Shoe Review: Nike Zoom Fly
Wow, I haven’t been more excited to try out a shoe in a long time. After watching Nike’s Breaking 2 and seeing their 4% shoe, I was truly ecstatic to see this manifest itself in their consumer lineup. On top of it, the Zoom Fly represents an all new design and profile for Nike, it truly is one of the first truly different things we have seen them in a very long time and even more so, it felt like straight innovation. My expectations going in were high to say the least.
The Zoom Fly is composed of one solid piece of Flymesh, Nike’s homegrown design. It is designed to be super breathable and provides zero upper support elements, there are no overlays to speak of. The lacing system is secure, but the lack of padding in the tongue definitely gives you a little bite occasionally. The toe box is wider than any road shoe we have seen from Nike on both the lateral and medial sides, no pointy toe here whatsoever. The heel cup is extremely rigid, but locks you in very well so there is no slippage whatsoever.
Things get really interesting when you get into the mid. They have inserted a full length carbon infused plate throughout the length of the midsole. The expectation is that this will aid in responsiveness, bounce, and acceleration. The Zoom Fly also makes use of an updated version of Nike’s Lunarlon cushioning throughout. It is not spongy at all, but instead is actually very firm. At 33mm, the stack height is higher than any other Nike though so there is definitely ample impact cushioning.
The outsole is composed of a reinforced rubber heel with targeted crash zones. There isn’t visibly a ton of grip, but it performs really well.
Style & Aesthetics
There are now 5 color choices now available and it feels like more are released everyday. We tested the original light blue with the red swoosh, but some of the newer models and even race specific versions are amazing visually. I will say they do not look like any other Nike you have tried. It is definitely an all new profile and it looks just as aggressive as it feels.
Out of the box I immediately noticed the Zoom Fly runs narrow from the mid to the heel, it’s not going to work for wider feet at all. The toe box is roomy and the material feels loose, definitely providing ample toe splay. The tongue has no padding and honestly the entire upper is just a super thin piece of fabric. I noticed right away you need to be careful on the lacing. If you bear down on the laces you can really feel it. The heel cup is extremely rigid and it really holds you in there, my foot was not moving at all.
A few minutes into that first run I could immediately feel the difference in the shoe. Even when you first stand up in them you feel yourself rocking forward, but once in stride you find your entire body position driving more over your toes. I wasn’t entirely conscious of any of this however, I was just running normally. When I hit the first mile mark, I checked my pace and noticed I had dropped 20 seconds so I considered backing off. Instead, I just dropped back into my normal stride and didn’t conciously take it up or down. At the end of run, I found I had continued that pace throughout. My legs could feel it though, they were actually tired and a little sore in spots like the Achilles and soleus, but I recovered.
Many many runs later I can confirm these shoes make me faster when I put them on. I definitely do not use them as my everyday she however because they can be very hard on the legs. Trying to slow down on them is counter productive and is actually hard to do, so I save them for speed days. I keep them to half marathon and below distances and while I can go into the upper teens in them, trying to do a full marathon at this pace would be rough one me physically. I simply need more time in them at distance to get my musculature more accustomed to the speed and rigidity of the shoe.
The Nike Zoom Fly was made to be fast and boy do they live up to the hype. They are not like most higher stack shoes with tend to be comfy and easy riding, but instead that chunky mid is just hiding their aggressive nature. If you really lean into these things, then you can see some major gains, but make sure your legs are ready for them. The shoes can be unforgiving at times, but when they are unleashed… wow they can really fly.
Technical Stats, Pricing & Availability
- Weight: 8.75oz (size 10)
- Drop: 10mm
- Stack Height: 33/23mm heel/toe
- MSRP: $125.00
- Available: Now