Facts

Terrain: Road
Arch support: Neutral
Use: Jogging
Weight: Men: 8.9oz | Women: 8.9oz
Heel to toe drop: Men: 8mm | Women: 8mm
Pronation: Neutral Pronation
Arch type: High arch
Strike Pattern: Midfoot strike
Distance: Daily running | Long distance | Marathon
Heel height: Men: 40mm | Women: 40mm
Forefoot height: Men: 32mm | Women: 32mm
Release date: Jul 2019
Brand: Nike
Type: Low drop | Maximalist
Width: Men: Normal | Women: Normal
Price: $160
Colorways: Green, White, Pink, Black
Special editions: 1 special editions
Size
Small True to size Large
Forefoot fit
Narrow Wide
Heel fit
Narrow Wide
Toebox
Tight Roomy
Cushioning
Firm Plush
Flexibility
Stiff Flexible
Stability 8/10
Durability 7/10
Comfort 8/10
Breathability 7/10
Traction 8/10
See more facts

Expert Reviews

Experts are runners, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

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84 / 100 based on 16 expert reviews

  • 67 / 100 | Brandon Law

    Nike Zoom Fly 3: Poor man’s Next%

    The Nike Zoom Fly 3 feels and looks more like a lifestyle sneaker than a performance running shoe. The chunky midsole does not cradle the foot.

    There is also a stark contrast or disconnect between the super light minimal upper and the midsole. It is one of the best looking shoes of the year. 

     

     

    The purple fade from light to dark is very eye-catching. I even caught a few people staring. The narrow heel point looks modern and fast.

    Upper

    The upper is my favourite part of the shoe. It feels light and breathable. The new Vaporweave looks and feels like the same as the Next% upper, but thicker.

    It is a welcome improvement over the OG Zoom Fly and the Flyknit uppers. The heel flares away so as to not cause any heel chafing problems, which occurred with the Flyknit upper.

     

     

    One can even wear the shoe with hidden or no socks without any problems. The Vaporweave upper has a roomy and relaxed fit.

    Outsole

    The outsole rubber placement is an improvement and leads to an extended outsole life span. Most of the wear on the previous versions of the shoe could be seen on the outer heel edge.

    This year’s update has long strips of rubber on both lateral and medial sides of the heel. It is a durable rubber.

     

     

    It may not be as durable as Adidas’ Continental, but it's still one of the more durable outsole rubbers out there.

    Midsole

    The shoe is bottom heavy. It feels like you have two tanks on your feet. It feels even heavier than the Glycerin from Brooks.

    Also, you'll get the sensation that you are running on top of a shoe rather than inside a shoe.

    The react foam is too firm for me compared to the Epic React foam, which feels bouncy and light. Nike probably had to make the midsole firmer to assist the carbon plate and the stack height.

    Still, I wish there was some sink-in feel as I don’t feel comfortable running in these for longer than 10km distances.

    The midsole is VERY narrow, causing the medial side to poke uncomfortably into the feet. Even someone with super narrow feet would feel the discomfort.

    It isn’t painful. But, you'll definitely feel it poking into your foot with every foot strike, even if you are a rearfoot striker. It’s a weird feeling that I have not felt in any other shoe before.

    The heel is also narrow compared to the forefoot, and it may be a problem for heel strikers. I found it slightly unstable in the heel, almost like you’re walking on a pole.

    The shoe is definitely more suited to forefoot strikers.

    You can feel the carbon fibre plate in the forefoot. It creates a feeling like you are walking off a step and your forefoot tips forward.

    It feels like a contradiction because the carbon plate wants to propel you forward and make you faster. However, the clunky midsole foam is slow and cumbersome.

    Conclusion

    Running in the Zoom Fly 3’s feels more like a chore and is not an enjoyable experience. The react midsole feels outdated: heavy and dense, without the bounce.

    I would make the outsole softer and lighter because the propelling of the carbon plate is cancelled out by the weight of the shoe.

    I can see what they were trying to do in replicating the Vaporfly Next% at a cheaper price. But this shoe is a miss for me.

    It is a very expensive shoe compared to other 2019 releases. I would rather choose the Go Run Ride 7 or NB Beacon over this shoe any day of the week.

    I will continue to wear the ZF3 but only for casual use.

