At Nike innovation is one of their key brand truths. Technology today is always changing and challenging new scientific theory and ZOOM is the key to speed this season. But what is zoom? Why does it make you find your fast and how is it put into Nike shoes?!
Zoom is basically the name of the air unit which provides the responsive cushioning. The air unit, originally known as tensile air, was generated in 1995 after the idea was ironically rejected by Adidas! Simply, the unit is a combination of strong synthetic fibres within an air shell which is extremely thin and lightweight. When compressed the fibres are pressurised and act quickly to respond back to their original shape. Within running shoes this acts as extra propulsion for when the foot is applying force off the ground. Thus, responsive cushioning is born!
Shoes with this classic air unit in this lead campaign are as follows: Zoom Elite 8, Zoom Pegasus 32, Zoom Vomero 10, Zoom Structure 18 and lastly the newest edition the Zoom Odyssey. The first 3 of these shoes all fall into the neutral category (foot does not pronate during stance phase of the gait cycle). The last two are part of the stability range (foot pronates during stance phase-shoe type depends on how severe this pronation is). At a later date I shall review some of these shoes more in depth, but for now, the zoom unit in these shoes lies in different places. This enables the shoes to give different properties. Below is the Zoom Elite break down and you can see the air unit lies in the forefoot.
This allows much propulsion at toe-off meaning this shoe is great for speed work. Other features such as the upper construction with flywire and breathable mesh, give the foot great lockdown and support. With an 8mm heel drop and the use of cushlon foam through the heel, this shoe my go to trainer!
Another version of zoom in a Nike shoe is the Pegasus. Being in its 32nd model shows the heritage and reliability of this model being one of the first shoes created by the man himself Bill Bowerman. In this shoes the air unit sits in the heel. This allows for more cushion upon heel strike and faster transition through the mid-foot. The shoe has a built in lateral crash rail to help the foot reduce impact to the body. I can’t deny this shoe is a classic that you can always rely on.
The Zoom Odyssey is the newest shoe in the Nike range only just released at the start of this month. It is the highest level stability shoe in their range using 3 types of foam (phylon, lunarlon and cushlon). These foams are different densities which is what provides the stability.
In regards to the Zoom air units it is one of the only models along with the Vomero which has two units in the shoe. This provides double the amount of cushioning and responsiveness however, marginally increases the weight of the shoe.
So there you have it! Nike’s innovation is ever growing and as usual is motivating and inspiring. I have only given a very brief detail about the shoes and their features so any questions please ask. More shoe reviews to follow…watch this space…