Nike Zoom Gravity Review

This is the Nike Zoom Gravity review. According to Nike, they built this shoe for speed and they say it will push you to the next level. Let’s take a closer look.

First Impressions

Straight out of the box, the Gravity will get you noticed. Its sleek lines and aerodynamic shape are meant to make it look fast, and it does. It comes in cool color combinations and is light.

Its intended use is for tempo runs and 5-10k races.

I tried really hard to like this shoe. Maybe if Nike didn’t market it as a tempo run/racing shoe I might’ve felt different about it, but it’s really hard to take the Gravity seriously as a high-performance shoe over any kind of distance.

Features

Dual-density sole unitAir
Zoom unit in the forefoot
Breathable mesh upper
Neutral shoe
Flat laces

Pros

Light
Cool looking shoe
Lots of heel cushioning
Flat laces stay tied
Very breathable
Responsive
Doesn’t hold moisture
Affordable

Cons

Not durable
Not enough forefoot cushioning
Upper makes noises while new
The heel is too soft for some runners

Upper

They made the upper of a translucent engineered mesh that breathes well and doesn’t hold water. There is literally almost nothing in the upper that retains moisture, so if you are doing swim-run, these could work well.

Nike, by nature, runs a little narrow, but this shoe runs very narrowly with the toe box being really tight and low. If you have narrow feet and like that locked-in feel, this is a good fit. You should go 1 size up if coming from a different brand, and a half size up from your usual Nike size. If you have wide feet, do yourself a favor and steer clear of this shoe altogether. You’ll end up with an inch and a half in extra length before the shoe is wide enough.

Some runners complain that the lack of flexibility in the upper fabric causes them to tear wherever the shoe regularly folds with the movement of your foot.

It’s also noisy at first and makes a crinkly sound, like paper. This seems to go away as the shoe gets broken in.

Midsole

Zoom Air in the Gravity’s forefoot creates a bit more responsiveness than in the first iteration of the Gravity. The snappiness that Nike makes claim to seems glaringly missing here. The cushioning in the heel is unusually soft for a shoe that’s aimed at speed and you can see some sideways movement because of that softness when landing firmly on the heel. Definitely not stable, as you would expect of a shoe with such a wide base.

Outsole

The outsole has harder rubber overlays in the high abrasion areas of the forefoot and heel. The soft foam of the midsole is completely exposed and this middle section quickly shows wear.

It offers very good traction, however, and does especially well on the track.

Support

According to Nike, this shoe will work for a neutral runner.

Weight

Approximately 9oz/255g for men’s 10US

Approximately 7oz/198g for women’s 8.5US

Stack height

31mm heel height, 21mm in the forefoot

Drop

10mm

Who Is This Shoe For?

If you run recreationally a couple of times a week and are looking for a shoe that transitions well from the track to the mall, this shoe might be good for you.
If you do swim-run, you might like these.
Ideal for someone who does the occasional track workout.
If looking fast is more important than actually being fast, this shoe is a definite winner.

Who Is It Not For?

Anyone looking for a serious performance running shoe that will last.

I realize this shoe review sounds very negative. I really don’t hate this shoe. I just feel that it’s misrepresented by Nike as a budget performance shoe and in that space, it falls far short from competitors like the Brooks Launch and Saucony Kinvara.

If you look at it as a straight-up budget shoe, then the Nike Winflo 8 is still a better bet. The Winflo is heavier but still has a modern feel and looks similar to the Gravity. It has adequate cushioning in the forefoot to handle speed workouts and can handle distances of 5-10k comfortably.

It runs narrow like all Nike’s shoes but wider than the Gravity and the toe box is considerably roomier.

Unlike the Gravity, the Zoom Air unit runs the full length of the sole and not just the forefoot.

It features a full-length rubber outsole that is very durable and grips well on the road and the track.

For the same price, you can actually expect to get 400-500k out of the Winflo. The Winflo’s one weak spot is that you have to make sure you put your shoes on carefully and take them off the same way to help the padding in the heel last a little longer.

Other than that, the Winflo is great as a budget running shoe that can handle some speed work.

Nike Winflo 8

The Brooks Launch comes in at around the same price point and this time you have a shoe that is truly designed for racing and tempo runs and does them well. A lightweight breathable upper keeps your feet cool.

The Brooks Launch is about 20-25g heavier than the Gravity. It has the same 10mm drop, and it has the perfect amount of dynamic BioMoGo DNA midsole cushion to boost those tempo runs and speed workouts.

It also features a full-length rubber outsole that is durable and performs equally well on the road and track and has excellent grip in dry conditions but struggles a little when things get wet.

Runners say they love the Launch, have been running in it for years and that it’s extremely durable and comfortable.

Saucony’s Kinvara will cost you $20-30 more if you don’t get it at a discounted price, but the shoe is well worth it.

The Kinvara is light and fast and simply blows the competition out of the water. Everything about the shoe says lightweight racer.

The stack height on the Kinvara is 28.5mm in the heel and 24.5mm in the forefoot. That gives you more cushioning than the Gravity, but because it’s not squishy-soft but full of responsive PWRRUN cushion, you don’t feel you’re running on a thick sole. In fact, the 4mm drop gives you a close to the ground, natural feel that makes the shoes feel almost weightless and at 184g they almost are.

The Kinvara makes your run about you. You know a shoe is doing great when you barely even know that it’s there.

It features a super light single mesh upper that almost disappears around your foot. You’ll look far to find a shoe that offers a more natural ride than the Saucony Kinvara.

The one negative about the Kinvara is that the outsole shows wear fairly quickly.

Runners say Kinvara has been their favorite for years, they love the lightweight flexible shoe, and it never disappoints, whether training or racing.

Saucony’s Kinvara

Final Thoughts – Nike Zoom Gravity Review

There are obviously die-hard Nike fans that love the look and feel of the Nike Zoom Gravity. There are also a few runners that genuinely like it for a running shoe. To me, this is a shoe with an identity crisis that doesn’t really fit in anywhere. It simply doesn’t measure up as a performance shoe, not even a budget one, and you will be better off spending your money on something else.

The Nike Gravity 2 is a lot of show and not that much go.

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