The Express Lane

For all those readers who are too busy running and, do not have enough time lớn read a nearly 2,000-word review...I understand, so here is the gist of it all.

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The Nike Zoom Air Structure 21 is a medium weight, fairly stiff, yet responsive stability-support category road running shoe.

It is well cushioned and, it is very well constructed, with room for your toes and, has proven khổng lồ be fairly durable.


Nike was founded in 1964 as blue Ribbon Sports, in the U.S. State of Oregon và was originally a distributor of the Japanese built Onitsuka Tiger, running shoes, today known as Asics.

Blue Ribbon Sports became known as Nike in 1971. The name “Nike” was borrowed from the Greek goddess of victory.

First Impression

When I first look at any shoe, I take notice of what"s most important to lớn me; and this Nike had a roomy forefoot with ample room above my toes.

The upper mesh material was positioned with great accuracy; both shoes were the precise mirror images of each other. Every part was perfectly lined up, with not a stitch out of place, including the ones under the sock liner where nobody ever looks.



With the "founder"s touch" still being evident, the classic & highly effective waffle style sole is still present in most of the outsole…with some minor evolutionary updates.

The outsole is composed of primarily Duralon rubber, with BRS 1000 (Blue Ribbon Sports) carbon rubber being used in areas of higher abrasion.

The outsole was said lớn have been designed for flexibility, with "Deep Anatomical Flex Grooves," however I could not find them. This outsole is simply a well-designed waffle style rubber outsole with a lateral side (outside) full-length rubber pad, which runs from the toe to lớn around the back of the heel.

This produces a very effective smooth transition and, adds traction. These shoes are actually quite stiff and, initially caused me some concern.



The midsole is the heart of any running shoe, all other parts are simply playing support roles. The midsole is made up of two very well-known, time proven foams… Phylon & Cushlon.

Nike"s Phylon is a lightweight và responsive EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) foam that has been heated và molded và is used as the medial (inner) side of the outsole, this is the foam that puts this shoe into the stability category.


Cushlon is a set of that very same Phylon material, but with the addition of top-secret rubber additives, this foam is used in the lateral (outer) side of the midsole. This is the foam that gives this shoe its characteristic bounce and liveliness.

These two foams are fused together in what at one time was called "Dual Fusion," and now renamed the “Dynamic tư vấn System.” I always liked the "Dual Fusion" name; it sounded descriptive and promising khổng lồ me.

It is reminiscent of the terms we used in the old HOT ROD days lượt thích Dual Exhaust, and Dual Quads. I grew up reading HOTROD Magazines and, they still địa chỉ to the descriptions I use lớn define things in today’s modern running world.

The Nike Structure 21 has a gender-specific crash pad at the bottom of the heel, and along with a variety of colors and sizes, completes all gender-specific considerations.

There is also a Zoom Air unit placed in just the right location in the forefoot.


These uppers are an example of “Engineering Simplicity.”

By using a single piece of monofilament reinforced Engineered Mesh, with a minimum of overlays, Nike created an attractive và streamlined appearance. Some of the overlays are so thin, they look as if they had been painted on, lượt thích racing stripes on a sports car; however, they do help lend structure to lớn the uppers.

The Nike hình ảnh is the most prominent overlay, and there is a near total absence of visible stitching; other than those needed to lớn neatly attach the tongue.

Most of the lacing is fed through loops rather than eyelets; this provides more comfort by disbursing the lace pressure over a wider area…in what they are calling a Strapped-Based-Lacing-System.

There are four conventional eyelets, towards the rear/top of the tongue that are used in conjunction with the Flywires.


There are a total of only 8 Flywires used per shoe, compared to the latest Nike Pegasus 34 which has 24 Flywires per shoe. The Nike Structure 21 is only a partial Flywire equipped shoe, but I think that the most important Flywires are in place, towards the rear of the tongue.

The Flywires begin their journey at the midsole, và then they move up both sides of the shoe to lớn where the laces are waiting to complete a full wraparound of your foot. The tongue is fairly well padded but not plush and, is secured along its sides; making a lace-stay on the tongue unnecessary.

There is a thin internal bootie extending all the way forward from both sides of the tongue, keeping the tongue from slipping.

There is no external heel counter, rather an internal stiffener is used and, surprisingly seems lớn work well; heel slippage was minimal…for such an inflexible shoe.

The laces are wide, elastic, & comfortable. However, these laces, sadly, did not stay tied for more than 3 miles; they were replaced before my second run.


