Our verdict

The Nike Zoom Vomero 5 is a shining example of how a defunct running shoe can turn into an ultra-comfortable casual sneaker. We just couldn't get enough of its well-cushioned interiors that kept us cosy for hours! The shoe stands out from other Nike kicks with its responsive Zoom Air units and fabulously airy construction. Not to mention the vivid Y2K vibes that fit right into the whole dad shoe craze. We believe that New Balance finally has a tough competitor in this niche.

Pros

  • Nostalgic 2000s aesthetic
  • Excellent breathability for summer
  • Cushioned like a running shoe
  • Lighter than average
  • Very comfy in-shoe feel
  • Flexible and forgiving on foot
  • Wear-resistant outsole and inner lining
  • Better lockdown with a gusseted tongue

Cons

  • Mesh is easy to tear
  • Not for flat feet/overpronation
  • Pricey

Audience verdict

96
Superb!

Who should buy

You just can't sleep on the Nike Zoom Vomero 5 if you are in search of the following:

  • a nostalgic sneaker that looks like it's been pulled out of your dad's dusty closet
  • a super comfortable sneaker for all-day wear (with a running shoe legacy)
  • an exceptionally breathable kick for warm summer days

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 review

Who should NOT buy

With an MSRP of £170, the Vomero 5 can put a pretty big dent in your wallet. The shoe costs £50 more than the average low-top sneaker!

If you want a summer kick with a similar appeal that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, we highly recommend the New Balance 2002R (£150) or the New Balance 530 (£110).

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 lab test

Breathability

If you are in search of an airy summer sneaker, the Vomero 5 is right up your alley!

Its ultra-thin mesh with extra wide chain links makes the shoe a really cool option (both literally and figuratively).

As soon as we pumped smoke into the shoe, it escaped through the mesh in a matter of seconds.

On foot, the Vomero 5 never allowed the heat to build up and we could even feel a cool breeze on our toes in the evenings.

You can see how amazingly thin and transparent the shoe's fabric is as we hover it over the bright light.

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 Breathability microscope test

Exploring the shoe's mesh closer through a microscope, we saw super thin threads that formed a very porous material.

On a scale from 1 to 5, where 5 is the most breathable, this is what a solid 5 looks like!

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 Breathability upper material under microscope
Test results
Zoom Vomero 5 5
Average 3
Compared to 44 trainers
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Leather/Suede quality

In the midfoot, this Nike sneaker features a TPU cage with a Swoosh logo. We quickly found that it was not real leather as the material melted instantly under the fire.

Some colorways of the Vomero 5 also feature thin suede overlays throughout the upper. But in our Vast Grey version, these overlays are made of TecTuff.

TecTuff is a polyurethane finish that greatly enhances the base material's abrasion resistance.

Looks like the sneaker uses real leather or suede beneath the TecTuff because it resisted our butane torch and leather scratch owl like genuine material would.

Toebox durability

Despite its highly durable overlays, the Nike Vomero 5 still has a lot of exposed mesh panels throughout the upper. Especially in the toebox.

You can see how extremely delicate this material is in our microscope check above.

A mere touch of our Dremel left a large glaring hole in the shoe's mesh. Be careful not to slash this sneaker against the ground!

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 Toebox durability comparison

Nike sacrificed a good deal of protection to keep the Vomero 5 as well-ventilated as it is. So if you are someone who blows through their kicks fast, we advise choosing a more reinforced sneaker instead.

The New Balance 1906R, for example, has excellent upper durability that doesn't compromise breathability.

Test results
Zoom Vomero 5 1
Average 3.7
Compared to 44 trainers
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

On the upside, the inner lining of the Vomero 5 promises a very long life. Made of soft nylon fabric, it seems to be completely unbothered by our Dremel!

After 4 seconds of drilling it with sandpaper at 5K RPM speed, the fabric didn't even show a scratch!

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 Heel padding durability comparison

Compared to the damage that the same test caused to other sneakers, the Vomero deserves the highest durability score for heel lining durability.

Test results
Zoom Vomero 5 5
Average 3.4
Compared to 44 trainers
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

Nike uses targeted BRS1000 rubber instead of a full-length outsole to protect the high-wear areas on the Vomero 5. It helps to shave some weight off the shoe.

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 BRS1000 rubber

Pressing our durometer against the rubber showed that it is indeed a very hard compound. At 85.5 HC, it is a bit harder than the average. This is often an indicator of higher abrasion resistance. 

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 Outsole hardness
Test results
Zoom Vomero 5 85.5 HC
Average 85.1 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 44 trainers
Number of shoes
72.9 HC
Outsole hardness
90.3 HC

Outsole durability

With our Dremel set to 10K RPM speed, we applied its sandpaper tip to the shoe's rubber for 22 seconds. The pressure remained consistent at 3.2N.

As you can see in the video above, the BRS1000 resisted the Dremel like a true warrior! Measuring the depth of the dent with a tread gauge, we found that it was not even a millimeter deep! Only 0.8 mm.

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 Outsole durability test

It is an impressive result for a lifestyle sneaker.

