This is my review of Nike Mamba Rage. Considering it’s excellent traction, tough construction, and high-end performance, the Mamba Rage is a solid value sneaker for players at all different ability levels.
- Where to Buy: Amazon
- Best for: Lighter players looking for something that will promote their on-court performance. Injury prone players who want more support.
- Pros: Full-length Lunarlon cushion. Removable insole for added versatility. Lateral outriggers. Flexible construction. Strong lockdown.
- Cons: A bit tight around the midfoot. Long break in time. Upper could be a bit more durable. Outsole won’t hold up outside.
- Alternatives: Mamba Focus, Crazy Explosive Primeknit, Precision 4
Why Trust Me
I am a basketball player and fan who has used just about every single type of shoe on the market. That includes lightweight, less-cushioned sneakers as well as heavy, more durable options.
My own experience, mixed with a series of additional reviews and extensive research, gave me the ability to figure out what’s great (and not so great) about the Mamba Rage.
The Mamba Rage is a complete, lightweight basketball sneaker. You get just about everything you want from a mobile, agility-focused option. That includes solid lockdown, a decent amount of durability, full-length cushion, and a removable insole for extra versatility.
That makes the shoe comfortable, springy, and fun to wear. It’s breathable, flexible, and never gets in your way. It even goes the extra mile through its lateral outriggers and soft tongue. It does take a while to break in, but that extra time is worth the end results.
The Rage is an extremely comfortable shoe that excels in a range of different areas. First, it comes with a special full-length Lunarlon cushion in the midsole to provide more support and comfort. On top of that, there’s also a lot of additional padding in the interior as well.
What’s even more impressive is that the cushion doesn’t weigh the shoe down. Most of the time, additional padding tends to add weight that holds you back. The Rage manages to keep your steps comfortable without putting on more weight than what’s needed.
This shoe does a great job with breathability as well. The construction never gets too stuffy, which is especially important for players who sweat a lot while they play. You can run or cut as much as you want, and blisters will never be a lasting issue.
The Rage also gets high marks for performance. Lighter, more open models are always going to be a little more responsive than bigger shoes, but these have a nice, snappy feel. You can bounce quickly with them on, and they help you get low to the ground right away.
Nike outfitted the shoes with both Flyweave and fuse overlays. The special weaving method gives you a lot of support, which helps in this regard because it ensures you can dribble or make hard moves without losing balance or stability.
Grip is one area where the Rage stumbles. The herringbone traction pattern, one of Nike’s staples, is by no means bad. However, it really only holds up on indoor courts. Taking these shoes outside will cause you to slide around much more than you would want.
There’s also not a ton of strength here either. Both soles (gum or solid rubber) are a bit on the soft side. That won’t matter on the hardwood, but you won’t get great results when it comes to longevity if you play out in the elements.
The durability is solid throughout the Rage, but it’s never great. As it’s a Nike shoe, it comes with plenty of strong stitching throughout the upper. The entire unit holds up well enough, but you should never expect any extreme power like you would find in other strong models.
As mentioned, the outsole doesn’t hold up outside and there’s not a ton of longevity. The shoe will do a good job of keeping you protected, but you will have to replace it more quickly than similar options.
Fit and Lockdown
The shoes fit well too. It does a great job of holding your foot in all of the right places. It’s purely true to size, which means the fit is what it says. Just note that it can be a bit tight in both the toe and forefoot regions.
On top of that, the lockdown is excellent. While you don’t get any fancy features, just a standard lace-up system, your foot never moves or slides while you play. That offers additional support, especially around the ankle, and there’s plenty of lateral containment to cut down on injuries.
What I Like
I always love good cushion, which is why comfort is my favorite part of the Rage. Nike shoes always go a long way towards keeping your foot happy, and the full-length Lunarlon is incredibly flexible without being too stiff. You’ll have no discomfort issues with this pair.
The lockdown is extremely nice as well. My favorite shoes always have some built in protection, and the Rage does great when it comes to lateral containment. Even without the top ankle support, I enjoy how the shoe prevents your foot from slipping or sliding around.
What I Dislike
The fit is one area where the Rage comes up short. For the most part, it does a great job of forming to your foot. However, those with larger feet will see some slight pinching in both the toe and forefoot regions. That can be a bit uncomfortable, especially during longer runs.
I wish the outsole was more durable too, especially for what is an otherwise solidly-made model. The fact that the otherwise great traction also picks up dust when playing on dirty or dingy surfaces can also be annoying.
All of the shoes in this section are great alternatives for players who like the Mamba Rage but want something slightly different.
1. Mamba Focus
Another great Mamba shoe with amazing style, the Focus is a low top sneaker that puts a high emphasis on performance. This shoe is extremely flexible, which comes from the way it blends its low top design with a lightweight heel cage and special tread pattern.
There’s a lot of traction in the sole, allowing you to cut or change directions immediately, as well as a molded framework that provides you with an extra layer of support. The embossed upper material and stable base are also worth noting. It’s a sneaker that does a little bit of everything.
If you like the Rage’s lightweight design but want more comfort, the Crazy Explosive Primeknit (review) is for you. This shoe is simply one of the softest models on the market. The boot cushioning system is unmatched, and the lightweight neoprene upper is both flexible and soft.
However, it’s more than a comfortable feel. The shoe comes with a strong construction as well as some of the best ventilation money can buy. Despite the look, you’ll never find yourself overheating with the sneakers on.
3. Precision 4
The Precision 4 is another lightweight shoe, but it comes with a bit more support due to its high-top design. Where some sleeker models ignore the ankle or heel area, the 4 packs in the material to actively reduce any twists, sprains, or breaks.
It also comes with a resilient foam midsole, which is backed by the flexible upper material and reinforced toe area. There’s a lot of comfort to be had in the shoe, but it’s surprisingly sturdy and stable too. It’s not the most durable, but that’s to be expected when dealing with a lighter shoe.
Do These Weight A Lot?
At 11 ounces, the Mamba Rage is a relatively lightweight shoe.
Is the Mamba Rage Comfortable?
Yes. Equipped with Nike’s full-length Lunarlon cushion and a flexible upper, it provides cushion and comfort on multiple levels.
How Durable are These?
The Rage is not the strongest shoe on the market, but it has a good amount of overall strength. It’s not great for long-term blacktop use, but it will hold up everywhere else.
If you want a strong shoe from a legend, it’s hard to beat the Mamba Range. While the fit isn’t the best and the outsole lacks a bit of durability, there are tons of good traits packed into the stylish model. That includes the Flyweave upper, Lunalon cushion, and tough, sticky traction.
There’s almost no single area where this shoe falls short, which is a big bonus for players who need a more well-rounded or versatile sneaker. Guards will be able to make use of it fully, but all position players will be able to get something from the shoe’s premium performance.