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The Structure has been Nike’s support shoe for decades now and has always been their everyday trainer for people with stability issues. As an over pronator, I’ve worn many motion control shoes or shoes offering some stability over the years. I’ve also worn a lot of Nike Structure’s over that time as well and they’ve changed a lot!
It was once a bit of a brick; you know, a heavy motion control shoe or a solid shoe for the person who was heavy on their shoes, but in recent incarnations, all that has changed. They’ve become lighter, more responsive and, well, swifter.
The Nike Zoom Structure 21 is a relatively lightweight stability shoe these days which will appeal to a broader audience I suspect, offering a good cushioning and support for moderate overpronators. They are a shoe that runners could wear mile after mile, day after day.
I really enjoyed this latest version of the Structure. The cushioning is good and they felt responsive. There was plenty of room in the toe box area and the lacing system allowed for a snug fit. However, if you are one of the aforementioned, ‘big people’, or someone with severe motion control problems, you might want something more substantial.
The Structure 21’s has a wide and flat base for stability. The midsole comprises or a fairly standard mix of dual compounds, Phylon and Cushlon materials. The firmer foam cushions the arch side of the foot, while a softer foam cushions the outer side. The forefoot incorporates a Zoom Air unit which, if you’ve had Zoom Air shoes before, you’ll know offer you a little spring in your step at toe off.
The upper is constructed from a one-piece Flymesh fabric which provides more ventilation across the top of your foot than in previous models. This version of Flymesh has lighter materials that still provide strong support.
The uppers are ‘adaptive’, they combine the Flywire lace technology with an internal arch band for additional midfoot support to provide a dynamic fit. The top two eyelets of the lacing system use Flywire technology which nike state provide more support as you tighten them. I’m not sure I noticed that but they felt snug on the foot all the same.
There is also the addition of an elastic band wraps around your arch to help keep your foot from sliding as you run.
The outsole offering is a combination of BRS 1000 carbon rubber in high impact / abrasion areas for durability and Duralon blown rubber for comfort underfoot and traction. The nike waffle design worked well on road, light trail and parkland. The outsole has anatomically designed flex grooves in the rubber compounds which help guide the foot from landing to toe off while offering flexibility.
The Air Zoom Structure 21 is a very comfortable, responsive and durable stability shoe. The new upper is certainly offers improvements in breathability and fit with a good amount of room in the toe box area. The shoe not only looks good but feels great on the foot and is a million miles from the old Structures of old! However, as previously mentioned, this is a great stability shoe but you might want to look elsewhere if you have significant motion control issues.
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