Nike Air Zoom GP Turbo
Review & Buyer’s Guide
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Initially released in 2020, the Nike Air Zoom GP Turbo is a high-performance tennis shoe designed to meet the demands of aggressive movers like Frances Tiafoe without sacrificing comfort.
Of course, like every shoe, they’re not perfect and come with a handful of drawbacks you should be aware of before buying them.
As one of my picks for the best, I rate the GP Turbos across several performance criteria in this review and share my thoughts and on-court experience to help you determine if they’re a good fit for your game.
Check out my product page to view additional photos and learn more about the features and construction of these shoes.
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I put together the following video to further showcase the Nike Air Zoom GP Turbo’s design and performance. I also dive deep into the shoe’s fit, sizing, and features if that’s of interest to you.
Below I’ve included timestamps so you can jump to specific sections of the video that are of the highest interest.
- 0:26 – Intro
- 0:39 – Weight, Sizing, & Fit
- 1:31 – Outsole
- 2:23 – Midsole
- 3:09 – Upper
- 3:46 – Playtest
- 4:26 – Style
- 4:58 – Lacing
- 5:20 – Comfort
- 5:56 – Stability
- 6:25 – Traction
- 6:45 – Durability
- 7:19 – Weight
- 7:52 – Ventilation
- 8:20 – Summary
- 9:02 – Wrapping Up
This resource will focus primarily on my thoughts, opinion, and experience using these shoes and is an excellent companion to the video. Keep scrolling to learn more and explore what the GP Turbos have to offer.
Unboxing & Initial Impressions
I purchased the Nike Air Zoom GP Turbo in black and white for my review and playtest, which I thought was a clean look.
I’m a US size 10.5, but I found multiple reports of these shoes running short, so I ordered my standard size and a size 11 to compare. After trying them on, I decided to go with the larger size 11, which is rare for me, but they felt a bit too snug, so you’ll want to consider that.
Nike translates a US size 11 into the following:
- UK 10
- BR 43
- CM 29
- EUR 45
You’ll find that most Nike tennis shoes come in a bright orange box with simple branding, and the Air Zoom GP turbos are no exception. The box features the Nike swoosh on top and the side of the lid, while their tag line ‘Just Do It’ is printed on the left side of the box.
At first glance, the shoes looked as bulky as they had on Nike’s website and all of their promotional materials, so that’s something that I paid close attention to during my review.
The upper is soft to the touch and a bit more flexible than many other tennis shoes, so I was curious how it would influence stability.
Picking the shoes up for the first time, they’re weighty. I knew that going into it, but for a shoe that Nike collaborated with Frances Tiafoe on, I thought it was a bit counterintuitive considering his athleticism.
Another area that stood out to me was the size of the midsole, which is substantial and gives the shoe a distinct look reminiscent of basketball shoes. As far as the colorway is concerned, the black and white is a clean look, and I was happy with my decision on that front.
When reviewing any pair of shoes, my goal is to provide objective feedback. To that end, I kept tabs on a handful of key attributes that would serve as the basis for this review.
Below I’ve included my ratings for each of these criteria, which I then average to come up with the final score for the shoes.
In the following sections, I’ll provide my notes and further details on why I gave the Nike Air Zoom GP Turbo a given rating.
To help evaluate the Nike Air Zoom GP Turbo, I went on a two-mile run to gain a feel for the shoes’ comfort and weight.
I also completed some agility and footwork drills to help flesh out traction and stability. Finally, I spent plenty of time hitting on the court to gauge overall performance.
The Nike Air Zoom GP Turbo is a clean-looking shoe from a distance.
However, they’re chunky looking up close, which isn’t very appealing to me. The midsole is super thick, and the shoes feel a bit bulky when wearing them. To be fair, Nike pulled inspiration from their basketball shoes when designing them, but this attempt isn’t my favorite look.
I’m also not a huge fan of the folded and rounded fabric that makes the eyelets. Aside from that, the upper’s material looks and feels premium. However, overall, the styling of these shoes is a miss for me.
The Nike Air Zoom GP Turbo is solid when it comes to lacing.
The laces pull through relatively easily, but most importantly, they offer a snug fit and hold tight while playing.
Beneath the laces, you’ll find a standard tongue, which is plenty thick for comfort. My only mild complaint is that they’re a bit clunky to unlace. The thicker laces seem to get hung up on the flexible eyelets.
In terms of comfort, the Nike Air Zoom GP Turbo is excellent.
They’re some of the most comfortable tennis shoes I’ve worn, with impressive impact resistance and an overall plush feeling ride that comes from the full-length Zoom Air Unit embedded into the midsole combined with plenty of responsive foam that’s soft underfoot.
Regarding fit, the shoes don’t have any odd quirks or pressure points either, which is a nice bonus, and I didn’t find they required any significant break-in, which is always a plus.
Overall, if comfort is a priority, they’re top-notch, but if you prefer a more responsive shoe that rides closer to the ground to provide more connection to the court, then these aren’t for you.
As far as stability goes, the Nike Air Zoom GP Turbos are a bit lacking
Generally, they performed adequately, but I did find them feeling a bit loose around the ankle regardless of how I laced them up.
