Welcome to the New Shoe Review, a segment on our blog where our shoe buyer explains every new and updated model we receive at John’s Run/Walk Shop. Today, we review the Nike Zoom Elite 7.
Throughout 2014, Nike has been rolling out its updated Zoom Air collection, starting with the Zoom Pegasus 31 in June, the Zoom Elite 7 this August, and coming soon to the Zoom Structure 18 in October. Along with many other standard improvements, like less stitching and reduced weight, the Zoom enhancements are designed primarily to make each shoe more responsive. More emphasis has been placed on making a faster shoe that doesn’t have to sacrifice cushion, one that can be enjoyed by amateurs and elites alike.
The Zoom Elite 7 embodies the spirit of these changes perfectly. Although they may not feel different at first, the proof is on the road. First, it feels light and fast; the reduced weight makes it feel more like a racing flat than an everyday trainer. Next, the dropped heel (8mm drop) allows you to strike more with your midfoot, taking force off of the heel. This efficiency not only feels good, but also helps with speed because it reduces braking. Finally, the forefoot (where the Zoom Air unit is located) feels uniquely springy, yet still soft enough to pound out your longer runs. Fewer flex grooves in the forefoot also add to the energetic response of the forefoot.
What can I expect from this shoe? The new Zoom Elite 7 has asymmetric lacing to reduce pressure on the top of your foot for a more natural feel. Nike has introduced a new toe patch on the upper for better wear for those who lift their big toes while they run. The high-impact rubber outsole means better durability and more miles than a shoe with a blown-rubber outsole (Ghost, Ride, Cumulus, Wave Rider, etc). Reduced stitching with welded overlays and a mesh liner are designed to prevent friction and provide extra plushness. It may not feel as soft as other shoes, but that softness also slows you down.
Fit: The Zoom Elite 7 fits true to your running shoe size. Not as narrow as the Pegasus 31, and the toebox feels similar to the Nike Vomero 9. Flywire supports the midfoot. The heel is secure to prevent slippage.
Feel: Light and responsive, especially in the forefoot. It feels softer running than walking, but don’t expect a marshmallow feel. Not as much arch as the Zoom Elite 5 and 6, but more than the Pegasus 31. The only drawback is that the thin tongue tends to cut into your leg if you wear no-show socks.
Look: Bright and fun, and it even looks good as a casual shoe.
- Weighs 9.6 oz (Men’s) and 8 oz (Women’s)
- 8mm heel-toe offset
- Asymmetric lacing
- Zoom Air unit in forefoot
- Men’s sizes 6-13, 14, 15; Women’s sizes 5-12
- Medium width only
- $110 retail