Nikelab Zoomfly SP

The Nikelab Zoomfly SP was released to commemorate Nike's Breaking2 project; A project with an eye towards breaking two hours in the marathon. The SP represents an early version of Nike's highly specialized and super hyped Breaking2 design. The design is intended to be lightweight enough for speed efforts and race day PRs but is contained in a very durable package. The unisex shoe also features a number of neat graphic elements in its design. In comparison to Nike's original Zoomfly shoe, the sneaker is a complete reimagining style-wise with a mostly identical midsole and outsole. The SP is also slightly lighter. Except for a few minor issues, the Nikelab running shoe is a worthwhile buy.

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Where to Buy
Where to Buy
Pros & Cons
  • Versatile running shoe
  • Comfortable
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Very responsive¬†
  • Attractive design
  • Cons
    • Runs small, narrow fit
    • Shoelaces come undone easily
    • Not as breathable as described¬†
    • Key Features
      The Zoomfly's outsole is composed of high abrasion rubber, mostly concentrated at the rear end of the shoe. The outsole also features a special design with a unique tread pattern. Oddly shaped hexagons cover the sole unit and provide traction. You'll notice, too, that the heel end of the shoe is slightly curved, which helps to promote a more efficient forward foot strike.

      Compared to the original Zoomfly shoe, the outsole is mainly the same. Reviewers didn't comment much on the shoe's bottom grip and seemed to find the traction provided was just right.
      The Nikelab shoe features a Lunarlon foam midsole. This midsole cushioning is highly responsive despite its comfortable soft feel. The midsole also contains a full-length plate that helps increase rigidity to help deliver an even more responsive ride and plenty of energy-return. The midsole cushioning is also very durable and softens impact quite well.

      The shoe is intended to work well for faster runs like race day efforts but is durable enough for longer workouts and daily training. Reviewers found the Zoomfly SP suitable for all running distances and agreed that the midsole was comfortable and responsive.
      The SP's upper is made of a stretch weave material that provides mild support. An arch wrap adds another support element and delivers lightweight stability. The extremely lightweight upper also features a thin tongue with printed text on its inside flap with space for wearers to mark their PRs. The SP also utilizes Flywire technology to deliver targeted support.

      Reviewers liked that the upper material felt ultra lightweight yet supportive but did complain about the shoe running small. Users also pointed to issues with the lacing system, complaining that the laces didn't stay tied for very long. Reviewers also felt let down by the upper design and found the material not as breathable as described, due to the shoe's vinyl covering.
      Thanks to a super lightweight upper construction, reviewers agreed that the unisex SP was very light and perfect for race day efforts. The Lunarlon cushioning is also very light. The original Zoomfly weighs in at about 8.7 ounces so, at about half an ounce lighter, this puts the Zoomfly SP at about 8.2 oz. Note, we couldn't find an exact weight listing for the SP, so this is just an estimate.
      A see-through and incredibly lightweight stretchy material cover the upper of the Nikelab shoe. You'd think the shoe would be ultra breathable, but reviewer comments don't corroborate this. Instead, users complained that the vinyl covering that provides the translucent design effect was not breathable at all. For wearers of the SP, this felt like a disappointing oversight. That said, the shoe doesn't completely suck when it comes to ventilation as the upper is lightweight, after all. You won't find yourself totally clammy and hot while wearing the SP, it's just not as good as other shoe models in this category.
      Thankfully, reviewers did find the SP quite comfortable. The combination of an ultra-lightweight upper, airy responsive midsole and curved outsole design makes the Nikelab shoe a feast for your feet. Some reviewers did complain that the shoe ran a bit small but otherwise most comments praised the design of the Zoomfly SP and its energetic and smartly designed midsole. While the cushioning offers a bit of softness underfoot, the shoe also contains a plate that helps increase the midsole's firmness to provide extra energy-return to the user. The combination of plush cushioning and a rigid platform is really something and users were impressed with the ride feel of the Zoomfly SP.
      The Nikelab Zoomfly SP certainly delivers when it comes to comfort and performance, but it also gets major style points. The attention to detail involved in creating the Breaking2-related shoe is incredible. The see-through upper looks almost like skin. It reminds us almost of the translucent delicate skin of a runner's foot.

      Sprinkled throughout the shoe are unique graphic design elements including, not surprisingly, a Nike swoosh. A digital clock graphic at the back end of the shoe represents the ambitious sub-2 hour marathon dream. A pinwheel swoosh graphic is a throwback to the beginnings of the brand. A track icon and checkered flag also find their place on the shoe, for obvious reasons. The Zoomfly, available in white/red, green/white, white/indigo/crimson, sepia/yellow, looks best in its most basic colorway (white/red). The colors seem to represent the nascent design of the Breaking2 inspired shoe and the dreams of speed on the horizon.
      The Zoomfly SP magically mixes a super lightweight design that's perfect for racing with a durable shell that won't break down if you use it for longer efforts on a regular basis. The upper is pliable and light, but has a vinyl covering that contributes to the see-through look and is tough as nails.

