So Nike’s Zoom Air technology is well-known as their “fast” cushioning (compared to Lunarlon foam, which is “plush”), and trowing a whole bunch of it into a shoe sure does feel speedy. The beauty of this shoe is that it mostly strips away anything unnecessary in favor of simplicity. Zoom is fast? The whole midsole is Zoom. The upper needs to provide lockdown? It feels both like there’s nothing there and your foot won’t move where it shouldn’t. That said, I can’t say how these will hold up for distance running.
Although the arch really looks like it cuts in, I didn’t find it to be particularly irritating, even with non-existent arches. The forefoot really shines (as it should in any speed shoe) and feels super responsive, while the Flywire and Flyknit hold you in place without restricting your movement.
The shoe’s main downside is the ankle collar. It really felt loose on me, although I will admit I have a skinny ankle/heel. It made me concerned for the long-term lockdown of the shoe, which is odd, because the similar LunarEpic felt great all around.
This shoe was made with a lot of input from Olympians, and it shows. It’s definitely a fast shoe, and it’s built for running. Not the gym, not team sports, running. If you or maybe your kid are competing, this is a good one to check out. That said, if your foot or lower leg is on the narrow side, these might be sloppier than you’d want as a second skin.
Verdict: 7.5/10 (for the casual athlete)/ 8.0/10 (for the sprinter)
The first thing you notice when you move in these shoes is the fantastic transition through your stride. The rounded midsole really gets you rolling and the pebax shank embedded in the shoe gives some snappy response. If you have high arches, this shoe feels like an extension of your own body. If not? We’ll get to that.
The toebox has a more relaxed fit that’s really comfy and the shoe is super light, as you’d expect from a racing flat. On the other hand, some of that lightness was achieved by having a very deep cut in the midsole, around the arch. These are not shoes for flat-footed people.
The major issue with the shoe is the same as the Zoom All Out: The Flyknit in the ankle is loose. Whereas Nike’s Free line feels like a second skin, it would appear their upper work on the Zoom platform needs some shaping up.
I really wanted to like this shoe when I put it on, but my footshape (narrow ankle and wider forefoot) made it basically impossible. That said, those are problems that are rather unique to me, so I can’t say its the shoe’s fault. If you’re looking for a fast, light shoe and have the $160 to spend, this could very well be an awesome choice.
Verdict: 8.0/10 (for the casual athlete)/ 8.5/10 (for the competitor)
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