Finally, a lightweight racing shoe suitable for runners who pronate
Nike have been very busy. Between Eliud Kipchoge's failed 1:59 marathon attempt back in 2017 and his history-making successful attempt in 2019, Nike have released a wide range of high-end, scientific, tech-heavy running shoes which are all designed to help us run faster.
The Nike Zoom Fly running shoes feature some of the same technology as Kipchoge's record-breaking ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% at a fraction of the cost, making them accessible to the everyday runner like you or I.
Not only am I your everyday, amateur runner, like many other runners I suffer from over-pronation, which means I have to be extra careful with my choice of running shoes. Thankfully, the Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit shoes did not disappoint.
First, the upper. I chose the Flyknit design because I've had success with it in the past (on Free Runs) and I love the way it shapes, expands, and moulds to your foot. I've suffered from numb toes with other running shoes in the past due to a cramped toe box as well as rubbing and blisters from shoes whose upper was too rigid. I was hoping the Flyknit technology would prevent all of that (spoiler: it did).
On first wear, I found that my ankle was slipping out of the back of the shoe so I tied the laces extra tight. Unfortunately, this meant my toes went numb after 2 miles of running. I spent the rest of the run stopping and starting to readjust the laces. In the end, I decided it was actually my socks that were super slippery so on my next run I wore different socks and found my ankle stopped slipping and I could loosen the laces, which fixed the numb toes.
On my third run, my toes didn't go numb at all and I was able to really enjoy the comfort of these shoes. The Flyknit does exactly as you'd hope and moulds to your foot, giving plenty of wiggle-room for your toes.
Now onto the sole. When I first put these shoes on, I was amazed at how soft, squidgy, and bouncy they felt. The sole is extremely thick and I felt like I was wearing platforms. Despite being very squidgy, they are simultaneously rigid and firm thanks to the high tech carbon fibre plate and give great support.
Overall, these are extremely comfortable running shoes and you shouldn't get blisters or experience any pain from rubbing or chafing.
I find that Nike is one of the only running shoe brands that comes up True To Size. My ASICS shoes have to be larger than my normal shoe size (1.5 sizes) and I've had to discard/send back Hoka, On running, and other brands due to them coming up way too small (like, 3 sizes).
The Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit running shoes are definitely true to size and I'd only recommend sizing up maybe half a size, if at all. It does depend how thick and padded your running socks are. Thankfully, Nike are generous enough to offer free delivery and returns so if they are the wrong size you can swap them for a different one.
This is the important part, because Nike have spent a lot of time, resources, and money on designing a huge range of running shoes which are the best performers in the world, if not in history. As mentioned above, I over-pronate so I usually have to buy stability shoes and as such don't have a lot of options. I've always stuck with ASICS as they have the largest stability shoe range, however I decided to take the plunge with these Nike shoes and I wasn't disappointed.
The super thick sole, although not designed to provide stability to pronators, does exactly that. The shoes are banana-shaped which encourages your feet to curve slightly inwards and create an artificial arch, which helps ward off the effects of pronation.
The incredibly bouncy, responsive soles really encourage you to spring off your toes instead of plodding along with a heavy heel-strike and I found my running form was instantly improved when wearing these shoes. They definitely helped me to run faster and more efficiently and I even got a new 10k PB on the third wear without really trying! They are super lightweight and feel great on your feet.
The Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit shoes feature the same carbon fibre plate as the iconic Nike Vaporfly shoes which is designed to help propel you off the ground and I'd say this certainly works for these shoes. They're very bouncy, springy, and help you to run faster.
The Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit shoes look very similar to the now legendary Vaporfly 4% shoes as well as other Zoom and Fly shoes in the Nike range. I personally think they look awesome and I feel great when I wear them.
They look very 'professional' in my opinion and when racing in them I think you'd definitely feel the part. They're sleek, clean-cut, and come in a range of great colours.
This is the fun part. Nike's shoes have been getting increasingly expensive over the past couple of years, first exceeding the £200 mark and now the ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% shoes will set you back an eye-watering £239.95 at full RRP. The Zoom Fly 3 shoes are £139.95 and the new Joyride shoes are £159.95.
However, these incredible Zoom Fly Flyknit shoes are currently on sale, down from an RRP of £139.95 to £97.47 - which actually is a very reasonable price for their performance qualities, great appearance, and unrivalled comfort.
What can I say? I'm in love with these shoes. I've been cursed for many years to wear clunky, oversized, heavy stability shoes because of my over-pronation issues and being greatly restricted in which shoes I can buy.
Until now, brands like Nike have only really offered very barefoot style shoes like their Free Run range, however these new offerings with much thicker soles, carbon plates in the soles, and other incredible technology means the Average Joe runner can lace up and hit the road in attractive, performance-enhancing shoes and feel like a real pro.
I haven't experienced any pain running in these shoes and I have worn them for runs of distances up to 10k (6.2 miles). Go forth and buy yourself a pair, you won't regret it!