Test results
Zoom Vomero 5 0.8 mm
Average 1.0 mm
Compared to 44 trainers
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

In addition to its abrasion resistance, the shoe's rubber is also very thick. Measuring it with a caliper returned 4.8 mm.

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 Outsole thickness

All things considered, we expect the Nike Vomero 5 to last much longer than your typical pair of kicks.

Its mesh panels will most likely be the first bits to tear up but if you can prevent that, it will take months of regular use before you need to upgrade your kicks.

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 durability

Test results
Zoom Vomero 5 4.8 mm
Average 5.5 mm
Compared to 45 trainers
Number of shoes
3.4 mm
Outsole thickness
8.2 mm

Weight

To our delight, the Vomero 5 turned out to be even lighter than it seems.

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 Weight

Tipping the scale at 11.1 oz (316g), it is about 3 oz (85g) lighter than average. It is also lighter than such popular Nike kicks as the Air Max 1 and the Dunk Low.

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 style

Test results
Zoom Vomero 5 11.15 oz (316g)
Average 14.11 oz (400g)
Compared to 45 trainers
Number of shoes
8.54 oz (242g)
Weight
22.61 oz (641g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

The Nike Vomero 5 feels sufficiently cushioned and grounded at the same time.

Measuring its stack height with a caliper, we found that there is 31.4 mm of material sitting in between the heel and the floor. It is just about the same as in the average sneaker.

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 Heel stack

With a large Zoom Air unit under the heel, we found the Vomero 5 to be one of the best Nike kicks for all-day wear. It definitely inherited the impact protection from its past life as a running shoe.

Test results
Zoom Vomero 5 31.4 mm
Average 29.9 mm
Compared to 45 trainers
Number of shoes
18.2 mm
Heel stack
41.8 mm

Forefoot stack

Another Zoom Air unit sits right under the ball of the foot.

It adds a couple of welcome millimeters to the shoe's forefoot stack. At 21.8 mm, it is a bit taller than average.

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 Forefoot stack
Test results
Zoom Vomero 5 21.8 mm
Average 19.1 mm
Compared to 45 trainers
Number of shoes
10.6 mm
Forefoot stack
28.3 mm

Drop

As a daily running shoe in its past incarnation, the Vomero 5 has a moderate heel-to-toe drop of 9.6 mm.

It is a perfect setup where the heel is slightly elevated above the toes to offer more cushioning for the heel and take some pressure off the Achilles.

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 Drop
Test results
Zoom Vomero 5 9.6 mm
Average 10.8 mm
Compared to 45 trainers
Number of shoes
6.7 mm
Drop
17.2 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

We were elated at the fact that the Nike Vomero 5 uses the same Cushlon foam as in the Vomero 17 (the modern-day running shoe).

Showing 28.0 HA on our durometer, it proved to be a moderately soft cushioning foam that is 10% softer than the industry average.

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 Midsole softness

Based on our extensive research and experience, the Cushlon boasts a high level of durability and provides lasting comfort underfoot. This is exactly what we expect from a pair of daily beaters.

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 cushlon foam

Add two responsive Zoom Air units to the equation and you get a very pleasant, slightly bouncy, and cushioned feel that stays that way for hours.

Test results
Zoom Vomero 5 28.0 HA
Average 29.0 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 35 trainers
Number of shoes
15.0 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
46.4 HA

Insole thickness

The in-shoe comfort is completed with a nicely padded insole on top of the midsole. Measuring its thickness with a caliper, we got 4.2 mm.

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 Insole thickness
Test results
Zoom Vomero 5 4.2 mm
Average 5.5 mm
Compared to 45 trainers
Number of shoes
3.1 mm
Insole thickness
13.9 mm

Stability

Lateral stability test

We found that the Nike Vomero 5 is a moderately stable shoe that is going to feel supportive for most folks.

Back when it was a dedicated running shoe, the Vomero 5 was recommended for people with neutral pronation and normal arches. It means that their feet and ankles don't require any additional arch support as they don't roll inwards excessively.

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 support

If you think that your feet could use more support, try the more stable sneakers from ASICS and New Balance.

Torsional rigidity

The Vomero 5 may look all rigid and structured but it is actually quite forgiving.

Subjecting it to our manual stiffness test, we could easily bend and twist the shoe. On a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 stands for the highest flexibility, we readily gave this Nike sneaker a 2.

The small shank under the arch only adds a touch of structure to the shoe's platform. It is not the type of shank that controled severe overpronation on the old-fashioned stability shoes.

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 shank

Test results
Zoom Vomero 5 2
Average 3.4
Compared to 44 trainers
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The same goes for the shoe's heel counter.

The TPU caging at the back looks like hard plastic but when we gave it a push and squeeze in a manual test, it gave in just like that.

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 heel counter

Thus, the heel counter also got a pretty low stiffness score of 2.

But the good news is that it doesn't feel floppy at all. We experienced a nice hold around our heels and ankles which didn't allow undue shifting or sliding inside the shoe.

It just didn't hold the foot in place as securely as the more rigid heel counters do.

Test results
Zoom Vomero 5 2
Average 3.2
Compared to 44 trainers
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

The wide base of the Vomero 5 definitely helped us feel more surefooted.

