The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Nike Air Zoom Vomero 14 Review

It doesn’t get much better than these plush speedsters.
Editors' Choice Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $140 List | $119.94 at Amazon
Pros:  Flashy, fast, extra comfortable upper and landing
Cons:  On the heavier side, can feel too stiff, premium price
Manufacturer:   Nike
By Ryan Baham ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Sep 30, 2019
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
79
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 17
  • Responsiveness - 25% 9
  • Landing comfort - 25% 8
  • Weight - 20% 7
  • Durability - 10% 6
  • Upper comfort - 10% 8
  • Breathability - 10% 8

Our Verdict

Nike really surprised and delighted us with the Air Zoom Vomero 14s. Not only are they visually striking, but they're great performers on the road, earning our Editors' Choice Award. They have the perfect amount of give and take in the midsole - just enough plush to pad the strike and just enough pop to keep your strides quick and clean. That's also aided by the stable upper construction and its internal stability structures. It's not exactly the lightest shoe out there, but that's largely owing to its supple midsole and upper padding. That's typically a dealbreaker for the heat, but these shoes are also highly breathable.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award  Top Pick Award 
Price $119.94 at Amazon$149.85 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$89.95 at Amazon$136.99 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$105.00 at Backcountry
Overall Score Sort Icon
100
0
79
100
0
78
100
0
77
100
0
77
100
0
76
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Flashy, fast, extra comfortable upper and landingStable, super comfortable upper, breathable, stylishAffordable racing flats, more comfortable updated design, lightResponsive, supportive fit, roomy toebox, flashy, lightweight, springyLightweight, cushioned forefoot, supportive, responsive, really comfortable stability model
Cons On the heavier side, can feel too stiff, premium priceClunky, may wear down quickly, priceyLimited durability, less attractive, less responsiveOutsole picks up rocks and gravel, toebox can be too flexible, tongue can rubSlightly pricey, bulky, glue may fail prematurely, limited arch support, may feel stiff to some runners
Bottom Line It doesn’t get much better than these plush speedsters.Best choice for a comfortable, stable distance shoe.Fast racing flats that will get you across the line in comfort.A fast, high performance shoe best suited to mid-distance.High cushion, low weight, excellent support, and great responsiveness makes this one of the best stability models out there.
Rating Categories Nike Air Zoom Vomero 14 Brooks Glycerin 17 Brooks PureFlow 7 On Cloud X HOKA ONE ONE Arahi 3
Responsiveness (25%)
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
9
Landing Comfort (25%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
7
Weight (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
Durability (10%)
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
5
10
0
6
Upper Comfort (10%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
Breathability (10%)
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
Specs Nike Air Zoom... Brooks Glycerin 17 Brooks PureFlow 7 On Cloud X HOKA ONE ONE Arahi 3
Weight (oz per pair for size 11) 22.3 oz 23.2 oz 20.8 oz 17.8 oz 21.2 oz
Toe to Heel Drop 10 mm 10 mm 4 mm 6 mm 5 mm
Width Options Regular, Wide, Extra Wide Regular, Wide Regular Regular Regular
Style (Traditional, Minimalist, etc.) Traditional Neutral Neutral Neutral Stability/Maximal
Sizes Available 6 - 15 7 - 15 7 - 14 7-13 7 - 15
Upper Material Mesh Synethetic Stretch weave Synthetic 4-way stretch mesh/polyurethane
Midsole Material Nike React DNA Loft BioMoGo DNA EVA EVA
Sole Rubber Rubber Rubber Blown carbon Rubber EVA/rubber

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Nike Air Zoom Vomero 14s won our Editors' Choice Award based both on their overall superior performance and their breakout qualities, like their full-length Zoom Air midsole and the Dynamic Fit technology. These aspects and a handful of others make them super versatile and set them apart from the crowd. After running the heck out of them, we found they performed as well on short punchy runs and speedwork as they did on long, slow slogs out in the heat. They were even great just to walk around in, and that versatility is what makes them such awesome running shoes.

Performance Comparison


To tease out the best value picture of the Vomero 14, we put them up against the best running shoes on the market today. Read on to see how they do across our performance measures.

Responsiveness


As with the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19, our Top Pick for Stability, the Vomero 14s have a lot of give in their plush midsole. While that improves landing comfort, it can eat into your stride and affect speed. Their way around that is by marrying the plush Nike React foam with a full-length Zoom Air unit, which delivers the best of both worlds. The energy return from the foam and natural cushion of the air just barely edge out the thick, plush stacks of the other top models riding on EVA and other standard foams.


The Nikes also have a bit more support in the upper by using Dynamic Fit Flywires and a sturdy heel counter to keep the shoe clean, snug, and adherent throughout the stride. It's a fine alternative if you want a little more speed at the cost of comfort. You'll be hard-pressed to find a shoe with more responsiveness than these.

You get an exceptional bounce from the Nikes' midsole.
You get an exceptional bounce from the Nikes' midsole.

