I've been running since I was 7 years old, and I think it's safe to say I know a lot about running and running gear; on most days, you can catch me in leggings, a sports bra, a pullover, and a pair of running shoes. In college, I was obsessed with the Nike Pegasus (it was my team's official training shoe), and over the past 10 years, it's still been my go-to.
Although I'm clearly biased, I enjoy testing out other sneakers to see if any will ever top my love for the Pegasus. The latest running shoe I tried is the Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% ($200), and it's high on my list of top running shoes. The Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% was designed for tempo runs, as the name implies, but before going any further, I want to talk about the aesthetic.
I love white sneakers — sounds counterintuitive, I know — and the main color of the shoe is white. There are vibrant accents of pink, purple, turquoise, and blue, and in my opinion, it's minimal enough for those who don't like loud shoes but vibrant enough for those who like a little color. The Air Zoom Pods offer responsive cushioning and help with propulsion, the ZoomX foam (placed in the forefoot and midfoot) maximizes energy return, and React Foam (placed in the heel) provides impact protection and durability. And together, these features are meant to improve your running economy, but they also make the shoe look more futuristic, in my opinion.
Now, it's on to the feel. After I aesthetically determine whether or not I like a shoe, I like to take it for a test run (or a few). I've been doing more short-mileage runs — nothing farther than five miles — and figured this shoe would work well with that distance. It was a little hard to put on due to the Flyknit upper (this material is used for containment and support of the foot), but once I got it on, it was snug to my foot, which I love.
With that being said, if you like to wear thicker socks or like a less-snug fit, I recommend going up half a size. Due to the Air Zoom Pods and the 10mm offset, I was higher off the ground than I'm accustomed to, and my initial steps felt weird; I thought I was going to roll my ankle because I wasn't used to it. But by the time I got through my warmup, I felt great and didn't have any reservations about the shoe or injury.
I'm just getting back into physical activity and running after a hip surgery, and throughout the duration of my runs, I felt supported and like the shoe helped power each stride and propel me forward. I haven't tried them during longer runs, and I don't think they're a shoe I would run in for longer distances, although technically they were designed for everyday training. I look forward to doing more training in this shoe, and overall, I think it is great for runners looking for that extra edge to get through training and improve their performance.