Let’s start by talking about the comfort and fit of the Zoom Soldier. The shoe is comfortable and ready to go right out of the box. Unlike some other shoes it did not require any breaking in time. The two enormous straps are actually functional and provide the best “lock down” fit I have felt since testing the Reebok Answer IX Pump. Unlike the first shoe in Lebron’s summertime line, the Zoom 20-5-5, the Soldier does not feature full length zoom air. Don’t let this scare you away, because the shoe still provides excellent cushioning through extensive running and jumping. The mesh tongue allows for good, but not great breathability. I found that after just an hour of playing, my socks were drenched. But in my opinion breathability is just a small factor in the total package.
The Zoom Soldier was designed for outdoor use, but is also excellent indoors. The shoe was tested both indoors and outdoors and performed excellent in both cases. The Soldier features an interesting tread pattern. The medial side features a waffle-wave tread pattern while the lateral side has a diamond pattern encased in waffle squares. The pattern and the depth of the tread provided excellent support and traction for indoor and outdoor use. Nike had the right idea when the made the tread deep. This should be a factor for anyone who plays mostly outdoors. In recent years, a lot of basketball shoes have not had a very deep tread pattern causing the soles of shoes to wear quickly. Maybe this is a marketing ploy to sell more shoes. Who knows?
Overall the Zoom Soldier is an excellent indoor/outdoor basketball shoe. I would recommend it for players of all size. It's a very light and durable shoe that provides excellent support. I would definitely recommend it to anyone on the hunt for a new pair of kicks to play ball in. The Soldier is reasonably priced at $110 which is not bad considering that most signature models that are released these days retail for $125-$150. The first colorway of the Zoom Soldier released in July. Since then Nike has released 10 additional colorways including four “team based” colorways available only through Eastbay.com. The Zoom Soldiers are fairly easy to acquire. They are available at most online and mall based retailers. The colorway distribution for mall based retailers is as follows:
*White/Black/Gold – Foot Locker
*White/Navy/Gold – Foot Locker
*Black/Gray/Red – Foot Action
*Navy/White/Red (USA) – Champs Sports
*Gray/White/Mean Green (Dunkman) – Available at most small chain sporting goods stores such as Dicks sporting Goods, Hibbett Sports, Sheikh Shoes and others.
*White/White/Gold – Finishline
*Black/Black/Gold – Finishline
*Red/White/Gold – Eastbay
*Royal/White/Gold – Eastbay
*Black/White/Gold – Eastbay
*Forest/White/Gold (SVSM) – Eastbay
Colorway Tested: Navy/White/Gold
Tested on: Hardwood & Asphalt
Comfort & Cushioning: A+