Measuring the widest part of its sole in the forefoot, our caliper showed 111.6 mm, which is a few millimeters wider than average. 

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Zoom Vomero 5 111.6 mm
Average 108.5 mm
Compared to 45 trainers
Number of shoes
100.0 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
121.0 mm

Midsole width in the heel

The midsole is also slightly widened in the heel area.

Our caliper shows 87.0 mm in its widest part which is a few millimeters wider than average.

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 Midsole width in the heel

But it's important to note that the sole is NOT wide enough to be considered chunky.

Test results
Zoom Vomero 5 87.0 mm
Average 82.9 mm
Compared to 45 trainers
Number of shoes
69.4 mm
Midsole width in the heel
103.1 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

The Vomero 5 never made us feel restricted and moved seamlessly with our feet throughout the wear test.

When we measured how much force it takes to bend this Nike sneaker to a 90-degree angle, we got an average reading of 21.8N.

It's just as flexible as most other lifestyle sneakers.

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 flexible

Test results
Zoom Vomero 5 21.8N
Average 22.9N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 45 trainers
Number of shoes
5.8N
Stiffness
51.8N

Grip / Traction

The waffle outsole of the Nike Vomero 5 may look old-fashioned but it's still got the grip. The shoe kept us surefooted on urban surfaces even in wet weather.

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 outsole

Size and fit

Internal length

You are safe going true to size in the Nike Vomero 5.

Measuring its internal length in our regular men's US size 9, we got 272.2 mm. It is the expected length for a US size 9 sneaker.

The shoe's length is also consistent with such popular Nike models as the Air Max 1, the Air Force 1 07, and the Dunk.

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 Internal length
Test results
Zoom Vomero 5 272.2 mm
Average 272.3 mm
Compared to 41 trainers
Number of shoes
265.3 mm
Internal length
280.1 mm

Toebox width at the widest part

The Vomero 5 offers ample space in the toebox without feeling too roomy on our medium-width feet.

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 fit

Measuring it in the widest part of the forefoot, we got a slightly wider-than-average reading of 103.0 mm.

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Zoom Vomero 5 103.0 mm
Average 99.1 mm
Compared to 45 trainers
Number of shoes
94.0 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
107.7 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

The shoe's toebox tapers very slightly towards the front.

According to our caliper, the shoe's toebox width at the big toe comes in at 75.3 mm. It is the average measurement for a men's D-Medium sneaker.

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Zoom Vomero 5 75.3 mm
Average 74.7 mm
Compared to 44 trainers
Number of shoes
63.7 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
82.7 mm

Tongue: gusset type

YES! The tongue of the Nike Vomero 5 has gussets on both sides.

Attached to the rest of the upper, this tongue design offers a more secure foot lockdown and prevents that annoying tongue sliding that we experience so much with non-gusseted shoes.

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Zoom Vomero 5 Both sides (full)

Laces

We have zero complaints about the Vomero's laces.

They look good, stay tied, and there is also a handy webbing on the tongue that helps to keep them in place. 

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 laces

Keep in mind that you will either get flat or wavy laces depending on the colorway.

Comfort

Tongue padding

The interiors of the Vomero 5 feel incredibly cozy thanks to the well-padded collar and tongue.

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 Tongue padding

Measuring the thickness of the tongue, our caliper showed 10.0 mm. Similar to most sneakers, it keeps lace bites at bay.

Test results
Zoom Vomero 5 10.0 mm
Average 9.2 mm
Compared to 45 trainers
Number of shoes
1.0 mm
Tongue padding
38.4 mm

Heel tab

There are no pull tabs or finger loops to assist in getting the shoe on.

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 Heel tab
Test results
Zoom Vomero 5 None

Removable insole

This Nike sneaker comes with an easily removable insole. You can replace it with custom orthotics in case you need additional cushioning or arch support.

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 Removable insole
Test results
Zoom Vomero 5 Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

The Vomero 5 has four reflective strips on each shoe - two in the front and two at the back.

Test results
Zoom Vomero 5 Yes

The origins of the Nike Zoom Vomero 5

The Vomero 5 first came to prominence over a decade ago, in 2011.

Back then, it was part of Nike's popular series of running shoes which is now on its 17th edition! With the rapid evolution of running footwear, the Vomero 5 became obsolete as a performance shoe but remained comfortable enough for day-to-day wear.

Over the years, Nike attempted to reintroduce the silhouette a few times.

First, the brand collaborated with A-COLD-WALL to give the Vomero a futuristic (and polarising) twist in 2018. The shoe received a humongous blocky heel counter which didn't appeal to everyone but certainly drew attention to the sneaker.

Another wave of interest in the Vomero emerged in 2019 after it was spotted on Drake himself.

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 background

But it wasn't until September 2022 that the Vomero 5 gained traction as a nostalgic Y2K era-inspired kick in its first Oatmeal colorway.

Viewed as Nike's response to the dad shoe obsession, the Vomero finally took some market share from New Balance. Interestingly enough, the kick has a striking resemblance to the New Balance 2002R kick.

Nike Zoom Vomero 5 vs New Balance 2002R