Air Max, Zoom & React

The latest iteration of the Zoom Fly comes with a tweaked upper for an improved fit and better moisture control. There’s a thicker, softer sockliner and a new arch-band lacing system that helps create a snug fit around the midfoot. The upper also utilizes a new transparent material from Nike, which doesn’t absorb water—that means these shoes won’t soak up rain and weigh you down. In the midsole, you’ll ride on a generous, full-length wedge of springy React foam and a carbon fiber plate for increased energy return.

We’ve tested many of the shoes below, and the others we’re in the process of testing—that means getting feedback from over 300 wear testers as well as analyzing the shoes in our lab. For each shoe, we give you a general overview of what’s new and notable, and we link to full reviews where possible. To choose them, we surveyed what’s new in Nike’s lineup, talked with brand reps, and used our own experience to parse out what kicks are most important to know about. The picks below represent the flagship running shoes from the company (mainly the Zoom series, including the Next% and Zoom Fly 3, which incorporate top-shelf innovations like Zoom Air units and ZoomX foam) and also shoes that suit different types of runners, such as stability and trail shoes. Considering that many of its models are also highly versatile, investing in a pair of Nikes often means getting shoes that can handle nearly any run you decide to take. Find the right pair for you below.

What’s responsible for these boosts to performance? Their design includes a plate of carbon fiber in the middle of the shoe, and midsole foam which research suggests also plays a role. And even if you’re not an elite runner like Kipchoge, the Times’ research still indicates that these shoes can make you faster; the effect is on runners across the board. Besides race times and the names of shoes, we also have data on runners’ gender and approximate age. For some of the more serious runners, we have detailed information about their training volume in the months leading up to a race. We also know about the weather on race day.

A souped-up, speed-oriented version of the Pegasus, the Peg Turbo continues the winning combo of ZoomX and React foams found in the first version. Together they deliver exceptional shock absorption and energy return, so these shoes feel comfortable and fast. Unfortunately, the new thin mesh upper has issues. Its minimal heel support means you have to cinch the laces down for a secure fit, but the tongue isn’t thick or long enough to prevent the laces from causing irritation. If you can handle a looser fit, though, you might avoid the issue.

Still, Jordan made one last attempt at his dream company, taking Nike’s offer to Adidas and asking them to come “anywhere close” to the offer. It didn’t work out with Adidas, and Jordan ultimately signed with Nike. The Vomero is Nike’s max cushion offering, but the latest version amps up the responsiveness as well—that makes it a good pick for longer distances where you want enough bounce to feel fast. Zoom Air units and React foam in the midsole provide the cushion, which has long been one of the best parts of this shoe. Flywire cables work within a newly redesigned, good-looking upper that is engineered to support your stride,” according to Nike’s website.

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