Nike Air Zoom Odyssey Review Facts
Nike is most well known as the lead innovator in the world of athletic wear, with an amazing track record of stylish and functional apparel. However, in recent years their running shoes have been hit or miss. In response to this stagnation, Nike decided to try combining aspects from some of their top running shoes in order to create a super shoe that will please everyone. The Nike Air Zoom Odyssey was the result of this scheme. Marketed for its comfort, stability, and responsiveness, Nike has taken technology and design expertise from their popular Air Zoom, Structure, and Vomero lines to create the ultimate article of footwear.
The outsole of the Nike Air Zoom
Odyssey is nearly identical to that of Nike’s own Vomero 10. Soft blown rubber
has been placed on the forefoot, with harder rubber on the midfoot and heel. As a result of these design decisions, the Odyssey’s outsole provides adequate to amazing traction, grip, and comfort. Like the Air Zoom Structure, the Air Zoom Odyssey has a waffle-style forefoot grip, albeit in a more subdued degree to the kind seen on the Structure
. Something that is significant on these outsoles is the flex grooves which allow for a runner’s feet and toes to bend in a way that feels natural and comfortable. The teardrop shape of the Odyssey’s outsole provides plenty of heel cushion, rounding out a well-designed aspect of a well-designed shoe.
Being one of the most highly acclaimed manufacturers of running shoes, Nike understands that the most important feature to promote stability is a strong midsole
. Like most Nike Air Zoom shoes, the Odyssey primarily utilizes triple foam density for the construction of its midsole, referred to as Nike’s Dynamic Support
. Included in this midsole is an extremely long medial post that provides support for overpronation
as well as stability. Because of this, runners who have difficulty with pronation will appreciate this feature of the Odyssey in much the same way that they would appreciate the Air Zoom Structure. Finally, Air Zoom pads placed in the forefoot and heel of the shoe provide an excellent cushion that allows individuals to run without undue foot stress.
The Nike Air Zoom
Odyssey uses the manufacturer’s proprietary Flymesh technology
, a design staple loved by runners for its excellent breathability. For the sake of clarification, Flymesh is a soft and durable knit fabric mesh material. In addition to the benefits of comfort and durability, this material is stretchy enough to provide comfort for individuals with varying foot widths. That said, a few individuals with excessively wide feet may still experience some discomfort, but this can be remedied by ordering a larger size. In addition to the Flymesh on this upper, the Flywire cable lacing system allows runners to adjust the tightness of their lacing. Thanks to these excellent Nike design staples, the Air Zoom Odyssey boasts an upper with durability, comfort, and breathability in a way that looks effortless.
The Air Zoom Odyssey weighs a little bit over 11 ounces. This is heavier than the average running shoe weighs, placing it closer to the weight class of more hardcore trail runners
. The majority of this weight can be attributed to the extremely dense Dynamic Support midsole material. Despite this extra weight, Nike has successfully balanced the Air Zoom Odyssey in a way that leaves very few runners with complaints. This is due to the exceptional forefoot flexibility on the outsole and the lightweight Flymesh upper. As a result of the weight being distributed where it is needed most, these shoes feel deceptively lighter than they really are.
Thanks to the aforementioned Flymesh upper, runners are guaranteed excellent breathability while wearing the Air Zoom Odyssey. While this material may lead to a tighter fit around some runners’ feet, the fine knitting provides ample perforation that allows for consistent and significant ventilation. Nike does an excellent job striking a balance between providing a secure fit and ensuring plenty of airflow with their combination of Flymesh and Flywire technologies. The Flywire allows for runners to fine-tune the tightness of their laces, allowing for an even greater degree of breathability.
It’s an unfortunate truth that Nike has struggled in the past with providing adequately comfortable footwear. The Flymesh upper material they use in most of their shoes is a big hit comfort-wise but people have expressed issues with how narrow
it is, especially around the toe box. Fortunately, the Air Zoom Odyssey manages to address and corrects just about all of these complaints. While the forefoot does still feel a bit tight for some, plenty of space has been added to the toe box. As previously mentioned, the Flymesh material provides a level of comfort that more closely resembles a lightweight
athletic sock than a bulky running shoe. One complaint still levied by runners in regards to the Odyssey’s comfort is tightness around the midsole. Due to Nike’s absence of alternate width sizing, this may require wider-footed runners to purchase a pair that is half or full size larger than their actual foot size.
Nike is most well known for their impeccable style; with multiple color schemes, runners have never been short on options. Depending on where you look, the Air Zoom Odyssey can be purchased in twelve different color schemes. These run the gamut of possible stylistic choices, ranging from a more subdued black and white to a bolder neon color palette. The predominantly Flymesh upper looks aesthetically appealing, the Nike logo is placed tastefully, and the Flywire cables blend in with the rest of the shoe’s design excellently. The only complaint to be made about these shoes’ style is that no reflective material has been implemented into its design. This may appeal to some runners who find the practice tacky, but individuals who enjoy running in low visibility environments will miss this safety feature.
