Monday, October 09, 2023

NIke Vomero 17 Multi Tester Review: 12 Comparisons

Article by Ryan Eiler, Sally Reiley and Sam Winebaum

Nike Vomero 17 ($160)


Sam: The Vomero 17 has long been Nike’s premium neutral road trainer. Recent editions have see sawed between a more aggressive uptempo focus in the Vomero 14 (my shoe of the year) to a near lifestyle look and focus in the Vomero 16. 

The Vomero 17 refocuses the model towards a highly cushioned all around daily trainer. The design is simplified with a dual foam midsole with Zoom X up top and Cushlon 3 below. The stack height goes to a higher 39mm heel 30.5 mm forefoot with a slightly lower 8.5mm drop while the weight drops just below my magic 10 oz /283 g daily trainer level. Also gone is the Zoom Air unit upfront which while responsive was generally firm added to stiffness and dated given the great Zoom X foam here. The upper is a simpler more streamlined engineered mesh with both a gusset and a strap for midfoot support  Finally we get a waffled outsole.

Clearly designed to compete with others in its category such as Saucony’s Triumph, Puma Magnifty Nitro 2, and ASICS Cumulus 25 in the more flexible higher drop more traditional geometry trainer class it also, while exactly the same stack height is notably different than Nike’s all Zoom X rocker based Invincible Run 3 and just released heavier softer InfinityRN 4 Its non Air and React foam ride places it above the more uptempo Pegasus in terms of comfort, cushion, and long run suitability.  Ryan, Sally and I put it to the test and share all the details along with many comparisons in our review.


Nice blend of ZoomX and Cushlon foams and outsole delivers a highly cushioned easy to move along, stable and dynamic ride: Sam/Ryan/Sally

Clearly now a modern, versatile heavy duty daily trainer at a decent weight with no lifestyle frills or Zoom Air legacy: Sam/Ryan/Sally

Impressively soft yet stable during contact phase: Ryan/Sam

High quality well held upper built to handle high mileage: Ryan/Sally/Sam

Durable and grippy waffle outsole lends to its versatility as a potential non-technical trail shoe: Sally/Ryan

Light big stack broad platform trainer at 10 oz / 283g, 0.3 oz drop in weight from Vomero 16


Over built heel counter not necessary given mid foot hold, back weights on flats, adds weight: Sam/Sally

Breathability: Ryan

Small lugs under toe on outsole: Ryan

Turnover suffers from solid build: Ryan


Official Weight: men's 10.58 oz  / 300g (US10)  /  women's oz / 243.5g (US8)

Approx. Weight: 10 oz / 283g  US9 (Vomero 16 10.3 oz US9)

  Samples: men’s      9.63oz  /273g (L: 9.45 oz /268g , R: 9.79 oz /278g ) 

L: 10.37oz/ 294g , R: 10.26oz/ 291g (M9.5)

                  women’s  8.9 oz / 251 g (US W8)

Stack Height: men’s 39.5 mm heel / 30mm forefoot ( 8.5mm drop spec) 

$160  Available now at our partners at the end of the article

Sam's Initial Video Review of the Vomero 17 is HERE

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Sam: The upper is made of a quite dense engineered mesh. 

It is bolstered at midfoot by both an elastic gusset and a pliable strap connecting from the 2nd and 3d lace loops to the midsole at the blue stitching shown below. We have a totally secure midfoot hold here reminding somewhat of a Pegasus or a Saucony Ride 16.

The lace up is easy and fuss free and stays put.

The heel counter is rigid and massive and is reminiscent of older ASICS. 

There is plenty of rear stability and hold with no heel slip whatsoever, looking at you Invincible Run 3. 

There is plenty of comfortable rear collar cushion in the mix and less of the lifestyle overstuffed collar and “saddle shoe” design of the 16 shown above.

The toe box is medium to narrower in volume and width. I am perfectly held at true to size with my narrower to medium feet.

Overall we have a very secure upper that leans performance over a comfort fit. For the (over) comfort fit in a Nike look to the InfinityRN 4 with its stretch knit upper, much heavier weight and very soft and not very energetic ride. 

Ryan: At first glance, the Vomero 17 looks like it’s going to be much heavier and blockier than it actually is. Pleasant to slip on and easy to lace up, the layer of ZoomX underfoot immediately makes itself known, and relieves you of any worry that it’ll be a clunky, wet blanket of a personality. I couldn’t help but think that the off-white colorway with red and blue accents that I tested looked a bit patriotic. It both looks and feels well made. A variety of textures and patterns in a tightly woven mesh lets it fit in as both a running shoe or a semi-casual one.

