Nike Zoom Fly Performance Review
Thomas: There is no denying that the look of the Zoom Fly shoes sucked me in. The whole Breaking 2 marketing and event had me on the edge of my seat. I could not wait to try the shoes that came out of the project. These look like the Vaporfly 4% but don’t be fooled, the shoes are completely different.
The upper on the Zoom Fly is well thought out and built for endurance. Engineered mesh backed up by Flywire and a padded collar provide a secure fit for your foot. The broad flat tongue takes a little getting used to, but it gives enough protection from the laces without adding more padding or weight. I had no issues with hot spots, breathability, or sizing. Purchase your standard running shoe size.
The Lunarlon midsole creates a platform that has you riding high. 33 mm in the heel and 23 in the forefoot producing a 10 mm drop. The drop is deceiving in the Zoom Fly. The exaggerated toe-spring makes it feel like you land right behind the toes and you roll forward without feeling like the tips of your toes can dig in. The experience makes your foot turnover feel faster. Sandwiched in the Lunarlon is an internal carbon infused nylon plate. The plate gives the shoe stability and some spring.
The outsole of the Zoom Fly is built for racing. The front half of the trainer is covered in rubber, and the heel has some rubber strategically placed. This outsole is relatively smooth.
I enjoyed pairing the Zoom Fly with the Vaporfly 4% for my training. The midsole/outsole geometry is similar, so it helps train you for the unique ride of the Vaporfly.
Meaghan: The Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% is a magical running shoe. I assumed the Zoom Fly would also be a delightful experience for my feet. No such luck. But let’s dive into what I did like about it. #1. It looks very similar to the Vaporfly 4% (fire) #2. The upper is a one piece seamless mesh that’s super breathable and the flywire lacing system does a nice job of keeping your foot in place. #3. It’s fairly light: 7.1 oz for my W7.5.
Thomas: My stride had to adjust to the Zoom Fly. The firm landing coupled with a high stack height and quick pivot off of the ball of your feet makes the shoe ride different from other trainers. I am not sure if it was the shoe or just the rigors of my training, but when I wore the Zoom Fly, my Achilles felt more strained than when I wore other shoes. Overall, the midsole feels dead, especially if you compare it to the Vaporfly 4%.
Meaghan: My excitement for this shoe lead to the horrible decision to run a 20 miler straight out of the box. As Thomas noted above, there’s something about this shoe that changes your stride. I was more sore the following day than I have been after racing a marathon. Everything hurt, including my feet. I did one other run in this shoe (a 6 miler) to see if maybe there were other factors in play, but I found the same results. Sore legs. Aching feet.
Nike Zoom Fly Conclusion
Thomas: I put over 30 miles in the ZF, there are a lot of things I like about the Zoom Fly, but I could not get myself to love the shoe. I wish that this was the version of the Vaporfly 4% that I hoped it would be. The Zoom Fly weighs two whole ounces more than the Vaporfly 4% (9.3 ounces size 10.5), and it lacks the soft landing and the pop you get on take off from the VP4%. The shoe looks fantastic, but I recommend the Elite 9 or the Lunarepic over the Zoom Fly. You can check out the $150 Zoom Fly at Running Warehouse.
Meaghan: I put exactly 26 miles on these shoes, and I’m not sure I will ever wear them again (for running). I was expecting to love this shoe, but it totally missed the mark for me. I would easily suggest the Vaporfly 4% over the Zoom Fly, but it’s not exactly easy to find (and it’s hella expensive). If you’re interested in a racing flat from Nike, I’d steer you towards the Elite 9, Streak 6 or Speed Rival 6.