Nike ACG Gore-Tex Mountain Fly
The Nike ACG Gore-Tex Mountain Fly shoes are all about maximizing comfort and protection while you’re on the trail. The thick sole pads out uneven terrain, while the deep tread ensures good grip, and the Gore-Tex upper keeps you dry.
I had the chance to check out the Nike ACG Gore-Tex Mountain Flys over a few weeks in the wintry mountains of central Colorado and can confidently say these shoes are packed with great features.
The first thing I noticed when I put on the Mountain Fly’s was how comfortable they were. Despite being a capable trail shoe, I felt like I was wearing nothing more than a slipper between the soft upper and thick, padded sole.
Each step was like I was walking on a mattress thanks to the combined React Foam and Zoom Vaporfly Trail Frame Nike has built into the shoe. I think you could probably walk on nails with these and be comfortable.
As alluded to, the uppers are a cozy mix of a main Gore-Tex fabric and a thin neoprene gaiter-cuff. In one sense, the Mountain Fly’s are slippers, as to put them on you must slip your foot through the neoprene gaiter which provides a snug fit on its own.
Once on, I think the Mountain Fly’s fit close to standard street size, however the cuff is a bit of a choke point which might require going a half size or so larger than normal, especially if you have wide feet. Additionally, the cuff is soft and flexible allowing for a large range of motion and dexterity in uneven terrain, but provides little ankle support for carrying larger loads or help for those with ankle issues.
To further dial in the fit, the Mountain Fly’s use a single draw-string lace system with a push tab to lock the laces in place. I found this lacing quick and easy to use and never had to worry about the lacing coming undone mid-hike.
Furthermore, the lace system is tucked under a fixed neoprene tongue which protects the lacing wonderfully and prevents snags when trudging through thick brush. The lacing system was easy to cinch down and felt secure towards the front of the shoe, however I usually had a slight heel lift regardless of how tight I cranked the draw-string down.
Nike has built in ankle padding as back up to this, however I could see potentially getting some hot spots on really long days. Of course, comfort is only half of the story with the Mountain Fly’s.
Designed with steep and uneven terrain in mind, the Mountain Fly’s sticky rubber and Trail Frame provide a reliable platform for moving through the mountains. The outsole has thick tread which digs deep in mud, dirt, and even snow for great traction.
The outsole itself uses two different rubber types, an outer hard rubber for durability, and a stickier rubber midsole for traction on hard surfaces. Between the outsoles rubber, thickness, and support I felt really confident charging into rough and uneven terrain, over sharp rocks, and up loose debris with the Mountain Fly’s. Despite the thickness and burliness of the sole, the Mountain Fly’s are surprisingly light which I felt makes them quite nimble Going the extra distance, Nike has wrapped the hard rubber sole up and over the big toe for just that much more protection.
To live up to the standard of All Conditions, Nike has designed the Mountain Fly’s upper with Gore-Tex fabric for superb waterproofing, breathability, and durability. I had no trouble keeping my feet dry while trouncing through puddles, mud, and snow, and the neoprene gaiter was great at keeping debris out of the shoe. I should add that while my testing occurred in the winter, these are not insulated nor intended to be, however because of the waterproof nature they did shed snow well and could hold warmth well when I wore thicker socks. As a bonus, it also seemed like the Gore-Tex shed dirt and grime easily helping keep the shoes looking fresher, longer.
Summed up, the Nike ACG Gore-Tex Mountain Flys are great shoes for big days on or off trail no matter what the weather is doing. These are some of the comfiest trail shoes I’ve ever worn, and their waterproofing can hang with the best. Whether you’re looking for a new trail runner, a reliable ride for checking out the local trail, or even just something to keep you dry on rainy days around town, the Nike ACG Gore-Tex Mountain Flys have you covered.
A transplant of the Midwest, Austen immigrated to the promised land of western Colorado in 2012 in search of good climbing, deep snow, quality rivers, and a college degree when his goofing off allowed. He learned pretty quick the difference quality gear can make on the outcome of a day (or days) in the mountains and began looking for the best gear to abuse.
In the summer Austen is an avid whitewater kayaker, bouncing his boat down the steep, rocky waterways of Colorado, trad climber in search of the route less traveled, and works as a federal river ranger along the Gunnison River. During the winter Austen spends his time telemarking around the backcountry of western Colorado and working as a ski patroller up on the continental divide.
Austen says, “A hundred days of skiing and paddling each per year and you’ll figure out what is wrong or right with your equipment, especially when your lively-hood depends on it.” Austen also has his American Avalanche Association Professional Level 1 avalanche certification, EMT-B, and ACA swift-water rescue cert, as well as a member of the Search and Rescue team in Gunnison County for 6 years.