Friday, July 7, 2017

Nike Zoom Fly Review

   We have another review today from the great Dr. Nathaniel S Kollias DVM, MPH.  Dr. Kollias was kind enough to provide a review on the new Nike Zoom Flys.  I previously did an initial review that can be found HERE but had to send them back due to financial limitations.  Dr. Kollias has put over 100 miles on his pair and now has a good sense for the ride and feel of this shoe.  Read on to find out his thoughts. Wait, wait, wait….a Nike?!  I know, I sold my soul and went to the dark side blah blah blah blah (I mean the Siths do get better lightsabers and robes).  I must admit though, Nike is on to something here.  I have tried Nike in the past and have run happily in the Kiger 3’s and the Lunar Epic 2s, but returned the Pegasus 34 after only running a few miles in them (I know blasphemy to you Nike fans out there).  Anyways I digress, you stumbled on this running shoe review page either by accident or you really wanted to see what I had to say about the Nike Zoom Flys (I’ll try to convince myself it is the second point).  O well, on to the review!
A very radically designed shoe that is sure to turn heads!
Looks:
The people at Nike have a team of geniuses when it comes to the style department.  I have yet to find a running shoe from them that looks hideous.   These new Zoom Flys do not disappoint and come in the stealthy graphite black crimson color and the 70’s leisure suite baby blue colorway.  Thus, depending on your personality or mood, you can go with the stealth bomber look or the groovy 70’s look.  Either way you cannot go wrong and will be sure to grab people’s attention.
http://img.runningwarehouse.com/watermark/rs.php?path=NIV34M-1.jpghttp://img.runningwarehouse.com/watermark/rs.php?path=NIV34M1-1.jpg
Same colorways available for men and women with the same stack heights (23mm forefoot and 33mm heel and weights at 7.1oz and 8.4oz for Men’s size 9 and Women’s size 8 respectively). Information derived from Running Warehouse.
Fit and Upper:
These fit beautifully!  The execution of the upper is spot on with a nice anatomical last.  The heel is super snug, the midfoot secure, and the toe box is accommodating with a nice rounded shape that follows along the natural curve of the toes.  There are virtually no seams and the inside is smooth and very breathable, which I can attest to as I have used them in 90+ degree Fahrenheit runs.  I also appreciate the reflective material used in the swoosh along the side, a straight forward lacing system and a compliant thin tongue.  It is impressive how secure one’s foot feels in this shoe with such a large stack height.  The only other shoes that can compete in regards to secure uppers are Salomon running shoes.  If you read my review of the Salomon S-Lab Wings 8; you’ll get an appreciation for how wonderful those shoes fit (HERE).   
I love how the toe box perfectly follows the shape of my toes!
Midsole and Ride:
This is where this shoe stands out from all the others in the current market.  A high stack height of soft foam (Lunarlon®), plus a traditional heel to toe offset, a rocker bottom, and an embedded full-length carbon infused nylon plate make this a unique shoe.   In other words, it is a racing flat spliced with a max cushioned daily trainer. You can think of the Zoom Fly as the love child of the Hoka Clifton and the Zoom Streak 6 (and maybe a Newton Distance III snuck in at some point).  When initially putting them on, you can feel yourself leaning forward. This sensation stems from the design of the midsole itself, which is set up on a rocker-like midsole.  I won’t try to explain it as Matt did a wonderful job in his initial review of this shoe (HERE).  Therefore, go read that review if you want the highly detailed Doctor of Physical Therapy description.
One can appreciate in this picture how the heel curves up to a point on both the lateral and medial aspect.  This may be an issue for people who landed farther back on their heel as it could lead to instability.  I personally have had no issue with this.
This rocker combined with the embedded plate creates a spring like sensation underfoot.  I am very happy that they went with Lunarlon® for the chassis of foam surrounding the plate and highly durable rubber on the outsole.  The softer foam compliments the stiff plate, whereas a firmer midsole material would make the shoe completely non-compliant and less forgiving.  Altogether, this allows you to experience the soft cushioning of the Lunarlon® without the bottoming out of mushiness that can occur when it is on its own.  It is reminiscent of what Newton attempts to accomplish with their shoes. By using a full-length plate Nike far surpasses Newton by not concentrating the pressure into one small area of the foot (forefoot).  The whole foot is involved the gait cycle (not just the forefoot) and the plate allows the energy conservation in tandem with the soft Lunarlon® to give a trampoline like affect underfoot.  The interesting thing for me is that I love the ride of this shoe, which goes against my general dislike for excessive toe spring and/or rockered soles.  Again, read Matt's review on rocker soles (HERE) and his initial review of the Zoom Fly to get a better understanding for why this shoe probably works for me.  
One can really appreciate the rocker-like sole and the black line between the red and white feels like where the shank sits within the midsole.
My thought is that when I run, my toes can still go through their normal range of motion due to the caudally placed rocker location.  Also, the pointed heel has no negative effect on my gait.  This goes in line with my dislike of shoes with fat heels or heels with excessive lateral or medial bias.  I tend to have a high knee drive with a high cadence and I feel that these shoes encourage this motion (these shoes are aiding me in utilizing my gluteal and hip muscles better – win for improving muscle groups).   I have worn these shoe for long runs, tempo, fartleks, and progression runs with only mild forefoot soreness on some of my harder efforts (which I attribute to the plate being so stiff).
Durability
I have 130 miles on these and there is little sign of wear.  Granted, I am very nimble on my feet and managed to get almost 1000 miles on each pair of Adidas Boston 5s and 6s I have owned.  Nike was smart in covering the high impact areas with highly durable rubber. This rubber is also very grippy on dry and wet surfaces.  I have even put miles on mild trails the the outsole and upper have not showed excessive signs of wear.  Overall a very durable shoe that should get around 400 miles for the average person.
Nice durable rubber used as the outsole on high abrasion areas (heel and forefoot).  This picture was taken after logging 100+ miles.
Overall
Nike did a wonderful job designing this shoe and the Zoom Fly is one that you should try out.  Granted it won’t work for everybody, but it is a solid shoe that works well as a light weight daily trainer for many and even half to full marathon racer for others.  This shoe does come in at a hefty price point of $150. However, most footwear companies are trending this way even with their traditional trainers.  I feel that the ride, durability, comfort, performance, and looks are represented in this price. Again, I highly suggest you at least consider the Nike Zoom Fly and at least try a pair.
Hopefully you enjoyed this review and please leave comments and questions below!  As Matt always says, “Tack On!”

