Specs: 10mm heel-toe drop; 8.4 oz. (men’s size 9.0), 6.8 oz. (women’s size 7.0)
The Scoop: The Nike Zoom Fly is part of the three-part collection that Nike developed for the “Breaking 2” project aimed at producing the world’s first sub-2-hour marathon. (The other two shoes are the soon-to-be-available Vaporfly 4% and the custom pro model Zoom VaporFly Elite that Eliud Kipchoge wore while running 2:00:25 in a much-acclaimed time-trial in May.) The Zoom Fly is the take-down model built for the masses with some of the same design and technology features.
Who’s it best for? Runners who appreciate a lightweight, thickly cushioned shoe for high-mileage running and some faster-paced workouts.
Plus: This is a very unique shoe with the rare mix of having maximal cushioning and energy return in a very lightweight build. It feels soft and cushy at slow to moderate speeds, but it feels firm and snappy at faster speeds. In other words, the faster you run, the more it promotes fast running. The key to this shoe is the carbon-infused nylon plate that acts as a springboard as the foot rolls forward to the toe-off phase of the gait. Initially it almost feels as if you’re falling forward into the next stride, but once you develop a rhythm, the Zoom Fly starts to feel naturally energetic. A one-piece engineered mesh upper wraps the foot and offers great support, ventilation and a snug fit for various foot shapes.
Minus: Although you’d think a model with this much soft cushion in the rear of the foot would be great for running long, slow miles, that’s a bit counterintuitive. This shoe is geared for speed, so it’s not the choice for slow recovery runs or long, slow distance efforts.