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Traction: The rubber used on the outsole is very durable and work well in all conditions.Damp, wet, dry, cement, track and trail the outsole will keep you on the ground and prevent slipping. The deep pattern will help with longevity and the traction will perform at a high level for a long time.
Cushion: If you prefer some Impact protection with a slight bounce then you will enjoy the setup here. The foam on the midsole feels like Cushlon, which has a slight bounce to it compared to Phylon. The flex grooves featured on the outsole really help get the most out of the forefoot Zoom unit while the Nike Zoom/ Cushlon combo in the heel and forefoot make for a great balance between cushion and responsiveness. Some runners prefer a responsive ride, and some runners prefer a plush soft ride; the flight runner provides the user with a perfect balance somewhere in between.
Transition – While I don’t have an official measurement, the heel height seems higher than the toe. So, if you’re an over pronator and heel striker, the dynamic support system featured in the Flight Runner will aid you in achieving a more stable ride. For those who want more of a minimalist ride, you might want to look for something else that features a lower heel to toe drop. Personally, I’m a moderate runner who mid-foot strikes, during the tail end of runs I began to heel strike due to fatigue and the dynamic support and heel kept my foot stable. However, during the beginning and middle of runs I found it was a little more work to make sure I was landing on my mid-foot/forefoot. Overall, the Flight Runner’s transition is catered towards the more casual/ short distance runners that may over pronate and strike with their heel.
Materials – Hyperfuse and mesh make up the entire upper. The fuse is heavy around the heel and lateral side, when you get to the forefoot and medial area the layers of fuse are stripped to increase ventilation and flexibility for a more comfortable ride. Other areas of targeted Fuse around the eyelets and toe box help with durability. Their overall construction make for a durable running shoe and as stated previously, can translate well to other aspects of off-court training. I personally would have liked to see more of the underlay exposed in the forefoot so that the mesh underlay could be a bit more breathable, and it would’ve made for a lighter overall shoe – the Flight Runner isn’t heavy by any means but it isn’t lightweight either & can weigh you down on the tail end of long runs.
Fit – These fit true to size and for a running shoe, true to size means you have a little room in the front for your toes. When you run your momentum is going forward so naturally your foot moves forward. Running shoes are designed to have a little room for your toes so they don’t slam the front of the shoe which causes discomfort and can also cause black toes (toenails). Other than that, the Flight Runner offers a snug fit, especially in the mid-foot area. For those that have a wider foot, you may want to try these on as going up half a size isn’t ideal since the shoe would is already a bit on the long side length wise. The Dynamic Fit System really locks you in and at times you’re too locked in, especially once you’re well into your run and your feet begin to swell. Occasionally I’d have to loosen the laces for a more comfortable ride but once adjustments were made everything would be fine again. Heel lockdown is decent and I noticed only a little slipping but nothing to noticeable to where it’d bother my run.
Ventilation – While some of the shoe is covered with Hyperfuse, the shoe still remains breathable with its open mesh one-piece interior. Most modern runners offer much more ventilation than the Flight Runner, but if you’re using the Runner as an off-court training shoe then they should do the trick. Fuse for strength and structural support that translates well to weight lifting, running, drills etc. coupled with the comfortable inner mesh sleeve makes for a decently ventilated ride for a versatile running shoe.
Support – The support on these are ample, maybe too much for a running shoe. The Dynamic Fit System really locks you in and if you were to use lateral movements, the Flight Runner will keep your foot on the foot bed. The thick Hyperfuse layer featured on them lateral side also helps keep your foot on the foot bed so you can get the most out of the cushioning. A molded midsole helps with arch support, no complaints here, and the forefoot and heel have a nice wide base to accommodate various stride styles. Overall, the Dynamic Fit, targeted Fuse layers & chunky midsole provide a lot of support that may be overkill for those used to modern or traditional running shoes. Casual/ short distance runners and off-court training is ideal for the setup provided which is great for on-court athletes looking for something that wont stray too far away from their normal court shoe but different enough to cater a wider variety of sports.
Overall – Not only does the Flight Runner act as a more than capable running shoe but the Flight Runner is also a viable option for other training programs an athlete might encounter. The dynamic fit system provides a lot of support for various movements and the Nike Zoom in the forefoot and heel paired with the cushlon midsole give a responsive and comfortable ride. The Flight Runner’s hyperfuse upper provides more structure and support than a modern runner but on court athletes who are looking for a training/running shoe for off-season training will be very happy.