Head Nitro Pro Men's Shoe Review

Head Nitro Pro Blue/Flame Men's Shoes
Price: $49.95 MSRP: $139.95

Upsides

  • Comfort
  • Traction
  • Support and stability

Downsides

  • Nothing we could agree on
Video Review

Summary

We had a really hard time finding something we didn't like in this playtest! The Head Nitro Pros proved to be excellent all-around performance shoes and easily our playtesters' favorite Head shoes to date. Built low to the ground for good court feel, they felt light, fast and comfortable on our feet. The laces provided a secure, locked down fit for most of our testers (our narrow-footed player found them a little too roomy), but everyone agreed that the Nitro Pros supplied more than enough support and stability for even the most elite movers. Durability was also excellent and proved worthy of a six-month durability guarantee. All in all, there's a lot to like about the Head Nitro Pros, and it's time serious players took notice of Head's footwear.

Head Nitro Pro Men's Shoe Scores

Comfort 4.5
Ventilation 4.1
Arch Support 4.2
Foot Support/Stability 4.4
Overall Sole Durability 4.6
Toe Durability 4.5
Traction 4.5
Weight 4.4
Overall 4.5

Comfort - Score: 4.5

All of the TW playtesters were very happy with the level of comfort the Nitro Pros offered. "What a pleasant surprise!" Jason exclaimed. "The first thing I noticed was the plush cushioning, and once on court the comfort continued to be excellent. There was plenty of mesh in the uppers for a well-ventilated ride, and the medium arch didn't hurt my low arched feet after a brief break-in period. The only knock I had was the width in the forefoot. If I wore slightly thicker socks I would experience rubbing on my pinkie toes. It got slightly better over the duration of the playtest, but I still would've preferred a slightly wider toe box."

Andy also had very little to complain about here. He shared, "I was very impressed with the comfort of the Nitro Pros. They were a little stiff right out of the box, but after a very brief break-in period they softened up and molded to the shape of my feet nicely. The lacing system cinched down over the top of my feet for a secure, snug fit. The arch support fit me great as well, which isn't something I can say about other Head shoes I've worn in the past. These shoes also breathed well and never got overly warm during play. There isn't a ton of plush cushioning, but it's really hard to find something to complain about in terms of comfort. They felt very nice on the feet!"

Although they weren't a perfect fit for Chris' narrow feet, he was still pleased with how nice the shoes felt throughout the test. He explained, "From the first wear till the last, the Nitro Pros were very comfortable. I liked how I was able hit the court in them without any need to break them in. The midsoles offered ample cushioning for long hitting sessions on the hard courts. All of the mesh and supple upper materials flexed well, and I never experienced any poking, pinching or rubbing on my feet. My feet were able to breathe pretty well -- again, likely thanks to the amount of mesh in the uppers. The fit was a tad roomy for my narrow feet, but I was able to get enough support by cinching the laces very tightly. Ideally, I would have liked the arch support to fit higher. However, the Nitro Pros offered enough rigidity to protect my arches and push the flex point of the shoes nicely under the balls of my feet."

Mark agreed with the other playtesters, saying, "From my initial try-on all the way to the end of the playtest, I was treated to out-of-the-box comfort and excellent stability. I have approximately 25 hours of play on them now, and I have to say that these shoes have retained 100 percent of their comfort."

Foot Support/Stability - Score: 4.4

The Nitro Pros provided more than enough support and stability for even our most aggressive movers. Andy, who found more than enough protection for his modern game, raved, "Once again, I was very pleased with how well these shoes protected my feet during play. I had total confidence moving at top speeds and using aggressive slides on the hard courts. The Nitro Pros moved very naturally with my feet and supported me no matter which direction I was moving. Even the most aggressive movers will find more than enough stability and protection in these shoes."

