Nike Reviews

Nike Zoom Fly 4 Review

Published: October 25, 2021

 Nike Zoom Fly4 Reactfoam


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SCORE: 8.5/10

Weight: 9.4 oz (267g) US Size 9 (M)

Heel Drop: 8mm

Size: True to size

Shoe Type: Daily Trainer

Surface: Road

Pace: Tempo and marathon


  • Enough cushioning for daily training
  • Secure lockdown
  • Roomy toe box
  • Breathable mesh
  • Versatile (Daily training and racing)
  • Cool appearance
  • Durable



  • Lacks the responsiveness found in the Vaporfly and Alphafly Next%
  • Less update because it is almost the same as the previous version.


Take Away

In a nutshell, the Zoom Fly 4 is a practical shoe. It is a versatile shoe for daily training, very comfortable, and more responsive than its predecessor. The cushiness of the Nike React foam combines well with the weakened carbon fiber plate to help propel a runner forwards. 



Nike Zoom Fly 4 is an iteration of the Zoom Fly 3 but a better upgrade because it pairs with the ZoomX Vaporfly Next% racing shoe as a daily trainer. The Zoom Fly 3 was a very popular daily trainer shoe among runners. It was very stable and excellent for people prone to ground impact-related injuries. Unfortunately, some runners found it very stiff and the carbon plate less responsive.

The Zoom Fly 4 does not come with many changes. However, you will find noteworthy changes at the upper. The massive change is that Nike toned down the Vapor Weave material and added Flyknit material to make the upper more flexible and appealing. Though the midsole remains entirely unchanged, Nike says that the Fly 4 rides softer than the Zoom Fly 3.

Those who have run in Zoom Fly 3 will notice the nuance of fit and ride in Zoom Fly 4 because Nike went for an ergonomic fitting and souped-up the ride for daily trainers.

Anecdotally, some runners do not see the differences, and some have expressed the added weight and the less responsiveness. There is a significant agreement that the Flyknit was a good shoe, and people are questioning Nike's intention with the Zoom Fly 4.

Whether Nike is getting out of touch with its customers is a question for another day because many runners I have interacted with are also excited with Nike Zoom Fly 4. I think Nike intended to create a clear line between racing shoes and daily trainer shoes. That is, you want a shoe that can handle anything thrown at it and still experience a high level of comfort, then you get to choose Nike's daily trainers like the Zoom Fly 4. On the other hand, if you want something for racing, you get to choose the ZoomX Vaporfly  Next%, Tempo Next%, or the Alphafly Next%.


Nike Zoom Fly4 front


Nike Zoom Fly 4 Instant Impression 

The Zoom Fly 3 was fine, so I was curious to see what the Zoom Fly 4 had in store for me. After its release, I checked it out on Nike's official webpage, and I was very impressed with the new design. The sleek look was captivating.

Like the Zoom Fly 3, the new version has the frame of a racer shoe. However, the Zoom Fly 3 feels a few ounces heavier than its predecessor when taken out of the box. I have run in the last two versions, and the additional weight in every series is apparent. Hence,  I am worried for the next series if Nike keeps adding weight.

The last version had a good fitting, but it was pretty narrow in the toe box. I am glad Nike took note, and this time around, they gave the forefoot a slight touch of broadness. I felt the toe box was roomy, and the sock-like fitting was out of this world.

I see the Zoom Fly 4 as a mix of the Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit and ZoomX Vaporfly Next %. In the React Infinity Run Flyknit, Nike utilized the Flyknit upper, which is very comfortable and stretchy with a superb lockdown. Both Zoom Fly 4 and the Vaporfly have a similar midsole and outsole designs. The big difference is the ZoomX foam in the Vaporfly and React foam in the Zoom Fly 4.

When I took the Zoom Fly 4 out for a run, I felt stiffness, although slightly softer than the Zoom Fly 3. I could hear the sounds of slaps on the pavement. After a while, the midsole broke in, and the ride became quite soft. The lockdown and comfort, especially the sock-like feeling was apparent.