Like Sam said, the upper is very robust and secure, with a moderate-to-small amount of space in the midfoot and toe box. I found this fit to be just right for long, moderate mileage, and appreciated how secure my foot felt from every angle. A moderately sculpted toe cap retains the shape of the forefoot, and prevents the toe box from feeling like it’s collapsing. The heel is definitely sturdy — maybe too sturdy — and nobody should have concerns about lockdown in the back. The Vomero’s heel counter seems bomb proof, and its stiffness extends all the way up to the tip of the flared heel cup. 

Neither the tongue nor the heel skimp on padding, which further helps to convey the feeling that your foot is snug and seated exactly in place. As Sally notes, I think this shoe could actually be used on light trails, thanks in part to the upper’s very capable lockdown and containment. The padded tongue, and a small laminated bit toward its top, distributes pressure nicely.

While the engineered mesh is thoughtfully engineered and performs superbly, its robust nature sacrifices breathability a bit. In the fallish New England weather it’s no issue, but these might run a little warm in the latter miles of a late spring long run.

Overall, the upper is primarily meant to deliver comfort for high mileage running, and I think it accomplishes that task well. 

Fit is true to size, with Nike’s typical amount of snugness in the forefoot.

Sally: I have run in a wide range of Nike shoes and one might label me a Nike runner because I always seem to run my marathons and longer races in the Nike Vaporfly. 

Yet I don’t do many daily training runs or even recovery runs in Nike shoes. I used to be a fan of the earlier Nike Peg Turbo, and then enjoyed many miles in the original Invincible 1, but of late have not done many runs in a Nike shoe. There seems to be a void right now in the Nike daily trainer line up for those who like to do some miles a bit uptempo. I have not run in the most recent Vomero 16 (was not tempted either) but am now curious as to where the Vomero 17 will fit in and how it will perform.

And Nike, you had me at ZoomX!

My womens colorway of “polar/lime blast/blue joy” is truly a joy to look at; the cornflower blue is simply eye-catching. The upper appears simple but is a very dense engineered mesh, soft to the touch but with little give. 

The fit was secure and comfortable but surprisingly a touch long, a rarity for Nike. The extra length was not an issue once I had a few miles on the shoe - after breaking in the geometry is softer. The ankle and heel collar and tongue are well padded for comfort and lockdown. 

My narrow woman’s foot had a bit more room in the midfoot than I expect from Nike, which will be a plus for those with higher volume feet. The hold from midfoot to heel is solidly comfortable .

It is immediately easy to lace up with plenty of extra lace length for those who want to use the extra lace hole. I know that stats say the heel stack is a full 39.5cm, but it does not feel like a high stack at all underfoot. It also runs lighter than its actual weight.


Sam: The midsole is a dual layer construction with Nike’s top notch Zoom X underfoot (off white) and Cushlon 3 (white) below as shown above and below. 

This construction is significantly different from the Vomero 16’s which had a core of Zoom X in an outer carrier of an EVA type foam (unspecified at the time but not React as far as we know) plus Nike’s forefoot Zoom Air unit.  The result is a simpler more coherent midsole with the resilient higher energy returning Zoom X foam shining brighter in the mix than in the 16. The Cushlon is only slightly firmer and adds some stability (lacking in for example all Zoom X Invincible Run 1 & 2 )  to the shoe while in its own right being quite energetic and more so and more pleasing and softer than Nike’s React.

The removal of the Zoom Air unit and dual layered approach gives this max cushion grade 39.5 mm heel / 30mm forefoot stack height trainer more flexibility than before and an easy to find at any pace toe off if a bit less Air unit firmer pop than before as it is no more here. 

There is some sensation of back weighting at slower paces on flats due to the stack height and I think the big heel counter. The big heel counter is also a plus as the rear is very stable but I think somewhat overdone. That said the platform would be ideal for a “downhill” marathon as was a much earlier Vomero that got me a big BQ at St George.

