I have a confession to make. I got into this review thinking there was a lot of technology in it. Yes, there was a lot of technology in it, but not the silicon based technology I am used to. However, I have taken up this review as a challenge, because it could help me solve a problem I have been grappling with for years.
No, I don’t review shoes. No, I am not a regular runner. But here is my review of the Nike Zoom Elite 8.
Nike Zoom Elite 8
Initially, when Nike offered a review opportunity I thought the popular shoe company was finally entering the space of smart shoes, something like the Lechal that I have been fascinated with for a while. But the Zoom Elite 8 is not about haptic feedbacks or app-based intelligence, but it is about being able to make your daily run smoother and, may be, faster.
Price: Rs 8,995
What is the tech here?
Yes, technology of the silicon kind is surely coming to your shoes. But technology of another kind has been there for some time. So the Zoom Elite 8 is not the first Nike shoe to go high-tech. In fact, since 1995 there has been a long list of shoes from the company that add more than a sole between your feet and the ground. The Zoom Air range offers cushioning for the foot from “tightly-stretched tensile fibers woven inside a pressurised Nike Air unit”. In other words, there is something like an air bubble under your soles. But when you put pressure on it, it takes the load and springs back into shape.
What does the tech do to your running?
Well, I have been a 5km morning walker for a few years now. But I have never been able to run more than a hundred meters or so in one stretch. Being 80kg, it is often the legs that give up before the lungs. After the enthusiastic initial burst, every stride feels as if it is sending a shock wave from the sole up to the thighs. And let me tell you I wear a reasonably expensive Nike shoe for my walks, and runs.
Here are a few observations:
With the Zoom Elite 8, I felt the run became a bit easier for me. Yes, the lungs still hurt after the first 100 metres or so, but the legs felt fresher and they could try and push the rest of the body to chip in a bit more.
Even with my weight, the strides felt a bit softer and there was literally no shockwaves flying up my legs with the strides.
This is the best fitting shoe I have ever used. The Nike Flywire technology means the entire shoe tightens and grips your leg when you pull the laces. The shoe fits your feet like a second skin.
The lightweight mesh body lets the feet breathe and this is a good feature to have for those using it in places like delhi where even early morning runs could end up being sweaty affairs. In fact, when you run you can actually feel air rushing in at the toe end of the shoe.
This is among the lightest shoes around that makes it ideal for those going for long runs, or walks like me.
What are the issues?
Well, the shoe costs almost Rs 9,000 and I think that is still a bit too much for a running shoe. Of course, it is worth it for people who can afford it.
The Zoom Elite 8 comes in two colours, both of which are anything but subtle. I would love if there was a black or white version. Hope Nike realises not all runners want to appear like a deer caught in the headlights.
Should you buy?
Yes, if you are someone who runs everyday and wouldn’t mind paying to improve the experience. Yes, you will enjoy your runs better with the Nike Zoom Elite 8.