These opinions are my own, these were a personal purchase and I received no monetary compensation for this review. -Dr. Kolias, DVM, MPH

Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this blog belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. My blog should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

Currently Dr. Kollias has 130 miles on his pair of Nike Zoom Flys. We put at least 50-75 miles on trainers and 25 miles on racing flats prior to reviewing them. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of hour reviews. Thanks for reading!

Dr. Matthew Klein, PT, DPT and Dr. Nathaniel Kollias, DVM, MPH

13 comments:

  1. They run ture to size? I'm a 11in adidas Boston.

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    1. For both Nathaniel and I the Zoom Fly fits true to size.

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  2. Thank you for the review. I have noticed some people in their reviews complaining about numbness in the forefoot due to the stiffness in the forefoot. What is your take on this? I did two runs in them and for the very first time ever I found out that i had bought running shoes that were fundementally incompatible with my running style/physiology. (I am a forefoot/midfoot striker, a so-called'supinator' heavily depending on 'rolling' the forefoot for impact mitigation). A shame, because the shoes in other respects are fantastic!

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    Replies
    1. Numbness in the forefoot can come from a variety of places. Generally it means nerve compression of some kind. Whether this is happening because either there is too much pressure on the forefoot (and thus compression of some of the plantar nerves between the metatarsals) or if it is compression of the deep peroneal nerve which manifests usually as numbness between the first few toes. This can come from a variety of sources. Whether the forefoot stiffness puts excessive pressure on the joints and thus the nerves, whether it puts extra strain on the peroneal muscles, whether it limits dorsiflexion of the ankle and the talocrural joint stiffness causes compression of that area. I would have to evaluate each person to figure out where there specific issue is coming from.

