Under Review: HO12 Nike Zoom Kaiju


Legal weed and free boots make A-man a happy man.*

The only pieces of snowboard gear that still matter are goggles and boots. All the rest of this stuff is pretty damn excellent–no need to review anything, unless you have a good skit idea. Boards are great, bindings are great, wet underwear ain’t a thing (none of your business). The only real day-enders are fogged goggles or bad boots. If I can’t see, I can’t do my signature no-grab straight airs with confidence. And though I’m probably like in the top five of toughest dudes ever, I’m done dealing with dead toenails or my foot falling asleep from cut-off circulation. Fuck that shit.

I told Brooke I wasn’t going to comment on these Nike Kaiju’s until I had sufficient time in them. Todd Richards is comfortable telling you they’re good from his SoCal garage without even putting them on his feet, but he’s one of America’s top boarders. I’m just some dude like you. Until I ride in them, I can’t say anything other than, “these look like Jordan III’s. Dude, super sick!”

Well, you dummies, I have about 20 hours in these motherfuckers and I’m ready to tell you: they are really good.

They’re light and pleasantly stiff. The lacing is simple and effective. None of my toenails have fallen off.

They’re matchy-matchy with my board, showing I know a lot about high fashion. In other words: “dude, super sick!” Stoked on them.

My first day is usually pretty harsh. Muscles I haven’t used for eight months ache for a couple days after returning to the snow. This year, well that happened again. Pain sites: arms knees shoulders neck. Why? God, I suck.

But from my feet: nothing. No pain! Amazing.

VERDICT: Buy these and wear these and swoop around in snow and have fun.

As for any anti-Nike snowboard purists who want to argue who gets to be in this: you’re silly. Wasting your time. It’s almost 2013. Nike makes a great snowboard boot and weed is legal. You’re the sad old guy at the end of the bar, waiting to die. Alone.

Lieutenant Moron, Yobeat Seattle Bureau

*FULL DISCLOSURE: Nike pays us money for ads (though not for this review) and A-man got these boots for free.

  • Joe

    I’m a sad 18 year old that still says fuck Nike… don’t call me old! http://www.dontdoitarmy.com Standing for a set of ideals doesn’t make you a bitter old man, it makes you steadfast.

  • A real stoner

    uhhh…is that even real herb? it looks pretty fucking leafy.

  • Devin

    Honestly didn’t like the Zoom’s when I tried them in Tahoe. I noticed Nike’s 12 is equivalent in size to Burton’s 13. And there was no ankle support, I tied up the boot and could literally still slip out of it.
    Fuck is that shit?


  • Suits

    Let’s cry over Forum’s demise, and make fun of Shaun White every chance we get! And then we can review these boots from Nike! Don’t you get it?

    Take their ad money and don’t review their boots – if you get as much traffic as you say, they will NEED to advertise with you – like it or not.

    You guys are like a fucking group of high school girls – let’s make fun of everything ’til they give us things and then we’ll like them.

  • @suits


  • yo

    yobeat is like the dirty reply girls on youtube. Will make a story on anything for the attention. This shit sucks, Fuck the snowboard industry, Bunch of kooks.

  • yo

    No boot is worth over 300 also, I’m sure I could break the back support in these in less then 2 weeks. Garbage

  • Boner Jamz

    I think thats actually a maple leaf

  • Matt

    I can tell you right now, the people Nike employs are very passionate about what they do. Just because they have deep pockets doesn’t make them bad for snowboarding. Look at the Chosen contest they did last year. Giving armature snowboarders and videographers a shot to be in the spot light. Flying 5 crews to Austria to ride an incredible custom park to show what they can do. I’d say that’s a pretty awesome use of their money. What other companies can offer that to the industry? And face it, as long as more and more people start snowboarding more Corporations are going to buy into snowboarding. It’s Capitolism. At least I know with Nike, it’s not just about making a quick buck but about making a quality product and giving back to the shred community.

  • Suits

    Matt – you can always look like you “care” when you give money to people. This is what they do – they take people who have respect in an industry – from good companies usually. They put a bunch of good people in these positions to make people suggest the response you just gave. “I might not really like them…but they have good dudes over there” – it’s bullshit. It’s great that Bobby Meeks got a job after his snowboard career, but he could also be put to good use in OUR industry, not the SPORTS industry.

