Despite lots of pricing inconsistencies, overhyped releases that turned out as something left-to-be-desired, and generally deceiving marketing – I simply cannot deny Nikey makes a TON of shoes each year and some of those are actually super solid options for almost dirt cheap. Hence I present my Nike Precision 5 review.
Fitting right into the mentioned affordable range that still produces a solid product, I’ll break down the 5th shoe in the Swoosh’s Precision line. I’ll analyze its fit & comfort, performance, general value for the money, versatility, and whether it’s a worthy upgrade over last year’s already pretty good Precision 4.
I. SPEC SHEET
click for a full-sized image
II. 1-MIN REVIEW
For those in a hurry: the Nike Precision 5 is a near-identical model to last year’s shoe, albeit with a few small changes.
Most players should go true to size with these, including wide footers. Traction was just as good as the Precision 4’s but this time, the shoe took a step down in terms of durability – the rubber used was noticeably weaker.
The basic foam midsole cushion is nothing to boast about but fans an ultra-fast, reponsive, low-to-the-ground ride will absolutely love the setup.
I had no issues with support despite the super minimal build.
The super minimalistic textile build is on the cheaper side of things but still worked on-court. No containment issues even for a more explosive player like myself.
The few gripes I’ve had with the shoe is the laces loosening up very quickly after I lace ’em up, the tongues often get bunched up and causing some minimal discomfort and the foam sidewalls aren’t peachy for a wide foot.
It’s acceptable though.
For alternatives, check out the Precision 4 if you want the same shoe but better durability for outdoors and the Zoom Freak 2 for an upgraded, beefed up (but still fast & mobile) low-top.
The full review is below
III. FIT & COMFORT
Do they fit true to size or should you go up/down? How comfortable are they? Anything else to know for the wearer?
Starting off with the need-to-know, the Precision 5 fit me true to size, despite me being a huge wide footer. Yes, I’m one of the boat-foot/clown-foot type individuals. However, the Precision 5 wasn’t among the shoes that brought a slew of issues for me.
Regular footers or those with more narrow-shaped feet should also opt for their usual size. Most guys should expect a snug, near one-to-one fit with these. Give ’em time and everything should normalize for just about anyone unless you’ve got even wider/thicker feet than I do. In that case, I wish you the best of luck my friend.
My initial experience started off really snug but it kinda always does. For a more forgiving build such as this one, I was able to achieve passable comfort in around a month.
I was able to play and shoot around from day 1 of course but I definitely didn’t feel optimal since the upper felt tight, and the two little foam pieces that come up on both sides of the midfoot applied some pressure.
Not the worst-case scenario though, and by far. Every few days of action felt better and better, and around a month’s time was enough to minimize the annoying foam pieces colliding with my foot’s bones and stretch out the material to its limit.
Can I still feel the presence of tightness? Yes, occasionally. Those little foam sidewalls still tend to hit the bone of my foot during certain quicker moves and that’s still uncomfortable but by far not as bad as it initially started off.
I’d bet my money that you wouldn’t even have this issue, to begin with, if you’ve got a foot that’s even slightly more narrow than mine.
vs. the Precision 4: the 5th shoe is definitely a bit roomier width-wise since it’s finally not the same recycled build. I needed to go up half a size with the previous model and even then things weren’t optimal and took time to break in.
While the Precision 5 isn’t an ideal shoe for a wide footer either, I’d still choose it over the 4th just because of the extra room at the toebox.
While we can’t expect a god-sent shoe that feels like a dose of luxury with a $70 price tag, I still have to give credit where it’s due.
The Precision 5 feels like a fast and light formula. They can’t offer you a luxury knit or flagship tech but the materials actually wrapped around my foot fairly well compared to the usual budget builds consisting of cheap synthetics.
Oh, and they’re SUPER light. I mean feather-like.
There’s a tad bit of padding around the ankle and on the tongue – pretty much in line with the rest of Nikey’s affordable lineup of hoop shoes. The tongue isn’t your insanely sharp LeBron 19 like absurdity – so no worries there. Your shins are safe!
The shoe is also a treat to put on, even for a massive foot like mine.
The only little gripe I have in the fit/comfort department is that the tongue tends to get all bunched up sometimes. Skip cranking down of the top laces and you’ll be running around with a pair of flappers on top. Doesn’t affect performance in a meaningful way but still thought I’d mention it.
vs. the Precision 4: very similar comfort-wise. Both shoes feel light & fast and I tend to forget I’ve got them on while playing which is a great feeling to have on the court.
Numbers-wise, the Precision 5 is even lighter (by a small margin) and the altered build introduces a little bit of extra structure so it’s a win-win for the latest release.
Does it grip a variety of surfaces well? Is floor dust/debris a factor? How long will they last outdoors?
