Tech review: Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit

The Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit combines the shoe company's React Foam midsole with its featherweight and breathable Flyknit upper.
The Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit combines the shoe company's React Foam midsole with its featherweight and breathable Flyknit upper.PHOTO: NIKE

The Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit is all about race days andperformance.

To achieve these goals, Nike has combined its responsive React Foam midsole with its featherweight and breathable Flyknit upper.

Nike has also inserted a full-length carbon-fibre plate - first used in the legendary Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% performance running shoes - into the midsole to further aid foot lift-off.

The outsole features rubber traction patterns of different shapes and sizes, strategically positioned under the forefoot and heel areas to boost durability, stability and propulsion. Or so Nike claims.

But what I do know for sure is that the Fly Flyknit looks stunning. I love the black and orange colour combination of the review unit with the black upper and the painted orange Nike swoosh. It easily doubles as a pair of trendy sneaker.

However, the shoes did not feel comfortable initially, unlike the ultra-comfortable Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo that I previously reviewed. The Flyknit upper felt a tad scratchy at first. Maybe it is because the shoes wrap around my feet like a glove, akin to wearing socks. But after a few walks and runs, they started to become more comfortable.

I also like the shoes' breathability. I did not experience any hot spots despite walking and running in them when it was hot and humid. However, water will seep in if you run over puddles.

  • TECH SPECS

  • Price: $239

    Material: Nike's Flyknit upper with Nike's React foam midsole

    Heel drop: 10mm

    Weight: 238g (US 9, Men's)

  • RATING

  • Design: 4/5

    Performance: 4/5

    Value for money: 4/5

    Overall: 4/5

The shoes' performance during runs is superb. I can feel ample bounce and great responsiveness when running, whether I was using heel or forefoot strikes.

In fact, my Apple Watch Series 4 tells me that my average running pace increased by seven to eight seconds per km on my same, usual jogging effort.

On the downside, the Fly Flyknit lacks a heel counter. So for those with injury-prone ankles like myself, it is something you have to take into consideration especially for long runs.

Plus, given the shoes' heel drop - the height difference between the heel and forefoot of the shoe - of 10mm and the thin upper, they are more suitable for neutral runners. Overpronators and underpronators will have to look elsewhere.

Verdict: The Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit is an amazing pair of running shoes with fantastic energy return to beat your personal best timing during race day. But if you are looking for a pair of everyday trainers, I would still recommend the Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo.