Nike introduces the Nike Air Zoom Elite 7, the lightest version in the speedy Zoom Air running shoe’s seven-year history.
The Air Zoom Elite 7 started at the same place as all Nike Running designs — with athlete insights. Researchers found that elite and everyday athletes incorporate tempo runs into their training. In these faster-paced workouts, runners push themselves at a pace closer to that of a race than a casual workout. During these runs – which ultimately can help runners go farther and faster – quickness and speed are crucial.
Elite runners and American record holders Evan Jager and Matt Tegenkamp both train in the Air Zoom Elite, making them ideal partners to provide insights and feedback in the design process.
“The Elite is my go-to for tempo runs, which are an important part of my training plan,” said Tegenkamp, who owns the American outdoor record in the 2-mile. “Zoom Air cushioning under the forefoot gives the Elite a really snappy response off the ground, so I feel fast and light with each stride.”
The new design is the lightest yet Air Zoom Elite, with a women’s size 8 weighing just 8 ounces and a men’s size 10 weighing 9.6 ounces.
“We designed this Air Zoom Elite around the tempo run, but it’s versatile so runners of all levels and paces can enjoy it,” said Mark Miner, Senior Footwear Designer. “The insights from Matt and Evan, combined with nearly 23,000 test miles logged, helped inform and inspire the Elite’s light and responsive design.”
The Elite features Zoom Air in the forefoot to provide responsive cushioning at the faster speeds of tempo runs, when runners are more likely to strike with the forefoot. Zoom Air cushioning is engineered to be highly responsive and quick off the ground.
The shoe sports a more streamlined design with a reduced eight-millimeter heel-to-toe offset, the result of designers honing in on the athletes’ preference for a lower profile. The lowered ride brings runners closer to the ground and helps enable a more natural footstrike.
All angles of the shoe’s speed and comfort were considered in the design of the Elite 7. Its sleek new upper features lightweight mesh with supportive Nike Flywire technology. The mesh delivers breathability without adding weight, and Flywire wraps the foot for a snug yet adaptive fit. Asymmetrical lacing helps lock down the midfoot, and no-sew overlays provide key support and a virtually seamless fit.
“The asymmetrical design came from initial meetings with Matt and watching his movements in the previous Elite,” continued Miner. “We wanted to align the construction of the shoe to move with his foot. The asymmetrical design in combination with the Flywire improved the arch and forefoot fit.”
Underfoot, an ultra-thin outsole adds traction without bulking up weight. The Elite’s lateral crash rail flexes upon contact with the ground for a soft, smooth transition from landing to takeoff. Deep flex grooves under the forefoot offer room for more natural motion.
The Air Zoom Elite 7 is part of a collection of Zoom Air running shoes that also includes the Nike Air Zoom Streak, Nike Air Zoom Pegasus, Nike Air Zoom Structure and Nike Air Zoom Vomero. With Zoom Air, the result is a fast, responsive ride whether the runner is out for a morning run or a marathon personal best.
The same Nike Air Zoom Elite 7 that elite athletes train in is available today on nike.com