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Fit and Size
Are you looking for a durable, stable and comfortable shoe? If you are then you should check out the Nike Air Zoom Vapor Cage 4. This shoe was specifically designed for the aggressive ATP player Rafael Nadal. Nike has done a great job with this shoe by combining the best features from the Cage and Vapor lines into this hybrid shoe.
However, this shoe may require some break-in period and it’s not that suitable for players who have a narrow foot. Despite these criticisms, it’s still an awesome looking shoe to play on the court and it comes with overwheling positive comments.
Nike is one of the few brands in the world that continues to amaze everyone with its high-quality products and designs. They continue to take tennis shoes to the next level by making high performing shoes. And the Air Zoom Vapor Cage 4 did not fail to disappoint either.
This shoe is built for the tennis legend Rafa Nadal and at the core of the shoe is stability, durability and comfort. If you are the type of player looking for these features in a tennis shoe then you have arrived at the perfect place.
In this post, I’m going to provide you with a thorough in-depth review of the Nike Air Zoom Vapor Cage 4 and how you can utilise it effectively to play better in games. If you are ready like me, let’s start with the design and cosmetics of the shoe.
Design and Cosmetic
Right out of the box, the shoe looks amazing and attractive to wear. You can’t help but keep looking at it. All the colours Nike selected to make the shoe are spot on.
In terms of the cosmetic of the shoe, if you manage to get the Vapor Cage 4 metallic design, you would notice Rafa Nadal’s signature bit mark on Nike’s logo at the side of the shoe.
The is Nadal’s trademark when he wins trophies. Moreover, you would notice all the years that Rafa has won his majors on the insole and heel counter. And lastly, you would notice his name at the back of the shoe. This is such a fantastic shoe made by Nike to celebrate Rafa’s success on the tennis tour.
Let’s take a closer look at the upper. The upper of the material is going to provide you with a glove-like fit and comfort.
In addition, the use of durable mesh material is going to provide you with excellent breathability.
I would say it’s one of the best breathability shoes on the market along with the Diadora Speed Blushield 5 AG which came on the market recently.
And lastly, with the upper, the inside of the mesh is reinforced in a way to provide you with extra support whiles you move around the court.
Toe Box and Plastic Clip
The toe box area is covered with re-inforced rubber which is going to provide you with excellent durability.
If you look closely at the side of the shoe you would notice that it has a plastic clip.
This is going to do a really good job at providing you with good lateral stability whiles moving aggressively on the court. Also, it’s really going to lock your feet inside of the shoe.
Heel Counter and Ankle Support
The Vapor Cage 4 has a similar heel height to the Nike Pro which is 2.5cm heel height. This is going to keep your foot lock-in and allow you to move well on the court. Moreover, the ankle area is well padded to provide you with good ankle support and stability as you move around the court.
Tongue and Lacing System
The tongue is made of two-piece construction. The purpose of this is to provide you with good stability and grip whiles sliding on the court.
Just like the Nike Pro version, the Vapor Cage 4 comes with an asymmetrical lacing system. This is going to provide you with a snug fit and support during lateral movements.
On top of that, the medial lace eyestays are covered to provide you with durability whiles sliding or moving aggressively.
The shoe comes in 15.6 ounces and a size of 10.5. This is by far the heaviest tennis shoe in Nike’s Vapor line of tennis shoes.
Although, when you play with it on the court for a while, you start to get used to it and even forget about it.
Insole and Midsole
The shoe comes with a nice insole which is going to provide you with good cushioning and comfort. Also, since it’s a removable insole you can replace it anytime with a new one or even use your own favourite one.
Another thing that makes the Vapor Cage 4 unique and special is the midsole.
Underneath the outsole, you would see a reinforcement shank that is connected to the midsole and insole.
The combination of this shank would allow you to get more stability and a responsive feel when playing rallies and running to get to drop shots.
Moreover, the two-piece midsole is going to provide you with excellent comfort and cushioning.
Also, the use of polyethene material is going to provide you with durability.
And lastly, the Zoom Air unit in the forefoot area is going to provide you with a more energy and responsive feel.
The Vapor Cage 4 is more suitable for players who have a medium to wide foot. If you have a narrow foot you can still wear this shoe however, you may have to go down a half size in order to get the perfect fit and support. Overall, the length of the shoe is generous for your feet to get used to it.
Once you wear the shoe for the first time, it may require two to three hours for it to break in. This can feel a little uncomfortable during that period but once it’s broken you would enjoy the awesome comfort, cushioning and stability that comes with it. Also, I would say this shoe is not suitable for players who have overpronation and bunion.
Next up is the outsole. The way Nike designed the outsole is very interesting and fascinating. Let me break it down to make it easy for you.
Firstly, underneath the heel area has got poetry rocker outsole. The purpose of this feature is to provide you with a lightweight feeling and allow you to move quickly when chasing the ball.
However, the downside to this poetry rocker outsole is that it can cause instability which does not suit players who have physical injuries such as heel pain, Achilles tendonitis and others.
Secondly, in the middle of the outsole, you would notice a linear pattern around Nike’s logo.
This is specifically done to allow you to slide comfortably on hard courts. If sliding is part of your game then you would enjoy playing in this shoe.
And thirdly, the outsole has a mixture of chunky, lightweight and deep herringbone patterns. This is good for split stepping and allows you to move better on clay courts.
In terms of the durability of the outsole, you are going to get your money price worth. This is simply because it’s one of the best durable outsoles from Nike’s line of tennis shoes over the years.
Unlike the Yonex PC Fusion Rev 4 which comes with limited colour options to choose from. This is not the case for the Vapor Cage 4. You would have the opportunity to select whatever colour shoe that you want and suits your tennis outfit.
The last important point to talk about is the price of the shoe. It’s close to the $200 price point which is on the same wavelength as other tennis shoes such as the Asics Solution Speed FF 2.
This may sound expensive but in all fairness, it’s a reasonable price point for this high performing shoe that brings a lot of features to your game.
If you are on a lower budget and want a shoe that has a low price point then I would recommend the NikeCourt Vapor Lite. The Vapor Lite is also a great tennis shoe that would allow you to play better on the court.
As we come to the conclusion of this post, I hope you have enjoyed reading it and found it very useful. It’s pretty obvious that Nike has done a fantastic job with this edition. This nice looking shoe is going to provide you with good comfort, stability and durability. It’s built for aggressive movers and players who are hard on their outsole.
However, there are some downsides to this shoe such as it requires some time to break in before your feet can get used to it. Overall, it’s such a great shoe that comes with a lot of positive comments. I hope you like this shoe and helps you to play better on the court. I would end by saying good luck in your next match.