Chris' narrow feet slipped around a bit inside his shoes during play, but he was still happy with the overall support and stability. He shared, "I felt pretty locked in when wearing the Nitro Pros. Although the fit was a smidgen wide for me, I was still able to get a secure enough fit by cranking down the laces. I liked the way these shoes flexed and moved with my feet. There was enough stability to keep me feeling safe, yet they flexed enough to still feel fast and comfortable."

The way the Nitro Pros moved with his feet reminded Mark of some other extremely popular shoes. He said, "These were definitely shoes I felt comfortable moving aggressively in. I did have to use the final eyelet to get the snug, locked in fit I like, but once I did that these shoes felt race ready. They were similar to the Nike Zoom Vapor 9.5 Tour in both cosmetics and performance, but the fit of the Vapors was a bit more snug."

Jason was one happy customer. He said, "These shoes offered top notch foot support from heel to toe with a supple, yet firm feeling upper. Whether I was making a quick stop at net or running wide for a groundstroke, these shoes exhibited a high level of support."

Overall Sole Durability - Score: 4.6 / Toe Durability - Score: 4.5

The Nitro Pros continued to impresse our team with excellent durability, both on the outsoles and toe areas. Mark's pair has plenty of life left in them. He said, "I am not the toe dragger I used to be, but I do get through most of my sole warranty shoes within three to four months of play. That said, I have around 25 hours of play on the Nitro Pros so far, and I will get another 25 out of them before they are retired."

Having a similar experience was Jason, who shared, "I'm not nearly as harsh on my outsoles as some of the other playtesters, but I still felt like these shoes stood up to the test of time. I put a little over 15 hours on these and can barely see any wear and tear, which is impressive for shoes in this weight class."

Andy may have put the most hours on his pair, and they held up extremely well. He raved, "Since I was enjoying these shoes so much I definitely put a lot of hours on them, and they held up great! I probably wore them for more than 30 hours on court, and there are barely any signs of wear to the outsoles. I'm not much of a toe dragger, but I do put the medial side of the upper to the test with all the sliding I do, and that part held up very well, too. I'd have to say these were among the most durable shoes I've worn recently."

"Due to a recent wrist injury I didn't log enough court hours to truly test the durability of these shoes," Chris admitted.

Traction - Score: 4.5

Everyone was pleased with the level of traction the Nitro Pros offered. Chris had no complaints. He said, "Throughout my test the Nitro Pros provided a solid level of traction. I felt confident pushing off aggressively and seemed to always find the grip I needed. When coming to a quick stop I also found a good level of traction. I liked the blend of grip and give, which made these shoes easy to move in."

Echoing Chris' opinion, Jason praised, "The traction was very good! I can only remember two or three times when the shoes slipped just a little bit when I was moving side to side and trying to change directions. As far as taking that first explosive step while moving forward, these shoes never slipped. And since they were so durable, the traction was great for the entire playtest."

It took Andy a little while to get used to the response of the outsoles, but he quickly grew very comfortable with the level of traction. He explained, "The traction was very good throughout the test. Players looking for an outsole that's on the stickier side (as opposed to more slippery) will enjoy the feel of these. They grab the court well and instilled confidence when pushing off for an aggressive cut back to the middle of the court. I tend to like shoes that are a little more slippery so I can slide a little easier, but after a brief adjustment period I got used to the response of the Nitro Pros and got the feel for sliding in them as well."

Rounding out the group was Mark, who said, "This is another area where the Head Nitro Pros really shone on hard courts. The compound of materials used for the outsole was nearly perfect for me. On quick starts I had plenty of traction, and on the quick stops there was a predictable amount of slip."

Weight - Score: 4.4

According to our testers, the Nitro Pros felt light and fast on their feet, allowing them to move at their top speeds. "Weight was not an issue," Jason said. "The Nitro Pros felt lightweight and responsive, with a seamless transition from heel to toe."

"On my feet the Nitro Pros felt light and comfortable," Chris continued. "I felt like I could move in them about as well as possible. It was easy to just put these shoes on and forget about them -- which is always a good sign of a natural fit and feel."

