Saturday, July 16, 2016

Nike Zoom Streak 6 Full Review-Swoosh, There It Is!. Nearly Perfect Race Flat?

Article by Peter Stuart
The Nike Zoom Streak 6 is a 6.4 oz/181 gram road racing flat. The heel is 26mm and the forefoot is 16mm.  As a bit of a disclaimer I haven’t run in earlier versions of the Zoom Streak and have only recently started running in Nikes again. For years every Nike I tried on my feet felt weird and narrow and I had no interest in running in them. In the past year or two I’ve run in the Lunaracer, the Lunar Epic Flynknit and the LunarTempo—all of which I’ve liked quite a bit. The Zoom Streak 6, however, is some next level action from the folks in Oregon.

Here are some specs and features from Nike before we get into the action:
Weight: 6.4 oz/181 g (Men size 9), Unisex shoe;  
Stack Height: Heel (26mm), Forefoot (18mm)
Available now. $110.
  • Flymesh upper with internal arch strap for lightweight support
  • Midfoot shank propels you through your stride
  • Anatomical design allows the toes to push off more efficiently
  • Nike Zoom Air unit in the Phylon midsole provides responsive cushioning
  • Outsole traction pattern optimizes forward motion with variable lug sizes
  • Flex grooves between lugs deliver natural range of motion
Upper and Fit: 
The Zoom Streak 6 runs a bit small. I sized up 1/2 size after trying both, my usual size and 1/2 size larger. Both sizes hug the foot really well, but the arch felt a little better on the larger size. 

The upper is made of what Nike calls ‘Flymesh’. It's a lightweight and supportive mesh upper with varying degrees of perforation throughout the shoe. The appearance is of smaller and larger holes in the mesh—though they’re not really holes—there is an even thinner weave holding those sections together. 
Flymesh upper, varying degrees of structure/breathability
Nike has replaced the flywire closure system with an ‘internal arch strap’. It’s a thin, stretchy material that’s connected to the laces and pulls in to hold the mid foot secure. The tongue is thin and perforated. Overall the shoe is extremely breathable, disappears on the foot and holds the foot securely. 

The ankle collar is nicely padded and the materials are soft and comfortable. 

The one odd thing about the Nike Zoom Streak 6 for me is the feeling under the arch on step in. this was more noticeable on the smaller shoe, but I still notice it on my 1/2 size up pair. When I put on the shoes and stand in them, there is a poking feeling under the back of the arch. It’s been suggested to me that it may be the Zoom Air unit in the back or it might be the Phylon shank (more on that later). From what I can tell it’s actually the inner edge of my foot hanging slightly over the edge of the mid/out sole. While this sounds like it might be a big deal, it’s really not. As soon as I run in them, the poking feeling under the arch seems to go away. The last shape does seem to have a pretty aggressive curve in from the heel to the arch, which is what I think causes this feeling. 
Arch strap is orange. Note the curve of the last.

Midsole and Outsole: 
The midsole is made of Phylon. From what I can find, Pylon is made of compressed EVA foam pellets which are heat expanded and then cooled.Sounds a little like some other boosty midsole materials, no? It’s definitely firmer than Lunarlon, which is part of what makes the Zoom Streak 6 a great go-fast shoe. 

The midsole features a Zoom Air pod under the heel. It’s not really noticeable for me at the beginning of a run as I tend to land midfoot, but it’s a nice relief later in the run when I hit the heel sometimes, or if I gnash the heel on the downhills. It’s a nice addition. 
Pebax plate
The Pebax Shank is a plate under the midfoot that provides some rigidity and really gives a pop off of the ground on toe-off. Again, this becomes incredibly helpful later in the run when feet get tired. One of the things that really sets the ZS 6 above other distance racers for me is the support and structure the shoe provides as my legs get tired. It feels good when I’m running fast, but when I’m running fast and I’m tired it feels GREAT. 
Rubber lugs with flex grooves
The outsole is a combination of exposed Phylon and two different densities of blown rubber. The forefoot consists of different sized pods separated by deep flex grooves. The pods and the flex grooves are both multi-directional so there’s a little give in every direction even though the Streak 6 is not a particularly flexible shoe in the standard sense (as in ‘hey I can bend the toe to the heel’).  Under the heel are two distinct sections of harder orange blown rubber which should wear a bit more slowly than the rest of the shoe. 
Harder blown rubber in rear of shoe
Durability looks like it’s going to be right in the zone of most racing flats. Not hundreds of miles, but should be good for some good long runs and races. 

Ride:
The Nike Zoom Streak 6 is perhaps the best riding racing flat I’ve run in. My previous favorite has been the Asics Hyper Speed, but the Nike wins out. As I’ve mentioned earlier, there is a bit of a protrusion into my arch when I’m standing around in these, but when I get out on the road they’re golden. The transition is smooth, they’re decent at any tempo, but they really excel when I speed up. What’s most remarkable about the ride on the Zoom Streak 6 is that they really shine when I’m getting tired and my mechanics are starting to fall apart. The magic trick they pull off is to be relatively invisible early in the run and then noticeably supportive when I need them most. My first run was a 15 mile tempo run with shoes fresh out of the box and I got faster and faster as the run went on. I didn’t feel beaten up at all after the run or the next day. 