      The outsole, too, is substantial without feeling bulky. The sole is covered with high abrasion rubber towards the back for extra protection against repeated friction against the ground. The Lunarlon foam included in the midsole is also incredibly durable.
      The Zoomfly SP is a speedy lightweight shoe but it's also going to protect you from surface impact thanks to its Lunarlon midsole material. The outsole, covered with rubber, protects users from unsure footing on wet or slippery surfaces. A curved heel design is another protective feature on the shoe that helps discourage wearers from using a jarring heel strike as they run.
      The Zoomfly SP is extremely responsive thanks to an intelligent combination of soft Lunarlon cushioning and a hard midsole plate that encourages energy-return. A curved heel design promotes a midfoot or forefoot strike, too. The lightweight Nikelab shoe is a great racer thanks to its zippy ride. For longer distances, the soft cushioning protects underfoot and delivers a nice landing strip. Reviewers seemed to agree that the Zoomfly provided an excellent amount of energy-return.
      The Zoomfly SP features a lightweight woven upper that provides mild support to wearers with the help of Flywire technology. An arch wrap around the midfoot also helps provide targeted support that holds in the foot. Reviewers felt the upper was impressively lightweight considering the support it provided. The only downside, most felt, was that the vinyl material used to cover the upper reduced air circulation, despite providing a secure fit.
      You could technically take the Zoomfly on any kind of terrain but technical trails might pose a problem. While the outsole is sturdy enough, the high abrasion rubber is more for keeping wear and tear at bay and less for aggressive traction on uneven and loose rocky surfaces. The shoe just isn't intended for trail running, but it won't necessarily fall apart off-road. For racing or daily training, the SP should hold up just fine indoors on a treadmill or on city streets.
      Considering the Nikelab shoe's connection to the Breaking2 Project, the shoe is fairly well-priced. The detailed design elements included throughout the shoe are reason alone to pay a premium for the SP. Reviewers were happy to pay for a shoe as versatile as the Zoomfly SP. Even though the running shoe is far from the final product resulting from the Breaking2 Project, it's a marvel in its own right.
      The Zoomfly delivers standard grip with its high abrasion rubber outsole. Reviewers used the shoe for racing, long distance running, and everything in between and found nothing negative to say about the outsole's performance.
      The SP's upper is incredibly flexible, though still manages to have trouble with air circulation. The outsole isn't ultra-flexible but with its curved heel still manages to provide a platform that feels natural with movement. The midsole features a stiff plate to promote responsiveness but isn't entirely rigid thanks to the inclusion of soft Lunarlon foam. The outsole's oddly shaped hexagons offer traction but also bend and flex with the user as they run.
      The neutral Zoomfly SP doesn't provide much stability. The Flywire upper cables certainly provide structure and a secure fit but otherwise, the shoe feels free form. The lightweight material covering the foot also features an arch wrap, which provides an element of mild stability, but that's about it. Still, the minimal stability elements don't result in a shoe that feels sloppy or movement that feels uncontrolled. Reviewers were comfortable racing or training in the Zoomfly SP.
      The SP has a drop height of 10mm. It's fairly high but reviewers didn't seem to mind. The shoe certainly doesn't deliver the same kind of ground-feel as a flat or low to the ground racer, but its combination of Lunarlon cushioning and responsive ride feel make up for that. A thicker midsole also makes the shoe suitable for a long distance training, making the SP an incredibly versatile shoe.
      Key Features
      - 10mm drop
      - Unisex construction
      - Extremely lightweight woven upper
      - Lunarlon foam midsole is incredibly responsive and comfortable
      - Midsole plate to enhance energy-return
      - High abrasion rubber outsole for better longevity
      - Thin tongue with printed elements on the inside flap
      - Arch wrap for a secure fit
      - Flywire technology for support
      - Curved heel to promote a forward foot strike
      - Unique outsole tread pattern with mismatched hexagons for traction and durability
      - Cool graphic elements spread throughout the shoe
      Bottom Line
      While it's unlikely you'll be the one breaking two hours in the marathon, you can be part of the vision by choosing the Zoomfly SP as your race day or everyday training shoe.

      The lightweight construction, suitable for racing, is also durable enough to handle regular training runs. The super responsive midsole features an intelligent combination of comfortable plush Lunarlon and a rigid plate to deliver energy-return. The only real caveat with the SP is that it runs quite small and some found it wasn't as breathable as expected. Regardless, the majority of users found the running shoe versatile, lightweight, supportive, and responsive. Add to that a seriously unique design with clever graphic elements that give a nod to the inspiring Breaking2 Project. Feeling like a champion is the first step to crushing your goals.
      Where to Buy
      By Steph Coelho
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Aug. 02. 2021

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