Ryan: The ZoomX “shines brighter” in version 17, as Sam puts it, and I agree. Nike definitely steered the Vomero in the right direction here, and I’d be shocked if owners of previous models didn’t appreciate the midsole updates here. You get a noticeable touch of that distinctive, lively ZoomX pop without going too far as to sacrifice stability. As it accounts for the upper half of the midsole stack, it delivers a non-jarring foot strike, as well as a playful bit of energy return on the way up. Definitely not a boring trainer, this Vomero.

I also came away with a similar take as Sam, in that the heel might be a bit too structured, especially in comparison to the forefoot. The front of the shoe is fairly flexible and friendly, but the rear of the shoe is surprisingly inflexible by comparison. You can mash and stomp and pronate the heel all you want, and it’ll handle things just fine. It’s just that the forefoot doesn’t feel like it’s dialed in to that same level of control, and so the overall feeling becomes that the rear might be trying to outmuscle the rest of the shoe. It’s certainly not a big issue, and those who run further back might actually appreciate this, but as a runner who’s biased further forward, I did notice these midsole characteristics, especially at slower paces when it felt like the Vomero was coaxing me into a more rearward foot strike.

There’s so much versatility here. Excuse the bad math, but it feels like somehow you’re getting 70% of a Cushion 3.0 midsole’s stability and 60% of a ZoomX midsole’s softness and protection. Which is to say that a hybrid midsole in a trainer can be more than the sum of its parts, when done properly. It can handle some quicker pickups and strides, or it can settle into conversational pace and cruise as long as your legs will hold. By comparison, a Pegasus feels under-cushioned, and an Invincible seems sloppy and overly bouncy. I wouldn’t use it for a tempo run or a race, personally, but for most other types of running I think this new midsole will make it a regular in the rotation.

Sally: With ZoomX in the mix in this midsole I was expecting more bounce. The underfoot feel is initial softness (ZoomX) and then protective firmness (Cushlon). I am typically a midfoot to forefoot striker and am currently rehabbing a hamstring tear so not running at full pace, but I felt heel heavy and found myself back on my heels more than I wanted to be, especially at slower paces.

This increase in heel contact could also be compounded by the slightly higher heel stack of 10mm compared to other trainers I have been running in of late. 

The not so bouncy and a bit more firm and traditional and yet somewhat flexible nature of this midsole might make it a more versatile shoe for more runners and more gym activities as well. 



The fully-waffled outsole of the Vomero 17 came as an interesting surprise, although maybe it shouldn’t have, given Nike’s similar decision to waffle the latest Invincible 3. Plenty of aggressive grip and a helpful transition were the two main takeaways in my ~40 miles of running the Vomero. Broken into three patches of rubber up front and a saxophone-shaped stretch around the heel perimeter, the outsole always has plenty of rubber touching asphalt. Because of this, as well as how many squared-edge nubs are clawing at the road, the sensation is one of total control underfoot. The rubber’s segmentation, both at the macro level and at the ‘nub’ level makes for a very workable outsole that’s easy to transition, and that allows the ZoomX to work its magic without inhibition.

The one downside of the waffle design for me, while nitpicky, is that the tiny waffle lugs on the toe weren’t as propulsive as a cleaner, moderately ridged piece of rubber might have been. And the durability of these smaller pieces of the toe looks to be showing, with some graining after just 15 miles. But if you only plan on only using these for casual miles, worry not.

Sam: The outsole is almost full coverage, grippy with the rubber on the firm side. 

The sum of the parts adds to stabilizing the midsole above with the rubber firmest, then Cushlon that is slightly firmer than the springy Zoom X above so we have a continuum of materials down to the road that works well. I find less contrast between the outsole and midsole than in the Invincible Run 3 as a result.

It differs from the Vomero 16s shown above in having somewhat less coverage but deeper and fuller decoupling grooves which help with flex and flow forward.

There is no question the outsole should prove durable with the waffle lugs providing plenty of traction for any road or light trail surface. Yes given the overall stability, rear hold and secure rest of the upper there is plenty of support here for some trails. 

Sally: Durability should not be an issue with this fully waffled outsole made of plenty of firm high abrasion rubber, and the grip is more than solid. The segmentation of the outsole into separate patches of rubber is key to transitions while running in this shoe, allowing for flex. The rubber is a bit firm and I found it loud and somewhat slappy, regardless of how focused I was on “running softly and quietly.” On the plus side there are no grooves to catch road gravel in, and the traction on even wet roads is good.

