Nike Air Zoom Winflo 4 – My New Found Love

95 / 100 by Shriram Nagarajan • Level 3 expert

I purchased the Nike Airzoom Winflo 4 at a sale to wear it mostly as a dressing shoe as the White Nike swoosh on the black fabric looked the part.

Never did I realize then that these would become my favorite neutral running shoe. I’ll nit-pick everything I can in the review below of Nike Air Zoom Winflo 4.

 

Appearance

Nothing fancy here.

Mine were plain black with Nike’s famous swoosh in white, although it may look boring, Nike surely does have a lot of interesting colors on offer for the Winflo 4.

 

 

The midsole has the grey “Zoom” midsole and the white “Cushlon” material to provide the contrast with the fabric. The upper has a knitted look to it with the perforations on the foot providing an appearance of an expensive shoe.

I primarily picked this as a casual wear to go with my khakis and jeans. Trust me! They look the bomb.

Nike has always been in the forefront of design and they pride themselves in releasing some of the most beautiful shoes around. The swoosh has become a symbol of performance with top athletes sporting Nike products.

 

Weight

The Winflo 4 weighs around 9 ounces for my size 10. Although it’s not the lightest shoe around, I didn’t have any issues with it. It felt light on my feet and I could race and run longer in them.

The cushioning from the midsole helps to cancel the weight to a good extent. But I’ll come to the midsole later.

 

Fit & Upper Construction

Fit was true to size in my case. I had ample wiggle-room on my feet.

The upper was super-light and breathable, thanks to the pores on the upper. The pores are prominent on the top and fade away towards the sides enhancing the looks of the shoe.

There are no visible seams and on the upper and there was a great continuation from the forefoot to the midfoot where Nike has incorporated a criss-cross texture all the way up to the heel cup.

Nike has pioneered the fly-wire technology for more than 5 years and is employed in the Winflo 4s as well.

Fly wires are basically elastic bands that run from the midsole to the midfoot and ties it into your lacing system (as pictured below).

 

 

It works like magic for someone like me where I felt a good grip on my medial side of the foot. The fly wires are not employed on the forefoot where it’s not required.

Nike has certainly acknowledged what’s right and has not overdone anything here. It was not constricting at all and there were no pressure points in the shoe. The toe box was quite roomy for me allowing for my feet to expand during all the pounding on asphalt.

The tongue, often forgotten is nicely cushioned and gazetted with the fabric same as the upper. In my experience, it stayed in its position comfortably without exerting any pressure on my feet.

The lacing was spot on. When I wore it to the Hamilton Round the bridges, it stayed intact throughout the hour and a half pounding it experienced.

 

Running Performance - Midsole

 How do I put it? It was simply unbelievable.

The cushlon material incorporated is easily my favorite midsole material for a neutral runner. I felt Cushlon delivered a more responsive ride while providing ample cushioning. I felt like running on clouds that were responsive as well.

For me, it was easily the best EVA midsole out there. I have tried NB’s blown rubber midsole, Mizuno’s u4ic and Asics’s Solyte EVA materials. But Cushlon sits above all of them. After more than 100kms in them, they still feel plush.

You could actually press your thumbs against the cushlon midsole to experience the responsiveness and the cushioning it offers.

Putting the Winflow 4 shoes on is just an exaggeration of it.

 

 

Complementing the Cushlon midsole, Nike has incorporated Zoom midsole underneath, closer to the outsole, acting more like a crash pad.

I was able to run for 20km comfortable without my knees hurting, thanks to the midsole which was able to absorb and damp most of the impact from the strike.

As you may notice, the shoe has a slight curve in the heel region.

Nike has done this deliberately for all those who heelstrike during their cadence. I am primarily a midfoot striker, but when I occasionally landed on my heels, the shoes were very forgiving.

 

 

The heel to toe drop is at 10mm, one mm more than the 9mm sweet spot. It wasn’t an issue for me as I felt a great landing to toe-off transition. I never had to modify my cadence, unlike the Mizuno Wave Prophecy 6’s that I reviewed earlier.

In short, Nike has indeed hit a home run with the midsole.

 

Running Performance - Outsole

The outsole is nothing revolutionary here from Nike. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. There are serrations on the lateral side of the midsole with a dimpled Air zoom unit right under the heel.

Nike has also placed rubber pods on the medial side of the outsole where it’s imperative to get a good grip as your heel strikes the ground. Although the traction is okay-ish, it is by no means a shoe that you can wear for your trail runs.

It is strictly a road shoe. After some 100kms in these, there’s a reasonable wear and tear that one can notice on the shoe, especially around the forefoot area. But for under $70, I cannot complain much.

 

 

Conclusion

Nike’s Airzoom Winflo 4 is a great shoe that offers a plush cushioning and a great comfort. It is a shoe that looks great and delivers great value for money.

 

Pros

  • Plush cushioning
  • Comfortable ride
  • Great responsiveness
  • Great for runs as well as for casual wearing
  • Exceptional value for money
  • Great for those longer runs
  • Perfect for those heel-strikers.

 

Cons

  • Surely not for over-pronators looking for some medial-side stability
  • Concerns about outsole durability
Shriram Nagarajan

Shriram Nagarajan • Level 3 expert

Living in the Waikato region of New Zealand, there's no dearth of places to see and experience. It inspires you every moment to go out and enjoy the outdoors. That's how I got into running. Running is now part of my way of life and I put so much thought and research into the shoes that complement me on my runs.

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Nike Air Zoom Winflo 4