Monday, November 26, 2018

Nike Zoom Vomero 14 Review: Fast and Responsive Heavy Duty Run Trainer!

Article by Sam Winebaum

Nike Zoom Vomero 14 ($140)
The Vomero was a personal purchase at retail.

The Zoom Vomero 14 is an entirely new run trainer from Nike. It only shares name, Zoom Air and the exact same weight with its predecessors. There is no question from my initial testing that the Vomero is designed to be Nike's new heavy duty faster, long and big mileage trainer. It is by far my favorite Nike heavy duty trainer in many years.

The Zoom Air is in a new full length patented configuration embedded in Nike's React foam. It is my understanding the Zoom Air unit swoops down in a curve similar to the Vaporlfly and Zoom Fly but here we have air instead of carbon for the plate.

At a reasonable shade under 10 oz (283 g) it is heavier than the Pegasus 35 (RTR review) and Turbo (RTR review) as well as Zoom Fly Flyknit (RTR review) and Epic React (RTR review). Not to worry it is a very dynamic riding shoe with a particularly well executed thinner, stable, firmer, yet well cushioned forefoot that likes to go fast and lively. My ground contact times as measured by RunScribe are close to the Vaporfly in the Vomero 14 which means I am turning over fast, always a good thing.

Zoom Vomero 14
Estimated Weight: US M9: 10 oz / 283 g
   Tested Sample US M8.5: 9.77 oz / 277 g
Stack Height per Running Warehouse: 27 mm heel / 17 mm forefootDrop: 10mm
Available November 29, 2018

Zoom Vomero 13
Weight Zoom Vomero 13: 10 oz
Stack 31mm heel / 21 mm forefoot, 10 mm drop

First Impressions, Fit and Run Feel
The Vomero 14 fits me true to size with a fit a touch more relaxed than Pegasus 35 upfront due to the less dense more pliable mesh there which creates slightly more overhead room. The top of the achilles swept back tab is less noticed in the Vomero than Pegasus.
It is also slightly more relaxed in fit up front than the Vomero 12. It is of course a different fit than the more performance oriented Zoom Fly FK with its Flyknit stretch knit or the very snug at the arch and mid foot for me Epic React. No such Epic React issues for me here.
It is more flexible with much more distinct flex point if a touch firmer up front than the Peg 35. I am not a fan of the lumpy stiff forefoot of the Pegasus. It is also firmer upfront and overall than the Vomero 12, yet, I have had remarkably little next day foot or otherwise soreness after faster runs in this shoe. It has shades of the Peg Turbo up front in being a thin forefoot but with more stable cushion and more response and overall stability.  The upper is comfortable and secure. The rear is more stable than the Pegasus Turbo and similar in feel to Pegasus 35 if a bit broader. It does not quite have the carbon plate pop of the racier lighter Zoom Fly Fly Knit and is a bit more cushioned up front and for sure more stable at the heel due to the upper, but the overall feel approaches Zoom Fly with a more subtle sense of falling forward then pop off the front. The substitution of Zoom Air for carbon plate softens the pop and makes the Vomero more forgiving for daily training,

The upper is a comfortable engineered mesh with Flywire.

The Flywire cords extend further down the outside of upper before entering and proceeding to the midsole which I assume is to provide a touch more padding from the outer mesh and to better wrap the foot in concert with the laces. It is more mesh like than the more knit like Peg 35 and certainly less plasticky than the Peg Turbo's upper, There is plenty of toe box room but this is not a wide toe box, and as with the Peg 35 and Zoom Fly Flyknit, I found not lacing overly tight relieves any front of the laces pressures from the FlyWire.

The ankle and achilles collar is very firmly, modularly padded and stiff but holds the rear extremely well.  Unlike the thicker Pegasus 35 or puffy Vomero 12 the tongue is thin and lightly if adequately padded if a bit short in length. It ties into a bootie which sits between the foot and lower entry of the Flywire.
The swept back achilles "thing" holds the achilles well with no top of achilles pressure or heel slip.

The resulting foot wrap is perfect: secure, snug, with no slop but more on the performance than relaxed side of uppers.

The midsole and geometry is completely new with React foam as the main cushioning, a new full length Zoom Air unit instead of separate front and rear units, high rear sidewalls, and a deep underfoot decoupling and weight reducing groove. The stack certainly feels and according to Running Warehouse is lower with Vomero 14 at 27mm heel / 17 mm forefoot while the Vomero 13 is shown as 31 mm heel / 21 mm forefoot. We will confirm as the 14 may not include the height of the sock liner.