Just like the main build, the outsoles were changed up from the last shoe as well. A herringbone-like pattern on the lateral portion and a denser, more compact pattern medially. Solid rubber is used for all colorways – no translucent options are available.
While these don’t squeak as much as some other Nike kicks, I have NO COMPLAINTS about the traction. They truly did deliver in covering me no matter the movement, the angle, how fast I stopped, or where I stepped.
I’ve played outdoors on a classic blacktop and also on a rubber surface. The traction was deadly on both. These actually remind me of the Curry 8 in terms of the sheer bite which is insane. Check out my review of the Curry 8 and you’ll see why.
Now, most shoes do just fine on an abrasive concrete surface since there’s plenty of friction from the ground. Well, my rubber court I usually go to is all kinds of dirty and some of the rubber is torn off, leaving more slippery spots. I’d often feel I stepped on one of these areas with a lot of shoes.
Not with the Precision 5.
While I still recommend wiping down the outsoles every few plays/minutes just to be sure – you shouldn’t have issues even if you don’t have such a habit.
I haven’t personally played indoors yet (hopefully VERY soon) but have seen multiple reviewers reporting that they don’t have issues on hardwood either, but occasional wiping is encouraged.
The bite’s great. But how’s the outsole holding up, you say? I’m afraid things aren’t as peachy this time but don’t get overly worried either.
As you might’ve guessed, the lateral portions of the outsole that utilize a herringbone-style pattern are clearly holding up better than the thin, dense stuff that’s slapped on the medial portions.
I don’t really get the reasoning behind this since they could’ve just used the herringbone variation throughout the whole thing and called it a day. This is Nikey though, a 35 billion-dollar company we’re talking about. We’re never gonna know everything.
So, while I can’t feel a degrade in the shoe’s bite yet, I expect it nonetheless since the medial portions are quickly burning off. And I mean quickly.
I’m convinced that I’ll get through a full season of outdoor play with these. I’m NOT convinced I’ll get through multiple though, and that these will grip just as well indoors after all that rubber getting destroyed in the park.
There’s my longevity hypothesis for ya.
vs. the Precision 4: I found the base level of traction deadlier and sharper in the 5th shoe but if I had to choose between the two for someone who’s looking to play outdoors for a long time and not break the bank – the Precision 4 definitely has more durable rubber for the same price.
Also check out my shoe list for outdoors if you’re looking for a reliable option.
How’s the impact protection? What about step comfort and energy return of the foam? Is it stable?
The Precision 5 utilizes what Nike calls a “resilient foam midsole” but if you follow Nikey, you know there can’t be anything else but Phylon in there. And yes, Phylon’s definitely resilient – the midsole will feel as it should for a loooong time.
However, Phylon by itself is also pretty stubborn, so you won’t get a lot of compression with these. I could feel the heel portion of the foam just a tiny bit if I do a harder plant or a heel strike. The forefoot portion is all about responsiveness and speed. Don’t expect bounce over there.
So, the setup is right around the “budget” range – minimal impact protection, very responsive, and low to the ground. Fantastic for low-profile players or for those that are lighter or just don’t prefer having tons of cushion underfoot.
For a more athletic player, a classic big man, or for someone who’s heavier – this might not be your cup of tea. I’m nowhere near to being heavy for my height and I still could barely feel the cushion.
However, there’s just enough to keep things comfortable and avoid the feeling of literal bricks under your feet – something from the repertoire of a Kyrie 2 or a Mamba Instinct. This is still not a perfect option for those long, multiple-hour pickup sessions on concrete.
Heavy or not, your feet will feel fatigued in such situations. I personally started feeling some foot fatigue and slight pain in the balls of my feet after about 2 weeks of testing these. Doesn’t start that way but play for 3+ hours for a few weeks straight and you’ll see what I mean.
So basically, the Swoosh saved the most cash by shoving a basic Phylon midsole for the Precision 5. If you don’t need a lot of cushion – you’ll be just fine. If you need more cushion – you might want to save a bit more $$$ and check out these options.
vs. the Precision 4: right around the same. Just a tad bit of actual feedback from the foam while staying fast & low to the ground. I did find the step transitions of the Precision 5 to be a bit smoother but not by a large margin. Both offer minimal cushion setups.
How much all-around security does it offer? What about the build’s stability and foot containment? Any restrictions in result?
Security is where the latest shoe in the lineup introduced some slight tweaks while keeping the overall experience feeling the same for the wearer. I definitely like that.
The 5th shoe in the Precision line features a solid internal heel counter to lock your ankle & heel in the back of the shoe, foam sidewalls that come up on several areas of the upper, acting as additional protection.