      My take on this is that forefoot numbness or numbness of most kinds is not good and the shoe may not be appropriate for that individual. You don't want to put any excessive pressure on nerves because they are very important.

      So unfortunately unless something else is going on, it may be best to pass on the shoe.

      Hope that was helpful. I know it is a little vague but each person is very unique. Especially when it comes to nerve entrapment or compression.

      -Dr. Matthew Klein, PT, DPT

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  3. I love the fit and have PR'd in the 5k & 10k in them but I have tried running a few 10 milers in them to see how a half or marathon will feel and I start feeling my knees??? My knees never hurt unless I need new sneakers! Any ideas??

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    Replies
    1. Hey Denise.

      I do not quite know since I have not evaluated you, but the Zoom Fly's may not have enough stability for your after 10 miles or you may not have enough stability to run that far in a shoe like this. I do not know if you have some musculoskeletal compensation that breaks down after a certain amount of mileage. Or it could be from the stiffness of the plate. It may help you for shorter distances but something must be going on likely at your ankle or hip that doesn't agree with the shoe over longer miles and the knee having problems. The knee tends to give people issues due to problems at the hip and ankle if a traumatic event is not involved. So I would look at those two areas.

      Have you had issues like this before? I would talk to you local running specialized physical therapist.

      Dr. Matt Klein, PT, DPT

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  4. Thank you! Was having some back issues seeing a PT,
    but ran a personal best Sunday in a 10k wearing the zoom fly's and knee felt fine so will run a half in them next week, if that goes well then will Run Philadelphia marathon in them.

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  5. How do you compare this one to Zoom Elite 9/streak ?

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    1. Hello!

      The Streak 6 is much lighter, more flexible and closer to the ground than the Zoom Fly. The Zoom Elite has a similar weight, but is more flexible, less stiff but still very responsive. There is a zoom air pocket in the Zoom Elite 9 that does great things for forefoot cushion. I personally chose the the Zoom Elite 9 over the Zoom Fly due to the less stiff plate (I like that in my racers, not my trainers) and better fit in the heel.

      Thanks for reading!

      -Dr. Matthew Klein, PT, DPT

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  6. Hello

    Thanks for posting your findings & review.

    I thought would detail my findings with the Zoom Fly.

    I note in this review there is reference to users experiencing numbness. I have to second this.

    I wore a pair of Zoom Fly yesterday in a road 10 km. 33 mins and change so not exactly plodding along.

    After 6/7 km I felt at the ball of my right foot a sensation similar to when an ill fitting sock ' balls ' under your foot.

    In the course of the race I could not be sure whether it was my sock balling or something else. The sensation did not stop me running but was definitely an irritant every foot fall.

    Incidentally the left foot was unaffected.

    Anyway I continued onto the finish and after 10 mins post race the sensation wore off. Later still, on removing the shoe, the sock was intact and did not display any balling. I will guess the plate in the shoe created the sensation.

    Was it a one off ? I will put this theory to the test 3 days from now when I do a 30 min tempo run whilst wearing the shoe.

    I am going to be disappointed if the sensation returns and does not wear off over the next 4/5 runs. I would expect a shoe costing £130 to be seamless and forgettable. Like my Pegasus 30/31/32/34's - they just do the job

    I do not have an odd gait or foot plant. I am a run of the mill Pegasus wearer and weigh 9.5 stone. Up until recently I used to do fast sessions in Air Streak 5 & 6 but a right leg calf strain now makes me wary of this shoe.

    Annoying as I wanted that ' special ' shoe for fast runs & races. If the issue persists then I will take it up with Nike. I might have to try the Adidas Adizero Boost as my faster shoe.

    As suggested it could well be that for the first time ever me and a shoe just will not gel... no pun intended.

    Anyone else have this issue ?

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    Replies
    1. Hey Michael.

      While I have not had this sensation myself, several of my patients have reported similar issues. My guess is this may be due to the excessively stiff, full length plate combined with a high stack height. Somehow this seems to irritate either some of the plantar nerves or some of the intrinsic muscles of the foot. This does not happen with everyone, just a subset of the population. Not sure why, but you are not alone.

      Nice Pun.

      -Dr. Matthew Klein PT DPT

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