    What’s going to happen is this – they will keep pumping out these contests and whatever, and it will inflate the expectations of people. They’ll make as much money as they can – and when they notice they’ve hit the peak, they’ll pull out. Nike did this EXACT thing with the Surf US Open, they sponsored the shit out of it – tried to show people how awesome they were, people didn’t buy it – and then they pulled out. They bought Bauer hockey gear – and tried to co-brand it as “NikeBauer” – and again, people didn’t support it – so they pulled out.

    They’re after your dollars – and the “contests” they pull are just smoke and mirrors to get you to buy their shit. Snowboard companies do a lot of cool contests, that help younger riders directly, looks like you’re getting caught up in the big-city lights.

    And Matt, it is about making a “quick” buck, it always is. Open your eyes man, business 101.

  • a

    http://flawsyfiles.blogspot.com/2012/12/well-bunch-of-dudes-showed-up.html for more on the passage of I-502, legalizing cannabis in Washington.

    For those of you who are 19: please write yourself a little time capsule list. On it, put things you are good at. Things you like. And dislike. And why. Include what’s most important in life. In twenty years (you’ll probably have to digitize it and put it into the galactic thinkcloud somewhere during that time), pull it out and read it. Thank you for your time.

  • Roadkill

    Yeah A! Is there a good story on how you got that sign behind you?

  • a

    Yeah. Stole it. Back when I was 18.

  • j

    You call that a review? Unless you give us minutae that us internet nerds can grab on to and debate ad nauseum it’s just fluff. Give me precise % the boot’s upper tilts! Give me the durometer (or whatever gauge of measurement) of the lateral flex! Give me your stance width to the millimeter and which bindings you use so we can debate how they aren’t the proper match given you stance width, binding baseplate material and boot composition. I need to know the snow water density of the snow on the days you rode these boots to truly determine if they’ll work for me. THESE ARE THE THINGS US KEYBOARD SHREDDERS DEMAND IN A REVIEW.

    P.S. Sweet maple leaves bro.
    P.P.S. From the comments I’m getting the feeling people take this shit too seriously. It’s fucking snowboarding. RIDING A GODDAMN BOARD ON SNOW FOR FUN. Throw some bindings on whatever the fuck you’ve got, put on some boots, grab some beers and bros and go have fun, JFC.

  • Mitt Romney


  • Mitt Romney

    down with corporate america… wait what

  • @suits

    i totally support your opinion. But we’re talking about boots and this is the only thing you ever buy for snowboarding that should be perfect for you. Nike just seems to fitt everyone that 32 doesn’t fit.

    Plus, at the end, your money goes straight to the wall street, no matter what you buy. So why does it even matter? How can they ruin snowboarding when 50% of the people will look back in 20 years and say: those where the days when my feet didnt hurt

  • Matt K

    For those of you who honestly feel it doesn’t matter who your money goes to you need to wake up. By buying into brands like Nike and Adidas in snowboarding you are showing them they belong in snowboarding. By buying boots from a company with roots in snowboarding you are saying ‘I know my history.’ Most of the problem lays in the apathy that younger riders have towards snowboardings history and brands like nike cash in on that. It’s the same reason I don’t put red bull or monster stickers on my board. By buying products from these companies you are taking a side whether you admit it to yourself or not. I’d rather stand on the side of companies that actually care about snowboarding through their history in the sport. Not the ones out to make money and run.

  • Toby

    Matt K, are you adverse to new companies entering the fray as they wouldn’t have any roots? Would love to know what you’re rocking head to toe so we can be better educated about what does/doesn’t have roots. BTW if companies were making money I doubt they’d run, they’d probably just stay in place and keep on keepin’ on.

  • a

    LEGAL WEED you guys

  • Future

    Nike’s been making shoes for 40 years, there’s a reason why their understanding of the human foot is a little better than. I went through 3 pairs of Burtons and a pair of 32’s in the last 3 years, so yeah, $300 is worth it, so much so that after 5 days on my new Zoom Ite’s I can proclaim that they are the best boots I’ve ever worn.

    Oh and Soletech is super core, just ask everyone who has left there in the last 5 years.

  • Future

    *the competition.

