Nike Air Zoom Structure 20

8.9 score
[Editors rating (8.5) + Users rating (10.0)] / 2 = (TheGearHunt) score (8.9)/10

Editor rating: 8.5 / 10
User's rating: based on 2 user ratings
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Nike Air Zoom Structure 20 Review Facts

Nike, as perhaps the most colossal and commercially successful shoe brand in the game, is always met with the challenge of how to reinvent their already beloved lineup of products. They again did not disappoint with their 2016 release of the Air Zoom Structure 20 running shoe, a model designed with comfort in mind. Its seamless upper made of Flymesh and the buttery soft inner lining will make you feel comfortable and ready to run at all times of the day. The striking color scheme and overall build of the shoes is quite beautiful, though there are limited options both for men and women. They are pretty sturdy and transition well from indoor to outdoor surfaces, and as such they have decent traction. In general, there are very few negative reviews out there that cite problems with this model, so it’s a safe bet that you’ll like this pair. Let’s talk a little bit more about why these shoes have received such acclaim from customers everywhere.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Durable and reliable outsole
  • Spacious toe box that won’t leave you feeling cramped
  • Soft yet also responsive cushioning
  • Soft and luxurious mesh inner sleeve
  • Excellent support and ventilation
  • Stylish and attractive looking
  • Some verified customers have reported heel slippage
  • Not reflective, could be more dangerous to wear in low light situations
  • Discontinued and have been replaced by updated successors


The construction of the Flywire cabling on the upper of the Air Zoom Structure 20 is a really important detail of the shoe as a whole. This is because Nike chose to lessen the number of cables typically used on this portion of the shoe which makes for a more free feeling. At the same time, the remaining cables aid in securing the midfoot by connecting the laces and the midsole together. Great ventilation and added support is possible because of the Flymesh which helps circumvent the air in the shoe in order to keep your feet dry. Lastly, this material is super soft and is very aesthetically pleasing.


A midsole is essentially a layer of material positioned between the inner and outer soles of a pair of shoes that is intended to absorb shock as a result of your feet hitting the ground. This is really a big factor in the overall comfort of the shoes, so choosing the right materials is an absolute must. The midsole of the Air Zoom Structure 20 is noted for its use of three-density foam that creates a dynamic balance between stability and comfort. Moreover, the molded EVA makes up the biggest portion of the midsole and it primarily takes care of the cushioning in this area. There is also another section of thick foam between the heel and midfoot that contribute to the level of arch support in the shoes.


The highlight of the outsole is Nike’s ubiquitous usage of the honeycomb or octagonal pattern etched into the dual rubber material. This is a key component because it helps with improving the overall traction and picks up and expels tiny pebbles and other debris with relative ease. Both kinds of rubber serve unique and different purposes which harmonize together very well. The soft rubber creates a really solid grip whereas the harder and more solid rubber allows for the shoe to have an extended life and improves how much wear and tear it can really rake. It’s a pretty standard outsole in most respects but is definitely a key component to what makes this shoe so special.


The men’s Air Zoom Structure 20 weighs in at 10.7 ounces and the woman’s version at roughly 9.6 ounces. This is by no means an incredibly lightweight shoe, but this added weight may merely be a part of why they are so durable and sturdy. However, a lot of consumers have said that they feel almost as light as a feather and certainly do not hold them back from achieving their desired speed. Sure the shoes are not paper thin, but they get the job done for the most part and for most runners. Achieving a good balance between structural durability and lightness is definitely a critical issue that shoe designers face, and the ones at Nike seem to have done a great job this time around.


Price can often be difficult to judge once a shoe is discontinued or is replaced by a more updated model, so bear with us here. Currently, the men’s version of the shoes is going between 100 and 300usd pnline and in the hundred dollar range from the majority of trustworthy retailers. They are not sold on Nike’s website as they have been replaced by the Air Zoom Structure 21 which is a total bummer since the customization feature is therefore unavailable for them. These ranges go from affordable to overpriced, but for the most part may not be worth the purchase if you’re planning on dropping more than one hundred dollars. However, these ranges are also commonplace for other older models of running shoes.


As previously mentioned, the full customization options are no longer available on Nike’s website because they have been retired. This is unfortunate because it’s one of the biggest perks about this brand’s lineup of shoes; everyone can find something that appeals to them. Worry not, because the Structure 20 is still a totally stylish and modern shoe despite the fact that there aren’t hundreds of choices of color. They are pretty appealing to the majority of consumers and don’t even necessarily have to be worn exclusively when working out. Some of the color combinations for the men’s addition include but are not limited to red and orange, white and gray, and blue and ghost green.


