Nike Mariah Flyknit Reviewed & Tested for Performance Review Facts
The Nike Air Zoom Mariah is in all honesty, a beautiful shoe. A redesign to the original Nike Mariah racer fits the shoe with an upper made flyknit, carrying flywire material, and sporting minimal covering on either side and in the back. The shoe, having been an update to the original model, also weighs much less and carries a bit more in the way of support for the wearers’ foot. Also, it is key to mention that the shoe carries much more in the way of style from the original model; that isn’t to say that the original model is ugly, this one just “pops” a bit more.
The outsole on these shoes is created from a hardened plastic material, a material that is seen on a variety of Nike shoes. The layer of plastic that makes the outsole is relatively thin, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it is a huge contributor to the lightweight feeling of the shoe overall. The patterning on the sole itself is relatively simple; the forefoot of the shoe is given a pattern consisting of arches while the back of the foot is blocked off. The sole also features flex bands, which aid in the shoes ability to deliver a range of motion and comfort that a variety of shoes nowadays simply don’t have.
The midsole on this shoe is also relatively straight-forward.
It is comprised of an EVA foam, very similar to other shoes of it’s kind. The EVA foam allows the shoe to be as lightweight as necessary without taking away from the padding and comfort that the Mariah is known to provide. On top of the thick EVA foam midsole, the Mariah is fitted with an Air pod in the sole that the shoe didn’t initially have. The Air pod aids the shoe in providing even more in the way of comfort and improves the overall ride.
The upper on the new and improved Mariah is fashioned from a flyknit material
; flyknit is known for its porous breathability and ability to conform to the wearers foot. Another update to the shoe outside of the Flyknit, is that the shoe is fitted with flywire lacing
; the lacing aids in the snug fit that the shoe provides and gives the wearer a bit more security while the shoe is in use. To keep up with the style of the original Mariah, Nike has added a TPU heel counter to the shoe that aids in providing support and also is aesthetically pleasing. The shoe itself is rather slim; simply looking at the front of the shoe, one can tell that it is on the thinner side. This isn’t necessarily a problem considering that it blends in with the style of shoes nowadays.
The flyknit remake of the Mariah has aided the shoe in its efforts to drop a few ounces
. The low weight on these shoes can be attributed to more than simply the flyknit redesign; Nike has also equipped the shoe with a lightweight foam sole and Minimal guards and coverings on the top. The sole, as was mentioned earlier, is a mixture of EVA material and hardened rubber; the rubber being layered relatively thin, takes off some of the weight that would otherwise be on the shoe and the EVA foam is known for being lightweight, which is why it’s placed on running shoes so often. Nike has given the Mariah a minimalist design, which is on par with the design of the previous Mariah. This shoe lacks all of the rubber components that various other running shoe have as coverings, unless the back of the sole is considered.
The Mariah has definitely been given a remake that enhances it breathability factor
. The Flyknit make and the minimalist design allows the shoe to attain a level of air flow that isn’t achievable on various other best minimalist running shoes
of its caliber. The minimalist effects that the shoe has been given is partly to blame because of the lack of coverings which allow the foot to take in more air and also doesn’t block the air off in any part of the shoe other than the heel. The flyknit mesh on the shoe is also relatively thin, which in part has something to do with the shoe being able to achieve the high level of air flow that it is known for attaining.
There are several factors about this shoe that aid it in its efforts of giving the user maximum comfort. The flyknit and flywire make of the upper being a couple of those things. Flyknit is known for its comfort giving abilities
, this coupled with the flywire’s ability to provide an even firmer grip than the flyknit by itself can provide boosts the shoes scoring in this category. The EVA foam of the midsole and the air pod that is within also aids the shoe in providing a comforting ride; this is due to the air pods ability to take in the force that is placed on by the part of the users’foot that it is placed under. In this case the air pod is underneath the heel of the foot which provides the foot with a mixture of support and a pillow like structure for that part of the heel to land on.
The Nike Air Zoom Mariah is one stylish shoe. The remake that Nike has given this shoe was done so that the shoe would be able to fit in with the times and enhance the shoes already decent handling abilities. The Flyknit make of the upper and the blending of the colors that make the upper are two that are mainly to thank for the shoes newfound sense of style. The minimalism with which the upper was designed allows the flyknit to pop out and make the shoe deliver a sense of almost effortless style when on foot. The sleek design that the shoe was given also aids in its ability to conform to the times; a majority of shoes nowadays have taken this approach.
This upgrade to the shoe has also improved the shoes overall durability.
