Since the birth of Nike in the early 70s, the company has always strived to provide pinnacle racing products to athletes. In the 1972 U.S. Olympic Marathon trials, 4 of the top 7 racers debuted the Nike Obori, a revolutionary racing shoe that every runner wanted to know about. Flash-foward to the 2016 Olympic Marathon trials and we see winners Galen Rupp and Amy Cragg (as well as several other top finishers) boasting a mystery white shoe with the famous Nike swoosh. Now, several months later, we’ve discovered the elites competing at the trials were wearing prototypes of what has become known as the Nike Zoom Streak 6.
With the Streak 6, Nike took a step back and looked at what made some of their earlier streak models successful and further expanded on those ideas to make an innovative product that the serious marathon runner will enjoy. As a competitive track runner who has been transitioning into longer distance racing, I was enthralled by the latest Streak and had to try it on immediately after getting a hold of it. At first step in, I noticed the good attention to detail put into the shoe design. The upper utilizes a super thin fly mesh design with breathable holes throughout which allow you to see your foot underneath. While the material is super thin, getting lock-down fit is not an issue. An internal arch strap takes place of the old flywire technology and provides a soft and snug foot wrap. When going at faster speeds, I feel the shoe takes shape of your foot and provides a more secure fit then the Streak 5. I also found the more anatomical shape of the shoe to be a huge improvement. The toe box in the Streak 5 had a pointy shape and was not ideal on a more standard width foot. In the 6th version, the toe box has a much more natural shape that provides a superior foot wrap. It’s also worth noting that the Nike race sockliner is firmly glued into this shoe so runners do not need to worry about issues they may have seen in some of the early samples.
While the upper of the Streak 6 receives a huge upgrade, the most important part of a marathon flat is providing lightweight and responsive cushioning to get you to the finish line. With an 18mm forefoot stack height, this shoe provides just enough cushioning to go the distance. The shock absorption is very comparable to the Streak 5, but after striding out in the newest version you will notice a difference in ride quality. The Streak 6 creates a far smoother running experience that feels great once your dialed in at marathon pace. I found the rockered design paired with an integrated pebax plate gives the shoe a responsive ride that feels smooth regardless of foot strike. Along with a zoom air unit in the heel, to deliver extra responsive cushioning for later stages of the race, this shoe does a good job of providing the essentials of a marathon racer.
While the shoe will surely excel in the marathon, the versatile design will still make it a suitable option for shorter distance races when your looking for a slightly more cushioned shoe to keep your body feeling fresh. Since I personally do not plan to take on the Marathon for a few more years, I could see myself using this shoe as my main workout flat. The smooth ride makes the shoe a great option for tempo days and the extremely light weight design (6.4 oz, Men’s size 9 – no women’s model) makes it a fast enough option when you decide to pick up the pace for intervals or fartleks. Whether you’re in the market for a serious marathon racer, or simply a versatile workout flat, the Nike Zoom Streak 6 will surely provide a responsive ride with plenty of cushioning to keep you running hard day in and day out.
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