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Nike Road Running Line up review

In this article, you will learn how all Nike models are interconnected.

However, we advise you to watch this video to the end because there are many more details that simply do not fit into this scheme. Additionally, you need to know that the color coding on the scheme is based on our running shoes classification video, which is available on the channel.

The central model of Nike is Vomero 17. I know most of you expected the Pegasus, but the 41st version is no longer the central model. Also, This is clear from a technology standpoint. Vomero 17 features a layer of ZoomX midsole, which is extremely light, cushy, and bouncy, and a layer of Cushlon foam, which is very stiff and stable. As a result, you have a model that is good for everything. It is comfortable thanks to great cushioning, safe due to good stability, relatively light, at least within the Nike range, and pretty bouncy. However, all further models will excel in one of these components but never in all of them.

If we change the half ZoomX, half Cushlon midsole to a full-length ZoomX and also increase the stack height, we get the Invincible 3. This model provides an insane amount of cushioning and is very, very comfortable, yet light and bouncy, thanks to the ZoomX. It also features a knitted upper, which adds to its comfort. However, the model is so comfortable that it can be challenging to maintain a fast pace in it.

On the other hand, if we change the half ZoomX, half Cushlon midsole to a full-length Cushlon, we get a more stable model – the Structure 25. In addition to the foam's stiffness, this model features a midfoot support system and an increased heel counter to provide more control during each stride. However, these improvements make the shoes more clunky and less dynamic.

The next option is made for speed - Nike Zoom Fly 5. It uses a full-length ZOOMX midsole, which is light and bouncy. On top of that, this model features more aggressive geometry to secure a faster take-off and a carbon plate to activate the swing effect—when you press on the front, you get a push to the heel. The combination of these improvements guarantees more responsiveness and better running efficiency. Meanwhile, these shoes still have a rather comfortable upper, ensuring they are good for amateurs. However, their disadvantage is comparatively low stability, making them less appropriate for beginners.

At this point, you realize why the Vomero is the central model: it features technologies from all directions. If we maximize one of these technologies, we move towards more stability, cushioning, or speed. However, is it the best-balanced model? That is arguable.

The Nike Pegasus 41 shows almost the same characteristics but is significantly cheaper. Instead of Cushlon and ZoomX, the Pegasus utilizes ReactX material. This foam has balanced characteristics: good softness, good bounce, and good stability. As a result, you get features almost similar to the Vomero with its half Cushlon, half ZoomX construction. The previous version, Pegasus 40, had stiffer foam and less stack height, making it lighter and a bit better for a faster pace. This version, with increased stack height and bouncier foam, is almost equal to the Vomero. I would say it has a bit more responsiveness, while the Vomero offers a bit more cushioning. Both weigh the same and have almost the same stability level.

Next up is the Nike InfinityRN 4. These shoes are a development of the Pegasus. They feature an increased stack height of ReactX foam, resulting in a softer feel and more cushioning. However, this also increases the weight. Compared to the Invincible Run, which features ZoomX foam, the InfinityRN 4 is heavier but provides much more stability. So, if you are looking for increased cushioning and more safety, the InfinityRN is better. However, due to the increased weight and slight bulkiness, these shoes are less dynamic.

Now let's cover the fastest Nike models. First up is the Vaporfly 3. It is a development of the Zoom Fly, featuring the same ZoomX foam. However, the geometry is more aggressive, and the shoes are designed to be narrow to reduce weight. Additionally, the shoes have a significantly lighter upper, which sacrifices some comfort but provides better breathability and lightness. As a result, these shoes are lighter and more responsive but less stable and comfortable.
Alphafly 3 is further development of running efficiency. It features additional air zoom pads, which works as a swing point for a carbon plate. Not only when you press on the fromt, you get a push to the heel, but also full plate is propulsed forward by pads. However, such solution dcrease stability and as a result these shoes are only recommended for very experienced runners.

The lightest model in Nike's range is the Streakfly. It features a significantly reduced stack height of lightweight ZoomX foam. As a result, there is a minimal amount of cushioning, which is appropriate for only a limited number of runners. The shoes also have a very light upper, which is not particularly comfortable. Such combination is only good for short distances, when you need to shoe the fastest pace.

The next three models are the Nike Free Run 5.0, Flex Experience Run 12, and Free RN NN. These shoes have minimal midsoles, almost like barefoot running shoes. Their advantage is their flexibility and natural feel. In such shoes, you can truly enhance your technique and develop additional muscles. However, from a cushioning and stability standpoint, you rely entirely on your foot. You do not see such shoes in other brands' lineups, which I believe is a significant omission.

Finally, Nike has a lot of budget versions. They use slightly less bouncy materials, like the Winflo 11 compared to the Pegasus, or less breathable uppers, like the Revolution 7. It is really hard to map them against the main models because, in general, they have overlapping characteristics. So we placed the budget models like this, but we want to inform you that there are more details. Please write a comment if you want us to prepare a detailed comparison for you.