Ride, Conclusions and Recommendations

Ryan: This is definitely an upgrade from the Vomero of years past. Gone is any hint of harshness or a clunky, dull ride. The ZoomX works wonders in conjunction with the Cushion 3.0 layer, and provides ample stability without coming across as overbearing. Initial foot strike is welcoming and quiet as the softer layer compresses, and is immediately backed up by the firmer foam beneath it. I was genuinely surprised to read about its 39.5mm stack, because it doesn’t ride nearly as high as you might worry it would. 

As we mentioned above, because the heel might be a little burlier than is necessary, the heel likes to take charge when your foot first hits the ground, but the transition onto the forefoot is simple and clean, although not snappy or energetic. The copious helping of waffled, segmented rubber underfoot makes sure that the ride of the shoe isn’t spoiled. The ride of the Vomero 17 is at home from the very slowest paces up to even some moderately aggressive ones. It’s certainly worth a look if you’ve enjoyed Vomeros of years past, or if you’re in need of a high-mileage trainer with a traditional (but modernized) style ride, with tons of protection and even a little bounce.

Nice move by Nike in having the courage to scrap the Zoom Air and add a nice slab of ZoomX to further modernize the Vomero. The ride is delightfully stable, protective, and yet has some rebound to it. This slots in very nicely to the lineup, among the Invincible, Pegasus, and Infinity as an ultra versatile, high mileage workhorse. I might even argue that it’s now the most versatile shoe in Nike's lineup.

Ryan’s Score: 9.4/10 

(Deductions for breathability, overly built heel, outsole lugs at toe, above average inertia)

Smiles Score: 😊😊😊 1/2

Sally: I agree that Nike now has a versatile and heavy duty daily trainer in the Vomero 17, suitable for a range of runner types and paces. Nike Pegasus fans will love this more cushioned, more luxe version of their favorite shoe. 

It might technically fall in the max cushion category, but it really does not feel like a high 39.5mm heel stack underfoot and feels stable and secure. It rides like a more traditional firm yet responsive shoe with only a short rocker feel, and is best for me at easy to moderate paces, though it will respond well to a faster pickup. 

Heel strikers might have a heyday here, whereas as a forefoot striker I found the ride a bit heel heavy and slappy, struggling to land quietly on my forefoot and roll toward toe-off. But the fit is comfortable and very secure, and the overall feel traditional with modern elements. 

Classic in looks, the Vomero 17 can be worn beyond the run for everyday casual wear, as well as to the gym or for cross-training. I applaud its versatility as a daily workhorse that will fit in many a runner’s rotation.

Sally’s score: 9.2 / 10.0 

Deductions for overbuilt heel and “slappy” ride attributed to difficulty running on my midfoot/forefoot. 


Sam: Ryan spells it out well. The Vomero 17 is Nike’s most versatile current heavy duty trainer and one of the best in the max cushion category.  Long overdue, Nike has been swimming around in the trainer category with the super fun but not always practical Invincible 1 and 2, then the more stable but rocker based Invincible 3 with its upper not the best, and the essentially never changed Pegasus. That is before we get to the Infinity 1-3 with their for me overdone plastic clips the model then veering towards the over soft and overly heavy Infinity RN4. Of course Nike has fantastic racers and for heavy duty fast long training the Tempo Next which I hope will be updated.

Here, Nike delivers a relatively light, deeply cushioned workhorse for most of those key 80% of training easier pace miles. It is relatively traditional in design with its 8.5 mm drop with front  flexibility and stout super secure and no compromises if a bit overbuilt upper. I agree with Ryan that the heel counter is overbuilt and leads to some sensation of backweighting but it also, for sure, along with the super secure upper, makes the Vomero 17 an inherently stable neutral trainer, so an alternative to the earlier light stability Infinity which now is a softer heavier more neutral shoe. 

What might yet further improve this fine trainer? As mentioned above, a lighter less rigid heel counter would be welcome. The gusset tongue and straps at midfoot provide plenty of lockdown as does the dense upper mesh so I think reducing the rear counter is in order and would improve the rear ride (less backweighting) without compromising rear stability much if at all. 

The midsole combo is excellent with a pleasant and at the same time responsive and stable feel. I wonder what an all Zoom X midsole as in the Ultrafly Trail, deeper Zoom X and less Cushlon might deliver in terms of lower weight and increased energy feel. It is unclear if the Ultrafly Zoom X midsole foam is firmer or denser and there is a carbon plate in the mix but it is clear the outer wrapping of the midsole makes the platform stable and it is firmer to pressing than the Zoom X or the Cushlon of the Vomero. Such a midsole setup might make the Vomero snappier at faster paces with the center core soft all the way to the ground if flex can be maintained.

