Stylish and functional, the Nike Machomai boxing boots are a popular choice of boxing boots for amateurs and pros. Manny Pacquiao has worn them, and in the Rio Olympics, Michael Conlan wore them too. If you are thinking about purchasing a pair, or just want to know more about them, this review will be useful.
About the Shoes:
The Nike Machomai boots were introduced in 2008 and were designed for the Chinese Olympic boxing team for the Beijing Olympics. In fact, the Machomai was designed to offer the Chinese boxing team an innovative shoe, suited for their type of boxing style, which is to say that they are suited for agile, side-stepping boxers. (Source: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yX8wYJsWWmY)
Although you won’t be able to find any boxing boots on the official Nike website, Nike is a big name when it comes to boxing boots. The Machomai is one of Nike’s three lines of boxing boots, with the other two being the KO and the HyperKO, which is the Machomai’s successor and improved on some elements of the Machomai’s design, while keeping other elements of the design.
What Others Say:
In his review, popular Reviewer Fit2box says the boots do not have as much [design] detail as the HyperKO. He feels that their durability is questionable, obviously remarking “if you’re going to use them, use them in the ring… they’re not designed to be running around on hard concrete.” He concludes that they are comfortable, good value, and good boots.
Sherdog Forum contributor Gonzaginator offers up his review, noting the boots’ good looks and says “they are very light as well and they feel pretty comfortable,” especially due to the lacing system. “The sole on these is really durable,” but because the shoe is made by Nike, “it’s cheaply made.” He concludes that the shoe lacks quality in craftsmanship, even though “they feel good and they look good.” Another contributor, Ironwolf, also reviewed them. He says “I feel very mobile in them, they are light, breathable… it’s easy to get them tight.” He uses them for his stand-up game in MMA. He concludes “they are simple, not flashy and functionally they are excellent.”
Reviews online are generally positive, noting that the shoe is not perfect. Though, most reviews are not informative.
I used my size 6.5 mid-top Machomais for one and a half years. I originally wanted the hi-top version but listings for the boots seem to always say that the boots are mid-top, even if they are hi-top (so, make sure you get the one you want). I used my pair on track, grass, turf, smooth concrete, and of course, canvas (for sparring and bouts). Overall, the Machomai boxing boots offer value, style, and ease-of-use.
Specifications: Each shoe weighs about 7.8 ounces. They have a soft mesh upper, which has a rather stiff but still flexible overlay at the bottom of the upper and toe box. They have no separate lining and padding. On the feet, they have a sock-like feel, as opposed to a boot-like feel.
A quick list of the features of the Nike Machomai boxing boots:
breathable with its mesh upper
grippy with its non-platform herringbone patterned outsole
easy-to-put-on with its quick-lacing system
available in mid-top and hi-top
The shoes took some time to break-in for me, as I have flat and somewhat wide feet. This was to the detriment of my boxing performance and made my feet get tired faster. But after the break-in period (which was about one or two weeks), the boots started conforming to my feet and I fully began to use the Machomais.
These are true mid-top shoes, as they come up just past my ankle. There is enough support at the ankle but not much. This is probably because they are so lightweight. Its light weight is definitely a good thing for boxers who, for example, like to use the pendulum step or ones looking for angles. Unless you carefully position them, the upper of each boot would flop over when off the feet. Yet, they have structure at the parts that matter. For the most part, though, they wear like a sock, for better or worse. They are slim, and it’s easy to use the grip on the sides of the outsole. I took the lacing system for granted, but when I switched to using my Nike HyperKO boots, I realized how much easier the laces make getting the Machomais on and off. Because of this convenient aspect of the shoe, I used my shoes for training more than I normally would have. As for the looks of the Machomai, they don’t look that great in product pictures, but when worn in the ring or seen in real life, they look very good and rival the looks of the HyperKO.
Quality and durability:
My pair seem to be holding up very well when I consider how much I’ve used them. Some people have had problems with their pair, citing that the outsole loses its grip quickly or starts coming off with moderate use. I think that if you use them as you should, there won’t be any problems like that. There may be pairs that were manufactured poorly, but those are evidently rare considering how many pros and amateurs use them. As for my pair, the only durability problems I have had with them is minor loss of grip on the outsole and several loose strands that were easily cut off.
At around $85 dollars, the Nike Machomai boxing boots offer a lot of function for their price. They also probably look the best in their price range. They aren’t the best shoe but they are pretty close, and considering Machomai’s price and the amount it offers, it’s hard to be disappointed by them.
Loc Ho was assistant coach, team captain, and boxed at 139 lbs, 132 lbs, and 125 lbs for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s boxing team from 2016-2019. He has trained hundreds of novices and seasoned athletes and created the program’s year-long training curriculum that has taken complete beginners to elite collegiate competitors. With Loc as assistant coach for three years, the program placed six athletes regionally and nationally, including the program’s first men’s national champion at 119 lbs and a national runner-up at 195 lbs. Loc is currently studying law at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.
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