The Rival is Nike’s entry-level cross country offering, available in spiked (XC, $65) and spikeless (Waffle, $50) versions. The second round nudges this shoe closer to its top-end sibling, the Victory XC, even adopting some of its componentry. The upper is a closed mesh, and as in the Victory, it uses Nike Grind welded overlays to support the shoe while upcycling.
The midsole is unchanged: a low-profile layer of Phylon for a measure of protection. The outersole carries over as well, mini waffles and either four spikes or four rounded nibs, which are equally successful on natural surfaces and tracks. The fit is unchanged, close and snug for the racing foot. While aimed at the high school runner, the Zoom Rival is a rock solid cross country racer.
Sizes: Men 4–13,14,15; Women 5–12
Weight: Men’s 7.5 oz./7.7 oz. (size 11, spikeless, wtih 4 spikes); Women’s 6.0 oz./6.2 oz. (size 8, spikeless/with 4 spikes)
Fit: Snug heel, close forefoot