If running shoes were like cars, the Vomero 12 would be a Rolls Royce. Everything about this shoe says luxury, from the enhanced midsole (courtesy of the Lunarlon core) to the Flywire upper and remodelled outsole. But how does it perform? We took the new Vomero 12 out for a test drive – and these were the results…
Shoe models have their ardent supporters and the trick for brands when launching new models is to keep the features of the shoe that makes it so popular, while introducing new ones that not only keep pace with technology but also deliver enhancements to the overall performance. Thankfully, Nike hasn’t strayed too far from the previous model with the new Vomero 12, opting for carefully-crafted tweaks and enhancements that still deliver a well-cushioned neutral ride.
Previous versions of the Vomero have featured two Zoom Air units in the midsole, something that has differentiated it from other models in the Nike range. But with the other neutral staple the Pegasus featuring the same modelling in its latest incarnation (33), Nike has upped the ante with the Vomero 12 and wrapped the Air Units in a Lunarlon core, its space-age midsole material that delivers intelligent cushioning.
On the surface, the Vomero 12’s upper is very similar to the Vomero 11. Like the past two editions, the upper is made of a single-piece engineered mesh (‘Flymesh’) with fused Swoosh logos on the sides. As soon as you put this shoe on, you can tell this is a top-of-the-range model: the tongue is generously padded and the shoe liner more substantial than less-expensive models. It certainly feels plush on, although it’s so comfortable that it takes a little while to get used to the cushioning, especially if you’ve been wearing a more stripped-down shoe. Even the heel collar delivers additional padding, enhancing that slipper-like feel.
Unlike all past editions of the Vomero, the outer midsole does not feature a separate crash pad. Instead, the external midsole is made completely of a single density EVA foam which Nike calls Cushlon. The Vomero 11 used the same EVA foam variant, except that the Vomero 12’s foam feels firmer to the touch. Inside, there is a softer Lunarlon core, and within that are embedded the two Zoom Air bags – one for the rearfoot and another for the front. This ensures a ride so well-cushioned that you’ll literally feel like you’re walking on air.
The outsole is also a major contributor to the Vomero 12’s cushioning mechanism. To begin with, the outsole rubber is much thicker throughout. The forefoot uses blown rubber of noticeable thickness; furthermore, except for the crash pad under the heel, the entire outsole is made of the soft blown rubber. There’s also a different geometry which means a different response from fore and rear foot: the fore foot grips well, with good traction, while the split rear helps deliver additional ‘softness’ throughout the running gait.
As such, the Vomero 12 is an excellent shoe for long and easy runs. There’s plenty of deep cushioning to tap into regardless of the distance, and the upper fits comfortably for the long haul. With marathon season just round the corner, the Vomero 12 is perfect for delivering a cushioned ride to soak up those long miles.