nike zoomx streakfly cover
RoadShoe ReviewsSite Feature

Nike ZoomX Streakfly Review: Worth The Hype? Yes, Kind Of

What You Need To Know

  • Weighs 6.0 oz. (170 g.) for a US M9/US W10.5
  • Nike’s return to the Streak name and racing flat game
  • Is there a better-looking shoe around? We don’t think so
  • Sold out immediately for $160, new colorways coming soon

THOMAS: Think about this: just a little over six years ago, a prototype of a marathon shoe called the Nike Streak 6 propelled Eliud Kipchoge to a win in the Berlin Marathon, his insoles flapping like the wings of Icarus on the way to a decisive victory. That shoe was light, but it also had a stack height of 26mm in the heel and 18mm in the toe. Now, in 2022, that kind of minimalism in a marathon shoe would violate the Geneva Conventions.

Look no further than the shoe we’re reviewing today, the Nike ZoomX Streakfly. It’s a 5K/10K shoe with a 32mm stack in the heel and 26mm in the toe. Nearly 25% more stack height than the Streak 6 for what is essentially a racing flat. Times have certainly changed.

While the stack has certainly increased, the weight has decreased in an inverse proportion. To that end, the Nike Streakfly exists as the lightest shoe in the brand’s running arsenal for 2022. While it’s not quite at Mayfly status (4.8 oz./135 g), it barely registers on the scales at 6 oz./170 g for a US M9.0.

With an airy engineered knit upper and ZoomX midsole, and a photon-white colorway, the shoe looks like it’s holding a charge just waiting to be released. This brings us to the only question anyone cares about — when the trigger is pulled, does the spark ignite?

BRANDON: I was pretty stoked to hear that I’d be getting the highly anticipated Nike ZoomX Streakfly. A fast, lightweight racing shoe intended for 5k and 10k racing seems like it would be right up my alley.

Everything says that I should love this shoe to its absolute core. In some ways, I do, but in others… not so much. Nike pumped the brakes on the production of the Streak series as they pivoted toward high stack and max-cushioned racers like the Zoomfly and Vaporfly. Then with the dawn of the Alphafly, it seemed as if the Streak series was dead in the water. The beloved Streak 6 was a thing of the past, gone from our feet but still in our hearts.

It’s funny how things work out, though. Nike appeared to have all of its race day bases covered. The Alphafly serves as the ultimate marathon and half marathon race day shoe, and the Vaporfly could run at just about any distance, making it the most versatile racer on the market. But what about a low stack, lightweight racer? Well, that’s where the Streakfly comes in, and for $160, it’s definitely one to keep an eye on.

However, let me clarify that there’s no reason to compare the Streakfly to today’s high stack racing alternatives. It’s simply not a substitute for the Alphafly, Vaporfly, Metaspeed Sky, or any of the other beasts that come to mind. Instead, the Streakfly fits into the same shorter-distance category as the ON Cloudboom Echo and Adidas Takumi Sen 8.

BEN: Well, we pretty much covered everything, so let’s get into the review.

nike zoomx streakfly laces

The Good

THOMAS: Nike nailed the aesthetics of the ZoomX Streakfly. The shoe screams “let’s run” before you even get it on your feet. Starting with the upper, the engineered knit looks like modern art with a triangle pattern that’s light and breathable. Offset easy-to-adjust lacing crisscrosses over a minimal stitched-in tongue with strategic padding. Inside the heel counter, foam cradles the heel to hold the foot in place. The glued-in Insole won’t be shifting around, either. While I didn’t run without a sock, the upper has minimal overlays or underlays, so I imagine you’d be just fine if that’s your thing.

The real magic lies in the ZoomX midsole. It’s light and lands with a soft feel that rebounds your foot through the gait. The midfoot shank helps to give the shoe stability with a bit of spring under the arch where my foot lands.

Finishing off the Nike ZoomX Streakfly, the outsole has a similar rubber configuration as the Vaporfly and Alphafly. The toe-off grip is good and it’s tacky when you pick up the pace.

