Stability in a light package is a rare thing. Nike was one of the last holdouts for minimalist stability, but previously killed off their Zoom Fly model (Editor’s note: The Zoom Fly 2 remains perhaps my favorite speed shoe, to this day) in 2015. Now they’ve brought back the concept, if a different execution (not to mention name).
The Zoom Span is a fantastic complement to the Zoom Structure 20. They’re both stability shoes and both have their Zoom Air cushion in the forefoot. However, the Span feels a lot more like the Pegasus 33: Softer and more flexible. On the other hand, you aren’t sacrificing a ton of stability. The shoe feels very stable, without being overt about it, and has a fairly roomy toebox. It’s also somewhat versatile! It can take long runs for anyone under 200lbs (90kg), but the Zoom Air in the front better cushions faster runs.
The main complaints are two. The first is concern about durability. The Span falls into Nike’s “Big Box” line (those shoes marketed toward Dick’s Sporting Goods and similar stores, as opposed to smaller running specialty stores). The other is that the heel to toe drop has been raised from the Zoom Fly, even though lower drops aid in stability. They could have kept it at 8mm or even lowered it to 6mm, like the New Balance Vazee line (which are also lighter and faster).
The Zoom Span is a budget-priced, workhorse shoe. If you need something light, but prefer a little support, this shoe is a great option. Its downfall comes from being a jack of all trades, master of none.
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