the feel altogether. The Nike Zoom Structure 18 was a slam dunk- err, PR, if we are sticking to running terms. The 18th edition of this shoe was a terrific improvement on the prior technologies, and this year’s model follows suit.
Since the development of Nike’s FlyKnit, they have been involving a similar seamless construction to the uppers of their performance shoes. With the reduced stitching we can expect the shoe to be more of an adaptive fit on the foot as well as not have irritation spots. Sometimes individuals with bunions have quite a bit of discomfort on the area of extra bone, but with this stitch-free upper there is nothing in place to rub against your foot other than soft mesh.
As the name suggests, the Zoom Structure is terrifically well supported, which was not always the case in this shoe’s history. When Nike originally began incorporating their Dynamic Support technology in the 16th and 17th versions, the pronation control seemed to lack slightly. Fortunately the Structure 18, and now the 19, have a much more reinforced medial post. This advancement brings this shoe back into the higher support category best for someone with moderate to serious overpronation, or very excessive motion of the arch.
Also under the foot is a great cushioning system designed to give a snappy feeling off the toes. Nike incorporates their Zoom Air cushioning into the forefoot of this daily trainer. Even though the softest cushion pad is under the ball of the foot, the heel still has a great, moderately soft foam construction. Ultimately, everything under the foot will remain the same in this new Zoom Structure 19.
The primary alteration for this fall release is with the lacing system. In the past Nike has used their FlyWire system to tie in the laces to the midsole, and this year it has been beefed up a touch. On the medial side, the classic FlyWire has been replaced with slightly thicker lace-like loops to provide some extra support for the foot through the upper. Since the seamless mesh is flexible, these more substantial ties were added to hold the foot securely and add and extra feeling of stability that is fairly efficient
All in all, this shoe is an impressive release, and a positive non-change from last year.
Some comparable shoes are the Brooks Adrenaline, Mizuno Wave Inspire, Saucony Omni, and Asics 3000.