When pulling these out of the boxer the first time, you feel a different sensation to your average shoe. You find yourself wondering how much shoe companies are actually holding back in terms of producing a high performance shoe to the public. To put a carbon plate in a shoe such as they have makes you wonder why they have never done this sooner. Look at sprint spikes for example. Pebax and carbon have been used for a long time now in helping athletes run faster with a shoe that gives maximum energy return. This whole shoe feels like a sprint spike with extra cushioning, to help athletes run faster on the road. The shoe might look scary as something completely different to anything else on the market, but over all makes perfect sense and it makes you question why they have not done this sooner.
The first thing to mention with this shoe is that its strictly a mid to forefoot running style shoe. Ive seen so many other people write reviews about this shoe who are heel strikers and then complain about the stability and durability of it. When originally designing this shoe they actually cut the heel off of the shoe. The athletes did not like the feel of this so they therefore put it back. The whole point of them doing this though is because of the fact that its not needed. High performance athletes are mid – forefoot runners. and therefore this is who the shoe is aimed at. The 10mm heel pitch therefore has no use. The foam is so soft throughout it that it may as well be a 0mm. The forefoot is semi rigid. Pretty much the same as a more rigid sprint spike. The new foam is a whole new level and works great with the carbon plate. This foam really is a level above the likes of adiadas boost, the brooks, asics flylite. It also feels much less durable. For the price i would have like to have seen variations in the flex of the carbon plate. e.g. stiffer for larger feet / heavier people / gender specific.
The upper is light. It has no heel counter just a few fly wire cables to support the mid foot. Its not the most supportive upper nike have made, but hey, this is a racing shoe. That is something to keep on mind when purchasing this shoe. It is a racer. Not an everyday training shoe.
A good racer / speed shoe that is light, comfortable and responsive. I hope they put this foam and tach into more of their shoes including the nike structure. It would be brill to have a everyday stability shoe with this amount of responsiveness. Id highly recommend this shoe for speed training, track training especially for sprinters, for days when you just can bare the thought of putting spikes on due to the vibration, as well as race day. Keep in mind this is a shoe for intermediate-experienced runners that are mid to forefoot strikers. If you want something new to try for racing then this is defiantly the go. Otherwise for now stick with the zoom streak, or adidas adios.
Rating – 9/10
+ve – responsive, supportive, light, fast, comfortable
-ve – Not for beginners or heel strikers (not specific in marketing and could injure a lot of people), lack of specificity within in the carbon plate. its the same no matter what your weight, gender or strength, price