Who should buy the Nike Zoom Fly 5

According to one video reviewer, as long as you're running with "no real concerns about the pace," the Nike Zoom Fly 5 is a great pick. This said, it's best use is for steady efforts, and medium to long-distance runs. This is all thanks to its smooth and rockered ride. 

Who should NOT buy it

The Zoom Fly 5 also has its downsides, and one thing that sticks out is its "bleeding heavy" weight as on expert would describe. On top of this, it's not the tempo trainer Nike says it is. This said, you're better off with its older sibling, the Nike Zoom Fly 3

If you want comfort and speed combined, the Nike Vaporfly 4% or the Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 might suit you better than the Zoom Fly 5. 

Nike Zoom Fly 5 vs. 4

  • It has a more flared-out heel and forefoot for better stability. 
  • It integrates a ZoomX foam for, in the words of one runner, a "mellower ride." 
  • It's gone from clunkier to clunkiest! The Nike Zoom Fly 4 was 207 grams/7.3 ounces in US men's 9, which was already too much for some runners, while the Zoom Fly 5 now weighs in at 10 ounces. 

Time to change its category

Almost all experts agree that the fifth iteration of the Nike ZF line is no longer a tempo running shoe. With its maxed-out cushion, it feels "heavy and cruisy," reports one long-time runner. Another adds that when it comes to energy, the shoe is "not giving anything back either." 

And because of all this, a Nike fan says that he's "not looking forward for a tempo run" in it, which he adds is "a bit of shame" for the Zoom Fly collection. 

So where does it fit better? As runners recommend, it's better off as a daily trainer for long distances. 

The weight is discouraging

As you've already read, the Zoom Fly 5's weight is a downer—quite literally. For context, each shoe has different sizes (men's US 9 left: 286 grams/10 ounces; right: 297 grams/10.5 ounces). And because of this, the shoe didn't get the nicest comments from testers: 

  • "The biggest achilles heel of this shoe is its weight." 
  • "You don't need all that weight." 
  • "very heavy for a fast shoe"

The rubber-covered outsole plus the very padded upper are "not really shaving weight," expresses one critic. Some even advise runners to opt for the Saucony Speed 3 if they want a speedster that's fast and definitely lighter. 

Solid as a rock

"The brick is back" is a statement from one running shoe reviewer. Many were excited to finally have a ZoomX foam in a Zoom Fly after years of it having a Nike React foam. However, they have been left disappointed because the ZoomX doesn't run full length. 

How does this translate on the run? It doesn't feel soft, and spongy, making it a firm ride. 

The Nike Zoom Fly 5 gives you stability

On the bright side, the shoe's firmness delivers a well-supported underfoot experience. On top of this, the shoe's heel and forefoot are also more flared-out than before, inspiring a confident ride even when cornering. 

Cushion that eats up impact

This is also the reason why road runners prefer the Zoom Fly 5 for "relaxed, easy plodding," as one of them would say. According to another one of these commenters, the shoe is among "the best vibration dampening trainers on the market at present." 

The upper kills it when it comes to comfort

"Step-in feel is excellent" is how one expert describes the shoe's upper. This is because it's well-padded. Even its tongue is padded, which prevents lace pressure. On top of this, the tongue is also gusseted (attached to the sides), which keeps the foot in place. 

Won't let your foot slip

"There is something about no-gimmicks conventional uppers that are brilliant in their simplicity." This statement comes from a veteran runner who also finds the Nike Zoom Fly 5's upper conventional. "A real workhorse type of upper" is a comment from another runner who also lauds the shoe's form-fitting wrap. According to him, the shoe gives a solid foothold once you lace things up.

Outsole: Grippy and solid 

The outsole's rubber coverage is generous, which makes it grippy on wet, dry, and gravelly surfaces. What's more is it's insanely durable. After 100km of wear testing, a shoe reviewer says that the Zoom Fly 5 from Nike shows "near-zero outsole wear." 

Facts / Specs

Terrain: Road
Weight: Men 286g
Drop: Men 8mm
Arch support: Neutral
Forefoot height: Men 33mm
Heel height: Men 41mm
Collection: Nike Zoomx

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Nike Zoomy Fly 5 video reviews

Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.