Thomas: Out of the box the Zoom Fly Flyknit 2 feels like a bouncy cushioned trainer. Knowing React foam from the Epic React, Odyssey React, and the Turbo, I was expecting lightweight cushioning with a fair amount of energy return. What I was most excited about with the Zoom Fly Flyknit was the addition of a full carbon plate in the midsole. The feel of the React and the carbon plate working together gives the Zoom Fly a more rigid, firm ride than the Epic React. The set up of the midsole mimics the Vaporfly 4%, making the Zoom Fly 2 a good training partner for the VPF 4%. Train in the Zoom Fly, race in the Vaporfly. The upper on the Zoom Fly Flyknit is an upgrade from the original. The first Zoom Fly didn’t feel as sleek and streamlined as the Flyknit version. My size 10.5 fit snug, but I would still recommend getting your regular running shoe size. Even though the shoe fits tight, the toes are the proper distance from the top of the shoe and Flyknit usually stretches after a few runs. I wore the Zoom Fly 2 for an 11-mile run, a 7-mile run with striders at the end, and a 22-mile training run, all within four days. My feet and legs felt in fine shape post runs. The Zoom Fly FlyKnit weighs 9.65 oz / 272 grams and has a 10mm drop.
Meaghan: Nike did it again. They got me all jazzed about a shoe that’s got some Vaporfly 4% DNA. The Zoom Fly Flyknit 2 now has a knit upper, a carbon fiber plate, and a full-length React foam midsole. The carbon fiber plate is what I loved about the original Vaporfly – it’s what gave it that nice pop. What’s different is the foam they paired it with (Vaporfly has ZoomX, the lightest, most responsive foam outta Nike). This one has React – responsive… not as light.
The shoes fit true to size. It’s a snug-fitting upper that wraps around the foot and is secured down nicely with the built-in lacing system. I wore a higher sock for fear of the edges rubbing against my Achilles, but it turned out to be a non-issue. The more you wear the shoe, the more the upper seems to mold to your foot. Overall, they’re comfortable.
I was shocked to learn my W7.5 only weighed 7oz. I would have guessed closer to 8.Shop ZoomFly 2
Thomas: During the seven-mile run I ended up switching socks halfway through. The back lip of the heel counter felt like it was sawing its way through my Achilles. Putting on longer socks resolved the issue, but not before I had some irritation. I rarely complain about shoes being too narrow. However, the Zoom Fly Flyknit 2 is a narrow shoe; I just don’t think you will like the shoe if you have a high volume foot. Lastly, the Zoom Fly 2 feels bottom heavy. The weight disbursement was noticeable on the shorter runs but became very evident on the longer ones. I would like to try this exact shoe with the stack height cut in half. I think you would have a killer fast day shoe if they slimmed this midsole out.
Meaghan: I can’t help but compare this shoe to the Vaporfly, to which it is far inferior. Not only is it heavier, but it doesn’t have the same pop. The React foam seems to suck the life out of the carbon plate, leaving you with a dense, flat midsole. My wide feet don’t pair well with this knit upper – add the fairly high stack-height and these shoes feel unstable out on the run.Shop ZoomFly 2
The Zoom Fly Flyknit 2 Conclusion
Thomas: While I like the Zoom Fly 2 100% more than the original Zoom Fly, it still falls short when I compare it to the Epic React. For some runners that want a firmer ride than the Epic React, they may prefer the Zoom Fly Flyknit 2. The Zoom Fly 2 is one of the better shoes I have reviewed this year, but I end up feeling lukewarm about it. I definitely like it over the Nike Turbo, not even a contest there.
Meaghan: The Zoom Fly 2 is an improvement over the original, but it’s not topping my list of Nikes. If you want a daily trainer, I’d go with the Pegasus 35. This shoe will not replace your Vaporfly 4%. If you absolutely love the React foam, you may like this, too. Otherwise, I’d take a hard pass.Shop ZoomFly 2
Thomas is the founder of Big Run Media, Believe In The Run, and the Faster Bastards. His mission is to get everyone running. Life is better when you run and running is always better when you have the right gear.