All of this said, the Vomero 17 is a very solid update and a clear statement that Nike is re focused on delivering no compromises  trainers that are maybe a bit less “opinionated” but more practical to more runners. With their top of the line Zoom X foam in the mix and now better integrated than in the 16,  the Vomero delivers some fun and is a strong competitor to others in the category.  Now Nike please also bring on a lighter lower stack unplated Zoom X trainer a step above the Streakfly.

Sam’s Score: 9.3 /10

Deductions as for Ryan for overbuilt upper: heel (weight, interia) and to a lesser extent upper overall. Would like to see more Zoom X without compromising stability or flexibility

😊😊😊 1/2

12 Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

Vomero 17 Stats:

Estimated Weight: 9.9 oz / 281g  US9

  Samples: men’s  9.63oz  /273g (L: 9.45 oz /268g , R: 9.79 oz /278g ) 

                  women’s  8.9 oz / 251 g (US W8)

Stack Height: men’s 39.5 mm heel / 30mm forefoot ( 8.5mm drop spec) 

Vomero 16 (RTR Review)

Sam: The Vomero 16 is somewhat heavier and shod with what one might consider a more lifestyle influenced upper. The Vomero 17 has a superior midsole configuration simplifying to Zoom X and Cushlon from an inner core of Zoom X and outer carrier of EVA. The former Zoom Air unit is no more and not missed. The upper is now that of a true serious trainer if one that is a bit snugger and lower volume. No real contest here for me, Vomero 17.

Nike Invincible Run 3 (RTR Review)

Sam: At 10.35 oz  / 293g (US9), so about 0.4 oz heavier with the same stack height as the Vomero, the latest Invincible has an all Zoom X midsole with, for the first time, a full lasting board along with a more substantial stabilizing outsole. It is now a more versatile all around trainer with a serious ride in quite a contrast to the wild and bouncy v1 and v 2. A rocker based shoe, it lags the Vomero for me at slower paces with a more difficult to move geometry but pulls ahead at faster paces. Its upper has some heel hold issues and is rougher in fit  and would be perfected with the Vomero’s if with a lighter heel counter. Both true to size. 

Ryan: The Invincible feels girthier underfoot, and is more about raw bounce and impact reduction. Whereas the Invincible is all ZoomX, and leads a spunkier, less constrained lifestyle, the Vomero uses a firmer foam for half of its midsole, giving it a more controlled, more ‘traditional’ (but not boring) ride. Which is to say that I think the vast majority of runners could appreciate the versatility of the Vomero, whereas the Invincible might be pushing the envelope on cushioning a bit too much for some folks.

The upper of the Vomero wins by a small margin for me, with better foot containment in the midfoot and toe box. 

Both shoes use a strong, tightly woven mesh throughout the upper, which holds things in place nicely, but also sacrifices on breathability. Both shoes also rely on a ‘waffle’ outsole pattern, although the nubs on the Vomero are a little more aggressive. And whereas the edges of the Invincible’s outsole seem to be rounded, the shape of the Vomero’s outsole seems more squarish in order to deliver a more reliable ride and transition.

If you’re all about protection and depth of cushion, the Invincible wins out; however, in most other categories, including ride quality, versatility, and upper fit/lockdown, I prefer the Vomero. Both fit true to size.

Nike InfinityRN 4 (RTR Review)

Sam: The recently released RN4 has the same stack height and a new more sustainable React X foam. It is considerably heavier, softer and less “reactive”. It has a stretch knit upper that while super comfortable and roomy is, along with its foam, no match for the identically priced Vomero as a serious run trainer. I would also argue that while Infinity has been a support/stability focused model the Vomero is equally as stable due to its upper support and outsole coverage at midfoot. 

Nike Pegasus (RTR Review)

Sam: Lower stack with firmer React foam and an Air unit, the long running Peg is comparatively dated in ride unless you prefer an old school, firmer responsive ride or need a shoe for speedier workouts with a side of trail. The Vomero can be thought of the next step up in cushion feel and depth from the Pegasus with a more modern springy ride, no firmer responsive Air upfront and for sure more long run and easier run capabilities. The fits are equally secure and performance oriented.

