Nike Air Zoom Elite 8

8.8
8.8 score
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Nike Air Zoom Elite 8 Review Facts
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The Air Zoom Elite 8 is one of the best performance trainers on the market. The shoe is lightweight and perfect for neutral runners that want good traction on varied terrain. The shoe provides a smooth ride and features responsive midsole cushioning. The combination of FlyWire and FlyMesh technology in the upper provide unmatched comfort.

The seamless FlyMesh upper is one of the biggest changes in this eighth version of the Zoom Elite. The shoe is often compared to another popular Nike model, the Air Zoom Pegasus. The new mesh material has been a recent staple in many Nik brand shoes and it’s a definite improvement comfort-wise. The Air Zoom Elite 8 is sure to please a range of runners. The stylish and affordable shoe is sure to be a new favorite.

 

Pros
  • The shoe features a new FlyMesh upper that's seamless
  • Ride is smooth
  • High amount of forefoot cushioning
  • FlyWire construction ensures a snug fit
  • Outsole provides great traction
Cons
  • The shoe is not very flexible
  • The shoe has no reflective components
  • Durability issues
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The outsole of the Elite 8 features a grippy outsole. Unfortunately, the sole is on the thin side. This reduces the shoe's overall weight but it sacrifices durability. On the side of the shoe, crash rails provide additional traction and added padding. The waffle-like outsole design features hexagonal lugs that provide excellent grip underfoot. The Air Zoom Elite 8 can definitely handle a variety of surfaces.


Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The midsole of this one is made up of Phylon. It's a lightweight, durable cushioning material. It ensures a smooth, well-padded ride. The forefoot of the Zoom Elite 8 features Zoom Air cushioning. Runners can expect a comfortable and efficient toe-off. The interior EVA sock liner adds a layer of support and cushion.

Upper
Upper

Upper

The upper features FlyWire technology. This construction ensures that the wearer is well supported in the shoe. The upper is made up of lightweight seamless FlyMesh material which enhances breathability. The heel is locked in place thanks to the shoe's heel counter which wraps securely around the rearfoot.


Weight
Weight

Weight

These are one of the lightest shoes in the Nike Zoom lineup. The weight varies depending on size but a men's size 11 weighs in at around 10.37 ounces. Compared to the previous version of the shoe, the Air Zoom Elite 8 is slightly heavier but only by 0.2 ounces.

Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The upper of the Elite 8 is constructed using lightweight FlyMesh. Breathability is not an issue in this shoe. Runs in hot summer weather will be a breeze in the Air Zoom Elite 8. The shoe ventilates well and feet will be able to breathe.

Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

They are actually a very comfortable shoe. The midsole Phylon cushioning material provides a supremely comfy ride for the wearer. The midsole material sits somewhere in between a minimal cushioning and thick padding. Runners will still feel like they're experiencing a natural ride. Blister issues are not prominent in the Air Zoom Elite 8 and pressure points - with the right fit - are nonexistent. For those with wider feet, going up a half size may be necessary. For the most part, the shoe runs true to size.



Style
Style

Style

The Elite 8 is quite a stylish shoe. The various color options are attractive and the design is clean and uncluttered. Both the men's and women's versions come in many different color schemes. Choosing a color might be difficult but finding the look that you want won't be hard.


Durability
Durability

Durability

Most runners will place durability at the top of the list when asked what kinds of features they look for in a shoe. Having a shoe that can handle a beating is important. Running shoes are an investment. If your shoes fall apart within a month or two, running becomes a very expensive sport to participate in. All shoes will need to be replaced eventually but we'd all like for our trainers to last at least 300 miles. Overall, they are fairly durable. There's some concern about the thin outsole and how long it will last in tough conditions, and when put through high mileage.


Protection
Protection

Protection

They really do not disappoint when it comes to protection. The FlyMesh upper is topped with FlyWire overlays which secure the wearer's foot within the shoe. The shoe's fit is easy to customize thanks to this adjustable design element.


Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

If we were rating the responsiveness on a scale from 0 to 5, we'd rate it at around a 3.5. Some runners found that the shoe's Zoom Air forefoot cushioning was nice and bouncy. Others were less than impressed. The majority of runners found the shoe was responsive enough and felt the shoe provided a fast ride.

Support
Support

Support

This model falls into the neutral category. They do provide some support. The outsole is very supportive and provides a stable base upon which runners toe-off. Some runners found that the support was not adequate enough for longer runs but they were in the minority.

Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

Having a shoe that can handle varied conditions is important. When training, you never know when the weather will change. Unfortunately, none of us have control over whether it will rain or not!

The lightweight of this particular model ensures that runners will feel fast no matter what surface they're training on. A smooth ride is almost a given, so don't worry and enjoy the run.


Price
Price

Price

They are actually priced very fairly. The affordable price tag makes it accessible to most runners looking for a comfortable and reliable shoe.

Traction
Traction

Traction

The thin outsole manages to provide a great deal of traction. The crash rail featured on the side of the shoe helps to ensure a smooth ride and efficient toe-off. Movement in the Air Zoom Elite 8 feels natural and unencumbered.


Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

They are pretty lightweight, which definitely helps to enhance flexion. The Blown Rubber outsole and Duralon cushioning also add an element of flexibility but overall, the Zoom Elite 8 is fairly rigid.


Stability
Stability

Stability

The shoe is overall fairly stable. The lightweight stability ensures that runners stay upright and uninjured when moving forward. The thin Phylon midsole cushioning keeps runners close to the ground and supports them as they train.


Drop
Drop

Drop

They feature an 8mm heel to toe drop. For those looking to transition to a midfoot or forefoot strike, this kind of drop is a good place to start. Runners used to more minimalist shoes will likely find the heel a bit too prominent. These would also work well for those who do not want a clunky platform but who still want some degree of padding underfoot.



Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

• Zoom Air forefoot cushion is comfortable and responsive
• FlyWire and FlyMesh upper
• 8 mm heel to toe drop
• Phylon midsole cushioning
• Asymmetrical lacing system
• Crash rail composed of rubber
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

Nike often manages to be a crowd pleaser. This version is no exception. The shoe comfortable, lightweight shoe is perfect as an everyday trainer for neutral runners. Those looking for a quality shoe should look no further. The Air Zoom Elite 8 provides a fast, smooth ride and ample protective cushioning. Keeping in mind that the shoe does have some durability issues, it's still a good option for those looking to run comfortably fast. The Air Zoom Elite 8 is perfect for forefoot runners looking to buy a shoe that shifts the focus away from the rearfoot. There's no doubt that this shoe will become a definite favorite.