What’s good One on One Testers crew? To kick off the Summer, One on One Testers is going to be absolutely grinding out articles, reviews, and sneaker news for all the good people that keep up the site. This Summer is going to go fast, but we’re going to keep up and continue the grind! To kick off this Summer, I have written my Nike PG 2 Performance Review. The Nike PG 2 released back in the February/March timeframe at an affordable price point of $110. From the wear testing process of these guys, the Nike PG 1 totally feels like a proper evolution of a signature series, going from the PG 1 to the PG 2. The PG 2 does everything the PG 1 does, but even better. Lets get into it.
The traction on this particular model features multi-directional coverage, that has wavy lines all over the place. This stuff is super soft in hand, and very grippy on the court. The grooves are on the deeper side, but with the rubber being very pliable and on the softer side, I cannot recommend these for everyday outdoor use. Indoors or outdoors, the Nike PG 2 outsole had me covered with all sorts of movements, ranging from cuts to crossovers. Dust was barely an issue. Since the rubber is super grippy and the grooves are nicely spread apart, it was really hard for dust to get trapped in there. If it did, I did a quick wipe and I was good to go. I almost never found dust getting trapped into these grooves, if I did, it would be after each session in these guys. Yeah, Nike hit it out of the park with the traction thus far. As per the durability, this rubber is super soft. I cannot recommend these for every day outdoor use. Although, me being a heavy outdoor user for most of my kicks, since there are no indoor gyms in Jersey, I’m not seeing any issues so far. What I can recommend if you use these outdoors, don’t use them for every session. Switch it up so you can keep the life of the outsole. I use these outdoors once or twice a week, and the outsole durability on my pair is just fine.
⊕ SCORE – 9.5/10 ⊕
Deconstruction Picture via: Fast Pass
For the cushioning on the Nike PG 2, we have a phylon midsole that encases a 10 millimeter thick Nike Zoom Air Unit in the forefoot. The Nike PG 1 featured a bottom loaded 8 millimeter forefoot unit. That’s a 2 millimeter increase, which doesn’t say much. Despite the fact, the Nike PG 1 zoom and phylon was underwhelming. The Nike PG 2’s foam feels a lot more lightweight and less dense on foot. This is a HUGE plus for me as I hate heavy/clunky shoes. I look for a lightweight performer that has adequate cushioning. These guys got the job done; the zoom is even top-loaded in these. Now, is the forefoot zoom anything special? No. Can you feel it? Minimally. I’d say I got a minimal feeling out of the zoom because the phylon still isn’t the softest foam ever, thus it reduced the feeling of the actual rebound of the zoom underneath my feet. Just because the Zoom wasn’t anything highly noticeable underneath my feet, doesn’t mean it didn’t cover me impact protection wise. When driving really hard towards the rim for a layup and landing, I definitely noticed it. Just because the feeling of this Zoom isn’t as nice as other setups, didn’t take away from the fact that it worked exceptionally well impact protection wise. These definitely sit lower the ground from the PG 1 perspective, in my personal opinion. I really enjoyed this setup, and once the phylon broke in for a couple hours, I was really good to go. No fatigue, no nothing. Well done job by Nike on their part.
⊕ SCORE – 9/10 ⊕
Oh guess what? Another part of the Nike PG 2 that just got the job done, but even BETTER. We have a few different materials all around the shoe. For the main composition of the shoes, we have a very nice knitted-mesh. For some added durability, support, and even aesthetics, we have a nice raw material, being suede along the mud-guard area and heel portion of the shoes. Finally, we have an open-aired neoprene that acts as the half-fit bootie construction. After all that being said, these are NICE. Don’ sleep on the materials on the PG 2. The mesh is definitely more on the premium side and required no break in time. It doesn’t stretch out and provided adequate support. The suede isn’t super premium, but it’s a nice touch aesthetically and support/durability wise for a $110 signature shoe. The suede felt fine on foot and didn’t add much weight to the shoes. Another thing, the Nike PG 2 is noticeably lighter than the PG 1. Like I was saying, these a proper evolution from its predecessor. Lastly, we get an open-aired neoprene that acts as a half-attached tongue to the upper of the sneaker. It’s decently breathable and felt comfortable on foot. No complaints here. These materials get a perfect score from me because it’s blending old school with new school, and doing in the absolute best way possible.
⊕ SCORE – 10/10 ⊕
Freaking AMAZING… With the blend of old school materials (suede), and new school materials (mesh/neoprene), the Nike PG 2 delivered premier support and lockdown throughout the whole shoe. For some features of the lockdown, these are literally two game controllers that are stitched on to two medial and lateral forefoot straps. Yeah it’s as good as it sounds. These forefoot straps certainly did justice locking down my mid-foot to forefoot. These were SUPER tight on foot and it was awesome.
One more thing… the fit. The Nike PG 1 fit very narrow and a lot of people found themselves going up half a size from the suffocating forefoot fit. These are COMPLETELY different. Yes, the Nike PG 2 runs narrow still, but it has a much wider forefoot area to fit more foot shapes. My foot fit fine in these guys and I was able to get away with going to my true size without feeling suffocated in the sneakers. The fit is complimented by a half-stitched internal bootie construction. The tongue is stitched half way down to the mid-foot which will allow more foot shapes to get into this shoe. We also have a noticeable outrigger that keeps the base of the shoes flat and stable. I never found myself rolling over as the lateral outrigger did it’s job fine.
⊕ SCORE – 10/10 ⊕
Nike did something special with the Nike PG 2. No, not everyone who tries out the PG 2 is going to love them. I can accept that. Something I truly like about these guys is that they feel like a proper evolution from its predecessor, the Nike PG 1. The PG 1 was a great start to Paul George’s signature line with a premium looking and adequate performer on the court. The Nike PG 2 took everything from the PG 1, and did it even better. The Nike PG 2 are lighter, have better materials, better fit, better cushion, and better traction than its predecessor. And that’s saying something because the PG 1s were great on court as well. I absolutely enjoyed my time playing in these and the Nike PG 2 is currently at the top of my rotation with the adidas Dame 4 and Crossover Culture Fortune LP.
⊕ FINAL SCORE – 9.6/10 ⊕
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Nick Montesano, born and raised out of New Jersey. Been hooping since I can remember. I’ve been interested in kicks since my early teenage years, and now I’m a junior in high school writing daily articles about my passion. My favorite hoop shoe of all time is the adidas Dame 4, and my favorite player is LeBron James.