Landing Comfort


One of the major reasons these won our Editors' Choice Award is because of the superior comfort and performance delivered by the Nike React foam Zoom Air unit in the midsole. The foam and air-based design delivers the same plushness and pop with each stride for an indefatigable bounce. The extra-thick midsole also goes a long way to cushioning every step like a maximalist comfort shoe, but its overall design is more like a racing flat, which is another why it earned our highest award.


Each stride is aided by the supportive heel and second-skin feel of the upper, though it should be noted that the heel can slip out of the shoe a bit with the smooth collar design and foam padding. It doesn't catch and secure the heel like more stable versions like the Brooks Adrenaline. But that can also help your foot move more naturally and improve speed. If you do more high-pace runs, the Nike model might be more your speed.

Weight


At 22.3 ounces per pair of men's 11, these aren't the lightest running shoes in the world, but they wear it well. You get a fat, sturdy stack with great responsiveness and a natural upper that hugs the foot. That doesn't exactly make up for the extra ounces, but it reduces energy loss and keeps your feet popping.


22.3 ounces a pair - not bad for all that midsole!
22.3 ounces a pair - not bad for all that midsole!

Durability


This is a tough shoe with durable materials and good design. Nike uses its patented React foam, which is more durable and responsive than EVA midsole foams, so it will last longer. That means it will hold up better against both physical contact and repeated compression as well as temperature and environmental variations.


The mesh upper is finer than coarse, which helps it hug the foot better. That can be a liability, but unless you're doing a lot of trail running in these road shoes, you shouldn't be too worried about them lasting a reasonable amount of time. The other note here is that the carbon rubber outsole could stand to be a bit thicker and cover a bit more area than it currently does, but there's no real concern that it will break down before a few seasons of hard running.

There's a good deal of exposed midsole here that could be vulnerable to degradation.
There's a good deal of exposed midsole here that could be vulnerable to degradation.

Upper Comfort


The Vomero 14 also earns a top spot up here. It makes its way up near the top with foam pods placed inside the collar to create a more natural, snug feel. That's paired with thin, firm padding in the tongue and all around the remainder of the collar and heel, which are also covered by a smooth felt-like sockliner. Nike also uses a Dynamic Fit design, which is a combination of supportive Flywire and soft foam to improve midfoot fit. The result is a pretty stable, adherent speedster.


Out on the road, they feel almost like carbon-soled cycling shoes. Wearing them loose, they still have a fast, locked-in feel. They're a bit of a pain to open up and get into, but once you're in, you feel ready to sprint. And given that it's a tighter fit, one of the nicest attributes was the tongue, whose underside is lined with compression foam that drastically improves comfort over comparable designs. The top of the foot is always a hot spot for tight shoes, so the added padding goes a long way to discouraging those.

Firm foam padding and a smooth sockliner go a long way with the Vomero 14s.
Firm foam padding and a smooth sockliner go a long way with the Vomero 14s.

Breathability


The Vomero 14 is slightly less breathable than some of the lightweight racing flats, but it's still cool and aerated enough that you'd never have a complaint. While it uses a finer mesh than most shoes, it still allows plenty of air in to remove heat and moisture. Its modest sockliner also does a good job of allowing heat and moisture out without skimping on the comfort.


Its great advantage over the more cushioned models is in the thickness of the padding. Heavily padded models both insulate your feet and soak up sweat. The thin, firm foam in the Vomero 14 doesn't feel hot at all, even out on long, sunny runs and there's very little moisture left in them, even at the end of a training session. It retains way less moisture than standard running shoes. This kick will be just fine out on any run.

The thin mesh allows plenty of breeze into the toes.
The thin mesh allows plenty of breeze into the toes.

Value


Having earned our Editors' Choice Award, we feel confident that this super comfortable, versatile running shoe is worth its asking price.

Conclusion


The Nike Air Zoom Vomero 14s competed against a huge field of the best running shoes to earn our Editors' Choice Award. They excelled across most of our measures and made up for shortcomings with other virtues. Their full-length Zoom Air unit in the midsole was a huge selling point, earning them the best combination of responsiveness and landing comfort scores, rivaled only by the Brooks Glycerin 17, which came up short elsewhere. It's not super light, but at 22.4 ounces in a men's 11, it's pretty manageable as a tradeoff for comfort.

We also liked that the simple design and premium materials help it last long enough to be worth the investment. The last major tipping point was the combination of upper padding and breathability. The padding is firm with a nice sockliner, so you're not overcrowded, but never have to worry about rubbing or blisters. That also allows a lot more circulation into the shoe to remove heat and moisture, which is awesome for late-summer runs. The last noteworthy point here is that they're pretty cool to look at and that doesn't hurt when you're out and about. We enjoyed them, and we suspect most runners will agree with us.

The Vomero 14s are perfect shoes for laying down the pace.
The Vomero 14s are perfect shoes for laying down the pace.


Ryan Baham