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Road Running Shoes • October 6, 2023

Nike Vomero 17 Review: The Better Pegasus?

nike vomero 17 - side view graffiti

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What You Need To Know


10.6 oz. (300 g) for a US M10,

8.7 oz. (243 g) for a US W8

Stack Height / Drop

39.5 mm in heel, 30 mm in forefoot (9.5 mm drop)

Best For

Long runs, daily training

Key Features

ZoomX midsole top layer, Cushlon 3.0 bottom layer, engineered mesh upper w/ mono-filament yarns

On The Run
Really nice ride for eating up mileage Durability is practically guaranteed Upper is okay in both design and function
Price and Availability

October 19 for $160

Introduction to the Nike Vomero 17

MEAGHAN: The Nike Vomero is one of those shoes that hasn’t felt super consistent over the years. I enjoyed the Vomero 14, the 15 never made it to the states, and 16 was a pass for me. Heading into this review, I didn’t really have expectations for the Vomero 17. And if I’m being completely honest, I kind of forgot about this shoe altogether (in my defense, it’s been two years since we’ve had an update). 

Speaking of updates, there’s quite a few in this iteration. The upper has been completely redesigned; the adjustable midfoot band has been replaced with a simple engineered mesh and some “mono-filament” yarns for added structure. The Zoom Air unit was removed and the midsole now consists of ZoomX and Cushlon 3.0 on the bottom (39.5 mm in the heel / 30 mm in the forefoot for a 10 mm drop).The outsole features a substantial amount of high abrasion rubber and waffle lugs for added durability. 

So where does v17 land among the hodge-podge of Vomeros and the rest of the Nike lineup as a whole? Let’s get into it. 

nike vomero 17 - sitting on a pole

Midsole features a top layer of ZoomX

nike vomero 17 - heel dot vertical

Rear flag tab is kind pointless, kinda cute

THOMAS: I would have to agree with Meaghan, the Vomero has been schizophrenic over the past five years. The Vomero was originally the premium neutral daily trainer from Nike. With the addition of the Infinity, Zoomfly, and the Invincible, Nike had to figure out where to slide the Vomero back into the lineup. As it stands now, the Vomero is basically a premium upgrade to the standard Pegasus. 

When we first heard the details about the Vomero 17 at The Running Event last year, it moved to the top of our anticipation list for 2023. Mainly because we knew it was going to have ZoomX, which had us thinking it could be the revival of the Peg Turbo 2. It’s not, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad shoe. In fact, it may one of the best Nike running shoes right now.

ROBBE: Somehow in the course of my shoe reviewing, I have yet to try the Nike Vomero. I feel like it’s never received the fanfare of its cousin in the Pegasus, and over the last half decade it’s been in and out and all over the place. But hey, I see ZoomX and my interest is piqued, so let’s do this thing.

RYAN: I’ll readily admit that I’d never tried the Vomero before now. Honestly, I don’t know if its the fact that Nike’s non-ZoomX foam has been so hit or miss for me or the fact that I was never quite sure what the Vomero was for, but it just always seemed to skip my mind. Maybe it’s the fact that the name Vomero doesn’t really jump to mind when compared to all-timers like the Pegasus.

Either way, the Vomero 17 arrived on my doorstep, and I was determined to put it through its paces. Unfortunately, it arrived during the busiest two weeks of my calendar year, with heaps of work travel on the docket. On top of that, New York City was struck with biblical flooding, which didn’t exactly motivate me to get out and pound – or rather swim – the pavement with the Vomero.

What I did do, however, was walk in the Vomero – a ton. I figured it made perfect sense as a walking companion with plenty of stack and ZoomX foam that I didn’t have to worry about immediately destroying. So while I did run in this shoe, I didn’t chalk up as many miles as Meg during her peak marathon training. Let’s see if avoiding the Vomero was the right idea, or if I’ve been missing out for years.

nike vomero 17 - looking down black

Men’s colorway of the Vomero 17

What we like about the Nike Vomero 17

MEAGHAN: I think the most visually apparent and maybe my favorite update to this shoe is the upper. The midfoot band in the previous model not only looked cheap, but it did nothing for comfort and fit. The new engineered mesh upper is pretty simple, breathable and hugs the foot well. There is ample padding around the collar and tongue and overall the shoe feels pretty plush. 