The other thing I really love about the ride of the Zoom Streak 6 is that it really seems to set my body up to run efficiently. It’s hard to explain or quantify, but I feel like I’m running lighter on my feet and with slightly better form when I run in them. I think part of that effect is the fact that they are a pretty firm ride. Firm, but not harsh. It’s a tough balance to strike and I think Nike has done it perfectly here. 


Conclusions:
The Nike Zoom Streak 6 is a nearly perfect racing flat. It’s comfortable, light, breathable, supportive and really good looking. It rides beautifully.  It’s a very light shoe, so I would want to make sure to do some longer runs in them before racing a marathon, but I’d race a 13.1 in them any day of the week. I also wouldn’t hesitate to use them in 5 and 10k races. I love racing flats and this is one hell of a racing flat.  I would go so far as to say the Nike Zoom Streak 6 is the Seth Hasty (founder of the famous Running Shoe Geeks on Facebook)  of racing flats: Fast, good looking, a little moody and totally badass.

Comparisons:
Zoom Streak 6 vs. NB 1400 V4
The Streak is a bit firmer and seems to hold up better on longer runs for me. I love the way the 1400 feels on my feet, but I would pick the Nike if I had to choose. There’s a little more energy return—perhaps because of the plate.

 Zoom Streak 6 vs. Asics Hyperspeed 7
The HyperSpeed is a bit more cushioned, and a somewhat softer ride than the Nike. What gives the Nike the edge for me here is the way it feels in the later miles of a long, hard run. 

 Zoom Streak 6 vs. Skechers GoMeb 3
The Zoom Streak 6 is noticeably less shoe. The plates in both feel similar, but I like the barely there feeling of the Nike.

 Zoom Streak 6 vs. Adidas Adios Boost 3
These two have the most similar ride, but the materials on the upper of the Nike are much softer and more comfortable. Both great shoes, Zoom Streak is lighter and softer.

Zoom Streak 6 vs. Brooks Hyperion
I love the way both of these run. The Hyperion would be neck and neck completion for the Zoom Streak for me, but unfortunately it has a very stiff upper that cuts into my achilles. Nike it is. 

Peter's Zoom Streak 6 Score:  4.99 out of 5
-.01 for poking feeling on step in that totally disappears on the run. 





The Zoom Streak 6 was a personal purchase at retail
All Photos Credit: Peter Stuart.

For another take on the Zoom Streak 6 see Brian Shelton's review over at Believe in the Run.

Peter Stuart's Running Bio

My running career got off to a slow start…in high school I was told I ran like a race walker and was thus relegated to race walking on the track team. I got back into running about 15 years ago and then into triathlon. Triathlon really rekindled my love for running, so about two years ago I hired a coach and really focused on the half and full marathons.  I broke a bad habit of putting in tons of moderately hard miles (and no easy or hard ones) and after plateauing at 3:25 (with some disastrous marathons in there), this past year I brought my marathon under 3:00 and my half under 1:25. Along the way I’ve developed a bit of a shoe problem.



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8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Trying to figure out the right size to order. You said you've worn the lunar tempo so would these be the same fit as those or down a 1/2 size

Peter Stuart said...

For me I size up half size in both lunar tempo and streak 6. So in majority of running shoes I'm an 11--in both of those I'm 11.5.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much.Great review by the way,I'm definitely stoked on getting these now!

Anonymous said...

Hey there, I already tried posting this but not sure if it went through. I'm a high school runner looking for a new flat that I can use for mile repeats and intervals on a track and cross country course. I'm trying to decide between the Streak 6, Hoka tracer, Streak LT 3, and Flyknit racer. I'm really looking for a flat that can handle both longer and shorter intervals. Do you have any input on which might be best for me?
Thanks.

sam winebaum said...

Hi Anonymous, you might also consider the Altra Golden Spike review here http://www.roadtrailrun.com/2016/06/altra-golden-spike-unique-and-radical.html
Our tester Patrick Caron has run and raced on the track, roads, and all kinds of trails in them, winning a very rough 50K ultra and a trail race. Very decent cushion, similar to a 5-10K race flat, lots of grip with and without the spikes. Great water draining upper. Another excellent choice the Salomon S-Lab Sonic.

Anonymous said...

High school runner, I'm a big fan of the zoom streak lt 2. They're very light and hold up to tons of mileage. I've raced everything up to HM in them and never felt like I needed more shoe. I don't think the 3 is that much different. I have the hoka tracers and the forefoot is just too narrow. It would be a great shoe if it was built on a nike last. I'm considering getting the zoom streak 6 for an upcoming marathon to replace the tracers.

fai hammer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
fai hammer said...

thank you your sharing
i bought it today
it is very good,
feeling like adidas adios, but nike lighter than adios.
i will use it in 2017 42km racing.
i bought in hong kong nike outlet,
it is hkd $389 only.