Nike Air Zoom Odyssey
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 its popular Air Zoom, Structure, and Vomero lines to create the ultimate article of footwear.
- Comfortable and stable midsole
- Great for overpronators
- Long-lasting durability
- Excellent foot transitions
- Cumbersome weight
- Excessively tight fit for some
- Tightness around the midsole
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.
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, Nike Air Zoom Oddysey pads placed in the forefoot and heel of the shoe provide an excellent cushion that allows individuals to run without undue foot stress.
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 design staples, the Nike Air Zoom Odyssey boasts an upper with durability, comfort, and breathability in a way that looks effortless.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Runners looking for a flexible running shoe would be better off finding something lighter, maybe in the genre of minimalist barefoot-style road shoes.
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
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.