I generally replace my original laces with reflective laces, for after-dark safety, because getting hit by a oto going only 25 miles per hour is like falling from a two-story building!

Although not a defect, the collar wraps around the back & terminates on either side of the tongue, in an unfinished manner. These unfinished ends tend to lớn hang up the laces.

Care should also be taken when lacing a shoe with Flywires, it"s easy khổng lồ miss a wire!

The Fit

The fit will be somewhat different for each person, however certain aspects are constant. And, for me, I would not change a thing for fear of affecting what has got lớn be a near perfect ride.

The forefoot and midfoot conform to the shape of your foot and, the collar holds your heel comfortably with only minor slippage.

You can feel the FlyWires pull gently up under your arch when tying the laces.

On the Run

I stepped into these shoes, very optimistically, after having read several reviews and, having used the "COMPARE" feature found on

I was very much looking forward to their arrival from California & ran with them the very same storm-threatening day they arrived (Southern Indiana is in Tornado Alley.)

The Nike Structure 21 is so very blue and, has such panache; I took great care trying to lớn not get them wet or muddy, but I was caught in the rain on the last mile; that first run turned out lớn be the baptism of my new xanh Nikes.


This area of the state has no mountain ranges but is fairly hill. The Structure 21 helped me on the hills and, there was plenty of heel cushioning when going down the other side of those hills.

The forefoot cushioning is amazing; for my weight, these shoes seemed khổng lồ have been tuned just right.


The Structure 21 is not as quiet as the Brooks Ghost 10. Actually, there is a small amount of road noise with each step. However, I have been running faster with these on every run…and not only when being chased by rain! I was very pleased with my new found speed.

With my Brooks Ghost 10, I was confident that I always had enough cushioning. With the Brooks Launch 3 & 4, I knew I was confident that I had a lightweight & flexible shoe.

However, with these new xanh Nike Structures, I had a different sort of confidence; one that had me checking some of the past half marathons finishing-times of others in my age group!

I needed lớn discover what it was that made the Structure 21s so responsive và lively, and I think the answer is khổng lồ be found primarily in the geometry of this shoe.

Despite not being very flexible, these shoes tend khổng lồ roll easily through the gait cycle. There also seemed to lớn be a bit of a push-off provided at the over of my gait, just before toe-off like a diving board at a swimming pool that reacts when pressed down upon.

This provided a little boost at the kết thúc of each step, made possible by the front Zoom Air unit, & where it is placed within the forefoot.


On easy long runs, where short strides are in use, I could not ask for a better ride. I suppose a quieter outer sole material would be less durable, & a more flexible forefoot would be less responsive. The Structure 21 is a real good blend of these performance characteristics, & a pleasure khổng lồ run in.

This morning was one of those rare days, geese honking overhead, 34 degrees F. And, no wind whatsoever. These shoes are beginning lớn relax and, they are even beginning to running quieter. They are also wearing well, proving lớn be very durable.

These shoes are beginning khổng lồ loosen up, becoming more compliant after 50 miles, showing very little outer sole wear and, are still amazingly cushioned.


form size Tested 12 D. U.S. / 11 U.K. / 46 E.U., 30 cm.
Weight 318 gr./ 11.2 oz.
Pronation Category Support/Stability
Heel Stack Height 28 mm.
Forefoot Stack Height 18 mm.
Heel-Toe Drop 10 mm.
Arch Height Med-High.
Made In China
Testers Weight 151 lbs.
Release Date June 2017
Changes since last year"s version22 grams lighterImproved ventilationMore durable uppersConclusion

The Nike Structure 21 is the best shoe I"ve had in many years, excelling in so many areas, cushioning, fit, transition và I even love the color.

Personally, I was getting very tired of so many of my favorite brands và models forsaking forefoot and toe box room for streamlined looks. Even simple safety of reflectors; all gone for the sake of savings and, a spreadsheets bottom line.

Honestly, I vì chưng not think our toes are getting any smaller these days và the roads are sure not any less dangerous with today"s digitally distracted drivers.

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My conclusion, the Nike Structure 21 is a well-mannered và spirited shoe that will be there for you, during many miles of training and, will not let you down on race day.

Finally, would I buy this shoe again? YES!

Thanks for reading; the rest is up to you. See you at the starting line!

***My thanks lớn for taking back the toe-numbing Asics GT 2000 6 and then the New Balance Zante và sending me the Nike Structure 21 instead. They are well worth the wait!