Summary

We spent 6.1 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

11 reasons to buy

  • Many runners were able to appreciate the design of the Nike Air Zoom Span; they welcomed its apparently cool-looking façade.
  • The color schemes available for this running shoe were welcomed by those who wanted more choices when it came to its visual aspect.
  • A lot of consumers embraced its lightweight nature; they felt that it didn’t weigh them down while running.
  • The ride is soft and agreeable to the foot, a reviewer noted.
  • The mild stability mechanic that is present in this model’s mid-sole unit was generally appreciated by consumers.
  • According to several testers, the flexible forefoot section caused the toe-offs to be more efficient.
  • A runner commented that the Nike Air Zoom Span was great for workouts, as well as speedy running sessions.
  • The outsole unit’s grip capability was precise and reliable, several reviewers noted.
  • A reviewer reported that the cushioning system, especially in the forefoot section, was responsive.
  • It is a value for the money shoe.
  • The premium materials utilized feels so much better considering its affordable price tag.

4 reasons not to buy

  • A consumer noted that the Nike Air Zoom Span was a bit wide even though the available width is medium.
  • Some testers mourned the lack of optional widths for this shoe.
  • Some runners were let down by the Span’s durability.
  • No optional widths.

Bottom line

For many, the Air Zoom Span was a successful offering from Nike. Overpronators and neutral runners alike lauded its features, especially its stable platform. They were also appreciative of its visual aesthetics and its overall performance on the roads. There were some who had concerns with the width, but it still worked well for many consumers.

Facts

Expert Reviews

87 / 100 based on 3 expert reviews

  • 90 / 100 | Runner's World | Level 5 expert

    If you're wearing this shoe for, say, a Marathon or something and you're late in the race and you're fatigued, you may benefit a little bit from having that extra support there as your form may start falling apart.

  • 84 / 100 | Solereview | Level 5 expert

    There’s much to like about the Zoom Span, starting with its $100 retail price. There aren’t many shoes nowadays which offer so much at an entry level price, so the Span shines from a value-for-money standpoint. The sole unit uses premium materials and tech, while the upper isn’t shabby either.

  • 90 / 100 | Runner's World | | Level 1 expert

    I love this shoe. It is a lightweight trainer with plenty of flexibility in the forefoot and just enough cushioning for a longish run (10 miles). The heel-to-toe drop was perfect for me; I like a little bit of it—otherwise I have calf/Achilles issues. It’s great for track and hill workouts, when I’m running fast.

  • First look | Runner's World | Level 5 expert

    If you're a neutral runner and you don't need the stability, you're not gonna feel it in this shoe. But if you're wearing this shoe for, say, a Marathon or something and you're late in the race and you're fatigued youmay benefit a little bit from having that extra support there as your form may start falling apart.

Become an expert
  • The Nike Air Zoom Span is a running shoe that offers mild stability for runners who need more support for the longer runs. It has a cool, contemporary design that’s consistent with recent offerings from Nike’s running department. A variety of color schemes allow the runner more freedom when it comes to choosing the visual aesthetics of this shoe.
  • The upper unit of this affordable running shoe features engineered mesh in the front area. This responsive and flexible material moves with the foot, providing it with a secure wrap that’s also unrestrictive. A non-stretchy fabric acts as a saddle that hugs the foot in place. The padded collar and tongue provide cushioning to the upper dimensions of the foot.
  • The midsole unit of the Nike Air Zoom Span focuses on delivering a well-cushioned ride that’s responsive and stable. A dual-density foam serves as the main underfoot platform. It carries the foot responsibly through the gait cycle and it ensures a balanced stance. A more responsive foam material in the forefoot heightens energy return and the effectiveness of the forefoot lift. The Dynamic Support technology in the medial mid-foot area delivers mild stability for over-pronators and neutral runners who need support during the long running sessions.
  • Durable rubber is used for the outsole unit. Used generously, it covers the mid-sole and protects it from wear and tear. It is also responsible for traction, which is important when it comes to achieving surface control. Flex grooves make the platform more pliable, thus enabling the runner to move through the gait cycle naturally.

The Nike Air Zoom Span features standard sizing schemes. It accommodates the preferences of runners when it comes to size. The available width is medium. Runners who have wider foot-dimensions should take note of this because a wide-width variant isn’t available. The semi-curved shape of this running shoe mimics the natural curve of the human foot.


The outsole unit of the Nike Air Zoom Span makes use of the Duralon technology. This rubber material is able to protect the rest of the platform from wear and tear. It also delivers traction, which is essential when tackling the roads.

A Waffle design is employed here. It ensures additional traction and protection. Some non-prominent gripping lugs cling to the ground like clamps.

Deep flex grooves make the sole unit more flexible, thus facilitating a more natural stride. They enable smooth landings and efficient takeoffs.


The mid-sole’s main cushioning material is the dual-density Cushlon, which is also used in the Nike Span 2. It’s a high-quality material that’s responsive and comfortable. The added density helps in stabilizing the foot and keeping it in a neutral position throughout the running experience.

The forefoot section has the Zoom Air unit. This low-profile material adds a bit more responsive cushioning for comfortable foot-strikes, as well as enabled and energized toe-offs.

The Dynamic Support technology is a unit in the medial mid-foot section of the Nike Air Zoom Span that’s meant to deliver stability to the foot. It’s helpful for mild overpronators. It’s also able to assist neutral runners who feel fatigued during longer races and running activities.


Engineered mesh is used in the forefoot area of the Nike Air Zoom Span. It’s a lightweight and responsive material that offers breathable coverage to the foot of the wearer.

A non-stretchy saddle is placed after the softer mesh material in the forefoot. It hugs the foot, secures it and keeps it stable.

The collar and tongue are padded. They provide additional cushioning to the upper portion of the foot. They also prevent wobbliness and accidental shoe-removals.

The traditional lacing system adjusts how the upper will fit the runner. They connect to the saddle and some thin overlays, therefore making the adjustments easier and more precise.

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