The side walls wrap the front of the heel cup.
The high rear side walls are partly cosmetic as they cover the heel cup to the rear but do extend a bit further forward than the heel cup normally does.

The sidewalls provide a very light stability element to the shoe following a recent trend towards guide rails and such. I do notice them and those with wide flat feet may notice them more than I do. I notice the side walls and a slight sense of heel blockiness more at slower paces than fast. At faster paces they clearly effectively direct the foot in the path of travel and disappear.


The horizontal pattern outsole on the entire lateral side appears to be slightly firmer than the lozenge geometry outsole on the medial side. There is plenty of rubber here for many miles of training,
The deep decoupling groove is oriented to end way over on the lateral side upfront providing a wide platform of support. Based on what I learned from Salomon's Sonic RA line decoupling designs, such an arrangement provides more medial forefoot support and stability. I could sure feel this on the run as the toe offs were decisive and very stable as well. Unlike the Salomon Sonic RA Max, their most accentuated medial platform design, the transitions, due to the deeper groove I believe felt far smoother in the Vomero. Bottom line the Vomero 14 has some inherent forefoot stability I think contributing to balancing (with the Zoom Air in the mix for cushion) the performance snap from its distinct flex point and great road feel, and relative lack of forefoot shock or fatigue of a relatively thin forefoot.

Ride and Performance
The ride is firmer but very well cushioned.  The combination of Zoom Air which provides both stability and firm cushion and the softer React foam makes for a very balanced ride and overall feel: highly responsive, stable, with none of the muted dull cushion React alone tends to have in the React.  More muted in response but a touch more forgiving than the new Zoom Fly Fly Knit, the ride here is for long fast miles. The transitions and toe off at tempo paces is smooth and snappy (my ground contact times prove this) with great front ground feel and minimal shock. At slower paces, the heel width and the side walls are more noticed so I might not first select the Vomero as a recovery easy days shoe and in the class would lean more towards the New Balance 1080v9, Peg Turbo, Skechers Ride 7, or Brooks Ghost,

The overall execution bridges performance and training, while for sure leaning more to training and more completely balancing speed and protection than any of its siblings, or in fact  other shoes in its class such as the Ghost, Launch, Skechers Ride 7, and Sweet Road 2. In the Nike scheme of things for me it replaces the Pegasus 35, a shoe I found blocky and lumpy if responsive, and the softer not particularly fast predecessor Vomero 12, the last version  I ran. With its light inherent stability front and back without posts or plates it may also replace the Zoom Structure a shoe I have not tested.  It  clearly becomes the heavy miles daily training companion to the fast days Zoom Fly Flyknit and race days Vaporfly given its low agile forefoot and solid cushion.
Sam's Score: 9.9/10
A long lasting training shoe which protects and helps me run fast with a firmer stable forefoot and dynamic neutral ride is what I prefer. I deduct a small amount for the somewhat exaggerated rear midsole walls which while functional could be reduced along with weight.

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v9 (initial review)
This is the  closest obvious comparison is to the. It has a similar fitting upper. Choose the New Balance is you want a softer more relaxed ride and one suited to easy days, but still a lively one. Choose the Vomero, hands down if you want a higher performance faster training ride.
Saucony Triumph ISO 5 (RTR review)
The Triumph is one of the big surprises of 2018. It runs far smoother than its predecessors and "lighter" than is weight. It weights a considerable 1.5 oz more weight than the Vomero but has a quite lively more forgiving ride.  It is a softer more cushioned shoe with a more relaxed ride than Vomero from its combination of slightly bouncy Everun, more forefoot stack and a softer outsole. The upper is roomier.  I prefer the greater energy of the Vomero for most runs.
Skechers GORun Ride 7 (RTR review)
The Ride 7 is lighter by 0.75 oz and springier than the Vomero. While the Vomero is notably stable in the forefoot the Ride 7 is not. The forefoot performance of the Ride is more towards cushion and a rocker while Vomero leans towards performance through the deep decoupling groove and flex point. Heel cushion is quite similar although here to the Vomero is more stable and denser. Ride 7 has considerably less outsole rubber and a similarly fitting upper. The choice comes down to a more stable very fast ride with lots of durablity with Vomero vs. a springier lighter one with Ride 7. Considerably less money on sales you can probably pick up two for the price of one Vomero and you will likely need to to match miles.My preference is the Vomero 14.

