UpperThe elaborate design of the Nike Air Huarache Runner is a thing that has always…
Best Nike Zoom Fly Black Friday Deals 2021
The Zoom Fly has always had big shoes to fill, its existence contingent on the running world’s interest in a far more affordable Vaporfly that works for each and every day of your training calendar, races included. Therefore the dawn of the Next%, a complete revamp of the Vaporfly, also gave us the brand new Zoom Fly 3. In a few ways, it mimics the $250 racing shoe: there’s a carbon fiber plate within the midsole, a similarly high stack height, and a Vaporweave upper-a material better quality and water-resistant compared to the Flyknit found in the Zoom Fly Flyknit (and the corresponding Vaporfly 4% Flyknit).
Zoom Fly 3
Secure, well-ventilated upper
Tall, narrow profile can feel unstable
It’s also its shoe: it uses Nike’s dense, responsive React foam, and includes a bootie-like fit, thanks to a mesh inner sleeve under the upper’s Vaporweave shell. These distinctions add weight but also make the Zoom Fly 3 durable and comfortable enough for regular use.
Predictably, adapting an extremely specialized shoe for routine use has its tradeoffs. In the “positives” column, we’ll count the feeling of bottomless cushioning from the thick React midsole, which felt equally adept at track intervals and recovery runs. However, the underfoot sensation is completely different. The carbon plate in the Vaporfly feels as though a lever, rolling you on your forefoot as you momentarily sink in to the spongy ZoomX foam before it regains its condition and pops you off the ball of your foot.
React foam isn’t practically as compliant; despite getting the same heel-toe offset as the Next%, the Zoom Fly 3 feels flat and stiff in comparison, and not practically as propulsive. The Vaporweave upper is form-fitting and comfortable, and vibrant colorways make the shoe look just of the $160 MSRP. Check it out if you’re after an aggressive trainer that, on the roads, never feels out of its element.
React Foam Meets Carbon Fiber
We measured the heel height of the women’s shoe at 34mm, so that it is among the tallest trainers around.
The React foam-carbon plate-React foam sandwich carries over from the prior two Zoom Flys, although the brand new shoe’s foam has been shaped to appear to be its Vaporfly Next% cousin. RW Shoe Lab results showed drastically higher cushioning in the heel compared to the forefoot, together with extreme stiffness from the carbon-filled sole. “The brand new midsole with the carbon plate managed to get feel just like I was stepping on a mini trampoline with each step,” said one tester.
With about 1.5 inches of foam beneath your heel and an inch beneath your forefoot, the midsole feels substantial. The majority of our testers said they used the shoe for long runs and speedwork alike, a sign of the shoe’s versatility. The forefoot is substantially wider compared to the heel; heel-striking testers expressed concern over the unstable sensation from the narrow heel. There isn’t much arch support or any pronation-limiting measures, therefore the tall and narrow design is probably not well suited for runners used to wider, more stable trainers.
Our testers lauded the comfort from the bootie-like upper. The Vaporweave material also breathes well without immediately absorbing rain and water.
Above the tall midsole, you’ll find Vaporweave, a mixture of thermoplastic polymers and nylon-it’s made to avoid holding water (like Flyknit did). Its insufficient stretchiness makes the fit better, too. Under the Vaporweave, a mesh inner sleeve connects to a bootie-like tongue that doesn’t bunch up. The ankle collar tapers from the achilles in order to avoid irritation, although the stitching can still irritate your skin layer if you’re wearing ankle socks.
Overall, the upper feels secure, with the lacing system comfortably taking on the slack as you dial in the fit. The Vaporweave material also represents a noticable difference over Flyknit. “I noticed Flyknit isn’t that breathable (on hot days),” said one tester. “But with (Vaporweave), I never struggled with that issue.” However, one tester noted that dirt and small stones snuck among the Vaporweave and mesh inner sleeve, a annoyance.
Grooves in the rubber outsole channel water out from underneath your foot.
The foam and rubber outsole is quite like the Vaporfly Next%. Leading half of the shoe is covered within a little bit of blown rubber, with lattice-pattern grooves made to let water escape from beneath your foot. The heel has two rubber strips on each side of the shoe, and the others is exposed React foam. The on-road grip is normally good, although testers noted that outsole lacked traction on crushed-gravel trails.
The Zoom Fly 3 feels stiff and responsive. It’s aggressive enough for racing, the thick midsole helps it be substantial enough for daily use.
My first impression of the Zoom Fly 3 was an audible “slap,” the sound it made hitting the pavement. I didn’t just like the shoe initially; it felt overly stiff rather than cushioned enough to overcome the unforgiving carbon plate. (Try bending this shoe together with your hand and you’ll see why.) ZoomX foam, like you’ll find in the Vaporfly shoes and Pegasus Turbo 2 trainer, comes with an elastic property that means it is feel just like an extension of your lower quads, and the React foam/carbon fiber construction of the Zoom Fly 3 feels nothing beats that.
After adjusting my expectations and logging some more miles, I started starting to warm up to the most recent Zoom Fly. React foam lives up to its moniker: it feels reactive, for the reason that you can sink involved with it somewhat at a slow trot, yet it organizations up when you pour on the pace. “It felt so fast that I felt like I was running in a racing shoe,” said one tester, and another said she earned a 5K PR in the shoe. Between intervals of a track workout, I traded it out for the Vaporfly Next% to see the difference between your shoes. Predictably, the Next% felt lighter and more propulsive, however the Zoom Fly’s firm, responsive cushioning never felt sluggish in comparison.
Because of its tall and narrow profile, I wouldn’t take this shoe off-road, and neither would our testers. “The first few times I went on my runs, I felt like easily didn’t land correctly straight on these shoes, I’d turn an ankle,” one tester noted. “The Zoom Fly 3 felt supportive, however, not stable,” said another. Regardless of the upper’s wrap-around, secure fit, I didn’t enjoy running on off-camber surfaces as I navigated an area cross-country course.
The Zoom Fly 3 is a polarizing shoe, both praised and criticized by the Runner’s World staffers who’ve tested it. EASILY wanted a fast-feeling Nike for everyday use, I’d spring for the Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2, which feels more stable and forgiving underfoot. But you’ll just like the Zoom Fly 3 if you need a tall, aggressive, up-tempo shoe that somehow is effective at every pace.
Test Editor A former Division 1 runner, Dan was raised riding fixies and mountain bikes and today reviews from performance jogging shoes to road and cross bike