The Nike Five Zoom T7/Nike 5 Zoom T-7 trainers comes in two distinct flavours; the CS version (black and green with lugs on the base for Astro/3G turf) and the FS or ‘Futsol’ version (green and red with gum sole for indoor courts).
This review deals with the FS version although they are all but identical to the CS version with the exception of the sole material and colour.
The Nike Five trainer range goes up in increments (T-3, T-5, T-7 etc) with additional features added each time. The T-7 is Nike’s top of the line indoor shoe for 2009. Features listed include Zoom air units, Poron cushioning, toe punt shoe box and offset medial lacing. All these features can also be found in the T-5 trainer, however the T-7 also adds Kangaroo leather for increased comfort.
So how are they? You can tell by looking at my earlier posts ‘Nike/Adidas, make some trainers for the over 30 crowd‘ and ‘The pursuit of the perfect indoor football trainers‘ that I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to finding something comfy to play indoor football in. If you’re light on your feet, have perfectly functioning knees and are not prone to over pronation of the foot, many of my criticisms of this shoe will seem unfounded. With those caveats firmly in place let’s take a look.
The Nike Five T-7 trainers have been expressly designed to be keep the foot close to the ground, subsequently the cushioning is minimal. The ‘Zoom air unit’ is merely a 3-4mm thick blob of air stuck to the bottom of the insole, not built into the actual trainer. The ‘Poron cushioning’ is similarly integrated: merely stuck to the bottom of the insole. This lack of substantial cushioning is likely to be less of an issue when playing on Astro/3G (which by its nature provides greater underfoot comfort) but if you are used to harder indoor courts (typically constructed by laying a wooden surface over a concrete base) it should be a consideration. And if you’re over thirty and usually suffer sore knees the day after playing – forget it!
The other area that these trainers fall completely short is for players suffering any degree of over pronation of the foot (flat feet). The T-7 offer absolutely no arch support, visibly sinking in that area when worn by users with flatter feet.
The Nike T-7 are a fine and well thought out trainer but for a specific subset of players: young, slim players with a good arch in their foot will love them. However, for players hoping to retain the use of their knees in advancing years or suffering any degree of over pronation of the foot these trainers simply can’t be recommended.
For this latter group of players, I would recommend the Asics indoor court range. Despite being targeted at Squash players, the ‘Asics Gel Sensei’ (2008) and ‘Asics Gel Blast 2‘ (2008/2009) trainers, at the expense of a little ball control, provide a level of comfort and durability for indoor football simply not offered by the mainstream manufacturers.