The ZoomX and Cushlon 3.0 foam is also a nice update. The ZoomX provides that softer bouncy ride while the Cushlon feels firmer and adds a bit of stability. In terms of daily trainers, it falls into the responsive-yet-firmer side of things, which I’ve been enjoying. It’s honestly what I was hoping the Pegasus 40 was going to be. 

THOMAS: The mixture of ZoomX and Cushlon 3.0 works well in the Vomero 17. The cushioning feels consistent throughout your miles and day after day. Sometimes a shoe feels good on step in, for the first couple of miles, or even the first couple of runs. The Vomero 17 midsole always delivered a plush ride without losing its bounce throughout testing.

The upper fit well and I did not have any issues with comfort or lockdown.

nike vomero 17 - white orange women colorway

ROBBE: I feel like Nike’s used ZoomX in some great ways, some really mediocre ways, and some really dumb ways since it first debuted in the Vaporfly. Great: Vaporfly, Alphafly, Pegasus Turbo 2, Ultrafly, Dragonfly, and Invincible (depending on who you ask). Mediocre: Tempo Next% and Vomero 16. Dumb: Zoom Fly, anything with the word “Nature” in the name, and the Invincible (depending on who you ask).

While last year’s Vomero had a ZoomX core, this year’s version has a full top layer, which is supported by a Cushlon 3.0 bottom layer. It’s a good move because it results in one of my favorite Nike rides to date. I personally like a responsive ride that offers some cushion on landing but a firmer and more propulsive feel on take-off. The Pegasus (full React midsole) leans more into the firmer/propulsive feel, while shoes like the Invincible (full ZoomX midsole) tend to offer a ton of comfort but don’t really shift into a higher gear. I think the Vomero 17 threads the gap between those two shoes.

I really enjoyed the ride of this shoe, much more than I expected. As Meg said, it’s kind of what I wanted from the Pegasus 40, so it’s nice to finally see it here. It also kept me comfortable, providing great cushion during my peak weeks of marathon training. I did a 20-miler in the shoe last weekend and felt that it handled it perfectly in terms of comfort over the long haul. I was also able to hold 2-mile sets at marathon pace (x3) without it being too cumbersome.

Sure, it ain’t a Vaporfly, but it can get the job done if necessary. Also, despite the high stack, I didn’t feel any instability in the shoe. The more dense layer of Cushlon helped to keep my ankles from folding like their usual origami pattern.

Speaking of Cushlon 3.0, I’m not sure of the exact composition, but I’m fairly positive that it’s a standard EVA, but with more “bouncy” properties. Hoka and Topo Athletic know what I’m talking about. So that’s not a bad thing, and it doesn’t feel that far off from React, though it’s not as soft as the ReactX found in the InfinityRN 4.

I feel like I’ve seen a trend of Nike shoes starting to widen up a bit, specifically in the trail line (Pegasus Trail 4 and Ultrafly), and this shoe is the same. It’s definitely more accommodating than the traditional Nike last. I think it’s pretty decent as far as comfort and breathability. The interior bootie style helps wrap the foot, while the thick, padded tongue gives comfort over the top of the foot. Lockdown is pretty solid, just make sure you lace up and tighten it down properly– I had some foot movement and ended up getting a pretty nice blister behind my big toe at the end of my long run. 

The outsole rubber and lug pattern is pretty aggressive as well, even more than the Pegasus, which I always say is a great hybrid road-to-trail shoe in a pinch. No problems with grip, though I didn’t encounter any rain during my testing. 