The previous model of the shoe had several complaints about how the forefoot area was somewhat brittle and the toe area would wear out after minimal use; this isn’t the case with this model. The flyknit on the air zoom racer is tough enough to deal with the strains of use that most shoes wouldn’t be able to handle. Another thing to note is the craftsmanship with with which the upper was made; a worry about several flyknit shoes like the Mariah (ones where there isn’t necessarily a guard in place to keep the upper from disconnecting from the sole) but this shoe seems to have been made with that thought in mind. The sole, despite being EVA, should last for a decent length of time without needing replacement. This isn’t a heavy-duty runner though, so one shouldn’t expect several hundred miles of long distance running to come out of it.
In terms of protection, the Mariah provides a decent amount despite being made of entirely flyknit
material. The flyknit material with which the shoe is fashioned from is relatively thick meaning that it’s able to provide a decent amount of coverage for the wearers foot. On top of this, the upper was also given a heel guard that provides both protection for that portion of the foot while also delivering a decent amount of support as well. As always, the sole unit is relatively thick on this shoe which gives it the ability to handle the various amounts of materials that would otherwise be able to harm the users foot while the shoe is in use.
The EVA midsole on the Mariah flyknit racer is relatively responsive, especially considering the lack of components within it that could enhance this factor. EVA is known for its ability to handle the pressure that is placed on it while also sending that pressure back so as to enhance a shoes rebound; the Mariah does just this when in use and, coupled with the air pods within the sole unit, gives the shoe a decent overall ride quality.
The sole of the Mariah is surprisingly tough meaning that it is able to handle a variety of terrains with little to no problem. This can be attributed to the shoes layer of hardened rubber that make up its outsole. The layer, being fashioned from hardened rubber, is durable enough for the shoe to be able to handle various terrain
but it should be considered that the shoe overall isn’t designed for rough terrains. The lightweight overall design of the shoe signals that it should be used on the more lightweight surfaces such as roads and tracks rather than trails
and the like.
The Mariah isn’t the cheapest shoe in the world
, that’s for sure. The flyknit make of the Mariah, having technologies in both the upper and the sole unit of the shoe is a bit on the pricy side; all things considered it’s worth it because of the various things that will be received besides simply a stylish shoe
. While it does take a decent chunk out ones’ pockets the flywire and the air pods coupled with the overall lightweight nature of the shoe justifies the decent sized price tag that was given by Nike for this redesign.
The patterning and the material that make up the outsole are decent at attaining a grip on various types of surfaces. The Nike air zoom Mariah is fitted with a crossing type of pattern on the sole unit of the shoe that Nike placed there to improve the shoes overall traction gaining abilities. The hardened rubber material that the shoe is fitted with also allows the shoe to attain a high level of grip,
allowing the user to cut corners with ease. This is something that various shoes of this sort have been missing because of the level of difficulty that comes with finding a material that delivers a decent amount of grip while also maintaining a low level of weight. Nike has figured it out.
The upper on the Mariah, being made from flyknit, is nothing if not flexible. The lack of guards and the flyknit make allow the shoe to bend to the will of the users foot while being able to bounce back to its initial form. The sole on the Mariah is also fitted with flex grooves that allow the sole to bend while in use as well. On top of the flex grooves embedded in the outsole, the midsole is made from EVA foam which, of course, is flexible and able to bend to the will of the user, while also being able to bounce back to both its original form.
The Flywire lacing that is featured on this model of the Mariah enables the shoe to provide a level of stability that would be somewhat foreign otherwise. The shoe, having been designed out of purely flyknit mesh would feel somewhat loose without the attaching of the flywire that allows the sides of the shoe to feel somewhat secure. One downfall about the design of the shoe is the slim sole of the shoe from a vertical point of view; the upper on this shoe is relatively wide while the sole is somewhat thin, which provides less area for the user thereby taking away some of the shoes stability
The Nike air zoom Mariah has a relatively low heel-to-toe drop. This is in part because of the lack of height that Nike placed in the sole of this shoe, something that is found in the majority of their other models. The low drop aids the shoe in the stability category and also in the overall ride that the shoe provides during use.
• Flywire lacing
• Flyknit mesh upper
• Air pods in sole
• Pull tab on heel
Overall, the Mariah is a great shoe to have. The stylish overall design of the shoe, coupled with the comfort that it gives is a huge bonus for the wearers of this shoe. On top of these things, the shoe is also fitted with several comfort-providing components such as the air pods inside of the sole and the flywire lacing. Overall, great job on this shoe Nike.