The legendary shoe Bill Bowerman destroyed his wife’s waffle iron to develop nearly 40 years ago and the shoe that helped launch the Nike empire is being updated again this coming Fall. This latest update will no doubt be an athlete favorite. All of the key elements of the shoe that help keep it an industry leader are present in this 2011 edition. Featherweight, fantastic use of the latest upper materials, aggressive outsole and off the charts graphics make this a very sweet shoe. Add a jaw dropping low price and you have a slam dunk.
The entire Waffle lineup is actually 4 slightly different versions of the same basic shoe. There are spiked and spikeless Waffle models with men’s and women’s versions of each. The men’s is broken up into the spiked model named the Nike Zoom Waffle XC 9, while the spikeless model is called the Zoom Waffle Racer 8. On the women’s side, the spiked version is dubbed the Nike Jana Star XC 5, while the spikeless version is named the Jana Star Waffle 5.
All models feature a lightweight, flexible tight mesh upper with 3D puffscreen overlays in key areas for added support. The fit in the forefoot has been widened up slightly over the Zoom Victory XC to accommodate a wider cross section of athletes. The midsole featured is Compression Molded Flashlon, the same material available on the Zoom Victory XC. The updated Waffle line features a slightly more filled in midsole, under the arch area, which should feel better to a larger cross section of athletes that are not used to the extremely curved last of the Victory XC and past Waffles.
While not as ultra-light as the Zoom Victory XC, the new lineup of Waffles is certainly not heavy by any means. The shoe is less than an ounce heavier than the Zoom Victory XC, has the same midsole material, similar upper treatment sans Flywire and a slightly more filled in arch at nearly half the price of the Zoom Victory XC. The new Zoom Waffle lineup is an absolute bargain. Expect it to arrive at Running Warehouse in July 2011 with a list price of $50 for the spikeless and $60 for the spiked models.