The average runner gets around 300 miles of reliable mileage from the Air Zoom Odyssey. This illustrates just how sturdy and reliable these shoes are. Whether these shoes are used for Tabata-style sprints or for the long-running sessions, runners can rest assured that these shoes will keep up with them every step of the way. The durable upper conforms to the shape of a runner’s foot thanks to its combination of Flymesh and Flyknit materials, the midsole is competently designed with terrific stability, and the heel is exceptionally cushioned. Thanks to these features, the Nike Air Zoom Odyssey will hold up against just about anything; runners should feel very comfortable and secure when wearing them on daily runs
Runners who want or need the maximum amount of protection in their shoes will appreciate the Air Zoom Odyssey. The Flymesh upper provides excellent protection for the top of the foot in conjunction with the highly cushioned triple-layered insole. Thanks to the exceptional stability present in these shoes, extra protection from potential running injuries are provided by these shoes as well. This is especially true for overpronators, but anyone concerned with the possibility of plantar fasciitis or turf toe should appreciate the protective measures taken by Nike in the design of these shoes.
These Nike running shoes provide terrific transitional responsiveness and a generally smooth ride overall. This is thanks to the triple density midsole and the Flymesh upper, contributing to a highly responsive running experience from top to bottom. What is most impressive about this feature of the Nike Air Zoom Victory, however, is that no comfort is sacrificed for the sake of this feature.
A small plastic heel counter wraps around the heel of the Odyssey foot in order to provide a significant degree of stability and support. The Dynamic Support system provides even more support, especially for runners with pronation issues. In general, the most impressive features of these Nike shoes can be attributed to its midsole. In addition to being extremely comfortable and supportive, it features terrific arch support thanks to medial posts that run all the way through it. Some customers feel as though this level of arch support is excessive and uncomfortable but the majority of runners seem to appreciate it.
The Nike Air Zoom Odyssey was designed to be used on roads and tracks for daily running use
. While the outsoles of these shoes provide excellent grip on a plethora of surfaces, mostly due to its waffle pattern and blown rubber material, other aspects of its design discourage use on any terrain choppier than standard running track
. Due to its significant heel drop and lighter upper, trails and steep inclines should be avoided despite the high competency of the Odyssey’s outsole.
The suggested retail price for these running shoes is around the average, if not just a hair above the average. This is a decent and reasonable asking price for the Nike Air Zoom Odyssey due to its high durability and excellent comfort. However, shrewd shoppers can easily find deep discounts on these running shoes if they check alternate online retailers such as Amazon. If the original price is a bargain, then finding a pair of these shoes for 30 or 40 percent less is essentially a steal.
In order to provide the maximum level of traction possible for the Odyssey, Nike adopted a few clever design tricks they’ve implemented in past Air Zoom models. For example, the waffle-style pattern of the outsole’s treading is reminiscent of the Air Zoom Structure’s outsole. From the Air Zoom Vomero, Nike implemented the practice of placing softer rubber on the forefoot and harder rubber on the heel, allowing for excellent forefoot grip while ensuring comfort in the rear. Finally, Nike’s Flymesh and Flyknit upper technology adopted from almost every other shoe in their catalog ensures a tight fit up top, preventing shoe slippage. The result is a powerful combination of tools to ensure a terrific run from start to finish.
Although the very dense midsole of the Air Zoom Odyssey provides many benefits in regards to stability and comfort, one unfortunate drawback is that it detracts from flexibility. Sure, a mostly mesh upper and forgiving outsole can provide a bit of flexibility, but the midsole is a hamper to that which simply cannot be compromised. Runners looking for a flexible running shoe
would be better off finding something lighter, maybe in the genre of minimalist barefoot-style road shoes.
Aside from comfort, the next most impressive benefit offered by these Nike running shoes is its stability. This can be attributed to the Dynamic Support system that was implemented in the design of its midsole, although it does come at the cost of extra weight and diminished flexibility. Regardless, runners will certainly appreciate how stable these shoes feel, especially if they struggle with pronation.
As is custom with Nike running shoes
, and most other running shoes on the market, a significant difference in midsole cushioning can be seen from the heel of the Air Zoom Odyssey to the forefoot. The heel drop is around 12 mm, which allows for more toe grip without sacrificing heel padding. As a result, runners who enjoy shoes with a more neutral arch may need some time to adjust before really enjoying these shoes.
- Comfortable and durable Flymesh upper
- Flywire lacing provides variable levels of tightness
- Highly flexible and grippy outsole
- Triple foam Dynamic Support midsole is stable buy heavy
- Multiple color options
While no one running shoe will be perfect for all kinds of runners, the Nike Air Zoom Odyssey might be the perfect shoe for runners with overpronation. A comfortable and stable ride is guaranteed in these shoes to a degree that is unheard of in other competing brands. Every aspect of the Odyssey, from the outsole through the midsole to the insole, works harmoniously to encourage a comfortable, stable, and highly supportive running experience over a long lifespan. If you’re looking for a shoe with excellent support and compensation for overpronation you can do far, far worse than the Nike Air Zoom Odyssey.