For sure, this is a shoe that will eat up hundreds of miles. So much there to feed your training day after day, week after week.

nike vomero 17 - laces top view

Tongue and laces

nike vomero 17 - lateral side

Cushlon 3.0 bottom layer

RYAN: I mean, Robbe crushed it with every single aspect of the Vomero that you could possibly get into, and I have little choice but to echo his sentiments. I thought the ride of the Vomero was spot-on, offering a nice ZoomX squish to go along with the Cushlon 3.0 base. Maybe it’s just the fact that there’s an absolute mountain of foam underfoot, but it really did feel like a great ride.

The Vomero doesn’t shy away from the plush upper, either. Where Nike usually turns to designs that are dagger-thin and have a need for speed, the Vomero feels a little more like a cruiser. It made for a really great experience when just walking around, and the upper fits just snug enough that I didn’t bother undoing the origins lacing until I was actually ready to go for a run. I’ll come back to the laces in a sec, but the overall comfort is as sweet as can be.

Nike seems to have learned a lesson – or at least part of a lesson – with its outsoles, too. The Vomero 17 has a tread of repeated paralellograms, which adds at least a little more grip than we got used to with previous Pegasus models. It’s not a Gore-Tex shoe or anything, so I wasn’t expecting a Vibram outsole under the Cushlon and ZoomX layers.

Shop The Vomero 17 - Men Shop The Vomero 17 - Women

What we don’t like about the Nike Vomer0 17

MEAGHAN: If I have a technical complaint, I guess I’ll discuss the weight. My W7.5 came in at 8.5 oz. No, not the heaviest, but also not the lightest. The rubber outsole seems like a bit much and knocking that down could definitely lighten this guy up. 

THOMAS: Nike shoe design has bangers all day on the trail line. The Vomero 17 is boring, at least in the black launch colorway. Bring some of the fun from the trail team to the road. The mesh on the upper doesn’t feel premium. It is crunchy. For all of you that complain about Nike being too narrow, this shoe isn’t. I like a shoe that looks sleek and fast. The Vomero has a toe box that will be more accommodating, but the more narrow Nikes of the past are more appealing.

nike vomero 17 - outsole of shoe

Outsole is durable and aggressive

ROBBE: Not sure I can complain about the weight on this one. It’s like a quarter or half-ounce heavier than the Pegasus, which makes sense because it’s essentially a more built-up Pegasus. And it’s a much better shoe, so I’ll take the tradeoff. 

Man, I don’t know what was happening, but the lateral ankle collar destroyed the area right below my ankle. Eight miles into my run I thought I cut myself on some stray glass, turns out I had just developed and popped a blister which had rubbed raw. I spent the final twelve miles stuffing toilet paper in my sock trying to create a barrier from sweat going into it, which sort of worked. It also turns out it was pressing into my ankle which also gave me some pain later on. Not the greatest post-run feeling. FWIW, I’ve never had a blister there in my entire running career.

I’m sure Nike will do cool things with upcoming colorways to make this shoe look better, but I’m not a huge fan of thte fake overlays and designs on it, even if they are throwbacks to the original Vomero. It’s just not a shoe I want to wear if style points count (they do, by the way).

Again, I think it was just not locking down the shoe properly beforehand, but I did get a blister behind my big toe. Not sure if that’s because it’s just roomier, or I didn’t adjust the laces beforehand, but if you find your foot moving around mid-run, just make sure you stop to adjust.

nike vomero 17 - zoomx women midsole

Upper details

RYAN: I don’t have too many complaints with the Vomero 17, though I did notice a thing or two. First off, it felt like the Vomero got a little bit slappy toward the end of one of my runs. It might have just been my form breaking down after a long weekend, but the clippity clop sounds of the Pegasus and even the Vaporfly sprang to mind. Some shoes seem to roll along like silent ninjas, but Nikes never seem to do it for me.

Also, the Vomero’s laces are wild. It’s probably just the super-plush upper, but it felt like I was tightening and tightening and still had more to go. Even after all of the tightening, the laces weren’t super long. They tied up comfortably and I didn’t need a runner’s knot, but I’m just baffled by how much I had to tighten them down for a snug fit.

