Nike Air Zoom Vomero 14 review
With marathon season truly upon us, I was recently looking to replace my New Balance 1080 V7 from the beginning of last year. I had found that as a forefoot striker the changes New Balance had made to the newer versions have resulted in a stiffer shoe which led me to develop hotspots and pain in my forefoot.
So, the hunt was on to find my high mileage shoe for the year. Hoka One One Bondi 6 came and went after causing the same issues as the NB along with the bonus of black toenails, which my girlfriend was not happy about!
So, what are my options? Well, I have always had a leaning towards Nike, mainly with a pair of Pegasus in the shoe pile. The current iteration Pegasus 35 with its twin air pockets had been doing me well.
But as experienced by other forefoot runners, our weight on the forefoot of the shoe was squashing the front airbag and compressing the fill into the rear. And as we don’t use that much, the benefits were lost, and after anything more than a ½ marathon, I was experiencing impact in the balls of my feet.
Luckily, when I discovered this problem, the Vomero 14 had just been released, and with a birthday 25% discount, a few clicks and they were on the way.
Nike sells the Vomero as a distance shoe with a full-length Nike "React" midsole and full-length "Zoom" air unit for comfort. Compared to the Vomero 13, you could be forgiven for thinking that this is a completely new shoe rather than an up-version.
Out of the box, the influence of Nikes most recent releases is evident. The design with the sweeping collar around the Achilles and angled heel strike area gives the shoe that distinctive recent Nike look and makes the shoe look fast at the same time.
The weight of the shoe is comparable to that of the Pegasus and during my runs has never felt heavy on my feet, even in the rain.
Upper & fit of the Vomero 14
The mesh upper of the shoe is neat and with reinforcement over the big toe area, which to many runners is a known weak point. Moving back, the well proportioned "Swoosh" with text on the outside of the heel cup declaring the shoe pedigree is subtle.
Securing the shoe with the use of the "Dynamic fit" and "Flywire" technologies is efficient and with the incorporation of the short, padded tongue and heel pods forming the internal heel cup.
When you first put the shoe on, the fit can feel different if you are used to the Pegasus or Fly Knit shoes. But once secured, I have never feared that my foot is feeling loose or insecure. Even locking the foot in by tying the laces tightly has never resulted in the shoes being too tight.
The design of the shoe has resulted in a larger toe-box on this shoe. Enabling your feet to spread in a more natural manner and the sizing allows me to buy my normal size 10 as I normally do with Nike.
One thing I have noticed though is being able to feel the air unit on the ball of my feet. An odd feeling at first, but nothing that affects my running once I am off.
Vomero 14 midsole
The midsole of the shoe uses Nike’s "React" cushioning over its full length. This manages to absorb the shock of my supinated forefoot landing and my transition back to the mid-foot.
The reinforced air units of the Vomero seem to prevent the issue that I experience with the Pegasus 35 that I explained earlier.
One thing that I need to look for in a running shoe is flex in the forefoot. If that is lacking, I encounter problems. With the construction of the Vomero’s mid and outer sole, it flexes naturally with my foot.
This is a big bonus for me, as the recent "Meta" craze has caused me problems as the shoes try to force my feet to move unnaturally.
Vomero 14 outsole
The Vomero’s outsole uses different types of rubber depending upon the expectation of wear on the shoe. The large "S" down the middle of the shoe helps with the flexibility that I mentioned earlier.
My forefoot strike normally means that I can notice the wear on my shoes quite quickly, but I have found that even after 75 miles, there is no noticeable wear in the places, I would expect to find it. And the grip on the roads has been exceptional even in the wet.