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Nike Air Zoom Victory Performance Review

What You Need To Know

  • Weighs 4.6 oz. (130 g) for a US M8.5 / US W10
  • ZoomX and forefoot Zoom Air air unit make this the bounciest spike on the market
  • Basically, this is the Alphafly of the track
  • Also, the midsole cracked after just a few miles

JORDY: The Nike Air Zoom Victory is a beautiful sight. It’s a spike that not only excels on the track but as a fashion piece with two beautiful colorways (my favorite is the mango). Not only did Nike kill it on the aesthetics, but they packed so much tech into this track stunner that makes it THE SPIKE for breaking records. 

MERCER: Nike, Nike, Nike. You took the Victory 3, a light spike with an aggressive plate that ruled over the mid-distance landscape, and went back into the lab to create this Frankenstein. I wouldn’t put it past you to have used lightning to bring the Air Zoom Victory to life. 

Everything in this shoe has been redone, so much so that it’s not simply the new Victory. With a new AtomKnit upper, some ZoomX in the heel and the same sharkskin grip as the dragonfly in the heel and arch areas, this spike is a freak. Oh, and don’t forget about the Zoom Air unit that makes this the Alphafly of the track.

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The Good

JORDY: I wore the Air Zoom Victory in an 800m training session, a 1600m race, and a 3200m race.  The spikes are very lightweight and comfortable with the form-fitting AtomKnit upper. It’s such a breathable spike, which is great for hot Texas races. 

The combination of ZoomX foam, Zoom Air unit and carbon plate is lethal, pushing even the most tired legs forward. In both races, this spike shined when gaining position and in the final sprint. A bit of a humblebrag, but I also set new PRs in both the 1600m and 3200m in this spike.

MERCER: The biggest takeaway from the Air Zoom Victory is the sensation of the Zoom Air unit. It’s odd at first, but man does it make you go. You feel bouncy, every step sends you a bit farther and a bit higher up than you are used to and that first wear feels uncontrollable. Definitely get a workout or two in before breaking this one out for race day. Once you can tame this beast, you’ll fly. Just like the Dragonfly, the Air Zoom Victory is well cushioned, but in a different way. The Dragonfly compresses more, allowing the plate to roll you through your stride. With the Air Zoom Victory, all of your force comes straight down onto the Zoom Air unit and plate to aggressively propel you forward. 

I am a huge fan of the AtomKnit upper. Socks or no socks, this spike has a super comfortable fit. No socks wrap the foot nicely, while socks give a more glove-like fit. Considering the Zoom Air unit and extra ZoomX add a tiny bit of weight, it’s nice to have such an airy upper on top of it all.

Shop Air Zoom Victory

nike-air-zoom-victory

The Bad

JORDY: Durability is my main concern with this spike. After my last race, I noticed the ZoomX foam starting to detach from the carbon plate. This may be a one-off, but I question if these would last a full track season.

MERCER: I’d like to see longer grooves on the spike plate to give some stability heading into curves. I found myself slingshotting off to the side on the first 30-ish meters of curves because of the pure speed of this spike.

 

Durability is an issue with these, and at $180, they aren’t easily replaceable. My midsole cracked right behind the Zoom Air units, rendering them unwearable. I had put in only a few miles in the shoe before it happened. I’ve also seen some photos of popped Zoom Air units and even some cases where the unit fell out of the shoe itself. Nike’s usually pretty good about replacing defective shoes, but nevertheless, it’s a huge inconvenience.

One more thing: go a half size down.

Shop Air Zoom Victory

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Nike Air Zoom Victory Conclusion

JORDY: Comfort and style are the best features of the Nike Air Zoom Victory. The energy return of this spike is amazing. The Victory series has been one of my favorite spikes since I started track 5 years ago. This new iteration is here to change the game. It’s already changed mine.

MERCER: Nike is at the top of the track and field mountain, and it shows with the Air Zoom Victory. Gone are the days of minimalism, and here are the days of shoving everything you possibly can into a shoe that fits into world athletics guidelines. I recommend this spike to anyone that is serious in this sport and is looking for records from the 800-3200. 

You can pick up the Nike Air Zoom Victory at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.

Shop Air Zoom Victory

Jordy is a 14-year-old track athlete from Dallas, Texas, who has racked up 30+ All-American finishes and 13 National Championships over her 5-year career. She’s also a standout honor roll student whose favorite subjects are Science and English.

Mercer is a junior at Thomas A. Edison (the one in Virginia), and has been running for six years. He also works at the iconic Potomac River Running in Northern Virginia, so if you live near there, go straight to the source for shoe advice.

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