My last nit to pick with the Vomero 17 is that Nike sent Thomas, Robbe, and myself the blandest, most wide-foot Jarrett colorway they had. It’s black with a white Swoosh and black outsole rubber. It’s just not exciting and doesn’t really jump off the page in any meaningful way.

Shop The Vomero 17 - Men Shop The Vomero 17 - Women

Final Thoughts on the Nike Vomero 17

MEAGHAN: The Nike Vomero 17 is back on track and I’ve been enjoying miles in this durable daily trainer. The responsive, firmer ride makes this one pretty versatile as well. While I knocked on the rubber outsole, it certainly adds to the durability of this shoe. I think you’ll get your miles worth in this one. 

THOMAS: This is a good update. The shoe offers an above average ride with an average upper. Unfortunately the Vomero lands in an odd spot when it comes to reviews. I would rank the shoe high, but not quite in the top five daily trainers so far this year. It may even come down to looks. I just don’t get excited about the Vomero 17 when I look at it. At the $160 price point there are lots of good trainers to choose from.

The Vomero 17 wouldn’t be a bad choice, it wouldn’t be my first choice. To get back to the intention of the shoe, the Vomero is a noticeable upgrade to the Pegasus. If the Pegasus has been your jam, you may want to experience the next level of cushioning in the Vomero 17.

nike vomero 17 - black on stairs

ROBBE: If you took away the issues that I had with the upper, which were partially my own doing, then I’d certainly rank this high in the Nike trainer category, and pretty high in the overall daily trainer category. Yes, it lacks the light weight of some other shoes like the Hoka Clifton 9, Asics Novablast 3, or On Cloudflow, but what it lacks in weight, it makes up for in durability. That ZoomX/Cushlon combo just won’t break down and will provide you with hundreds of solid miles. If you’re gonna spend your money, you may as well get its worth.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with this shoe and felt like it nails that often hard-to-find zone between comfort and performance.

RYAN: For my first time in the Vomero, I’d have to say this was a success. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from Nike’s non-Pegasus, but I enjoyed the combination of ZoomX and Cushlon. I’ve actively been avoiding plated shoes for my daily training, so it’s nice to get a degree of race-day foam in a daily trainer without the extra elements. Honestly, the Nike Vomero 17 is a solid shoe for $160 – maybe not one of my all-time favorites – but it’s comfortable and reliable across the miles.

Just don’t get the boring black colorway…

You can pick up the Nike Vomero 17 for $160 on October 19, 2023, directly from Nike by using the shop links below.

Shop The Shoe

nike vomero 17 - men shop
Shop Nike Vomero 17 Men
nike vomero 17 - women shop
Shop Nike Vomero 17 Women

Want to learn more about how our review process works? Check out this guide.

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Meaghan Murray
Boss Lady
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Meaghan signed up for her first marathon three weeks before the race, because it was $10 more than the half she planned to run. She learned everything in running the hard way. Now a USATF & UESCA certified run coach, she loves encouraging friends to go for big goals as she continues to chase faster times. She enjoys a hot cup of coffee, a cold martini, and making bagels for friends and family.

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Thomas Neuberger
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As the founder of Believe in the Run, Thomas’s goal is to help runners pick the shoes and gear that will make their running experience the best that it can be. 

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Robbe is the senior editor of Believe in the Run. He loves going on weird routes through Baltimore, finding trash on the ground, and running with the Faster Bastards. At home in the city, but country at heart. Loves his two boys more than anything. Has the weakest ankles in the game.

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Ryan is kind of like Robbe’s Igor behind the scenes. He helps to compile and clean up everyone’s reviews, and finds time to get in a few miles of his own. When he’s not running or editing, Ryan writes and reviews for Android Authority, spending time with the latest tech and complaining when things don’t work quite right. If he’s not doing any of that, maybe you’ll find him nose-deep in a crossword puzzle or trying to catch up on an endless backlog of shows to stream.

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