Nike Vomero 17 Introduction
I’ll always have a soft spot for the Vomero series because the Vomero 3 was my first “proper” running shoe when I bought it back in 2009. At the time, I didn’t know much about running shoes but I bought it because of how comfortable it felt when I tried it on. It ended up being one of my best purchases.
For a very long time, before the Vaporfly, Infinity and Invincible were created, the Vomero was the most expensive Nike running shoe you could buy and the top-of-the-range neutral Nike trainer.
It has always been a beefed up, more bougie version of the Pegasus. I personally prefer the Vomero to the Pegasus because it feels faster and has more modern due to the fact that it has ZoomX in its midsole, Nike’s premier racing foam. I find that the Vomero has better versatility than the Pegasus- it feels better than the Pegasus for slow and fast-paced runs.
In the Nike performance lineup, the Vomero isn’t the max cushioned trainer but it’s the premium daily trainer- Nike’s version of the NB 1080.
It’s the shoe that you get if the Pegasus is too lean, but the Invincible is too bulky. It fills a similar role as the InfinityRN 4 in the Nike lineup.
Version 16 of the Vomero was an upper only update with the only difference being the thicker tongue. There was no Vomero update last year but this year, the Vomero update is a big one.
The Vomero 17 weighs 10.6 oz (300 g), which is 0.3 oz (8.5 g) lighter than the Vomero 16. This is impressive because it has 6 mm more stack height in both the heel and forefoot. Its price has increased by $10 and it now costs $160.
Nike Vomero 17 First Impressions
When I tried the Vomero 17 on for the first time in my regular size, it felt really long. It felt so long that I immediately ordered a half size smaller. When the smaller pair arrived, the toe-box felt too snug so I decided to use the bigger pair, which was the right decision in the end.
My first run was a 10 km hill sprints workout and I was really happy with its performance. It definitely felt plusher than the previous 3 versions and I felt more energy return. The thing that I was most pleased about was that there was no more lump in the forefoot where the airbag used to be. Transitions felt silky smooth.
It reminded me a little bit of the Pegasus Turbo but with much less midsole compression and a lot more cushioning depth.
The Pegasus Turbo also had a dual foam midsole with a ZoomX top layer and a firmer layer underneath. The Peg Turbo wasn’t a maximalist trainer but the Vomero 17 is, being almost 40 mm in the heel.
Nike Vomero 17 Upper
The Vomero 17’s upper doesn’t feel as plush as the Vomero 16, mainly because it has a thinner tongue and less padding in the collar. The inner lining also isn’t as soft and smooth as it previously was.
The tongue is attached to an inner sleeve so there’s no tongue slide but the sleeve makes it feel really warm. Breathability also isn’t all that great so if your feet sweat a lot, this upper might be a problem.
The fit is true to size but it’s a bit longer than the average running shoe so it might feel like it’s too big when you first try it on- it has a narrow toe-box so the fit is perfect when you’re running. It works the best for me with thick socks.
Nike Vomero 17 Sole Unit
The ride of the Vomero 17 is my favourite of all the Nike trainers to come out this year. It feels more energetic than the Pegasus 40 & InfinityRN 4, while it’s more comfortable than the Invincible Run 3 & Structure 25. It has a very balanced ride, typical of a good daily trainer.
The squishy ZoomX layer on the top provides sink-in comfort upon initial impact, then the firm Cushlon 3.0 underneath it gives it cushioning depth and stops it from bottoming out. I would have preferred ReactX instead of Cushlon for an even plusher ride.
I find the Vomero 17 to be really versatile. It’s plush enough for easy runs and firm enough for uptempo runs. It’s a little bit too heavy to race in but it has enough cushioning for a full marathon. In my rotation, I use it for easy and steady runs.
The Vomero has had Zoom Air in its midsole since version 1 and it has become its signature technology. The removal of the forefoot Zoom Air in version 17 results in a number of improvements to the ride. The pressurised air bag was relatively firm, so the foam surrounding it had to be a similar, firm density or else it would stick out too much.
In the Vomero 17, the ride is softer than recent predecessors and you don’t feel the lump of the airbag underneath the ball of your foot. The ride is much smoother and I find that the ZoomX provides more energy return than the airbag.
Even though the Vomero 17 (39 mm) is right at the cusp of the stack height limit imposed by World Athletics (40 mm), it still has a very stable ride. Your rearfoot and midfoot are guided by the lateral side walls so you feel like your foot is inside the midsole and not on top of it. The firm Cushlon 3.0 layer at the bottom of the midsole provides a stable base so there isn’t too much lean bias.
The Vomero outsole can withstand a bomb. There’s thick, high abrasion rubber covering the entire outsole (except the centre of the heel) so you definitely won’t have any durability issues. There’s a waffle pattern on the rearfoot with a more aggressive pattern on the midfoot/forefoot that bites into the ground.
There’s very little wear showing on my pair after 80 kilometres and I find traction to be excellent on dry surfaces, decent on wet surfaces.
Nike Vomero 17 Conclusions
The Vomero 17 is a fantastic update and one of my favourite versions to date. They’ve made the exact changes that I wanted: more ZoomX and no airbag. As a result, the Vomero 17 has a plusher, smoother ride than previous versions. It has much more stack height and it weighs less than the Vomero 16 which is impressive.
Just like previous Vomeros, its biggest strength is its thick outsole which is one of the most durable on the market. This does make the Vomero 17 bottom heavy and a bit clunky but it’s a true workhorse that you can put hundreds of kilometres onto.
I think $160 is a bit too expensive for the Vomero 17. At $160, it competes with max cushioned trainers like the Triumph, Glycerin, and MaxRoad which outperform the Vomero in terms of cushioning to weight ratio, overall comfort and energy return. It should be priced at $150.
The Vomero 17 is however the best Nike daily trainer in the 2023 running range. For $30 more than the Pegasus, you’re getting a much more engaging ride. I look forward to running in the Vomero while I can’t say the same about the Pegasus.