I had initial runs of 6 miles a day where I applied various racing paces; a mile of the warm-up race, 2 miles of hard effort pace, a bit of jogging, a hard pace, then recovery runs. On the third day, I attempted long runs.
The overall ride was stable. I did not experience my ankles rolling. Speed per mile was impressive. 

Nike Zoom Fly 4 Upper Design and Fitting

Nike Zoom Fly4 upper


The biggest change is in the upper. Unlike in the previous version, Nike toned down the Vapor Weave material and added more Flyknit material. In the Zoom Fly 3, there was a lot of Vapor Weave material, which was also badly designed. In Nike Zoom Fly 4, the upper comes in a double mesh design, and Vapor weave material is concentrated in the tongue area and parts of the heel area. The rest of the upper is of Flyknit material.

The vapor weave material has a texture that resembles a thin sheer fabric or a thin woven fishing net. It is a combination of nylon and thermoplastic polymers, so it is resistant. The Weave Vapor accentuates the collar, tongue area, and heel parts. It combines well with the vibrant colorways in the upper to give the shoe a sleek appearance.

The double-layer mesh is a replica of the Zoom's Fly3 upper. I love this design because the internal layer forms a sock-like design, which is very huggy around the foot. The largely perforated and thin outer mesh complements well with the inner layer.

The inner mesh provides a comfortable huggy feel while the outer layer does more than contain the foot. In Miami, the temperature goes up to 76.7°F. However, even in my mid-morning runs, I don't feel my feet sweat. The aeration is spectacular. I always feel air moving into the shoe, keeping my foot cool and dry.

Nike Zoom Fly4 Mesh


Nike went for an ergonomic fitting. For instance, the inner mesh runs beneath the gusseted vapor weave tongue design, extending upwards to create a bootie-like fit. Unlike in the Fly 3, the tongue is stretchy and very similar to what you will find in the Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit. It somehow gives you that classic look of the Zoom Flyknit.

In the lateral sides of the midfoot, within the doubled mesh, there are elasticized bands that provide a snug fit similar to what you will find in the Pegasus 38. The collar is stretchy, and the new lacing system does well to enhance a snug fit. As soon as I tied the laces, I felt a clamp on my instep.

Another significant improvement is the additional padding around the ankle. I find it to be almost similar to the inner padding available in the Nike Alphafly Next%. The impact of this adjustment is immense because I felt my heel locked into place and did not experience heel slippage.

The added padding also makes the heel collar somehow flare, preventing rubbing around the ankle and Achilles, which helps maintain comfort during long runs. They say little is enough, so Nike somehow padded the collar and the tongue, and I am okay with everything. Nike also added a heel pad to enhance comfort and fitting.

The most important thing is that the toe box is roomy enough for my wide foot. There are spaces in the right places, allowing my toes to splay naturally while running. Besides, with the Flyknit material, the upper is stretchy, so my foot can relax during long runs.

The pull tap behind the heel looks like a decoration because I found it to be pointless. I didn't have to use it anyway.

There is no major issue to point out in the upper. It fits true to size. When the laces are dialed up, the fitting is superbly snugly. Hence Zoom Fly 4 has an improved lockdown than its predecessor.

Though the toe box may be too roomy for a wide-footed runner, the runner can solve the issue by going a half size down.


Nike Zoom Fly 4 Sole Design and Performance 

Nike Zoom Fly4 midsole


The midsole is entirely Nike React foam, Nike's most durable foam but not as responsive as the ZoomX foam. Nike tends to use the React foam in its daily trainers because it doesn't break down easily like the ZoomX foam. In this case, the Zoom Fly 4 guarantees you more running miles than you would in the Vaporfly series. The downside of using the React foam is that it makes the midsole denser and less responsive.