Mark was also very pleased with how many balls he was able to run down with these shoes on. He said, "I consider any shoes weighing under 14 ounces to be light, and the Head Nitro Pro definitely qualifies. They are very fast and made me feel light on my feet, which is no easy feat."

Rounding out the group was Andy, who shared, "The weight was fairly middle of the road to me, but I never felt that it inhibited my movement in any way. In fact, as the test wore on and the shoes softened up, they moved more naturally with my feet and felt less and less clunky. They aren't the fastest-feeling shoes around, but by no means will they slow you down either."

Overall - Score: 4.5

Likes

Chris - "I liked the comfort, traction, fit, feel and styling."

Jason - "Just about everything. The Nitro Pros are comfortable and provide good support and stability. I also really liked the traction and durability."

Mark - "I liked everything about these shoes, especially how well they fit my feet. With their long-lasting comfort and stability, I'd have to place them in my top 3 current favorite shoes."

Andy - "Pretty much everything! Comfortable (especially the more they got broken in), very supportive and stable, breathable and very durable. Excellent all-around shoes!"

Dislikes

Chris - "The fit was a little too wide for me."

Jason - "Slightly too narrow in the toe box for me."

Mark - "Ventilation was not excellent."

Andy - "None really. This shoe really does offer everything you could want in a performance tennis shoe."

Comparing the shoe to others they've tried, our testers said:

Chris - "I'm becoming more and more a fan of Head shoes. The Sprint Pros were beefier, wider fitting and more stability minded than these Nitro Pros. The Revolt Pros have a narrower fit and are also stiffer in construction. The Nitro Pros offer that middle ground fit, which I'm sure will feel right for most foot types. They also flex well and offer a fast feel. So far, the Nitro Pros are my favorite Head shoes. The are very Nike Zoom Vapor 9 like in both looks and on court performance, but they offer a slightly wider fit."

Jason - "The Nitro Pros are the favorite Head shoes I've ever worn. Comparing them to other brands, the Nitro Pros reminds me a lot of the Nike Vapor 9.5 Tour."

Mark - "I definitely thought the Nitro Pros felt like Nike Vapors with their generous toe box width, light weight and low-to-the-ground feel. To a lesser extent, I would say they're similar to the Diadora Speed Star K VII and adidas adizero Ubersonic."

Andy - "When I started this test I never thought I would be putting these shoes up with the Asics Gel Resolution 6s, Nike Zoom Vapor 9.5 Tours or adidas Barricade 2016s, but I am! The Nitro Pros pretty much do everything well without anything really standing out as spectacular. Thus, those others may beat the Nitro Pros in certain categories, but in terms of all-around performance these shoes are certainly a solid option for the competitive player. This was a very impressive playtest, and these are easily my favorite Head shoes to date!"

Scores

(Scores are determined by averaging individual play test scores)

Chris' Scores
Overall Comfort4.4Overall Sole Durability
Ventilation4.3Toe Durability
Arch Support3.6Traction4.6
Foot support/Stability3.8Weight4.3
Overall4.3
Jason's Scores
Overall Comfort4.6Overall Sole Durability4.5
Ventilation4.7Toe Durability
Arch Support4.3Traction4.7
Foot support/Stability4.5Weight4.5
Overall4.6
Mark's Scores
Overall Comfort4.5Overall Sole Durability4.5
Ventilation3Toe Durability4
Arch Support4.5Traction4.5
Foot support/Stability4.5Weight4.5
Overall4.5
Andy's Scores
Overall Comfort4.3Overall Sole Durability4.8
Ventilation4.3Toe Durability5
Arch Support4.3Traction4.3
Foot support/Stability4.7Weight4.3
Overall4.5

Playtester Foot Types

Chris - Narrow width / Medium arch

Jason - Wide width / Low arch

Mark - Medium width / Medium arch

Andy - Medium width / Medium arch