The inevitable offshoot of Nike’s recent Breaking2 project is a new series of footwear utilizing some of the same technologies that Eliud Kipchoge used to come within seconds of breaking the 2-hour barrier in the marathon. The Nike Zoom Fly is the mid-range product in a trio that includes the top-of-the-line Air Zoom Fly 4% (the one Kipchoge wears) and the entry level Air Zoom Pegasus 34. The Zoom Fly is positioned as a lightweight high performance shoe that is fast enough for race day, but durable enough for everyday training.
Geometry of the Zoom Fly features a 33mm stack height in the heel with 23mm in the forefoot. Two advanced technologies in the midsole improve the responsiveness and ride quality: Ultra lightweight Lunarlon foam gives a soft and resilient feel on impact, and a full-length carbon infused nylon plate provides stiffness and improves propulsion from heel strike to toe off. Note that this isn’t the same carbon fiber plate found in the high-end Zoom Fly 4%; the distinction being full carbon fiber on one model, and carbon infused nylon on the other.
The bounce from these shoes is definitely noticeable, and the full spring has helped us maintain leg energy during longer training runs. The tradeoff of the midfoot plate is that the entire shoe is very rigid, with almost no flexibility for natural movement in the forefoot.
High abrasion rubber is positioned strategically in the heel, and on the entire surface of the forefoot, which is a welcome innovation for improving traction upon foot strike and at toe off. This also improves durability of the shoe, particularly when compared to Nike’s recent trend of just using EVA on the bottom surface.
The upper on the Zoom Fly consist of thin Nike Flymesh with extensive ventilation holes, and the laces loop through Flywire that ties the upper into the midsole very securely for lightweight containment. The toe box feels comfortably snug, and ankle collar cushioning wraps the rearfoot securely. The heel collar is quite rigid out of the box, and has loosened up slightly with about 50 miles of use.
The Nike Zoom Fly is scheduled for release on June 8, 2017.
• Stack height: 33mm heel; 23mm forefoot
• Heel-to-toe drop: 10mm
• Weight: 8.5 oz (men’s size 11 is 9.4 oz)
• Price: $150