Nike Air Zoom Winflo 4
It is always a good day at the office when you get to review a running shoe from Nike. They have garnered a cult following over the years for creating some of the best running shoes known to man. The question is, is the Nike Winflo 4 among that elite class of Nike shoes?
That is a difficult question to answer but you can say this, the Winflo 4 is a neutral running shoe and it is another solid entry into this series of footwear. And, while it is not perfect, it excels in areas where runners require the most attention.
For example, it sports above average cushioning and overall comfortability while also featuring a highly breathable core for those hot summer runs. Then again, as you will see during the course of this review, the Nike Winflo 4 has also got some sizing issues. Overall, it is far from a bad running shoe, though.
It has been raved by users for its comfort
Designed with a mesh upper and mesh lining
The appearance is really good
Equipped with a cushion crash rail
Features Flywire cables
The rubber sole performs well
A little bit heavy
The arch is pretty narrow
Too loose in the heel area
If you anything about running shoes, then you know that the upper is crucial when analyzing breathability. It sits right above your foot while you are running, so it makes sense. Basically, with the mesh in play, hot air is going to escape while simultaneously allowing outside air to flow in. This combination is going to allow your foot to breathe better.
Of course, what also helps is the mesh lining that has been implemented. The same core concept is also on display here. This adds another layer of temperature management and improved breathability. Let’s just say that the Nike Winflo 4 is ready for your long and grueling, warm spring runs.
Either way, the point remains that Nike Winflo 4 is not the lightest model on the market. This will come into play if you are someone who runs for significant periods. Heck, there was one reviewer who complained that their feet had begun to get tired after only a couple of miles of running.
Mostly, this extra weight is going to bog your foot down and make you exert more effort to run. Thus, this will then translate into your foot, getting worn down quicker and more efficiently. In other words, this is not the best long-distance running shoe out there.
The other issue is that the heel is quite loose. It is designed this way, but it is going to present quite a few problems for several of you. But, there is a light at the end of the tunnel so let’s get to the good news.
Thankfully, there is plenty of room in the forefoot area of this shoe. In addition to providing enhanced comfort, this will also allow for a more natural toe-splay. Plus, around the midsection, the fit is snug enough to prevent your foot from moving without being too tight.
And, one last note, Nike engineered their Winflo 4 with their Flywire cables. This is an elite-level fitting system that maximizes comfort, stability, and overall fitting.
Anyway, this type of running shoe is typically not going to be suitable for runners who tend to overpronate (check our guide on the best shoes for overpronation). And, while this is not necessarily a stable running shoe, the Winflo 4 is actually built for those of you who tend to moderately overpronate. However, the word “moderately” is very important as this will not account for the massive pronator.
Really, this is best described as a shoe that provides a great combination of cushioning and stability. In this respect, it is going to suit the running styles of several of you reading this right now.
Most importantly, the fabric that has been implemented just feels incredibly soft and comfortable against your skin (or your sock). The upper is not scratchy or itchy in any way and is not going to cause even an ounce of discomfort on your runs.
Additionally, it is also worth mentioning that the included collar and tongue have also been padded. Though these are subtle details that Nike rarely forgets about, they make a huge difference. This is especially true if you tend to run for more extended periods. Oh yeah, and finally, the upper is also not cheaply engineered or anything like that.
In the briefest of explanations, this technology consists of a lightweight layer of cushioning. It sounds simple but it is oh so amazing the performance advantages that this technology provides to you. In specific, it is wicked and rapidly responsive every time your foot strikes the ground.
This is all thanks to the tightly stretched tensile fibers. You see, they compress to cushion the impact but then, just as fast, return to their original state to provide you with an explosive and powerful response while you run. Even though this specific running shoe certainly has its issues, its midsole is not one of them. Then again, it is also not as if it is the only Nike shoe to incorporate it.
While this is far from a revelation or anything like that as hundreds of running shoes will sport rubber outsoles, it is still worth noting that this particular one is quite good. In addition to the durable rubber, it sports a waffle-tread pattern which adds traction and responsiveness to your runs.
But, there is something that else that makes this sole worthwhile, and that is the updated crash rail that has been implemented. Essentially, this is simply a unique system that allows the sole to create a wider footprint. In turn, this will then further stabilize your foot to create a superior running experience.
Heel to Toe Drop
For the record, this measurement merely refers to the difference between the height of the toe and the height of the heel. If you notice that a particular shoe has a heel that is much higher than the toe (while on the ground), it has a high heel to toe drop. As for the Winflo 4, its drop is pretty standard.
Unless you are someone who needs a low-profile or even entirely minimalist (or barefoot) shoe, you should have no issues with the heel drop of this model. While a 10-millimeter drop does technically promote heel striking, you could quickly get away with forefoot striking with this shoe. In other words, it will probably feel right at home to you.
As you can see from the available colorways, there is nothing too outlandish to speak of. Most options only combine two or three different colors. Furthermore, Nike had an emphasis on darker colors when engineering their shoe. In specific, several options incorporate dark blue, black, and gray color combinations.
From just a personal and opinionated point of view, the Winflo 4 has a striking appearance that will match well with virtually any wardrobe. But, it is fair to say that some of you will find that this shoe is too bland and ordinary regarding its physical appearance. Again, that is okay as appearance is like flavor; no one can tell you what specific food you like to eat.
But, its performance is where it shines. Its Nike Zoom cushioning technology is top-notch and provides elite-level response times while its well-designed outsole does the same. You can’t talk about this shoe without bringing up it's weight and sizing issues.
Even the few extra ounces to the design can be detrimental for long-distance runners. In just a few miles, you will probably be feeling this bad boy on your foot. And, as for the sizing problems, well these can weigh even larger.
The narrow arch, coupled with the looser heel makes it quite challenging to find a happy medium when selecting a size. The reality is it would be much better to try this shoe on yourself beforehand. Thankfully, Nike’s return policy does provide you with a 30-day window to return the shoe if it did not fit you properly.
If you have the patience to do this, then go for it. But, if you know you do not, you may find yourself passing on this particular shoe.