The brand new Nike ZoomFly Flyknit has been released and we took it out for a short run to get our 1st impressions on this new model. Should you consider getting this shoe?
Nike ZoomFly FlyKnit
First, let’s start off with what’s changed from the original version. The most visible upgrade is the Flyknit upper which is designed to reduce weight and improve fit. The midsole has also been upgraded to the new Nike React foam which is designed to reduce weight but it’s also more durable than the previous Lunarlon midsole. It’s softer and according to Nike, provides more energy return. The biggest improvement is the full carbon fiber plate that replaces the nylon infused plate from version one. Keep in mind, this is the exact same carbon fiber plate found in the $250 Vaporfly 4%. All of these improvements were done, yet Nike still kept the price of $160.
The fit has a racer type fit where it’s wider in the toe box and tapers at the heel. We felt there was enough room in the toe box to be comfortable and unrestrictive but our tester does not have wide feet but does prefer a fit that is wider so that toes can splay (spread) at toe-off. Despite no heel counter and very little padding, the heel felt secure and did not slip. According to our tester, the fit is true to size. He normally wears a size 10 and tested the Nike ZoomFly Flyknit in a size 10.
Starting with the upper, it feels good, light and breathable. We didn’t experience any hotspots during our short test period and fit seems to be true to size. Our tester slightly overpronates on his right foot and noticed the rolling in on the medial (inside) side of the foot but only on sharp turns. However, it is noticeable in the video below. This type of shoe is definitely designed for neutral pronators. The React foam is soft. Simply pressing the foam with your fingers, you can notice how much it compresses to help absorb the impact from the ground. Typically, more responsive shoes have felt firm but not with the ZoomFly Flyknit.
The carbon fiber plate is noticeable under the ball of the foot and simply walking you can feel a sensation of rolling onto your forefoot. The whole purpose of the plate is to compress and propel you forward while getting you to your toes quicker, therefore providing a more efficient foot strike. While you could feel the carbon fiber plate under the ball of the foot, it wasn’t uncomfortable and became almost unnoticeable during the run. While we’re used to firmer feeling shoes being more responsive, the ZoomFly felt soft and dampened any harshness we would have felt at the point of impact.
During our short test, it’s hard to predict the durability of the React midsole but compared to other lighter weight midsoles like Nike Zoom X, it does seem like it will hold up longer.
At a $160, this is not an entry level shoe. Assuming that the shoe fits you and your running (neutral pronator), we would recommend the Nike ZoomFly Flyknit to runners needing a little extra edge to PR or those looking to qualify for Boston. If you’re disciplined in your training and you’re close to qualifying for Boston could this be the shoe that gets you into Boston? Maybe. Only you can decide if it’s worth it and if it works for you. So come into any Big Peach Running Co. location and try a pair on yourself.
Watch the video below and hear from our tester.