One of the biggest highlights of the comfort of the Air Zoom Structure 20 is by far the so-called “Dynamic Foot” technology, which swaddles the shoe’s midfoot making for a secure and pleasurable fit. It helps to better stabilize your feet and provide that perfect level of tightness. The seamless Flymesh upper contributes to the overall breathability of the shoe (which we’ll get into in a second) and aids in making the ventilation process a lot smoother. Generally, the materials on the inside and the outside of the shoes are soft to the touch and accommodate narrow and wide feet equally well. Customers have not really complained about these shoes regarding this aspect, and have instead said nothing but positive things about how comfortable they are.


These shoes are extremely breathable because of that awesome seamless Flymesh that seems to be an apparent feature on all of Nike’s shoes. Amazingly, the Flymesh utilizes much larger forefoot holes than ever before in order to achieve a higher degree of overall breathability. The mesh inner sleeve of the shoe also enhances the breathability while simultaneously enhancing the fit as a whole. With this great ventilation system, the Air Zoom Structure 20 is properly aerated and therefore prevents the development of blisters, rashes, or any other unpleasant affliction to your feet.


The subtle alterations made to the Flymesh in this installation of it have helped make the Structure 20 a much more flexible shoe without detracting at all from its durability. Due to the thicker appearance and overall heavier weight of the shoes, it is safe to say that it is probably not the most flexible shoe of all time. However, they can still fold up easily for on the go transportation, and your feet definitely feel like they are moving freely when wearing the shoes. Consumers have said that they feel pretty pliable and feel like any other good running shoe. While there are definitely shoes that can bend and fold a little more easily elsewhere on the market, these still get the job done and won’t slow you down during your workouts.


Traction is more or less how well a shoe grips the surface when it hits the ground and releases soon after. It is necessary to prevent falls and accidents from happening indoors and outdoors. The Air Zoom Structure 20 has been described as having great stability that allows for a nice amount of traction. The honeycomb patterning on the outsole along with its dual system of rubber are super helpful in boosting the traction. Interestingly, many have complained about slipping/ feeling like their foot wasn’t as secure as it should be whilst wearing this product despite its solid construction. Perhaps Nike could improve on this problem in future models, but apart from that the traction is still decent.


When there are millions of potential customers out there who live in regions with totally different kinds of weather and terrain, it is certainly challenging to construct a shoe which can transition well from one type of ground to another. This model is designed specifically for flat surfaces like roads or gym floors, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you should not wear them outdoors in places like hiking trails. Their thicker structure means that it takes a lot to wear them down, so don’t be afraid to rock them in the wilderness. However, they may not be safe to wear on icy or snow-covered surfaces because of the way they are made. It is because of this reason that we would most likely recommend this product to those who do the majority of their running/workouts indoors.


Something that runners who require higher arch support in their shoes will appreciate about these kicks is their level of support. They feature greater support than neutral/high arch shoes, but less than shoes made for totally flat feet. This hits the sweet spot where a little less than half of runners fall into, whether they know it or not. By having an optimal level of support, runners will find themselves much more happy and comfortable, allowing them to potentially work out harder and faster than ever before. The inner sleeve, flymesh, and midsole as a whole create this ideal amount of support that thousands of potential customers would surely love.


The very firm nature of the ride in these shoes makes them just a tad more responsive than most other models of running shoes. Additionally, the sock liner discussed earlier (which can be removed at the wearer’s request), provides added responsiveness in the shoe. People have lauded the Air Zoom Structure 20 for its very responsive cushioning, which helps with sock absorption and making each run even more comfortable than the last. Overall, it achieves the perfect balance of responsive without having too much bounce back.

Key Features

• Newly added plain arch section
• Reduced number of Flywire cords
• Large forefoot holes for better breathability
• Tri-density foam in the midsole
• Great arch support
• 10mm heel to toe drop

Bottom Line

At the end of the day, the Nike Air Zoom Structure 20 isn’t exactly a revolutionary or 100% unique and original running shoe, but it still is an acceptable choice that does everything the casual runner really needs it to do. It does not sacrifice anything in terms of stability, comfort, breathability, or quality in general per se, but it just simply pales in comparison to its updated model. They are long lasting shoes that come with a very average price tag for the most part, and can adapt to the shape of any and all types of feet. The shoes feature some of Nike’s most famous materials including seamless Flymesh, Flywire cabling, and tri-density foam in the midsole. Each part of the shoe is well made and doesn’t break down easily in harsh conditions, and has nice arch support as well. There is nothing inherently wrong with them, and they appear to be a very people-pleasing product. Because of their inability to adapt to more harsh surfaces such as ice and rocky trails, we would definitely recommend this to the more casual runner or those who prefer to do most of their athletic activities indoors.