At times, I found that my feet slid a bit too much within the shoe, especially on a warmer day. Combined with the higher ride, I lacked strong confidence in them when I pushed myself through more aggressive movements, but they got the job done.
All things considered, I think stability is an area for improvement.
Regarding traction, I thought the Nike Air Zoom GP Turbo performed well.
They provide plenty of grip while allowing sufficient give for sliding, a sweet spot that I think is ideal for hard courts.
Although you can use these shoes for clay, the tread pattern isn’t ideal for that surface, so I’d encourage you to opt for a shoe with a standard herringbone tread pattern if that’s your primary surface.
When it comes to durability, the Nike Air Zoom GP Turbo offers a long-lasting outsole that has held up well to the pounding of a hard court without any significant areas of concern.
However, the moderate protection for the shoe’s upper isn’t overly impressive, so that’s an area to watch, especially if you drag your toes.
I would have loved to see Nike pay closer attention to the toe, where most shoes offer added durability in the form of a toe cap, just above the white toe guard in the case of the GP Turbo.
On the inside, you’ll find a rubber panel protecting the front of the shoe, but it only extends halfway over the top. As a result, it leaves a portion of the toe open to damage.
As far as weight goes, there’s no denying it. The Nike Air Zoom GP Turbo is a heavy shoe, and that fact will turn many players away right off the bat.
However, to a degree, the shoes redeem themselves in this area as they’re surprisingly springy, so they don’t feel sluggish. Instead, they’re relatively quick for their weight.
I think the biggest area where the weight holds them back is during more precise movements, as you’d experience when moving up to the net.
Ultimately, if lower weight is a high priority, you’ll want to look elsewhere, which is somewhat surprising considering their target style of play.
Finally, the Nike Air Zoom GP Turbos are pretty poor when it comes to ventilation. Even during moderate outdoor weather, I found the shoes lacked the necessary breathability to help keep my feet cool, which led to some internal sliding and detracted from their stability.
I don’t expect this will be an issue for everyone, but it feels like an area that Nike completely overlooked. If you purchase these shoes and ventilation is at all a concern, I’d encourage you to opt for a lighter colorway to reflect the sun on a warmer day.
Overall, I found the Nike Air Zoom GP Turbo to be a solid option for those that demand the utmost comfort, but it doesn’t come without trade-offs. The shoes are heavier, lack ventilation, and leave room for improvement in durability, which are all factors worth considering.
However, their moderate all-around performance, along with their plush feel, will likely be an attractive option for those that frequent hard courts and place a premium on protecting their feet and joints from the harsh pounding that accompanies the surface.
It’s worth noting that Nike has introduced a replacement for these shoes, the NikeCourt Zoom NXT. At the time of publishing this video, both models are readily available for purchase.
Here’s a quick recap of their pros and cons:
- Plush comfort
- Solid traction
- Outsole durability
- Heavier weight
- Lackluster ventilation
- Upper durability
Since style is the most subjective of my criteria, I won’t toss it in either bucket, and I’ll let you be the judge.
The Nike Air Zoom GP Turbo is a relatively unique shoe, but its most prominent feature is comfort. Beyond that, I expect many players interested in this shoe will also be aggressive movers, so I’ve pulled together a handful of alternatives that I think are worth considering.
NikeCourt Zoom NXT
As the Nike Air Zoom GP Turbo replacement, the NikeCourt Zoom NXT is a perfect starting point for those looking for an alternative.
Like the GP Turbo, they feature a large Zoom Air unit for comfort, but Nike has worked to drop the shoe’s weight, which I think better aligns with their target audience. They also offer improved ventilation, so it seems Nike took note and made some solid improvements.
Asics Gel Resolution 8
Another one of my favorite tennis shoes, the Asics Gel Resolution 8, delivers exceptional comfort without the bulk.
Across the board, these shoes perform well, and they easily outshine the Nike Air Zoom GP Turbo when it comes to weight, ventilation, and the durability of the shoe’s upper.
Asics Solution Speed FF
If quick movement is a high priority, then you’ll definitely want to check out the Asics Solution Speed FF. They’re super lightweight at only 12.9 oz in a men’s size 10.5, but they’re also surprisingly comfortable.
Ultra-aggressive mover Alex de Minaur reps these shoes, so that should give you a sense of the style of play that Asics set out to satisfy.
Babolat Jet Mach III
The Babolat Jet Mach III is the lightest shoe I’ve playtested at only 12.1 ounces in a men’s size 10.5, but they’re far from just that.
These shoes offer well-rounded performance across the board, with one of their highlights being comfort. Even their durability is impressive, which says a lot considering their weight.
Wilson Rush Pro 2.5
Wilson shoes might not be the first that comes to mind when buying a new pair, but the Rush Pro 2.5 offers surprisingly solid performance.
Their comfort is right up there with some of the best, and their mid-range weight is very reasonable. One of the Rush Pro’s most significant drawbacks is ventilation, but that’s on par with the GP Turbo.
Although they’re far from perfect, the Nike Air Zoom GP Turbo is a solid shoe with plenty of strong appeal for those seeking comfort.
Hopefully, this review helped shed some light on what to expect from their performance so you can make an informed decision on whether they’re ideal for your game. If you have any follow-up questions, please feel free to post a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!
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