This review is the companion to my review about the Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%, which you can read here.
This shoe is part of the series that Nike created during their Breaking2 project. It is the slightly heavier and more structured version of the racing shoe, the Vaporfly 4%.
The shoes have a 10mm drop, just like the Vaporfly 4%, but are slightly heavier and are a little more structured. The website no longer has the Vaporfly 4% available, but it showed a men’s size 10 weighed 6.5 ounces. For the Zoom Fly, it shows a women’s size 8 also weighs 6.5 ounces. This helped me IN NO WAY, (I can’t math) so I weighed my actual shoes – both a women’s size 8. My (food scale) measured my Zoom Fly at 7.1 ounces and the Vaporfly 4% at 5.7 ounces. To be clear, I am not calling Nike a liar! I am sure my food scale is not as accurate as Nike’s very expensive machines, but the basic take home is that Vaporfly 4% is a couple of ounces lighter.
The shoe still looks very similar to its more expensive companion, the Vaporfly 4%, with the tapered heel and thin upper. To me, it does feel very different to run in. The basic principle of setting you up on your toes and giving the sensation of falling forward is the same, but the energy return is much different. I think that is largely to do with the foam used. The 4% uses a mix of thickly stacked, super light ZoomX Pebax foam & a curving embedded 100 percent carbon fiber plate (source).
The foam in the Zoom Fly is is Lunarlon cushioning and it has a full-length carbon-infused nylon plate within the midsole. I cannot believe I am going to say this, but I think I can tell the difference between the plates within the mid sole as well. My feet don’t get as tired in the Vaporfly 4%.
Here’s the rub with the Vaporfly 4%, I can tell it is not a shoe intended for a lot of miles. Especially for being so much money. You should do a couple of hard training runs in them and break them in (mine needed no breaking in at all, but I wanted to make sure there were going to be no issues on race day), and then save them for race day. I think the Zoom Fly is going to last longer, and still give a lot of similar benefits for a more reasonable price.
What I have been doing is saving the Vaporfly 4% for race day, using the Zoom Fly for speed work and long runs, and doing my easy runs in the Nike Vomero 12, which I have been wearing for a few years now. I also have a pair of Brooks Launch 4, which I love, but tend not to wear often because they are a special edition Boston Lobstah print! Other shoes I’ve trained in and liked have been Saucony Mirage and Brooks Ghost. However, Nike’s were recommended to me by the podiatrist who helped me fix a bout of plantar fasciitis, so I stuck with them.
The website suggests sizing up a full size. I did my usual half size up and have been very comfortable with that. A lot of the reviews say the shoe is extremely narrow, so if you have wide feet, that may be something to watch out for.
As I mentioned, the Vaporfly 4% is sold out most places at the moment, but you can sign up to be notified when it is back here.
Neither of my reviews for either shoe have been backed or sponsored in any way by Nike or a Nike affiliate. I bought the shoes with my own money and these are my own opinions. I’m not a running coach or an expert by any means, so proceed with your own common sense. I always recommend working with a specialty running shoe store, or even a podiatrist for help with running shoes. This post does contain some affiliate links; the compensation from these links helps with expenses to keep this blog up and running!