Evaluation Nike introduced two performance shoes using its “caged” Zoom Air units – the Swift and the Spiridon last year. While the Swift was a pleasingly smooth and responsive shoe, the lighter Spiridon wasn’t quite so impressive, with a hard forefoot and narrow fit. The Miler, developed with the mile world record holder, Hicham El Guerrouj, replaces both, and is a more successful attempt at a lighter, caged Zoom shoe.
Like the Spiridon, there’s a big Zoom Air unit in the rearfoot which sits inside a plastic cage. But, whereas the Spiridon’s forefoot was simply lightweight EVA with two big flex grooves, the Miler – like the Swift – has an extra Air unit under the toes. The Spiridon suffered because its lack of forefoot cushioning meant that the transition from the cushioned rearfoot to toe-off felt harsh. The Miler is far smoother.
The Miler’s upper is also an improvement on the Spiridon’s floppy-mesh affair. It’s still light and breathable – especially around the toes – but, thanks to harder-wearing synthetic material around the rear- and midfoot, it supports the foot nicely. It’s still quite a narrow shoe, though.
In short Smooth, cushioned and responsive, the Miler is lighter than – but similar in feel to – the Air Zoom Swift. Light, neutral runners should enjoy it for fast training and, despite the name, races up to marathon length.