Having the right running shoes can make or break a run. So what is important to have in a running shoe? What balance of resistance and bounce is good? What type of tread do you need? There are a lot of questions worth asking when you are trying on different models. Let's take a look at the Nike Flyknit womens running shoes and some of its competitors to see what exactly they offer in terms of answers to these questions and more.
We will go through 3 other models and compare each in terms of cushion, durability, design, and other aspects as well. We hope to uncover answers to needs users have in terms of a good running shoe and also show the problems each model comes with as well.
What Are the Nike Flyknit Womens Running Shoes?
The Nike Flyknit womens running shoes fit the brief for a flexible, lightweight running shoe. This model is great for light runs and 5ks and even for daily training. Because of its flexible and collapsible nature, it is easily transportable as well. Those looking for a good cross between running shoes and trainers or even just daily shoes will find a good match in the Nike Flyknit womens running shoes.
The Nike Flyknit Womens model offers two types of cushion. The first is a light foam directly underfoot for comfort and support. The second is more solid and built for added resistance and feedback.
The upper portion and the heel is made of a stretchy, breathable knit material that is both adaptive and supportive to keep your feet in place. The addition of spandex throughout the mesh keeps the shape of the shoe as well as aids in keeping the feet from slipping or moving laterally.
The tread is rubberized so it has extra grip on surfaces, though this is not a rugged terrain shoe. The added grip should help in terrains that go beyond pavement and the track though, which is often something runners enjoy--especially those who mix track training with racing.
The lacing set up also allows for a customizable fit to ensure your foot is secured and snug. This aids runners both in the track and in other terrains as well to protect the feet as well as keep them from blistering.
How It Compares
We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare. In trying to see what the Nike Flyknit womens model has to offer, we decided to compare it to 3 others. We used parameters that will draw out the pros and cons of each model in terms of fit, design, comfort, durability, and cushion.
- DESIGN QUALITY
For the most part, users have been pleased with the amount of cushion in the Nike Flyknit womens model. It has worked well for daily use as well as light running and training.
However, there have been a few complaints about the stiffness of the sides of the shoe. Though they are light and breathable, some users have a hard time with the material as it has been stiffened slightly to keep its shape and hold your feet in place. If you have wider feet, this problem may present itself, so we recommend trying these shoes on before buying them.
The heel has extra cushion as well as a form-fitting material to help keep the heel from slipping and form around the foot. This material is also responsive as you run to avoid blisters.
While we feel that the design is well conceived and executed, it is not for everyone. These shoes offer a tightly fitted feel, so for those who do not enjoy a water shoe type fit or if the shape of the foot does not match the shape of the shoe, there can definitely be comfort and functionality complaints. Blisters especially are common if the shoe is not tightened enough or if your foot does not fit the shape of the shoe.
As far as we could see, the Nike Flyknit womens model has good durability and does well against moderate terrains. However, we would keep this model away from rugged terrains because while it may have a rubber tread, the tread design is not prepared for rough terrains and there is no weatherproofing to seal the shoe. The height of the shoe would also likely attract mud and would not save your feet from puddles.
This model offers good cushioning and comfort without compromising responsiveness. This is a great option for daily training and light running, so this model works well as a "one shoe fits all" type of fit.
- DESIGN QUALITY
One aspect users have appreciated is the fact that this model does not need a break-in time. You can go from the box to the pavement immediately without needing to ease into them. The cushioning provides enough comfort and resistance to be both cushioned and firm enough to provide spring.
The heel is updated from the previous models with a slightly lower heel and elongated back heel collar. This helps keep your foot in place as well as take some pressure off your Achilles.
All together, each piece of this model comes together for a great running and training crossover. The tread in particular is upgraded from previous versions. It is better equipped to handle different terrains.
One issue users have had is that the cushion is not breathable. This can create an uncomfortable run and can further decrease durability.
There have been few complaints on durability for this model. In fact, this has been a user favorite. One issue that was noted though is that the sole tends to show compression and impact lines after just 60 miles.
This is a good model for beginners. It is well built for 5ks and other light to moderate runs. It has a simple construction but pulls from its more expensive siblings.
- DESIGN QUALITY
This model incorporates foam that both comforts your feet on impact as well as builds resistance so your take off has a little more boost. Users often wear these shoes as cross-training shoes.
The heel has no unique qualities besides basic cushioning and form. So far, there have been no complaints, however. As long as users stay with the parameters of light running and training, this shoe should perform.
Besides the needed break in time, there have been no complaints about the durability of this shoe so long as it is used within its parameters. Overall, the design has been well put together and users have been loyal.
While this model will not go beyond the average lifespan of running shoes, it has held up well against different uses, both indoor and outdoors. Though there are no weatherproofing features, the tread is rubber to help a little in rougher environments.
- Circular-knit mesh upper offers ventilation and lockdown.
- Zoom Air units provide lightweight, responsive cushioning.
- Pressure-mapped outsole delivers excellent cushioning through toe-off.
A little apart from the previous models, this shoe focuses more on long runs than cross-functionality. It provides good traction as well as comfort, which balances well with good responsiveness.
- DESIGN QUALITY
While this model has good cushioning, it has a long break-in period which can cause blistering on the first few runs. Walking or training does not seem to require a break-in period, though. The cushioning really has made an impression on users.
There is extra foam under the heel, making this a great option for those who strike hard on their heels. We would definitely recommend this model to those needing some extra cushion or boost on the heel.
One of the biggest cons of this model is how long it takes to break in. One user reported it taking 45 miles till they were broken in. However, after that, they felt great. Users have also reported the toe box to be too narrow to be comfortable until the shoes were broken in.
There have been no complaints on durability, though there are some concerns that the stiffness of the shoe and the need for a long break-in period will influence its longevity.
Now that we have gone through the Nike Flyknit womens model as well as some of its competitors, we want to revisit it again. Due to the collapsible and lightweight nature of this model along with the cushioning and resistance, we feel this is a good, neutral cross-training model.
We have some recommendations for users, with the Nike Flyknit womens model as a good model for all around use. From walking to working to running and training, we feel that this model is a good shoe to start with and work with in many different areas; however, it does emphasize running slightly more than a simple trainer.
For those just starting in the racing world, the Nike Winflo 5 would be a good option as it pulls from the more expensive racers without jacking up the price and will get you thinking about what you want in an upgraded version down the road once you have more miles under your belt.
If you are just looking for something well rounded in all areas, then we recommend the Nike Zoom Pegasus 35. It will offer support and comfort in every area, though it may not give an extra boost for runners that you would find in a shoe more tailored for that.
Finally, the Zoom Vomero 13 is a great pair of shoes for long runs; however, we want to stress that these shoes have a long break-in time. If you have the time to walk or train in them before running in them, that would be the best option, as blistering will likely occur otherwise. That being said, they would make for a great long-distance shoe after they're broken in.