The Nike Zoom Fly 4 is the latest version of the Zoom Fly. It looked like the Zoom Fly might disappear forever, but it’s back and updated. The Nike Zoom Fly 4 is heavier than previous versions but is more comfortable. For those who were a fan of the Zoom Fly 3, the Fly 4 shares the same outsole. On a separate note, I reviewed the Zoom Fly 3, 3 years ago. Wow.
Nike Zoom Fly 4 Quick Facts:
Weight: 9.6 oz
Heel to Toe Drop: 8 mm
Nike Zoom Fly 4 Introduction:
The Zoom Fly 4 is designed as the training version of the Nike Vaporfly Next% 2. If you are looking for a shoe that rocks you forward similar to a carbon plated shoe, the Zoom Fly 4 has that same feeling. Unlike the Vaporfly Next% 2, it’s more durable and less soft. While heavier, it’s much more improved than previous versions.
As mentioned, it was thought the Zoom series would be discontinued. The Zoom Fly 3 was around for two years, and now, the Nike Zoom Fly 4 only really got a new upper. It’s wild; Nike waited 2 years just to do that.
The original Zoom Fly was launched in 2017 (wow, time flies). I liked using the original version, and it was one of the few shoes I bought more than one pair of. I never ran enough in the second version because it was lackluster. The third brought welcomed updates, but the first version is still probably my favorite.
Nike Zoom Fly 4 Fit:
The significant change of the Zoom Fly 4 is fit and upper. Just looking at the Zoom Fly 4, I am a fan. I love the nearly see-through upper and bright yellow color. No, you shouldn’t choose a running shoe on looks.
The upper is now softer and fits better. I actually think it’s one of the best-fitting uppers to date. The Zoom Fly 4 uses a bootie construction and is much more performance-oriented.
The upper itself is lightweight mesh and softer. Compared to previous versions, it breathes better, which is great for inclement weather. The tongue and collar are made from flyknit, which is more breathable than mesh.
There is a soft foam pod on the heel that keeps the Achilles locked into place. This prevents chafing or blisters on the heel and makes the Nike Zoom Fly 4 heel much more comfortable. Noticeably missing is the second set of eyelets to secure or lock your heel into place.
On the midfoot, more Flywire cables keep it secure. They are stretchy and much softer, so don’t dig into your midfoot or arch. Honestly, almost all Nike shoes could benefit from an upper like the Nike Zoom Fly 4.
I firmly believe the best running shoe uppers disappear off your feet, and the Nike Zoom Fly 4 does just that. There isn’t any rubbing in places it shouldn’t. The midfoot is secure, and the heel feels locked down, and there is plenty of room in the toe box.
As you may guess, I think the Nike Zoom Fly 4 is one of my more favorite fitting running shoes. The toe box has been widened up and has more space. In running shoes, I wear between a size 10-11 wide, and the size 10.5 fits well. Unlike many Nike shoes, the Nike Zoom Fly 4 fits true to size.
Nike Zoom Fly 4 Ride:
If you’re a fan of previous versions, you’ll be happy to know the Zoom Fly 4 has the same midsole. I guess I’m still fairly shocked about that since the shoe hasn’t been updated for two years, and Nike is known to change things up.
The Nike Zoom Fly 4 is designed as a training partner to the Vaporfly Next% 2. Since you probably don’t want to run all of your training miles in the Next% (it’s expensive), having a similar training shoe is the next best thing. The differences between the Zoom Fly 4 and the Vaporfly include: the Zoom Fly is more stable (but not a stability shoe).
Like the previous version, it’s easy to pick up the pace, and since the carbon plate is rigid, you won’t feel like you’re expending too much energy.
The forefoot of the Zoom Fly 4 is angled upward. When you transition from midfoot to forefoot, you feel like you’re stepping off a ledge. Every other carbon-plated shoe uses a rocker, but Nike’s technology makes it feel like you are falling forward. The tipping sensation isn’t as great as the Vaporfly because it uses a different midsole.
The React Foam used in the Nike Zoom Fly 4 is firmer and denser, unlike the soft and bouncy ZoomX foam in the Vaporfly Next% 2. This makes the Zoom Fly 4 feel less bouncy.
The Zoom Fly 4 is designed for workouts and maybe even races. It’s not intended to run easy, just faster runs. So I’ve used it as suggested…why waste the money on easy runs. I’ve run several workouts, including longer and faster runs, as well as short reps, and it seems to work well. I prefer something lower profile for track workouts. I think it’s best used for longer tempo efforts or races.
Traction and Durability: The Nike Zoom Fly 4 is definitely more durable than its counterpart but is it as stable as a traditional trainer? No. You’ll probably get somewhere between 150-250 miles out of. There are a few exposed pieces of the React Foam that will wear out faster.
As far as traction, it’s one of the better carbon plated shoes out there. I’m not going to take it on the trails, but I think it’s just ok in inclement weather. It does slide around a bit on torrential downpour days. If you compare traction and durability of the Nike Zoom Fly 4 to other racing shoes, it’s above average. If you compare it to other trainers, it’s well below average.
Nike Zoom Fly 4 Conclusion:
While the Zoom Fly 4 was only given an upper update, it does significantly change the fit and feel of the shoe. It feels faster than previous versions and is probably one of the best-fitting Nike shoes out there. It’s a solid shoe for workouts and races. In all, I don’t have a lot of negativity to say about it. It fits well and does what it’s supposed to do.
My Current Shoe Rotation:
Long Runs: Hoka Clifton Edge, Nike Zoom Fly 4
You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.
Looking to learn more about running shoes? In my ebook, I talk about why you need a good running shoe, a shoe’s anatomy, neutral vs. stable, and even myths of running shoes.
Questions for you:
Have you tried the Nike Zoom Fly 4?
What is your favorite trainer?