Relevant Nike Reviews
Pegasus 35 (RTR review), Pegasus Turbo (RTR review), Zoom Fly Flyknit (RTR review) and Epic React (RTR review

Reviewer Bio
Sam Winebaum is the Editor and Founder of RoadTrailRun. He has been running trails and roads and run shoe and tech geeking for 45 years. As he turned 60 in 2017 he was thrilled to clock a 1:35.24 half as well as 2 days after his 61st birthday a 3:40 marathon.  He also runs trails in rocky rooty New Hampshire and smooth Park City, UT. 
The product reviewed in this article was a personal purchase at retail. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.
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Anonymous said...

can't wait for the comparison with the NB 1080 v9

sam winebaum said...

Hi Anonymous, the comparison to NB 1080v9 is above in brief. Pretty much sums it up but will be expanding on it. Very similar all around with 1080 softer and while a fine all paces trainer easier going less dynamic and responsive especially upfront for me than Vomero. If its lower and for some looser heel fit works for you its upper is a touch more relaxed and more comfortable.
Sam, Editor
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Anonymous said...

Please also do comparisons with Saucony triumph iso 5, New balance beacon, skechers go run ride 7 and Nike epic react. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to a great review, and what a score 9.9. What is its breathability like? Is it firmer/softer than saucony triumph iso 5, more responsive/cushioned, Preference between the 2. I found I could feel the air zoom in the nike vomero 12 , can you feel it underfoot in this model? Thanks :)

sam winebaum said...

Hi Anonymous,
Thanks for your questions. I have added comparisons to the Ride 7 and Triumph ISO 5 both worthy to compare to. Nike Epic React is discussed a bit in the review. For me while Epic is very light it has a very snug upper at mid foot which literally gets in the way of my transitions, a dull ride from React alone and the thinner less extensive and softer outsole. The Vomero despite its additional weight is more dynamic for me and more stable. The Beacon is not really a comparison. Far lighter with no outsole rubber but that durable ground contact Fresh Foam it is more an uptempo shorter run racer for me. This said its upper is more relaxed and would suit runners who want an easy and not as locked down fit. I would hesitate to daily train in the Beacon but many do,
Sam, Editor

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your reply Sam. Your 9.99 score definitely encourage me to give it a try once it is available. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Im looking for a treadmill running shoe. I will be doing sprints, jogging and walking on the treadmill. Front of my feet are wider than the back. For reference the Brooks Ghost 11 in 2e fit me fine. Im looking for something cheap and good. Is the NB 1400v6 2e good for treadmill use?

Mark Acher said...

I too noticed the 9.9 rating. And, that got me thinking. You should consider dropping for us a spread sheet (or a similar graphic) with all of your reviews for 2018 in one spot. Obviously, this would just be quick, at-a-glance info, that would then link to your primary review.

The columns could include:
review score,
make/model/ride category (neutral, stability, motion control),
date avail,
use case (road: race, uptempo, daily training; trail: race, uptempo, daily training),
link to review & link to purchase.

In a perfect world, a reader could click on the column heading and it would adjust (example - so we could sort by price, etc.). But, if that's not possible, just having them all listed highest to lowest Sam review score would be really cool.

Thanks for all your work and good luck at the year end show store expos.

sam winebaum said...

HI Mark,
Thanks for the great suggestion. I am hoping to do something along these lines in the next month or so. Each reviewer's score is their own view so we would need to include scores for each reviewer for the shoe.
Sam, Editor

Matt said...

Hey Sam, Another idea that I've been thinking about. I think it would be awesome if you did a shoe of the year article as we're heading towards the end of the 2018. I know you named the Hupana your shoe of the year a couple of years back. It seems like the Floatride Run Fast, the Vaporfly, and maybe the Beacon have stood out to you this year? I think Peter has said the Ride 7 is at the top of his list. I think Dave has loved the Kinvara 9. I know you have some new reviewers too. I would love an article where you all award your shoe of the year and give your reasons. Just a thought.

sam winebaum said...

Hey Matt,
We do this every year as separate articles by each reviewer who wants to do one. We will try to do a combined article this year. I tend to like to award in categories and then secondarily overall if something is really tops above all else. Here is my 2018 article:
I can tell you that I would still award that original Vaporfly as my shoe of the year as ibn 2018 as it took me to an "easy" and unexpected 14 minute BQ but I will not be awarding the newest Flyknit VF or the Obsidian color of the VP shoe of the year although it is excellent. Something not quite the same...
Sam, Editor

Anonymous said...