  • Matt K

    Toby- I’m not opposed to new companies starting up that are run by people with roots in snowboarding at all. I am opposed to companies like Nike who are run by a CEO and board of directors and have marketing men do demographic work to find out what appeals to snowboarders. I am in no way presenting my point of view as fact just posting my opinion to hopefully open the eyes of some younger kids who may be blinded by a marketing campaign. And true if they are making money they will stay but snowboarding has already peaked and is declining in new people learning how to ride. So Nike is making money while they can and will pull out as soon as figures don’t meet projected earnings. I went to school for business, it’s been done in countless other industries over the years.Again, nothing wrot with this inherently as it is business after all but I simply choose not to support them. As for my set up, Smokin Kyle Clancy deck, Union bindings, Deeluxe boots and Holden pants and jacket. I also have a Lib with bent metal bindings for deeper days.

  • FootBoots

    My personal review…Nike Kaiju’s haven’t been changed in like what? 3-4 years. Most companies continually progress their boot designs. I know I know,”aint broke don’t fix it.” But you can always improve something. Don’t just change the colors and charge $350 bucks for a boot from 2008. At least lower the price and just keep it as a lower end model…

    The boots are for a narrow foot. They are a bit short in height, compared to other boot brands. When you lean toe edge there’s a pressure point on your shins. Since the liner uses that old school thin velcro strap at the top, you just feel all that pressure in one spot. I personally didn’t like em’. Especially for how much they cost. I’m sure some feet are happy in them, but me and the people I tried to sell them too didn’t like them either.

    I bought some 32 primes this year though, and damn, night and day! 300 is worth it when boots are that comfortable and 32’s WILL last you. You can’t beat their new liners. Been in snowboarding since 95′ and never left.

  • Rich

    But Matt, Lib is owned by Quiksilver, which is publicly traded on the stock market under symbol ZQK. It also reports to shareholders and a board of directors. Similar to Nike, it got its start in a different sport than snowboarding, although closer related.

    I personally think you should ride what you want. There are still some “core” brands left, but a lot of brands people think are core, are anything but. Just look how “core” Vans is, for a company owned by Vanity Fair.

  • Nike Knows Feet

    Nike has more money to put into R and D then any other brand and it shows. Their boots fit amazing right out of the box. I wouldnt call the Kaijus stiff by any means. They def stand the test of time as I have gotten well over 100 days a year with no issues on them since their inception. 32s always fall apart. Their warranty department can confirm that.

  • sluicebox

    i ride a widmer board with pabst bindings and burton brew boots. i have a blue moon deck with cobra dog bindings for deeper days

  • Matt K

    Rich, I cannot argue wih anything you posted. People should and do ride whatever they want, I have friends who ride Nike boots and they love the technology Nike can afford to put in boots. But personally I feel like Im choosing the lesser of two evils when supporting a parent company like quiksilver who sponsors people like Kelly Slater and Bobby Martinez and Dane Reynolds instead of football players. But at the end of the day none of it really matters if you are out riding and enjoying your time in the mountains. I’m just an opinionated old guy that admittedly wishes things were a bit more mid 90’s in attitude again.


    These boots are soft as shit and good as shit and air jordan as shit too

  • If you really think Nike’s gonna keep dumping money into this sport with no profits, then YOU’RE the fool. How much did that Chosen park cost them to build last winter? How many boots do you think they really sell a year? How much are they paying their riders, reps, filmers? I really doubt they’re gonna be around our sport another 5 years unless they can figure out how to make a profit somehow. Selling skate shoes is one thing- they’re cheap to make and if you skate you know how many shoes a year you’re gonna go through. But boots? Maybe their outerwear can cover the losses. But I hope not.

  • Jim McGreevey’s Gay Lover

    there is nothing serious about YoBeat besides your long ass comments…

  • DWDC

    I have these boots, the maroon ones, and I think they fit my feet god damn perfectly. Why does it matter that nike makes boots or whatever? DC makes boots, they sell shit at Target, which i guess makes them more core than anyone… but that isnt the point is it? Buy boots that fit, these fit my feet and thus keep them warm, comfy and best of all responsive. my only critisism is with the inner lace and the little slidey peice that keeps the ankle harness tight… or not, it always comes loose about half way through the day and I have to relace. Not so bad all in all. Theyre not bulky, they look kinda rad, and the only thing people can see is my toes, so i can just say that theyre made by someone else?

  • hrdialzgcmnh