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

  • 80 / 100 | Believe in the Run | | Level 5 expert

    Great-fitting upper. Enjoyed the way the shoe fit and went through the stride.

  • 94 / 100 | kofuzi | Level 4 expert

    I think that this is the best Zoom Fly that Nike has made to date.

  • 80 / 100 | Believe in the Run | | Level 5 expert

    I get that everyone doesn’t have the 4% option, so if you like the Zoom Fly 3, there is no reason you couldn’t train and race in it. I enjoyed all my miles in the shoe, especially when picking up the pace, even if it still felt a little bottom heavy.

  • 90 / 100 | Running Shoes Guru | | Level 4 expert

    The Zoom Fly 3 is the “affordable” version of the Nike premium distance racing shoes. While this is the tier below the Vaporfly 4% and Next% shoes, the Zoom Fly 3 come with premium Nike running shoe features in a more accessible format.

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  • The Nike Zoom Fly 3 is advertised as a racing shoe which means that it is for those who like to participate in contests or extended running sessions. The midsole unit is updated from the Zoom Fly 2 as it is now made of React, one of the brand’s premier cushioning technologies. The stack height is also thicker than almost all Nike performance shoes, boasting a touted 40-millimeter heel height. A carbon plate is embedded in the React to help with steadiness and push-off power.
  • On the upper of this product is a material called Vaporweave. This feature is made of a transparent mesh exterior and an inner sheet that is stretchy and seamless. Arch bands on the left and right sides replace the Flywire cables. The heel collar has a leaf shape to responsibly maintain steadiness without causing pressure on the Achilles tendon.

When it comes to size, Nike has used the standard measurements to accommodate the expectations of consumers. Half and full sizes are available from the get-go, so people can make adjustments if they feel that they need to do so. It is recommended to personally test the shoe or check online reactions from testers to achieve an in-shoe feel that is agreeable.

When it comes to width, the available options are D - Medium and B - Medium for men and women, respectively. It is worth noting that the lasting board of this product is optimized for racing which means that it has an arrowhead-like shape to emphasize speed and forward momentum. Arrowheads have tout tips, so the forefoot may be a bit snug near the forefoot.

The outsole unit of the Nike Zoom Fly 3 is made of rubber. This material covers the majority of the forefoot section and the contact points of the heel part. It has a waffle design to heighten the traction capacity of the shoe, especially since the bumps or nodes that make up this waffle are naturally grippy.

The waffle design of the rubber exterior also has shallow flex grooves to help the foot with its capacity to bend as it goes through the gait cycle. The toe-off phase of the step is the part that benefits the most from such inclusion because it is where the foot flexes the most.

Underfoot cushioning is the responsibility of the Nike React foam. This full-length cushioning unit is designed to be lightweight, flexible and capable of lasting longer. The brand especially touts its role as an all-around cushioning unit that responsibly handles impact shock during the landing process and gives back energy during the toe-off. The React foam started in the realm of basketball but is now slowly taking over running shoes, with rosters like the Nike Epic React Flyknit taking the lead as examples of its full utilization.

A carbon fiber plate is placed inside the React foam. This layer is flexible enough to blend with the motion of the foot, yet it is also able to spring back into its original shape when there is no force bending it. The push-off part of the step is the act that benefits from this feature because it bends the plate during the preparation phase then allows it to whip itself into its relaxed state when the foot lifts off.

The upper unit of the Zoom Fly 3 is made of Vaporweave. This material is an innovation from Nike. It is comprised of a see-through exterior that has a close-weave construction to maintain its durability, as well as a seamless inner layer that serves as the thing that wraps the foot. It is breathable, form-accommodating and relatively lightweight.

Arch bands are placed on the sides of the shoe. These stretchy panels replace the Flywire cables that have graced many older Nike shoes. The purpose of these accoutrements is to help the lacing system in providing a snug and secure fit by having their tips as the lace-holes that cause the rest of the upper unit to adapt to the adjustment of the fit.

A one-piece opening is used for this shoe. Such a design makes sure to evoke the feeling of being wrapped by a sock instead of a collar and a separate tongue unit. The stretchy material used for the cleatie also accommodates the shape and movement ability of the foot.

The tapered heel construction holds the heel without irritating it or causing hot spots to develop. This leaf-like shape also aims to relieve any pressure on the ankles, especially when running for extended periods. Heel security is, after all, important during every run.

Comparison