Nike Vandal 2k Review

9.1
9.1 score
[Editors rating (9.1)] = (WalkJogRun) score (9.1)/10


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Editor rating: 9.1 / 10
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Nike is known as a performance brand, outfitting some of the best athletes playing on the field, court, and track. What people don’t usually expect to see is a particularly unique fashion option, which is exactly what you get with the Vandal 2K. Unless you are an avid collector of Air Jordans, chances are you don’t consider Nike when you’re trying to put together your new favorite look.

I get the feeling that is about to change, considering the sky-high platform, cool strap, and the gorgeous metallic sheen on this Vandal 2k. This sneaker feels great on while still being eye-catching. Nike’s 1985 classic is center stage, getting a boost in both height and interest with an additional 2-inch platform added to achieve the Vandal 2k. Old-school sneaker and fashion lovers can gladly unite in their love for this sick style from the one and only Nike.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Futuristic Aesthetic
  • Old-School Inspiration
  • 2.25" Platform
  • EVA Midsole
  • Rubber Outsole
  • Removable Insole
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Stiff
Aesthetics

Aesthetics

If you love a sneaker that looks like a true throwback with a modern flair, the Nike Vandal 2k will be right up your alley. On the original inspiration for this reimagining, the 1985 version of the Vandal, there was an ankle strap and Nike decided to play off of that look on the current 2k.

Bringing it down onto the classic lacing, a hook-and-loop strap comes across midfoot over the laces which don’t only add an additional visible feature of interest to this sneaker, but they also create a more close fit tailored to your foot. Swoosh decals on either side are flush against the side panels in the same color which makes the logo more subtle. Nike is featured in decals on the heel and tongue.
Brand

Brand

Most people who really love Nike pretty much love any Nike. That isn’t due to blind loyalty though. The brand has remained so popular over the years and gets such huge celebrity endorsements because they are always on the cutting edge of performance technology and style. Since 1964 Nike has been creating shoes that athletes love. The Vandal 2k is no exception. Based on an old school kick from the 80s, this revamped platform is reminding people not to sleep on the Nike brand.

Their first Vandal was an easy hit with their ankle strap, padded collar and tongue, and high-top upper. Fans loved them and the decision to revamp them into something a bit different was an easy one. For those who value style that feels fresh and new, despite being an ode to throwback classics, the Nike Vandal 2k embodies the brand and its principles by delivering just that.
Comfort

Comfort

For true comfort, a foam base with additional insole is one of the best options. With general ease-of-wear and providing give with reliable spring back, it isn’t only comfortable but also good for your feet. Their midsole utilizes a specialized compression foam and even more than that, there is a removable padded comfort insole on top.

Padding on the collar and tongue envelop your foot perfectly for those who are looking for a shoe that will feel nearly like an orthotic. Even those this has real style, it isn’t at all taking for granted the comfort elements that set it apart from other platform sneakers in the game. The Nike Vandal 2k completely one-ups the competition in terms of an architectural but still wearable sneaker. Very few footwear brands can accomplish the standard Nike is surpassing with their Vandal 2k.
Flexibility

Flexibility

Platforms aren’t known for their flexibility for a good reason. The upper of this Nike Vandal 2k is structured, which is necessary to balance the heavy base of the platform. If the upper was too soft, it wouldn’t properly support the bottom of the shoe. Without supporting the base, it wouldn’t fit properly on the foot, it would flap when you walk and be uncomfortable.

Unfortunately, just because Nike had good reason to construct the Vandal this way, it still makes the overall movement of the shoe nearly non-existent. This is really only a problem if you want to wear a sneaker that flexes with you. Nike does have so many other options if you need something more flexible, it just probably won’t be a platform that looks anything like this one.
Midsole

Midsole

Nike is known for its intricate midsoles. Their compression molding method can create very specific detailing in the midsole that is instantly recognizable. This one, in particular, is Phylon, as mentioned before, which is slightly different than their usual compression EVA. Made with heated EVA pellets that expand and them compress while they quickly cool, Phylon is Nike’s second lightest foam they have engineered, coming only behind LunarLight, a foam reserved for specific performance purposes.

