The latest installment of Product of the Week focuses on these pumped up kicks from Nike Snowboarding – the Zoom Kaiju boots.
We went to the launch of these boots around this time last year and the boot’s designer waxed lyrical on all manner of techness that the Swoosh crammed in to their top end shred sneaker: Insulating material from NASA, a ‘Free’ sole inspired by their running shoes, some stuff from Kobe Bryant’s b-ball kicks, the lacing system from Back To The Future II… Well, ok. Maybe not that. Yet.
This year’s version is essentially similar but with new colourways – the Jordan-inspired white/red being particularly rad. But all the tech chatter and how they look is redundant compared to how they fit and how they ride. Happily we can report that on both counts these cut the mustard.
Top-end boots tend to be the stiffest out there, but this is not the case with the Zoom Kaiju – we found them to be pretty much middle of the road when it came to flex, meaning you have decent support and response but with plenty of scope for tweaking. As a result, though, if you’re after a super stiff model for hard charging then maybe look elsewhere.
What is immediately clear is that these fit great and feel great straight out the box. This hack’s feet are a bitch to please, but these were comfy off the bat and had great heel hold that didn’t diminish over time. Seriously, there wasn’t even that ‘first few runs of the season footcramp hell’ you’d anticipate, and you can also notice that the Free sole really gives you enhanced board feel
The only criticism we could find is that the lacing system, while easy enough for a traditional system, could have been easier to handle if they dropped a speedlace version for our lazy Euro asses.
All in all, though, we have to say that the tech-hype is backed up by great performance – the Zoom Kaiju is an awesome boot.