An under the radar no-nonse cross between a trainer and a racing flat, the Nike Air Zoom Elite 10 is secretly an incredible value purchase from Nike.
The Nike Zoom Elite line has always been targeted towards running fast in a lighter snappier shoe. Not too long ago the Zoom Elite 8s were on the feet of many runners at all race distance.
Since, the Elite 9 was released with a new last; the same as that of the Nike Air Zoom Streak 6 racing flat, followed by minor tweaks to the upper from the 9th to the 10th iteration of the Elite trainer.
Nike Zoom Elite 10 General Info
The Air Zoom Elite 10 has become a mix between a racing flat and a daily trainer.
Complete with an Air Zoom unit in the forefoot to promote a responsive forefoot pushoff, a lightweight, and coming in at a cheaper price than other Nike options, the Elite 10 is an understated fast training and race day option.
Seeing the Elite 10 for the first time, besides being reminded of the Elite 9 due to the minor updates, I noticed how the shoe appears to be a no frills running shoe.
A solid color upper, a large logo atop the foot screaming “this is a performance shoe,” no loud colors or elements obvious to the eye, and a simple outsole of lugs all come together in an aesthetically pleasing option.
Putting the Elite 10 on the immediate thought in my mind was that I was wearing a more durable and cushioned racing flat. Through testing, this initial thought was never really broken.
Being built on the same last as the Streak 6 and a tight fitting upper, running in the Elite 10 was certainly smooth and comfortable.
A firm and responsive ride, the Elite 10 truly continued to feel like a more beefed up racing flat. I found that the Elite 10 to be best used in tempo runs, track workouts and race day.
Outside of very short distances and marathons, the Elite 10 seemed to be in the sweet spot for someone racing who doesn’t want to sacrifice too much cushioning for a lightweight minimal shoe.
Nike Zoom Elite 10 Sole Unit
Made up of a full length Cushion sole which in this shoe proves to be firm and responsive the Air Zoom Elite 10 has a zoom air unit in the forefoot. This creates a responsive ride when going quickly off of the front of the runner’s foot.
The outsole is made up of an entire length more durable rubber with a waffle lug pattern for traction on the road and track.
The traction of the Air Zoom Elite 10 was okay, but slightly limited as the platform of the shoe felt tight and narrow.
Nike Zoom Elite 10 Upper Info
Slight tweaks to the upper from the Air Zoom Elite 9 were made for the newest iteration of the Elite 10.
The outmost fabric is a breathable mesh and the foot is secured with the laces by flywire cables allowing for the laces to lock down the middle of the foot.
Overall the upper is a tighter snug fit reminiscent of how many racing flats fit.
One of the few highlighted features of the Elite 10s is the asymmetrical lacing pattern on top of the foot to relieve lacing pressure.
While I did not feel pressure on my foot with the Elite 10 on; I visually could not see or did I notice this asymmetrical pattern.
Nike Zoom Elite 10 Conclusions
Yet with new foams, outsole patterns, and upper materials being released the Elite 10s remained simple with a lower price point than the aforementioned trainers.
While Nike continues to push innovation, sometimes with great and not-so-great results, the Elite 10 maintains some of the great elements of the past.
In some ways the Elite 10 feels like a throwback; no new technology, fancy bells or whistles. Simply a running shoe made to go fast at a low price point.
The Elite line of shoes has previously been a popular one and the change in Nike’s marketing around the Elite and the minor update from the 9th to the 10th iteration seems odd.
The Air Zoom Elite 10, quietly sits on Nike’s shelves at a cheaper price than even the Pegasus.
I would not recommend replacing the Elite 10 for the Pegasus 35 however, it should be used for faster days and workouts, even races. The Air Zoom Elite 10 is not for every runner, but those who can find a use for it will love it.
Personally the Elite 10 seems like a bulkier Nike Streak racing flat and thus would make an excellent choice for runner’s looking for a shoe as an introduction for flats, as a budget option for a racing and training shoe, or as a training option for more advanced runners for a variety of workouts.
We purchased a pair of Nike Zoom Elite 10 from runningwarehouse using our own money. This did not influence the outcome of this review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.