Running Focus: Nike Air ZOOM GRAVITY

Running Focus: Nike Air ZOOM GRAVITY

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Running Footwear Focus:

Nike Air Zoom Gravity.

Trying to find the right running footwear can be hard work, so we’ve done the hard graft for you.
The Nike Air Zoom gravity has taken the focus of our scrutinous Life Style Sports team.
We’ve worn, we’ve run, we have thoroughly tested.

So, what makes Air Zoom Gravity a great running shoe?

It’s important to note that there is more than one, singular feature you should look for when shopping for running footwear. There’s so much jargon associated with footwear, we hear about the Outsole, the Saddle, (yee-haw!) the Toe-Box… but what does this mean? We’ll break down the most important features for you and tell you how we think the Nike Zoom Gravity measures up.

The Upper

The Low Down:The Upper basically refers to anything that sits above the sole. This is usually a mesh textile, multiple woven layers or a mixture of both, depending on the shoe. It’s important to note the material and features associated with the upper in the shoe you’re looking at. It is breathable? Is it flexible? It is supportive? Don’t shell out a tonne on a shoe that looks great but mid-run the material is turning your feet to literal rivers of sweat.

How does Zoom Gravity weigh up?
The Nike Zoom Gravity has a blended mesh and synthetic upper which means it has durability and flexibility built-in between the layers. A carefully constructed arch-band disperses pressure from the laces, meaning you won’t be distracted by uncomfortable laces digging into the arch of your foot.

air zoom gravity
The Outsole

The Low Down: This is without a doubt, one of the most important things to get right for your running footwear. The outsole refers to the ‘sole’ of the shoe, everything below the upper and above the ground. This includes the inner cushioning layers, the traction on the bottom of the sole and any other features on this part of the shoe. Crucially, running footwear offers a plethora of different features. So-do you need cushioning? Do you need support? Is the sole specially engineered for a specific running gait? Know the answer to these questions before you buy. Or at least have an idea of what you need from your running footwear.

How does Zoom Gravity weigh up?
The Nike Zoom Gravity has a specially engineered outsole to Make Fast, Go Faster ™. The aero-dynamically shaped sole has a lifted midsole (the middle part of your foot where your arch is) to make room for even more cushioning than previous models. The soft foam cushioning is cocooned inside a firmer foam layer to give you a stable, cushioned ride. The highlight of the Air Zoom Gravity is that the Zoom Air construction at the front of the shoe that gives you that propulsive, snappy feeling. You’ll feel yourself ‘popping’ off the ground with maximum energy return with each strike. This minimizes drag and ensures you ‘bounce’ from step to step.

The Nike Air Zoom is the perfect running shoe for anybody who is a Mid-Strike Runner.

air zoom gravity
The Heel Counter

The Low Down: The heel counter is the section of the shoe that ‘cups’ the back of your heel and supports your foot as you run. The most important thing is for the heel counter to center your foot and provide support for stable landings. It must be semi-rigid, to allow for some movement but not loose enough that your ankle is rolling over in the shoe. Check for any hardness, rough trims or stiffness. This will cause issue when you start to run in them. Nobody likes blisters or rubbing.

How does Zoom Gravity weigh up?
The Air Zoom Gravity has a specially designed heel counter. With a semi-rigid material, it is fixed enough to hold your foot in place but retains enough flexibility to allow for a good rotation of movement from your ankle. It has a slightly tapered ‘tail’ at the ankle. This is made of super soft elasticated material that ensures there are no snags or ‘rubbing’ on your ankle as you run. Because of the lightweight design, the heel has a feather-light feel while it is engineered to both safely cup your ankle and provide the support you need.

air zoom gravity
The Toe-Box and Saddle

The Low Down: Although these are two different features, they sit very close together on the shoe so we can talk about them as complementing features. The Toe-Box does exactly what it says on the tin, the space designed for your toes. Make sure you know if you have a wide or slim foot, the shape of the shoe should suit your foot-shape. A ‘square’ shaped toe-box will allow for a full ‘spread’ of your foot as you run while a slightly pointed shape would best suit a foot that isn’t as wide. The Saddle is where the top of your foot is and usually where the laces would sit on a shoe. These are the first features you notice when you look down at your shoes.You can see the saddle the and shape of the shoe.

We got a lot of feedback about the laces on this shoe. The laces you say? Let me explain: The Air Zoom has a mesh and synthetic arch-band that sits on the saddle of the Air Zoom Gravity. The great thing about this is that it distributes the pressure of the laces  from your foot. Don’t you hate when your laces are digging into you when running? You can feel the tightness of the lace on your foot? This arch-band eliminates that problem and it also has semi-translucent panels on the side that lets you see the lacing system.

The shape of the Air Zoom Gravity is a neutral shape with a ‘real’ foot shape that tapers slightly at the top. For your middle of the road ‘average’ shaped foot, this is your best bet. The outsole has a grooved bottom sole that allows maximum traction which curves over the front of the shoe to the tip of where the big toe would sit. This gives superior grip for trails, climbing and multi- running surfaces. The material is lightweight and breathable. Importantly, this means your foot won’t be swimming while you are running!

air zoom gravity air zoom gravity
So who is the Air Zoom Gravity for?

1. Perfect for Mid-Strike Runners
2. Neutral Pronators
3. Engineered to make Fast Go Faster: the Air Zoom Gravity is geared towards shorter bursts of higher intensity running
4. Perfect for anybody trying to get from that Couch to 5K with an eye on keeping time and pace

PROS

Super cushioned and perfect for gearing up for your next Big Run
Super Lightweight yet supportive
Gives great energy return, legs don’t feel as tired after a run
Super slick Style (Both men and women agree on this one!)

CONS

Order a ½ size or full size up if you are in between sizes.
Don’t forget your feet swell when you run so you need to accommodate that. If it’s just for walking to from work, for style and generally not-running, you can order your regular size.

A minority of people found the heel counter shape unusual feeling to start but got past that with continued wear.

The Verdict
We’ve worn, we’ve run, we have thoroughly tested.

This is one of the best lightweight runners on the market. The style of the shoe had an overwhelmingly positive response. This is one of the Top Picks for our staff to wear at work then to the gym. And that’s a hard bridge to gap!

But it’s not just good for running! Zoom Gravity is an ideal runner to wear if you do a lot of walking. Don’t just throw on any old shoes if you do a lot of walking everyday. The walk to and from work. Out and about all day. Even running around after the little ones!

AIR ZOOM GRAVITY. stylish enough to wear ANYWHERE. SUPPORTIVE enough to wear all-day everyday. better yet – your feet will thank you.

Shop the Air Zoom Gravity here.

OR

Shop over +90 Nike Running Footwear styles here.

 

 

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