Summary

We spent 7.2 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

8 reasons to buy

  • The comfortable feel delivered by the seamless and plush interior of the Zoom Elite 7 translates even when running sockless.
  • A very reasonably-priced shoe, based on performance and looks, according to several reviews.
  • It has a markedly responsive ride for midfoot and forefoot strikers noted some runners.
  • 6 color options.
  • The Flywire cables enhance midfoot hold and fit.
  • A very good number of reviewers loved the cool design of the Elite 7.
  • It is lighter than the previous model.
  • A handful noted that it is a lightweight trainer that can handle long-distance or fast runs with ease.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Outsole durability suffers early because of the exposed EVA.
  • Several runners who usually go for middle distance runs felt fatigue in their calves as the lack of rubber on the medial side of the heel and midfoot puts pressure in their arches.

Bottom line

The Nike Air Zoom Elite 7 is a reliable, lightweight cushioned trainer that has moderate arch support and great comfort. It seeks to provide that sweet spot between a traditional trainer and a race day shoe. The trendy design and nice fit make it a very popular option for runners of all levels.

Facts

Rankings

A top rated Road running shoe
A top rated Nike running shoe
It has never been more popular than this May

Expert Reviews

89 / 100 based on 4 expert reviews

  • 94 / 100 | Solereview | Level 5 expert

    A training shoe for tempo runs. Its firm ride and snug upper is a bridge between a traditional cushioned trainer and a racing flat.

  • 85 / 100 | Runblogger | | Level 5 expert

    The Elite 7 has a very nice internal liner and I’ve had no problem running sockless in them. The overlays hold the foot well, and the material seems very durable.

  • 88 / 100 | 220 Triathlon | | Level 2 expert

    That said, on longer runs our footstrike became a bit heavy, slapping the ground somewhat. As this shoe is aimed at short, fast efforts, though, that won’t be a problem.

  • 88 / 100 | Gearist | | Level 1 expert

    As with the past few models that we’ve seen, Nike has done a good job with the Zoom Elite. It’s a smooth, durable and well designed shoe that anyone who’s looking should certainly consider.

Become an expert
  • Weight reduction appears to be a major theme in the 7th instalment of the Air Zoom Elite. A significant reason in the weight reduction is the removal of some parts of the outsole rubber. The medial side of the heel to the midfoot is now exposed EVA. Nike ensures that the traction works just fine without the weight. Outsole configuration is changed as well. From square-shaped to hexagonal lugs to improve the grip of the shoe.
  • A more minimal upper is also featured in this shoe. The overlays are seamless and quite thin while the tongue is almost flat. Despite the upper lighter than ever, there is still adequate midfoot hold. The nearly flat tongue is compensated by a patch of soft material to avoid irritation. The new tongue brings another change in the form of the asymmetrical lacing to relive pressure on top of the foot.
  • Comfort takes a turn for the better in the shoe as well. A mesh inner sleeve is quite plush. This material extends to the ankle sleeve for posh step-in feel.
  • Nike uses the Flywire technology in this shoe as well for a more customized fit and enhanced midfoot security.
  • Finally, Nike lowered the heel offset to 8mm in the Nike Elite 7. As it seeks to find the medium between a full-blown trainer and a racing flat, the new offset can help runners find that sweet spot.

Nike gave the Elite 7 a slightly more relaxed upper compared to the earlier version. The heel and forefoot have decent snugness and just enough room for the toes to splay in comfort. There is a much better feel of midfoot security due to the Flywire cables. Medium is the available width of the shoe. Sizing is right on the money in the 7th edition of the Elite.


Hexagonal lugs populate the area from the midfoot to the forefoot. These hexagonal patterns are still present in other versions, like the Nike Air Zoom Elite 10. Flex grooves are located in this area as well for better flexibility. Nike covers almost the entire outsole with carbon rubber. On the medial side of the outsole that extends from the heel to the midfoot is exposed EVA. Nike also features two slivers of rubber on the lateral side of the midfoot to the heel, separated by a vertical flex grooves to help guide the foot upon landings. Hence, these are called Guide Rails.


A compression-molded EVA covers the length of the shoe for enhanced transition. In the forefoot, and beneath this foam, is the iconic, Nike Air Zoom bag, a thinly-made bag of air to add responsiveness for that race-like feel of a racing shoe.


The upper is made of engineered and single-layered mesh for excellent breathability and structure despite the minimal use of overlays. Providing that customized fit is the presence of Flywire cables. These are the cords that are connected to the midsole and the laces for midfoot security. An asymmetrical lacing keeps pressure off the thin tongue. As mentioned, there is a plush feel because of the posh ankle collar and inner sleeve mesh.

Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

jens@runrepeat.com