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Released in 2020, the Nike Air Zoom GP Turbo replaces the Air Zoom Zero as a high-comfort performance tennis shoe for men and women.
Taking hints from their basketball and running footwear, Nike designed the shoes to cater to aggressive movers like ATP Pro Frances Tiafoe, who endorses them. Sneakerheads will appreciate knowing the “GP” in the name is a nod to a semi-pro tournament the company hosted in the 70s, while “Turbo” refers to their running innovation.
The shoe’s outsole features Nike’s durable rubber that’s well-suited for delivering reliable traction on hard courts. Although sufficient for clay and grass, the tread pattern isn’t ideal for either of these surfaces.
With a full-length Zoom Air unit embedded into the midsole, the GP Turbos aim to provide players with a boost or extra spring that enhances a player’s natural movement without sacrificing a responsive feel. Combined with a healthy dose of foam that’s visibly thicker toward the heel for added shock absorption, these shoes maximize comfort.
Players will find premium materials that offer comfort and support for the upper. Toward the front of the shoe, a rubber panel provides added durability and abrasion resistance through the inside or medial edge. For stability, the Air Zoom GP Turbo takes advantage of Nike’s dynamic fit lacing system paired with a traditional tongue for comfort, ensuring a snug and comfortable fit for every player.
Some tennis shoes come with an outsole guarantee that protects players when their shoes wear prematurely. Unfortunately, the Nike Air Zoom GP Turbo does not have an outsole guarantee.
The Nike Air Zoom GP Turbos are composed of four essential components: the outsole, midsole, insole, and upper.
In this section, I’ll share what you can expect from each, along with key features for consideration.
At the bottom of the shoe, you’ll find Nike’s rubber outsole with a tread that’s thinner on the outside for grip and thicker on the inside for added durability. If you’re considering these shoes for clay, I’d expect them to offer less than ideal grip, especially due to the thicker inside tread, but they’re certainly not unusable on that surface.
You’ll also find there’s quite a bit of width toward the shoe’s front under the ball of your foot for stability.
The GP Turbo’s outsole offers solid thickness for the toe guard, but it doesn’t wrap very high at the toe or toward the front on the inside edge, so that’s an area worth watching for durability.
There’s a relatively aggressive rocker at the back of the shoe for smooth and easy heel-to-toe transitions, which is a bonus for aggressive movers.
The outsole also shows off the shoe’s midsole, while narrow cutouts at the front and back help reduce a bit of stiffness and allow for easier sliding.
At the midsole, the Nike Air Zoom GP Turbo showcases their most unique feature: a full-length Zoom Air unit from the front to the back of the shoe, which offers exceptional comfort while boosting every step.
Plus, instead of being buried in the shoe’s foam, Nike sews the Zoom Air unit directly into the upper, so it’s easier to feel for maximum cushion. Below the Zoom Air unit, you’ll also find a layer of foam that’s thicker toward the heel for extra impact resistance.
For support and stability during side-to-side movement, the midsole rides fairly high up the edges on both sides of the shoe.
The shoe also comes with Nike’s standard insole with a small amount of adhesive on the bottom to help ensure it stays put on top of the Zoom Air unit directly below it. It’s not the most robust insole, but it doesn’t need to be any thicker considering the shoe’s overall comfort.
You’ll find relatively thick and stable synthetic materials for the upper, which are soft to the touch at the back and rubber toward the front for abrasion resistance.
On the inside edge at the toes, the shoe features a thicker rubber panel for added durability during toe drags and thin cutouts to help maintain flexibility and a bit of extra breathability.
Finally, the GP Turbos use Nike’s Dynamic Fit lacing system with highly durable double layered eyelets and a standard well-padded tongue for comfort on the top of your foot.
Fit & Sizing Advice
Here’s a quick overview of what to expect from these shoes.
The Air Zoom GP Turbos I have on hand weigh in at 16.7 ounces or 473 grams in a men’s size 11, which falls on the heavier end of the spectrum.
For context, here’s a table comparing the weight of a few popular tennis shoes from various brands.
The shoe does run short in length from a fit standpoint, so I’d encourage you to bump up a half size. I’m a size 10.5, so I tried on that size along with a size 11, and the smaller size was too snug, so I bumped up and found that to work perfectly for me.
These shoes have a medium width, but it’s worth noting they hug your foot snugly and have a medium arch for adequate support.
As far as break-in goes, I thought these shoes felt great the first time out on the court, and I didn’t run into any significant stiffness, but like most new shoes, they felt even better after a few hours of play.
The Nike Air Zoom GP Turbo is available for both men and women. However, I haven’t seen it show up as a clay court model to date.
Alternative Shoes to Consider
The Nike Air Zoom GP Turbo is an excellent tennis shoe, but it’s far from perfect. If you’re looking for a similar shoe that offers plenty of comforts and caters to aggressive movers and an all-court style of plan, then I’d encourage you to check out the following shoes.
One area where all of these shoes outshine the GP Turbos is weight, so if that’s at all a concern, they’re worthy options to consider.
Frances Tiafoe endorses the Nike Air Zoom GP Turbo. However, Nike has introduced the NikeCourt Zoom NXT as a replacement, so there is a good chance he’ll transition to that shoe in 2022.
What’s your take on the Nike Air Zoom GP Turbo? I’d love to hear your thoughts or experiences in the section below.