For years now, Hoka One One has been the name synonymous with light, high cushion shoes. Shoe giant Nike now tackles the category and they do very good things with it.
The Zoom Fly was actually once the name of a minimal stability model Nike produced. One I still have, in fact. This is a completely different beast. The midsole is made of Lunarlon, with a special plate in the front to add responsiveness. This gives the Fly some unique ride characteristics, being both squishy and springy. Essentially you’re rocking forward a bit (much like a Hoka shoe), but you have that firmer plate in the forefoot for excellent toe-off. There’s a small, noticeable arch, but it’s by no means irritating on flatter feet.
The upper is very breathable, with tons of ventilation in the mesh all along the top of the foot. It does run a little short, though. If you’re just wanting a 5k shoe, you’re probably in the clear. On the other hand, if you want to use the shoe for its intended purpose of marathon training, definitely go up half a size. The tongue is interesting, too. It has an asymmetrical design to form to the shin a bit better and avoid rubbing. It succeeds.
The Nike Zoom Fly is a great entry into a category dominated by Hoka and Altra. The shoe goes in some new directions, but is by no means a game-changer. I definitely look forward to its next iteration, though.