DiscontinuedUpdate: Nike Zoom Fly 3
Neutral / cushion / high arch
Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with normal, high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.
Stability / overpronation / normal arch
Shoes for runners who need mild to moderate arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a low arch. See the best stability shoes.
Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet
Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.
Good to know
Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.
Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.
Good to know
If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.
WeightMen: 8.7ozWomen: 6.5oz
Heel to toe dropMen: 10mmWomen: 10mm
The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.
There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.
Heel heightMen: 33mmWomen: 33mm
Forefoot heightMen: 23mmWomen: 23mm
WidthMen: Narrow, NormalWomen: Normal, Wide
Release dateJun 2017
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88 / 100 based on 30 expert reviews
Nike Zoom Fly: I am faster when I wear theseMore photos
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
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.
So, if you are a slow, plodding runner or you're looking for a slow paced workout shoe, this is not it.
They are not daily trainers
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.
They are for 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.
They are 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
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
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
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
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.
Trust me. These shoes help your run. The energy return is awesome, and they bring forth less strain on the legs.
- Superb cushion
- Best energy return
- The answer for long races
- Price is good
- Tight and narrow
- No support
- One dimensional
- Tread is not great for multi-surface
- Midsole wears easily
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.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
Nike Zoom Fly: Flying on the way to a new PBMore photos
So, this is THE shoe, the shoe that inspired Kipchoge and Nike in ‘Breaking2’. This is where Nike designed a shoe that was lightweight, durable with excellent energy return in an attempt to not only smash the marathon world record but to try to break the 2-hour barrier which, to this day, still hasn’t been done.
Well, actually, that was a special shoe that we can’t actually buy. The Vaporfly 4% is the closest you can get which features a full-length carbon plate, Zoom X foam, and the Flyknit upper.
For us mere mortals, that don’t want to spend over £200 on a shoe, Nike released the Zoom Fly which benefits from the trickle-down technology. This shoe features a carbon infused nylon plate, Flymesh upper and Lunarlon foam?
Either way you look at it, for what I’ll be doing, this shoe is excellent and more than enough to propel me towards new PB’s across the board. I purchased these from Nike directly during one of their sales, which brought the shoe down to £72.38, which I think is quite reasonable.
Most of the running I’ve done in the trainers so far has been on canal paths, pavements, and road. I’m a massive Nike fanboy. I have 2 pairs of Lunaracer 4, Pegasus 33, 34 and now the Zoom Fly.
I love the fit, the weight, and the breathability. I always venture away from them but end up back where I started.
This is possibly the largest heel stack of any Nike, which means you feel like you’re on platforms to an extent but Nike manage to pull it off whilst HOKA shoes still look silly.
Total heel stack on these shoes is 33mm, and the heel drop is 10mm which you can really feel after each step you feel like you’re racing to take the next step. The sole is not the softest I’ve used but probably the best in terms of energy return.
I recently ran a marathon in a pair of HOKA Clifton 5, but never again. The Zoom Fly’s are my new go-to shoe. The only issue I noticed with the Zoom Fly is that with the high sole the shoe is still quite narrow.
Compared with HOKA trainers, on uneven ground, it’s quite easy to roll an ankle. I did also notice that with the pentagon pattern on the bottom of the shoe it’s quite easy for very small stones to get stuck in it’s not as bad as an ON shoe but a minor annoyance.
Nothing special here. The heel has good comfort and good stiffness. At the base of the heel, there is some padding but as you rise up the heel the padding increases to give you that snug feel.
There is clearly some kind of plate in the heel, low down, to give an extra level of support. The rest of the heel is reinforced with a denser foam which merges with the rest of the fly mesh on the shoe.
I’ve had no issues with heel lift/slip or any rubbing of any kind. The seam on the rear is covered with a ‘Racing’ sticker followed by the Nike tick, which is a nice addition.
The Flymesh upper offers little to no support and is very similar to what you find in the Pegasus range of shoes. However, it is very breathable and whilst I prefer support I suffered no ill effects of there not being any.
There is also a rather large Nike tick on the outside which I’m not a huge fan of – little ticks are still cool.
Tongue & laces
The Zoom Fly features the Nike Flywire laces which uses Flywire fed from the bottom of the Flymesh to offer a dynamic lacing experience. This is quite a common solution used on most of the Nike trainers.
I can’t tell you why it works, but it just does. It’s not mind-blowing, but laces haven’t caused me any issues with this trainer. The tongue is a thin tongue without any elastication or similar.
There is a nice cut out on the tongue to sit well on the foot. The tongue is asymmetric, so this hits the right spot on both shoes. Whilst the tongue is thin, I didn’t notice any pressure on my foot under the knot.
Standard, simple but effective Nike insole is used here. I suffered no blisters or any chafing with this insole. This may also be down to the forgiving Flymesh, but I have had no issues with this shoe whatsoever.
I can’t actually remember, but I’m pretty sure the break-in experience was pleasant too – no tightness of relaxing of materials necessary.
