Evaluation The Shox FSM is a statement of intent from Nike. By slotting it into the Bowerman range (its serious running range) the firm is telling us that it's serious about Shox technology. It's nice to be able to report that we believe Nike.
To bring the Shox up to Bowerman standards Nike realised that it needed to add extra stability to the shoes. One of the biggest complaints about previous Shox models was that the four rearfoot cushioning columns didn't feel particularly stable on heelstrike even for relatively neutral runners. So to combat this Nike has made some changes. Firstly, there's the addition of a 'traditional' second-density EVA in the midsole above the Shox unit. Next, the Shox columns on the medial side are now shorter, thicker and firmer than those on the lateral side. Finally, the plastic plate which houses the columns is stiffer on the medial side too.
And the changes work. The Shox FSM feels far more stable than all previous incarnations. That extra stability partly accounts for the FSM tag: it means 'footstrike management'. To further enhance FSM, Nike has also added a pad of soft polyurethane in the midsole beneath the first and second metatarsal heads of the feet. The idea is that this helps tighten your foot to create a more efficient lever. Initial weartester reports didn't mention any particular benefits from this PU 'puddle', though.
The Shox units certainly provide decent levels of cushioning, but lighter runners still felt the heelstrike was rather firm. As there is a difference in rear- and forefoot cushioning materials, the ride was also not as smooth as many would have liked.
In Short The FSM is definitely the best Shox model yet and is now stable enough for mild to moderate overpronators. The rearfoot stability is much improved and the cushioning excellent for bigger runners. But the FSM is still heavier and lack the smooth heel-to-toe transition of foam-based shoes.
Try it on if you liked Nike Shox D £120