You can usually note Phylon from its thin outer wrinkles, but those are hidden on this Nike Vandal 2k to achieve the straight-forward, doubled-soled look that functions all the same in a streamlined way. It is super thick and built-up but has been given a smooth appearance on the outside as to not interfere with the clean aesthetic.
Outsole

Outsole

Extreme tread on this outsole makes for an amazing ground feel. While the shoe is extremely platformed and built up, it still maintains a constant steadiness thanks to its awesome traction. The style itself is fierce. Nike’s platform on this Vandal 2k gives a standout silhouette that is completely on trend and downright sick.

The platform is approximately 2.25 inches and the dramatic effect it gives to the profile of the sneaker is unlike most other footwear Nike boasts in its collections. The circular grip on the bottom of the monstrous platform is very effective without causing you to get stuck in place, as is the case with some rubber soled options. Vertical lock stitching accents the two distinct lines on the outside of this outsole to finish the look.
Shock Absoprtion

Shock Absoprtion

Due to the fact the sole is a very thick platform, this shoe has amazing shock absorption while doing basically nothing to achieve it. The Nike Vandal 2k just has to exist as is and it absorbs pretty much all impact from walking. What a benefit for those who need something to take the strain off their knees!

The rubber outsole and foam midsole both work together on the Nike Vandal 2k to make every step feel like you’re gliding on air. For fashion bloggers or Instagram influencers, this would be a super cute pick for various photo shoots and you wouldn’t have to worry about jumping around and having fun! Everyone loves a sneaker that can be rocked for work and play and the Nike Vandal 2k has all the makings of a versatile platform.
Support

Support

Phylon foam is the star of this shoe in terms of support. On top of the heavily built-up platform, it is a lightweight cushion that works in a fantastic way to balance the heavier side of the bottom of the shoe. The collar on this Nike Vandal 2k is well-padded, wrapping around the ankle to give a secure feel while wearing. With a strap that comes midfoot, which is generally the smallest part of the foot, you stay exactly where you need to be in the shoe to reap the benefits of the wonderful insole.

Luckily, if you love this Vandal 2k and do need additional support, the insole is removable and replaceable. Orthopedic inserts will easily fit in these for a higher requirement of arch support or heel cupping. This is key for a lot of sneakers of this sort that are too shallow due to a cushioned insole that is firmly glued in place.
Weight

Weight

For a shoe that looks larger than life, the upper is quite light. The problem in terms of weight with this sweet platform is the rubber soles. Having the two additional inches of platform do weigh it down quite a bit. For those who need or want a light shoe, this isn’t a fully EVA base and you will feel its bulk a bit while walking.

This really won’t be an issue for most people who regularly wear platforms, but if you don’t, and therefore don’t know what to expect, you need to take in account just how much more sole these have than the average tennis shoe. Walking with a heavier base can prove to be a bit difficult for some. For a lighter platform option, you want compression or injection molded midsole without additional rubber added to the bottom. To get a high platform without degrading over time, Nike really chose best with this rubber hybrid option.
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

For a shoe that looks larger than life, the upper is quite light. The problem in terms of weight with this sweet platform is the rubber soles. Having the two additional inches of platform do weigh it down quite a bit. For those who need or want a light shoe, this isn’t a fully EVA base and you will feel its bulk a bit while walking. This really won’t be an issue for most people who regularly wear platforms, but if you don’t, and therefore don’t know what to expect, you need to take in account just how much more sole these have than the average tennis shoe.

Walking with a heavier base can prove to be a bit difficult for some. For a lighter platform option, you want compression or injection molded midsole without additional rubber added to the bottom. To get a high platform without degrading over time, Nike really chose best with this rubber hybrid option.