As with other shoes, there are varying friction surfaces on the bottom of the sole. The forefoot in completely covered in a high friction material and there are 5 main points on the heel with the same material.
Overall the grip is OK, I did notice on the colder nights on low friction surfaces that I had to slow down to avoid slipping, but they should come into a world of their own as we approach summer.
Other notable features
I bought the White, Gunsmoke and Atmosphere Grey version of the Zoom Fly. They do look cool. A subtle lime colour brings them together.
However, I chose to use them over winter, and they aren’t white anymore. It’s not a premium shoe with premium materials, but it survives everything I throw at it, and it gives me no issues so, so what?
From a weighted point of the shoe, these are lightweight considering their size. My shoes came in at 278g per shoe for a size 10.5.
I read plenty of reviews that suggested sizing up. I’ve experienced this in the past with Nike on the Lunaracer’s.
I purchased both to make up my mind. I actually found that the shoe was true to size. I have a 10.5 in all Pegasus shoes, and this was the same on sizing.
When I did the Brighton Marathon, I chose to use my HOKA Clifton 5 for a number of reasons. Sadly, I ended up wishing I’d used the Nike’s!
There is a reason why so many people are using them for all distance racing. For the comfort and weight, they are unchallenged (assuming your budget doesn’t stretch to the Vaporfly's). When I complete the Ironman in September this will be the shoe I use!
If you’re looking for a lightweight running shoe with lots of cushioning, huge energy return and capable of smashing both 5k and marathon times, then this is the trainer for you!
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
I would definitely recommend it for fast-paced runs, responsive rides, road running.
It's a great shoe. It's a consumer one.
- The High Abrasion rubber and the Foam rubber along with the specifically shaped lugs placed at strategic locations on the outsole give an optimal combination of excellent traction, high resistance to abrasion and enhanced flexibility. These technologies, also being very durable, make sure the shoe keeps on performing very well for much longer durations of time.
- In the midsole, the LunarIon foam and the full-length Carbon Infused Nylon plate maintain an environment of optimal cushioning and efficient responsiveness for the runner. The material is soft and it provides the needed support underfoot.
- The Engineered Mesh with perforations at strategic locations ensures a fully ventilated environment inside the shoe for the runner. It also provides a snug and secure fit with the help of Dynamic Flywire technology.
- The Nike Zoom Fly boasts the feature of Internal Heel Counter for keeping the user’s heel in its proper position while running. This saves the runner from uncomfortable sliding or rubbing of feet against the shoe.
The Nike Zoom Fly is most suitable for neutral runners with feet that are neither too wide nor too narrow since the shoe comes in the standard medium width of D for men and B for women, respectively. The shoe has a standard running length and for most individuals, it fits true to size.
The heel part of the Nike Zoom Fly’s outsole uses a rubber compound that is highly resistant to abrasion. Its goal is to protect the foam midsole from the damaging nature of the roads. It also doles out surface traction, which is an essential aspect of running shoes.
Foam rubber is placed in the forefoot section of the external pad. This material has a spongy construction which allows it to provide an extra spring to each step. It is flexible and traction-ready, as well.
The shoe is further improved by a system of patterns at specific locations on the outsole for optimal performance and a firm grip on dry and wet surfaces.
Lunarlon is the primary technology that’s used in the Nike Zoom Fly. This full-length cushioning system is comprised of a carrier foam that cradles a soft material in its center. The purpose of the former is to provide long-lasting structure and volume to the underfoot experience while the latter is tasked with ensuring a responsive and highly energized performance.
A carbon-infused nylon plate is implanted into the entire length of the foam. This add-on has the purpose of acting as a propelling component that energizes the foot as it lifts off the ground. It bends with the foot then springs back into place during the end of the motion, ensuring a burst of propulsion that benefits the action.
An insole is placed on top of the primary cushioning unit. This extra layer is made to provide additional support to the underside of the foot. It can be removed or replaced with a new one.
A one-piece engineered mesh is used for the upper unit of the Nike Zoom Fly. This technology resembles traditional cloth, and it has the same qualities, as well. It is lightweight and flexible, so it is able to provide a hug that is akin to wearing a sock. Also, it is form-accommodating and breathable, so it allows the foot to stay relaxed and dry during the running session.
An internal heel counter graces the back portion of this running shoe. This feature is meant to hold the foot in place, saving it from quivering at any point of the performance. It also makes sure to prevent the foot from exiting the interior chamber unexpectedly, thereby improving confidence and a well-realized heel-to-toe transition.
A traditional lacing system with semi-flat laces and discreet eyelets permits the wearer to manipulate the level of security for the foot, thereby acquiring a customized in-shoe wrap.
The Dynamic Flywire technology is comprised of cables that poke out of the façade’s midfoot section. These wires connect to the shoelaces, adjusting in tandem with the tightening or loosening of the fit. Their coverage of the midfoot section ensures a snug embrace that is supportive of the delicate arch.
The lightly padded tongue and collar are elements that cushion the instep, the ankles, and the Achilles tendon. Having an upper that offers comfort may enhance the performance, especially when tackling extended runs and contests.