Nike Zoom Fly 5 Shoe Review

Nike Zoom Fly 5 Shoe Review

Has the Nike Zoom Fly 5 been out for almost six months? The answer is yes, although the Fly 4 was not out terribly long. I remember when the Zoom Fly 5 was announced to come out so soon, I was like…why?

Occasionally, Nike does that, and you never know what is going through the Nike designer’s mind. Nike has always been the least inconsistent brand. They are on the cutting edge of designing new shoes, but sometimes that means your favorite shoe will change before you are ready. Anyway, the Nike Zoom Fly 5 is a cushioned trainer with a carbon plate…sometimes I forget it does have a plate (unlike the Tempo Next).

Nike Zoom Fly 5 Shoe Review

Nike Zoom Fly 5 Quick Facts:

Weight: 9.5 oz

Heel-to-toe drop: 8 mm

Cost: $160

Nike Zoom Fly 5 Shoe Review

Nike Zoom Fly 5 Introduction:

It used to be the Zoom Fly was a “fast” shoe. But slowly, it has gotten slower and with more cushion. That doesn’t mean it’s gotten worse, but the use of Zoom Fly has changed throughout the years. If you are looking for a stiffer trainer with a good heel-to-toe roll, you might be interested in the Zoom Fly 5.

Looking at the photos, you can tell the Zoom Fly 4 differs from the Zoom Fly 5. The midsole is softer, and the upper is more cushioned. On the first run in the Zoom Fly 5, I could tell it would be much firmer and harder to run fast.

Nike Zoom Fly 5 Shoe Review
Love shoes that are using recycled materials

Nike Zoom Fly 5 Fit:

The Nike Zoom Fly has always had a decent fit. This year, the Zoom Fly 5 changes from the bootie construction to a modern traditional upper. It does have a detached tongue.

Honestly, I miss the previous versions’ booties. I thought it was one of the few shoes that were done well. It felt like a racing shoe fit. While I do miss the previous year, I do LOVE Nike has really started to take initiative to use recycled materials.

I firmly believe the best-running shoe uppers disappear off your feet, and for the most part, the Nike Zoom Fly 5 does that. It is more comprehensive than previous versions. The new upper does run warmer but not too hot. I haven’t overheated yet in the Mojave Desert.

I usually wear between a women’s size 10-11 wide in running shoes. I’ve found the women’s size 11 of the Nike Zoom Fly to fit the best. Due to being more expansive, this year’s version has provided the best.

Nike Zoom Fly 5 Shoe Review
Plusher heel wahooo

Nike Zoom Fly 5 Ride:

The Zoom Fly features two different densities in the midsole. The ZoomX: Located in the core and the same foam as Structure 24. However, it’s also recycled (which, YAY). This means these recycled pieces have been crushed together, making the ride firm. The ride isn’t bad, just very strong. Any Nike shoe with recycled materials (see the Nature Turbo) rides much firmer.

You’ll be sorely disappointed if you were hoping for something soft and bouncy like Nike’s carbon fiber plate offerings. I don’t think the Nike Zoom Fly 5 ride even bares a resemblance to having ZoomX because of how firm and unresponsive it is.

So what Is the “good thing” about the Nike Zoom Fly 5? It does have more cushion and makes running longer and more comfortable. Plus, it rolls well from heel to toe. The tipping sensation you’ll feel in many Nike shoes is less intense in the Nike Zoom Fly 5. So if you want to feel like you’re being propelled forward without changing your stride too much, you’ll enjoy that component.

I always forget there is a carbon plate in the Nike Zoom Fly. I shouldn’t because the firm midsole with the firm carbon plate, makes this feel…well you guessed it…very firm. If you are someone who likes any sort of softness or plushness in their running shoe, this is probably not the shoe for you.

The BEST PART of the Nike Zoom Fly 5: A rare section I add to shoe reviews, the base is wider (WOOOOOO). This means it’s more stable than previous versions. Is the Zoom Fly 5 a stability shoe? No, not at all, but it is more stable than previous versions.

Durability and Traction: The Nike Zoom Fly 5 has better durability and traction than other Nike shoes for a carbon-plated shoe. This shoe used to lack traction, and I spent a few rainy days in New Jersey sliding around. The grip has been improved, but you’ll notice the midfoot lacks rubber.

Nike Zoom Fly 5 Shoe Review
You can see the midfoot doesn’t have any rubber

The lack of rubber means a lack of durability and traction in the midfoot. If you are landing on the midfoot, you might find the Nike Zoom Fly 5 does not last as long as you want. You also might find that it doesn’t have enough traction. If you heel strike, you’ll likely find it to have plenty of traction and durability. Once again, I am not saying there is a right or wrong way to run, but how you run will affect how the shoe wears for you.

I was curious about what kind of shoe the Nike Zoom Fly 5 would be for me. Would it be a workout shoe? A racing shoe? Easy run? In the past, it’s been a good workout shoe for me. I appreciate the extra cushion and have found the Nike Zoom Fly 5 best for longer and faster runs. I prefer something softer for easy recovery runs. I also find for actual workouts; I want something lighter. It’s been a good shoe for long runs. I want to go faster than a leisurely run pace but without the training.

Nike Zoom Fly 5 Conclusion:

The Zoom Fly 5 has gotten a big update. While yes, it shares the same name as previous versions, nothing else is the same. It’s become better for up pace long runs versus “fast-paced workouts.” I am a fan of the faster Tempo Next. I’ll continue to use the Zoom Fly 5, but I’ll almost always choose the Tempo Next before it.

I struggle to find why the Nike Zoom Fly 5 is “better” than other shoes similar to this. The Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 is a faster shoe with a nylon place for the same price. The Tempo Next is more expensive but softer and more comfortable.

The good thing, at least, is the wider base, so the Nike Zoom Fly 5 will fit more people. Like the Saucony Kinvara, I feel the earlier versions of the Zoom Fly were better.

Nike Zoom Fly 5 Shoe Review
More cushion in the heel

My Current Shoe Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Tracksmith Eliot Runner, Saucony Triumph 20, New Balance 1080v12, Diadora Mythos Blushield Volo361 Degrees Centauri

Speed Work: Hoka Solimar, Altra Vanish Carbon, 361 Flame, Nike Tempo Next%, Reebok Float Ride Run fast Pro, Nike ZoomX Streakfly, Reebok Floatride Energy X

Long Runs: ASICS Superblast 

Trail Running/Hiking: Brooks Caldera 6, Hoka Speedgoat 5, Hoka Zinal Shoe, Speedland SL: PDX

Races: Nike ZoomX Streakfly, Asics Metaspeed Sky, Hoka One One Rocket X, adidas Adizero Pro, New Balance Fuelcell 5280Nike Next%,  Saucony Endorphin Pro 2Reebok Run fast Pro 

You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.

Are you looking to learn more about running shoes? My ebook talks about why you need a good running shoe, a shoe’s anatomy, neutral vs. stable, and even myths about running shoes.

Questions for you:

Have you tried the Nike Zoom Fly 5?

What is your favorite long-run shoe?