Puma Magnify Nitro 2 (RTR Review)

Sam: These two are very very similar. Same heels at about 40mm with the Puma having 1.5mm more drop, same weight and almost the same platform widths, identical at heel and forefoot with the Vomero 10 mm narrower at midfoot. The Puma with its single density Nitro foam is a touch softer and bouncier while the Nike is a touch firmer and more responsive. Nearly identical single flex points with the Puma a touch stiffer but with an easier roll to toe off. 

The Puma upper is also similar in being an engineered fairly dense mesh but has more toe box width and height. The Nike’s more massive and rigid heel counter gives it a touch more landing stability and hold but a touch less comfort. 

Can’t go wrong with either with the Nike slightly higher performance in ride and fit and the Puma a touch more relaxed and comfort focused.  Both have outsoles that go beyond the usual in the category in terms of grip including for light trails. True to size in both with Nike toe box a touch low and dense for me compared to the Puma.

ASICS Superblast (RTR Review)

Sam: The Superblast is a far bolder take on the max cushion “daily” trainer. Over1.5 oz / 43g lighter at 8.43 oz / 239g (US9)  it is has a far higher at 45.5 mm heel / 37.5 mm forefoot and  8mm drop. Its midsole has a full single density supercritical Flyte Foam Turbo foam which is somewhat denser than Zoom X/Cushlon  Its cushion is even compared to the Vomero, bottomless, and its lighter weight clearly noticed   Rocker based vs. the flex of the Vomero, the Super is more ponderous at slower pace, the huge stack and its stiffness for sure a factor, and less easy going.  If your paces are more moderate and your needs are for a more general trainer and the $40 price difference is important I would lean Vomero.  In a head to head comparison to the more comparable Invincible Run 3, the ASICS clearly pulls ahead for me due to weight and consistency of underfoot feel.

Saucony Triumph (RTR Review)

Sam: Another close match up of max cushion versatile daily trainers . The Triumph weighs the same on a platform that is slightly lower. No supercritical foam but Saucony’s excellent TPU PWRRUN+. As with the Puma, the Triumph is slightly softer, bouncier, more pleasant and fun while the Nike is more responsive and quicker rebounding in feel with its more extensive outsole contributing to the ride feel while also delivering superior grip. While the Nike’s geometry is just fine, the Triumph has a superior geometry combining flex and rocker roll. The Triumph (and I tested the RFG version) upper is more relaxed yet still secure and will accommodate wider higher volume feet better. 

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v13 (RTR Review)

Sam: With a 38 mm heel / 32 mm forefoot so about the same heel and a lower drop the NB is lighter by about 0.5 oz. Its FuelCell foam, the least dense FC to date, is clearly softer than the Nike combination but more ponderous as so soft to turn over as the pace picks up. Its ride leans easy recovery runs for me whereas the Vomero is more versatile. And this continues in the upper comparison with the New Balance a stretch knit (similar to Nike’s InfinityRN 4) which leans “comfort” as opposed to high performance as the Nike’s does.

True to size in Vomero, and performance in fit while in the NB, due to the stretch for my narrower feet, my B width sample was just barely secure enough while length was fine.

ASICS GEL-Nimbus 25 (RTR Review)

Sam: Higher stack at 41.5mm heel / 33.5mm forefoot and about 0.3 oz heavier, the Nimbus 25 has a substantial heel platform focused on stability and which I found quite blocky at slower paces while the Nike relies on its stout heel counter for rear stability with a narrower mid platform that is easier to roll through.  

Unlike the Vomero the Nimbus relies on a rocker vs flex. At these stack heights without a plate I prefer the Vomero’s flex. The soft and friendly Nimbus upper is clearly higher volume and more “comfort” focused so is a better choice for higher volume feet while the Vomero’s is more performance oriented 

Ryan: While the Nimbus is the mellower of these two, focusing on impact damping and plush comfort, the ZoomX layer of the Vomero gives it a more lively, performance-ready character. I think Sam’s words above put it nicely, and I wouldn’t disagree on any of those points. 

The Nimbus doesn’t flex toward the front of the shoe like the Vomero does, and instead prefers that you roll through your stride instead of push off. For forefoot strikers, this makes the Nimbus feel a little intrusive at slower paces, when one isn’t exerting enough force to roll all the way through the thick midsole. By contrast, the Vomero’s ZoomX layer feels more lively, and allows more flex in the latter phase of the stride, although the rear of the shoe is still fairly inflexible because of its solid build. 

