Max cushioned trainers have gained in popularity in recent years with lots of runners moving to shoes like Hoka One One (basically any model), Brooks Glycerins, asics Gel Nimbus and the Saucony Triumph ISO.
However, when people in recent years have thought about neutral runner from Nike, the only real name to come to mind has been the Pegasus. The bigger sibling, the Vomero, has been an afterthought.
I understand why, often being overlooked for new technologies and updates (the 13s resembled the Pegasus 30s in my mind). However, in the fully redesigned 14s, Nike is finally willing to showcase the Vomeros and let them have the spotlight.
Nike Zoom Vomero 14 General Info
The Vomero 14 is the a higher cushioned neutral trainer from Nike. Although less well known as the Pegasus or less advertised than the Epic React, the Vomero represents the max-cushion level of the neutral line.
This shoe will directly complete against popular max offerings like the Brooks Glycerin, Saucony Triumph ISO, asics Gel Nimbus, New Balance 1080.
Those other shoes are way more visible at races than is the Vomero, but Nike hopes this model changes all of that.
When these shoes arrived, I was excited. From the pictures online and from pre-review research, I wanted to see these shoes in person, and they did not disappoint.
This is perhaps the best looking shoe (physically) that I have ever reviewed. I was sent the Burgandy Ash/Gunsmoke colorway, and they are just amazing looking shoes.
Got to give Nike credit, they know how to make something visually appealing.
Upon putting them on my feet, I was impressed by the quality feel. They withstood a full day teaching while giving plenty of cushion, and the first run I did in them went well.
I noticed the forefoot cushion was a little lacking, and that is something on which I will spend some time during the breakdown.
Nike Zoom Vomero 14 Sole Unit
The redesigned sole unit for the Vomero includes moving towards a more streamlined look and feel everywhere. This means the sole unit takes on the blade-like look that Nike has started using for the Vapor Fly and Pegasus.
This means the base of the toebox is narrower than in the 13s. They fit true to size in length, and worked well for my running gait.
Nike updated the sole unit to include their new React foam midlayer, which they put over a full-length Zoom Air unit.
This provides the prototypical impact cushion from the air unit when you strike, however then the React foam takes over to react and push you towards your next step. These two materials worked very well together.
Nike, however, also decided to drop the amount of cushion on the forefoot. Perhaps thinking that there was plenty of cushion for all runners, they went heavy with cushion under the heel and skimped a little under the forefoot.
I, as a mid-to-forefoot striker, noticed this on most of my runs. They felt far firmer than I was expecting or than the 13s did last year.
When my stride broke down a little on longer runs, I noticed the heel cushion was spot on to strike there and roll through my stride. But that’s not my normal stride and that was a little annoying.
The cushion was plenty for the runs that I did (topping out at 12 miles), but I don’t know that I would want to do a full marathon training plan in them. Not at my size.
Perhaps a lighter runner would not have that same reaction. They certainly were not as cushioned as the Glycerins or Triumphs.
This cushion lead towards a BRS 1000 carbon rubber outsole that has great traction on most surfaces. The outsole uses anatomical flex grooves that make the sole unit fairly flexible for a max-cushion offering.
The outsole uses a rubber crash rail on the lateral side as extra cushioning for those who land on that half of their foot.
Nike Zoom Vomero 14 Upper Info
The redesign of the upper is a huge upgrade from the 13s. The unit uses seamless construction, but in a more streamlined manner while partnering more cohesively with the Flywire technology Nike has become known to use.
This technology is very good at locking in your foot while also adapting throughout your stride. This adaptive technology is a highlight on any Nike offering.
This upper has joined the sole unit in the blade-like look, and that is awesome except for the narrower forefoot.
It was still wide enough for me, but barely. If I were a wider foot, this shoe would have been uncomfortable in its narrowness.
The engineered mesh used is top-notch material. It is quite breathable while still being supportive. This upper uses strategically-placed cushion pads on the collar to help the feeling around your ankle.
A small piece, but something I did notice and enjoy. And lastly, they included a lay-flat tongue that was cushioned and breathable.
Something comfortable and often overlooked, the tongue is something that can ruin a shoe and this one does not.
Nike Zoom Vomero 14 Conclusions
Nike has obviously spent a lot of time and money on updating this shoe. And for the most part that money and time has paid off. The new Vomero is an obvious step up from the 13s.
The upper is well designed — beyond just the looks — and supports your foot throughout your stride. This upper blends well with the sole unit, and it is an overall upgrade over the 13s.
However, when I put down $140 for a max-cushion runner, I expect the sole unit to have more of a max-cushion feel under the forefoot.
In the end, this shoe is a great offering, and something in which I would happily do most of my runs, and even race 5ks, 10ks and Half marathons. Heck, I think these would be solid race-day shoes for a full.
If you like Nike, and you like the Pegasus, then you owe it to yourself to check these out. They might just be the upgrade you need.
We purchased a pair of Nike Zoom Vomero 14 from runningwarehouse using our own money. This did not influence the outcome of this review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.