Nike Zoom Fly SP review

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.

Shoe length

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.

 Zoom Fly SP toebox

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.

Heel/Arch Support

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.

Upper

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.

Midsole/Outsole

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.

General Function of the Zoom Fly SP

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.

 Nike Zoom Fly SP performance

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.

Expected lifespan

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.

Facts / Specs

Terrain: Road
Weight: 248g
Drop: 10mm
Arch support: Neutral
Base model: Nike Zoom Fly
Pronation: Neutral Pronation / Supination / Underpronation
Arch type: High arch

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Author
Mark Clements
Mark Clements

My name is Mark Clements. I’m an avid runner in my 40’s and I run races from 5Ks to Marathons. I’m always training for a race and run at least 40 miles/week, rotating up to 5 pairs of shoes through my runs. My long term goal is to run into old age, remaining injury-free, which comes in part by being equipped with the best shoes out there!