The outsoles also perform in a fairly different manner. The Nimbus has more traditional patches at the heel and forefoot, with an exposed midsole at the moodfoot delivering a ‘quieter’ footstrike. By contrast, the copious swatch of waffled rubber on the Vomero constantly feels like it's grabbing at the ground and desperate to find traction. The midsole of the Nimbus works better for those who roll through their stride, whereas the Vomero’s works better for those who like to flex through it. Although both shoes fit true to size, the ASICS has more volume inside, especially toward the front of the shoe. 

Both shoes are toward the plush end of the spectrum, but the Vomero’s midsole is stronger and provides better foot containment. These are two worthy, high-mileage competitors that go about accomplishing their business in a fairly different manner.

Saucony Ride 16 (RTR Review)

Sam: Firmer, quite a bit lighter at 8.8oz / 250g US9 vs 10 oz for Vomero, the Saucony has a somewhat lower stack height at 35mm heel / 27mm forefoot. So Ride a bit less shoe but is a more versatile daily trainer as paces pick up with Vomero more pleasant and easy going leaning more max cushion and with a more modern and for sure livelier foam.  Upper fits are similar, performance focused and both true to size.

Hoka Mach X (RTR Review)

Ryan: The Mach X, while also a very worthy and pleasant to run long-distance trainer, focuses more on performance than casual mileage. Its upper is arguably as impressive and capable, and it doesn’t feel overbuilt in the heel like the Vomero. But while the Hoka integrates a semi-rigid plate, making it the more serious of these two and encouraging more of a roll-like stride, the Nike has more forefoot flex which results in a more friendly, traditional type of ride. Both shoes impressively manage to remain stable and protective for high mileage, yet have a touch of softness to make initial contact with the road feel much more pleasant. The waffle style outsole on the Nike feels like it’s much more active than the smoother, blown rubber of the Hoka. I’m a big fan of both of these shoes, but I’d choose the Hoka for harder efforts, and the Nike for mileage on the moderate to casual end of the spectrum. Both fit true to size, but the Nike’s volume up front is slightly lower.

Sam: I mostly agree with Ryan but did find the Mach X’s heel over stabilized not so much the heel counter as the Vomero but the rear midsole itself.  

New Balance SC Trainer v2 (RTR Review)

Ryan: The SC Trainer is much more aggressive of a trainer, with a very rigid plate running its length. Although both shoes tout tons of soft, deep protection from the road, the NB’s midsole plunges deeper and delivers a less controlled ride than that of the hybrid midsole of the Nike. There’s a lot more bounce and energy return coming from the SC Trainer’s soft, bottomless Fuelcell midsole and massive “EnergyArc” cavity. It makes the shoe less stable than the Nike, Many of the RTR reviewers agreed that the SC Trainer v2 was surprisingly versatile given the rigidity of its plate. However, at casual paces, some folks might feel like they sink too far down into the Fuelcell midsole, making it effortful to roll up through the plate and onto the toe. The upper of the NB is more breathable and spacious, with an engineered mesh that isn’t woven as tightly as the Nike’s but is still capable enough to handle harder running. As for the outsoles, the NB has fairly smooth and continuous swaths of rubber to help roll you through the plate, whereas the Vomero’s rubber waffle flexes and grabs at the road much more. Both fit true to size, but the plushness and lower volume of the Nike makes it feel a bit cozier than the SC Trainer v2.

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Sam's Video Review of the Vomero 17 (14:21)

Tester Profiles

Ryan Eller A hopeless soccer career led Ryan to take up running, and after taking a decade-long break from competing, he is back racking up mileage whenever he can.  He calls the 2018 Boston Marathon the hardest race of his life, where he finished in 2:40, barely remembering his name at the finish line.  More recently he solo time trialed the 2020-2021 super shoes, often sub 15 minutes for 5K. Ryan has a PR of 2:18:05  from the 2023 Vermont City Marathon.

Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 66 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. 2022 was Sam’s 50th year of running. He has a decades old 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range if he gets very very lucky. Sam trains 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah be it on the run, hiking or on nordic skis. He is 5’9” tall and weighs about 164 lbs, if he is not enjoying too many fine New England IPA’s.

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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