Nike Zoom Fly review

We all heard of this shoe right? It has been the talk in the running community over the past year. There have been countless comments, articles, and reviews written about it. Some people love them, some people hate them, and some just don't believe the hype.

This review is unlike any you have read. I am not going into details and in-depth breakdown. This review is the highlights and my experience. I won't bore you with more than that. So, let's jump in.

Need to know about the Zoom Fly

These shoes are different than what you are used to!

There is no other shoe like this. I have never worn one or heard talks of others out there. So when you put these things on for the first time, you will most certainly be a little confused about why people love these.

Push through it! Break them in, run in them and after 20-30 miles you will be pretty excited about them. I personally almost sent them back 3x. I'm glad I didn't. 

They are fast and are made to be

Yup! When you wear these, you will just want to run fast. I personally cannot run slow in them, and when I do, they feel very sloppy. From my experience, anything less than 8:00/mile pace is too slow for this shoe.

The Zoom Fly is not a daily trainer

Nope! I saw that some people use them this way, but I believe you are better served to use trainers for training and racing shoes for racing. Race in them. You can, however, cycle them in your shoe lineup for some fast pace training sessions.

They are for neutral & efficient runners

Sorry, they're not for everyone. Due to lack of arch support, the narrow width of the shoe and the height of midsole, this shoe is an injury waiting to happen for those of you who overpronate (fall inwards) with running.

Trust me. I work with runners often in my Physical Therapy clinic and have seen the result of improper footwear for an individual.

They need adjustment time

Don't make an immediate decision on these. Wear them around for a bit. Run in them about 20 miles. You have to get used to these and takes longer than other shoes. If no pain and just awkward, be patient. You will not regret it.

The Zoom Fly is for the roads

One of my issues. Anything other than pavement, you will regret them. I wore these for a half marathon with some gravel trail, and they were terrible.

The traction just is not made for anything but roads. You will feel an immediate loss of traction if on any other surface.

They are tight

I love a very snug shoe, but these are a bit too snug at times. I recommend going up a ½ size with these. I wore these for my last marathon, and by the end, my poor toes were a bloody mess.

The Zoom Fly is awesome

I just have developed a love for these things. They are wonderful for half - full marathon distances that are road only.

I will never race in any other shoe for long distance races. They are fast, responsive, cushiony and most importantly get better with miles.

Notable shoe components

Upper

  • Collar - Great cushion
  • Tongue - As you can see, the tongue is offset (like it a lot), it helps hug the foot and stays in place
  • Lacing - Solid system that secures the foot
  • Material - Has wonderful breathability

Midsole

  • Zoom Foam - Brings a lot of cushion, but not too much, it keeps comfort for long distance
  • Stack Height - Hmm very high. Good or bad? I'm not sure
  • Carbon Plate - The midsole has a carbon plate inside which leads to rigidity and helps with energy return and propelling feeling 
  • The wear -  Midsole started showing wear after only 10 miles

Lower

  • Sole - Just not good traction for anything but road, I wish could handle a bit more such as gravel and parts of the road that are not paved well

Results

So these things helped me set PRs in the ½ marathon and marathon. Now, other factors helped me achieve these better times, but I really believe they added to it as well.

With these on, I ran the same marathon for the second consecutive year. I was able to take 20 minutes off my time and the race felt better. I did not have as much leg fatigue and stayed in rhythm a lot better.

Overall

So there you have it. I hope this helps you as you determine if these are appropriate for you. I do believe that these overall are the best long distance race shoes (haven’t tried the Vaporfly, but the price is absurd) as long as you are appropriate for them.

As with all shoes, these are a tool. Use them appropriately, and you will love them.

Facts / Specs

Terrain: Road
Weight: Men 8.7oz / Women 6.5oz
Drop: 10mm
Arch support: Neutral
Update: Nike Zoom Fly 4
Forefoot height: 23mm
Heel height: 33mm

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Author
Patrick Lister
Patrick Lister

I love people, and I love life. My love for people has lead me to the field of Physical Therapy and specialize in treating athletes, as well as runners. For the past 3 years, running has become my exercise. I have gone from 5k's to 1/2 marathons and now to marathons. My current PR is 3:28.