Nike Zoom Elite 8 General Info
The Nike Zoom Elite 8 provides neutral runners a everyday performance trainer with good cushioning while providing the grip and traction to handle various running surfaces.
The most noticeable update to the Elite 8 is the new seamless Flymesh upper. This upgrade was no surprise as most of Nike’s running shoes are including a version of the new Flymesh which is much more comfortable than previous mesh material used.
This was my first experience running the Elite series so I was eager to see if this neutral performance shoe lived up to the previous models that everyone enjoyed. I tend to run and use lightweight, neutral trainers for quick, fast-paced training sessions and races.
I found the shoe to be very responsive throughout transition from heel strike to toe off. The upper was very comfortable as I like the addition of the Flymesh and when combined with the Flywire I was able to customize the fit to my foot. The sole offered plenty of cushioning with the Zoom Air in forefoot along with the Pylon midsole.
The outsole is what sets the Elite 8 apart from other daily trainers such as the Nike Pegasus and Nike Free models. The use of Hexagonal “lugs” which provide grip took a few runs for me to get use as it’s more of a preference to have a smoother outsole on a shoe I am using for quick tempo runs.
Since this is my first time running in the Elite, I am curious as to the durability of the “lugs” as the miles add up on the shoe as I did notice some early wear after 60-75 miles.
It will be interesting to see if this wear is from my foot strike or durability of the lugs, or both as I suspect, however time and more mileage will tell.
The Elite 8 continues to hit its target for neutral runners who are looking for a shoe capable of handling quick-paced training runs while providing sufficient cushioning for a smooth ride and traction.
Nike Zoom Elite 8 Sole Unit
The sole of the Elite 8 was carried over from the previous model so it continues to deliver the speed that runners are looking for along with responsive cushioning and reliable traction underfoot during ground contact.
The comfort comes from the full-length Pylon midsole foam which gives the shoe that reactive cushioning during each foot strike.
Nike continues use of Zoom Air in forefoot to give it more cushioning while delivering the speed and responsive transition during toe off.
The outsole is thinner to assist in reducing weight and increase speed for quicker transitions and smoother ride.
The lightweight outsole consists of Blown Rubber Crash Rails on the lateral side to for smoother transitions combined with “Duralon” blown rubber in forefoot for enhanced cushioning underfoot while increasing flexibility.
The combination of Pylon foam and Zoom Air provided a smooth, soft transition throughout my entire stride.
I thought the cushioning plenty and for a performance trainer as it allowed my foot to still “feel” the road and was not too soft to hinder performance.
The unique Hexagonal lugs on the outsole remain from previous models still deliver reliable grip on wide-ranging surfaces. The heel has a more firm rubber integrated to assist in increasing the shoes durability and traction.
This lugs found on the entire forefoot and run down the medial side were new to me for a daily trainer however I didn’t mind running with them as they did perform as expected.
Since this was my first go with the Elite model, my only concern is the durability of any use of a “lug” design on a daily trainer being used for speed sessions.
The outsole incorporates Duralon rubber in the forefoot similar to that in the Vomero 10 and other Nike models along with blown rubber on lateral side to add to the cushioning and traction.
The Elite 8 remained at 8 mm heel-to-toe drop. For my running style and preference, a performance trainer works best when the drop falls between the 4-8mm range and this shoe allowed me good control and ability to handle the road during my entire foot strike.
The Elite 8 had no major changes to the sole as it continued to be fast paced trainer with ample cushioning and reliable grip.
I found the shoe to be good for those neutral runners, like myself, who are looking for a performance trainer that can deliver a smooth and responsive ride with plenty of traction.
Nike Zoom Elite 8 Upper Info
The upper in the Elite 8 is where you will notice and feel the changes immediately. The main update was the addition of the new seamless Flymesh upper which allows the shoe to be more lightweight and breathable from the very first run.
This new engineered Flymesh, which is now common on many Nike models, provides exceptional comfort and an adaptive fit as it wraps the entire foot.
The continued use of the Nike Flywire cables integrated into the new Flymesh offers additional support around the midfoot allowing me to customize the fit to my foot.
This was a positive update for the Elite 8 and one that is makes this daily trainer even better for those runners who already enjoy the shoe.
The changes to the upper with the addition of the seamless Flymesh made for a secure and more comfortable fit.
I found the feel and performance due to the combination of the Flymesh and Flywire similar, from a daily trainer viewpoint, to that of the Pegasus 32.
Nike Zoom Elite 8 Conclusions
The Nike Zoom Elite 8 is a lightweight, daily trainer for neutral runners who are looking for a performance shoe which delivers a quick, smooth transition with responsive cushioning underfoot.
The shoe combines outstanding comfort and speed with the durability and protection to attack diverse running surfaces.
The Elite 8 continues to be one of Nike’s lightweight, neutral trainers perfect for those who want a shoe that can handle everyday fast-paced workouts or the demands of weekend races from 5k and longer.
For a performance trainer, the update to the seamless, lightweight mesh upper combined with the Flywire provides a secure fit while the sole provides a smooth ride and good traction.
For runners who are looking for a neutral, lightweight trainer which is able to deliver quick and responsive cushioning to go along with plenty of grip, the Elite 8 is a shoe that shouts performance and should be considered.
We thank the nice people at Nike for sending us a pair of Zoom Elite 8 to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.