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.
Heel to toe dropMen: 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.
Release dateMay 2018
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98 / 100 based on 3 expert reviews
Living up to the hype: A review of Nike Zoom Fly SP
Note: I am a 42-year-old runner, about 170 pounds and 6’ 1” tall. I race all distances, from 5ks to Marathons, and spend at least half of my year training for an upcoming marathon.
A try, at last
Well, I finally waited long enough to be able to try out the new Nike running technology that has been on my radar for the last year.
I have been wanting to get into the Nike Fly Zoom SP ever since I stayed up past midnight to watch Nike’s Breaking Two attempt with Eliud Kipchoge coming within 26 seconds of a sub-2-hour marathon, last year.
Supposedly, the technology gave them an advantage. Whether it actually did, or not, the Zoom Fly running shoe has been flying off the shelves for more than a year now.
Finally, I was able to get my hands on a pair to test for myself, since the supply has increased and the technology has changed a bit with the Zoom Fly SP. They cost me $150 which is not too unreasonable considering their competition.
I ordered the size I usually wear for every shoe during marathon training, and immediately I realized the Zoom Fly SP was going to be snug. Unfortunately, my feet completely filled the length of the shoes.
Any other shoe, I would have returned them for another pair, but since I would mostly use this shoe for races and speedwork, I decided to keep them. Another variable that helped on the short shoe length is the material used on the upper is very flexible, giving way as needed.
Nike has a great design when it comes to the toe box. While midfoot is a little tight – again, by design – the toe box is sufficiently wide for my feet. My toes have plenty of space to flex and splay as needed.
The heel-to-toe drop in the Zoom Fly SP is 10mm, which is a pretty good drop.
This drop helps relieve some pressure on the heel and Achilles tendon. This shoe is part of Nike’s “racing” equipment, so it has somewhat of a racing flat feel, in spite of the high heel-to-toe drop, so the arch support is adequate, but not great.
I am not too certain what the upper material is made of. It is definitely breathable, but it feels rubbery. It is also very flexible.
The laces are extremely lightweight racing-style ribbons. The laces are connected to flexible exposed straps that wrap around the foot, providing a little obstacle when sliding the shoes on. Once laced up, however, the shoes feel almost painted on my feet.
The Nike technology in this shoe is showcased in the midsole and outsole. Starting with the midsole, Nike has provided a stiff, springy plate that makes the shoe less flexible, but almost like an inner spring that propels you forward.
The heel and forefoot are surprisingly cushioned for a racing shoe. The combination makes for a very fast, nimble shoe.
So far I have put 130 miles on my Zoom Fly SP running shoes.
I have used them for all of the runs listed to the left, and they are designed for the runs ranked from best to worst. Obviously, these shoes are built for speed, but with the exceptional heel cushioning they work well for all runs, really.
The greatest experience I have had so far running in this shoe has been setting a new Personal Best in the 5K and finishing in 2nd place overall.
I give a lot of credit to these shoes. From the 5K race to a 19-mile long run, the Zoom Fly SPs are superb.
Since this shoe is built for racing, ideally one would only use these for racing or speedwork. If that is the only use, these may last forever.
With 130 miles on my pair, noticeable wear only shows up on the outer heel, but hardly any wear shows on the forefoot. At this rate, I think the shoes would last to around 300 miles, much longer if they are only used for speedy runs with mid- to fore-foot landing.
- Great cushioning
- Midsole propulsion
- Snug fit
- Wide toe box
- Too short to size
- Lifespan may be short
If you are looking for a great racing shoe for the 5K to Marathon, the Nike Zoom Fly SP is a tremendous option.
I am sold on the technology and the results speak for themselves. I would buy these again, especially if the price comes down a bit.
Check out my video here:
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
Overall, I'm just going to say I love this sneaker. This is going to be both a performance beast as well as very suitable to wear casually.
The Zoom Fly SPs are perfect because they look good and they're also functional running shoes as well.
Updates to Nike Zoom Fly SP
- Nike introduces the Zoom Fly SP, in which SP stands for “Special Projects,” as part of the brand’s Breaking2 initiative. The Breaking2 is an endeavor with the goal of training the world’s top athletes to complete a marathon in under two hours. This neutral running shoe is both fast and durable and is designed for tough tempo workouts, long-distance runs, and race days. Because it is a special edition (the original version being the Nike Zoom Fly), the shoe is updated with a lightweight support system and designs that reference the Breaking2 history.
- The Zoom Fly SP features a semi-translucent upper created from a stretch-weave material. It is adorned with futuristic elements, as well as functional components that are guaranteed to be beneficial to the foot.
- Lunarlon makes a comeback as the midsole of the Zoom Fly SP, now upgraded with an extended height and accompanied with a nylon plate for stability in specific areas. The outsole is still a combination high-abrasion carbon rubber in the heel and foam rubber in the forefoot for the perfect balance of durability and responsiveness.
Nike Zoom Fly SP size and fit
Like the original version, the Nike Zoom Fly SP is designed with standard running shoe measurements, and it caters to runners with moderate foot volumes. The shoe has a width profile of men’s D – Medium, but it is a unisex shoe, and thus could be worn by both men and women.
In the heel area of the outsole is a high-abrasion carbon rubber that has a durable quality, which is useful in minimizing the wear and tear that occurs during landing. The carbon rubber is also flexible enough to withstand abrupt shifts in position that usually takes place while running.
Meanwhile, in the forefoot to the midfoot area is a softer foam rubber that provides the necessary traction to keep a steady pace on various surfaces. It is placed in this area, where comfort would be more beneficial. The soft characteristic of foam rubber enables the outsole to be responsive, and thus produce sufficient energy return for each stride.
The foam rubber portion of the outsole has a pentagon design that is drawn using a waffle pattern. This helps in efficiently gripping the ground for a stable ride.
The Lunarlon foam is one of Nike’s proprietary midsole materials that is a combination of soft and firm foam compounds. The result is a competent midsole unit that delivers shock absorption, energy return, and stability, but not at the expense of comfort. The Lunarlon produces an in-shoe environment that is well-cushioned and permits for efficient forward propulsion.
Within the Lunarlon foam is a full-length, carbon-infused nylon plate that further enhances the shoe’s responsiveness. This component works during the propulsion phase and guarantees a smooth transition, from heel-strike to toe-off. Aside from this, the nylon plate also gives a rigid, protective element for the underfoot.
The removable insole shows a graphic of hand-drawn sketches from the shoe designer, Erick Goto, on a bright crimson background.
A unique semi-translucent mesh makes up the upper of the Nike Zoom Fly SP. It has a stretch-weave construction that expands accordingly with each foot movement. Aside from elasticity, the material also possesses lightweight and breathable characteristics, both of which contribute to a comfortable and ventilated ride.
The arch band is made of soft micro-suede fabric. It is present to provide support and stability to the midfoot, especially during long-distance runs.
Classic Flywire cables form part of the shoe’s lacing system. This technology helps maintain a snug and secure fit on top of the traditional lace-up closure.
The Zoom Fly SP also has an internal heel counter. This is a plastic component that holds the heel in place and prevents any unnecessary sliding and wobbling of the foot while inside the shoe.
Various decorative elements are found in the upper, which emphasize that the shoe is a special edition and represent aspects in marathons. These include the inside of the tongue that displays the Nike Swoosh Pinwheel logo, a Finish Checker icon, and the Nike Speed Track logo, as well as the lateral side of the shoe that features a digital clock graphic.