Thanks for adding in the comparisions of the triumph and skechers. How breathable is the upper on the 14's as I found the skechers 7's a bit hot, is it similar to the triumph iso 5. Is the midsole as firm as the beacons/epic reacts or softer and similar cushion levels. Would you use this shoe as an everyday trainer and recovery shoe - soft enough for that? Are others (eg Jeff) going to add their additions to this review - thoughts & comparisions etc thanks

sam winebaum said...

Hi Anonymous,
Haven't been able to run in any heat but the upper should be plenty breathable, potentially more breathable than Ride 7 as it is less 3D in nature. This said it is a fairly dense but thin and pliable upper. I would say the Triumph ISO 5 with more holes through may be more breathable. The midsole is firmer than Epic React but I would say in the end equally well cushioned, just a different feel. I find the Epic React's overall cushion dull. Here with Zoom Air plus a real and responsive outsole the shoe has life. Definitely an everyday trainer, one that leans towards faster paces, I would not pick it first for a recovery shoe and would lean more towards the NB 1080v9 for a softer all around ride but not quite as dynamic one. Not sure if others will be able to get pairs of Vomero at this point.
Sam, Editor

Bruno said...

Hi Sam!!

9.9? OMG!!!

Vomero 14 (React + Zoom Air), ZoomFly Flyknit (React + Carbon Plate) or EpicReact (only React)?


Tomek Baginski said...

Very intriguing, "My preference is the Vomero 14" vs Ride 7. I very much enjoy 7s, but as you said: "considerably less money on sales you can probably pick up two for the price of one Vomero" — make sense 2x7=14 ;-) I'll wait when the price drops a bit. Thanks for another great review!

Anonymous said...

Is the actual stack height 27/17, I read on Nike website it is 22/12 - that is not much as all. I read that some people find the forefoot a bit to to firm and feel the ground - did you find that?. Does this shoe feel more like a peg 35 or a vomero in the cushioning department? I hope vomero does not lose its plush feel otherwise Nike does not have many everyday/recovery shoes left. Thanks

sam winebaum said...

Hi Anonymous,
I believe 27/17 is the correct stack height for two reasons: Nike likely does not include sockliner and for sure they do not feel like a 22/12 stack shoe, for sure more cushioned than that! The forefoot is firmer than earlier Vomero but as said in the review this is a more performance oriented heavy duty trainer up front yes you do feel the ground but not much shock( a very clever design IMO) , far more agile faster upfront than earlier Vomero(soft and stiff( or Pegasus (firm and stiff) for me. Rear cushion is similar to Vomero 12 maybe a touch more cushioned than Peg 35. I would not call V14 forefoot a plush recovery feel but there is plenty of cushion it is just low profile in nature.
Sam, Editor

Gene said...

Like all your other reviews a great review. Do you think the Vomero 14 has the same last as the prior Vomero. Or even Pegasus 35/34/33. (If the Vom 12/13 last is not identical to the peg's they seem pretty close for my feet.) I'm asking because the Nike lasts seem to be the only ones to match my feet now. Recent Asics, Saucony, Adidas don't anymore. Gene

sam winebaum said...

Hi Gene, Thanks for kind words! We'll keep at it. As far as last my sense is that it is the same but of course the upper construction plays a huge role in fit as well. Why don't other brands fit you? It is a good question and I will see if someone on the Running Shoe Geeks on FB might know the answer.
Sam, Editor

Gene said...

I only tried them on in stores, but I can wear, and run in the Saucony Ride ISO but like the Ride 10 they are just a little short compared to a Nike, same for the Cumulus 20 (which is too firm anyway cf. to past versions- which had lasts similar to current Nikes). Adidas fits seem to change all the time, but for Adidas it could well be their uppers. The Ghost 11 is comfortable but Brooks don't match my feet like Nikes.

Gene said...

It was a while since I tried on the Ride ISO but on further thought saying it fits short is not accurate (the Ride 10, which I have, feels short). I remember clearly now that the Ride ISO is wide and loose in the midfoot & arch, with no real arch support. This could be the upper problem which you have commented on many times in your reviews.

sam winebaum said...

Hi Gene,
Thanks for your further comments which I agree with. Ride ISO is overly loose in the upper particularly at mid foot.
Sam, Editor