The unique thing about the midsole is the full-length fiber carbon plate akin to what you will find in the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%. Even so, the combination of firm rubber and a fiber carbon plate makes the midsole rock-solid and less compliant for at least 60 miles.

In my first run, I felt like the shoe was slapping the ground hard. I experienced stiffness. Nevertheless, in the end, after clocking a few more miles, the midsole began to give in, and I got to used it. I could feel compliance with every foot strike. Still, it was not as responsive as the ZoomX Vaporfly Next%. I did not experience the pop that comes with running in the Alphafly or the Vaporfly.

I have done about 100 miles in the Zoom Fly 4. They feel more stable than the Vaporfly, and this is attributed to the React foam, which is quite solid and doesn't break down easily like the ZoomX foam in the Vaporfly.

 What I like about the ride is that it falls between firmness and softness but leans towards firmness. The nuance of softness is apparent. I can say it rides softer than the Adidas Solar Boost 3.

On its website, Nike says it is as responsive as the Vaporfly. However, I don't think it lives up to that expectation. I found it less responsive, especially in the first few miles because of the dense react foam under my foot. Thus, the Zoom Fly 4 is even stiffer than the Saucony Endorphin Pro 2.

The cushiness and springiness of the React Foam offer enough cushioning to protect the foot from the ground impact, especially when running long miles. The Zoom Fly 4 will certainly protect a runner from ground impact-related injuries. The 8mm heel drop combined well with the late rocker in the forefoot to provide a seamless heel-to-toe transition. 


Nike Zoom Fly4 Outsole


Nike didn't bother to change the outsole. If the outsole of the Fly3 worked for you, this too will. The hard rubber makes the shoe versatile on a range of surfaces. The depths of the lugs are quite deep and work fine to enhance traction and protect the midsole from abrasion.

The lugs can pick small debris, and of course, it is not much of a concern. However, avoid running on gravel because the hard rubber does not give in to gravel. Instead, it bounced off and may make you lose balance. The outsole performs excellently on the road.

To some it all, there are no groundbreaking changes in the midsole. I wish Nike would have used two layers of midsole foam, React foam in the heels and ZoomX foam in the forefoot, to enhance responsiveness and make the ride softer than what it has achieved so far.

Still, this shoe rides better than the previous version. It is very stable and feels like a fast shoe. I can do plenty of different runs with the Zoom Fly 4.


Why You Shoud Buy Nike Zoom Fly 4 

Nike Zoom Fly4 Heel


The Zoom fly 4 will make you appreciate Nike's effort to enhance a runner's experience. There is a lot to like about this shoe. It is an improved version of its predecessor with a better snug fit, sleek appearance, and softer ride. Like the Zoom Fly3, Nike Zoom Fly 4 has a structure of a racer shoe.

The major complaint about the Zoom Fly 4 was its stiffness. Nike took notice of that and softened the full-length carbon plate. So, it rides softer than the last version and feels like a fast shoe.

The previous version was a multi-purpose shoe but more of a daily trainer. The midsole design proves that Nike had no intention to deviate. Like its predecessor, Zoom Fly 4 can take anything thrown at it. You can use the Zoom Fly 4 for tempo, fartlek, half and full-marathon or interval runs except for easy runs.

Except for the added weight, the fly 4 can easily go up against carbon plated shoes like New Balance FuelCell RC Elite 2 and Endorphin Pro 2. Still, I will continue using the Zoom Fly 4 interchangeably with my endorphin Pro 2.

If you enjoy running in the Zoom Fly 3, you won't have a problem with the Zoom fly 4. I find it an easy choice for anyone looking for stability. Besides, it is one of Nike series with roomy toe box. Also, the cushioning is excellent for someone prone to ground impact injuries. Considering that it can do cross-training, the pricing is simply fair.


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Reviewed by Dick Harrison 

Harrison is an Australian who lives in Sidney. He trains for fitness and the fun of it but does it like a pro. Harrison has the experience of running in various running shoes and understands the technology behind each shoe model he has worn.


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