Long-time runner Jessie LaPointe says forget what you think you know about Nikes and its stability model.
RUNNING SHOE: Nike Zoom Structure+ 17
Best for: Training, Racing, Roads, Walking, Running
Weight: 11 oz. (men’s size 10)
Heel-to-toe drop: 10 mm
By Jessie LaPointe, store manager at New Jersey Running Company – Hoboken
Ah, Nike: brand of style, ferocity, and all things jazzy colored. Unfortunately, what makes them a cut above the rest in terms of style and general aesthetics seems to also be the thing that deters many self-proclaimed “serious runners” from making purchases for technical purposes.
Have you ever toed the line with someone older or less fit looking than yourself? Were you ever surprised to find that they absolutely annihilated you at the finish? If you’re answering “no” then you’re likely an elite athlete and probably have a sponsorship ‑ kudos. If you’re answering “yes,” then you know that we’re involved in a sport where so much depends on the work put into something, and less about outward appearance.
It is for this reason that I urge all you Nike nay-sayers to give the updated Structure 17s a chance. While categorized as a general stability shoe, the Structure departs from the classic dense medial posting of its seasoned counterparts and opts for what Nike calls Dynamic Support.This feature gently guides the foot up an internal ramp of Nike’s phylon foam — a denser material meant to be light and flexible just like cushlon (their standard midsole foam used to keep shoes light and bouncy), but also more resilient and stable. The result is a support mechanism that is uniquely catered to our individual foot behaviors. Rather than forcing the foot to stop normal pronation mid way through the gait cycle and have it butt up against a veritable wall of firm foam, this more natural support system mimics what the foot does during a steep incline and allows for the necessary amount of pronation to absorb shock, while simultaneously focusing more on forward propulsion.
If the technical jargon doesn’t sway you, how about vouching for premium comfort? An engineered mesh upper leaves the shoe feeling open and breathable, without feeling flimsy. The toe-box is spacious, the heel collar is soft, and the ride is smooth. Have a high arch and always seem to lament how Nike shoes “just never work for you”? Enter Dynamic Fit: an adaptable support system around the mid-foot that uses a series of small cables to wrap the arch and provide a glove-like fit with every step.
While it is always recommended to stick with the intended use of a running shoe (i.e., linear movements only), the Dynamic Support series is often a staff favorite for strength training sessions and active warm-ups. The lightweight feel paired with the customizable support makes for seemingly effortless leaps and lateral movements.
So, it is with all this in mind that the Structure 17 gets my glowing review and enthusiastic stamp of technical approval. Did we mention how rad they look this season? They’ve even been updated with new colors, cold weather shield varieties, and special editions.