The platform of the shoe is on the wider side and we’ve also got a pair of aggressive outriggers to catch those ankle rolls. The lacing system is traditional and flat laces are used now, which I found to perform and hold the tightness better than your standard cheap, slippery laces you see on budget models.
Torsional rigidity has been beefed up as well – although there’s still no midfoot shank in place, the midsole itself and the rubber caging around it made the shoe rigid enough to feel safe. Never once I thought something’s off there.
I still wouldn’t recommend these to a flat footer just because of the lack of proper cushion. Check out this shoe list if you happen to be one.
I definitely like the end product in terms of support though. No containment issues, no confidence issues while making a move, none of that. While it’s still a fairly minimal shoe and there are beefier options out there, I’m certain most guys will find these enough since most of us don’t have the attributes of a LeBron.
vs. the Precision 4: still light, still comfortable but a bit more supportive this time! While a small one, it’s still an upgrade without sacrificing any other qualities.
VII. THE BUILD
What are the materials used? How well do they perform on-court? How’s the quality & reliability of the setup?
The shoe features a textile material at the toebox, while a more tightly wrapped fabric & a synthetic overlay at the back. There are also some cheap Fuse overlays on high-wear areas such as the toe and around the eyelets.
The tongue is mesh-backed with some foam and the shoe sports a traditional lace & tongue construction. No one-bootie stuff here.
One thing that’s pretty cool is that all overlays on top of the textile are put together with no sews, and Nikey claims that improves durability. We’ll see how’s that glue holding up in a few more months Nike. We’ll see.
The setup is basic but as long as the shoe fits my foot properly and the material isn’t some plastic that bangs up my foot – I’ll be just fine. This textile wrapped around my forefoot nicely, and never once did I think I’m playing in a “cheap” shoe on the court.
The back portion also felt great but that one’s tough to screw up. The minimal padding around the ankle & tongue could’ve been beefier but that didn’t take away from the shoe. Ventilation also isn’t the best despite the materials being fairly thin.
But if we’re talking pure performance – I really do not have any serious complaints. The textile moved well with my foot and held it in place.
The only downsides to the build are a few already-mentioned nitpicks: the tongue getting bunched up, laces loosening up occasionally, the foam pieces colliding with my wide feet initially, and iffy ventilation.
None of those make the shoe a bad one, to be clear. But still something to remember before buying.
Here’s the midfoot portion for the black colorway.
The second-to-last pair of eyelets are getting pretty banged up 2 months in, there are also a few frays in the toebox, and the ankle collar’s getting a bit trashed from me constantly putting the shoe on, and off. That’s about it for the damage so far.
None of the wear & tear screams ALERT to me yet but who knows how these will look half a year in. We’ll see. So far though, things are looking somewhere in the line with a 90-100 dollar shoe which is great but this type of comparison is getting less and less relevant these days due to the market getting inconsistent.
We don’t know why some things are priced how they are anymore, so don’t get shocked if an $80 sneaker outlasts a $150 “signature”.
vs. the Precision 4: I could say the 5th shoe technically offers a “better” material setup since this textile feels a bit beefier than last year’s paper thin knit. And I don’t remember the 4th shoe hugging my foot as well.
Still though, the differences are marginal when you take things to the court. Both are basic setups, so expect moderate durability and likely some foul-ups in quality control since this is the price range where most of it happens. Or should happen. Like I said, you never know anymore.
Rounding things up: are they versatile? Who’s best suited for the shoe? Is it a good deal amongst the competition?
The Nike Precision 5 is another trusty bang-for-your-buck option from the gods of the Swoosh. Once again, not a crazy shoe – it won’t impress your fellow sneakerheads, nor will it blow you away on the court.
While we get a ton of weird stuff from Nike these days, I have to appreciate something as the Precision lineup, offering a good shoe for a fraction of the price of their flagships.
If you’re looking for a solid option RIGHT NOW, and can’t afford to spend $100+ on a single pair – this is truly a potential pick for ya. As long as you can live without good cushioning underfoot.
The Precision 5 should fit most guys true to their size, including wide footers like myself. Traction is deadlier than ever, though be aware that the pattern is rapidly getting wrecked 2 months in and it’s not going to get better from there.
Cushion is something that could be considered as lacking but if you can live with a low-profile setup – this will do the trick. Support is actually great and an upgrade over the last shoe, and while the material choices might look cheap – the shoe plays just fine.
If I’d be playing outdoors sometimes, I’d definitely pick the Precision 5 over last year’s sneaker. However, since I’m still playing in the park every time I hoop, I’d have to lean towards the 4th shoe as much I don’t like saying that. It simply has a better pair of outsoles slapped on that use thicker, tackier rubber.
This one’s up to you to decide – I don’t know your particular situation and/or needs on the basketball court. But I hope that by now you can weigh each shoe’s pros & cons and make the decision!