All of those parts add up to 6.45 oz./183 grams for my men’s size 10.5. That’s insanely crazy for a shoe that feels this great underfoot. We’ve mentioned the 32/26mm stack which works out to a 6mm drop. They’re calling this a 10k/5k shoe, but the Streakfly offers more cushion than the Streak 6, and I ran a marathon in that baby before the Vaporfly came out.

BRANDON: There’s a lot to love about this shoe. For starters, the design is absolutely gorgeous. I mean, it has to be the freshest-looking running shoe I’ve seen all year. The upper is an engineered knit that helps stabilize and lock your foot in place. The lacing system and tongue provide an incredible lockdown feel, while the toe box is wide enough to splay your toes with ease. The midfoot shank is really where the magic of this shoe exists.

After a few runs, I found myself picking up the pace and toeing off faster than usual. Most of my easy runs are usually 7:30 pace, and in these, I was clicking off 6:40s no problem. For a shoe that doesn’t have a full carbon plate, it’s really impressive underfoot. The popular ZoomX foam provides a cushioned and stable ride, too.

BEN: The Streakfly is the lightest Nike road racing shoe. At just 6.0oz it feels at light as feather on foot. The upper is a single layer, and feels a bit like a racing spike (especially the Nike Dragonfly). The forefoot is quite spacious, both in length and width. I have a wider foot and I like the extra space, but some people may want to consider sizing down. The lacing system is extremely easy to tighten up and get a great lockdown. It works in conjunction with a wraparound heel pad (similar to the Vaporfly and Alphafly) and I have zero heel lift or movement.
The main attraction in the Streakfly is the full ZoomX midsole. ZoomX is Nike’s most responsive and highest rebounding midsole foam. It’s also Nike’s lightest foam. It’s the same foam as seen on the Vaporfly and Alphafly. Those two shoes were designed specifically for the marathon, but they have been favorites for both elites and amateurs at all race distances. In the Streakfly it’s a lower stack height, and it’s marketed for use in shorter races, like the 5k/10k on the road.
Despite the lower stack height, it still feels relatively well cushioned and definitely bouncy. I’ve taken it up to 16 miles on the treadmill and still felt like it had plenty of cushion that could jave kept going at the end. While it’s not a minimal shoe like in years past, but it does retain a flexible forefoot and natural feel during the stride. There is a midfoot shank (partial-length polymer plate) that adds some rigidity through the middle of the foot. The outsole has significant forefoot rubber coverage with deep ridges that provide great traction and helps to generate an appropriate amount of forefoot stiffness.
All of this adds up to a great fit and a really fun ride. The midfoot is more accommodating than the Vaporfly or Alphafly and makes the shoe much more comfortable for me. I can wear the Streakfly for any pace, and even find it all-day comfortable. But running is what really matters and it delivers a fast and bouncy sensation, while being able to be used in many different types of runs. Faster runs like intervals, tempos, track workouts, and shorter road races are all perfect for this shoe, but it can also fill the need for some of the less intense runs as well.
Shop Nike Streakfly – Unisex

nike zoomx streakfly rear side

The Bad

THOMAS: The Nike ZoomX Streakfly runs long in the toe. I recommend trying on your regular size or going a half size down if you’re lucky enough to find a pair in stock.

BRANDON: With all the hype surrounding this shoe, it’s hard to believe that there could be any flaws at all. Well, maybe it’s just me, but I definitely had some issues with it.

For starters, I might just be getting too used to max-cushioned trainers, but the shoe just felt somewhat flat underfoot. I’d have preferred a little bit more stack and, at the very least, a plastic plate to provide some more stability.

BEN: I have been really impressed with the shoe, but I think it’s worth tempering expectations that this shoe will instantly make the Vaporfly obsolete for 5k and 10k races. I don’t think this will be universally true. It’s a much different feel under foot. It is less cushioned, but most notably it is far less stiff.  Many people would be really happy with this as a short distance race shoe, but I don’t see it as a direct replacement for the Vaporfly.
For me, the laces are an unfavorable difference compared to the Dragonfly, Alphafly, and Vaporfly Next 2. Those 3 all have the ridged laces that have excellent hold. The Streakfly uses very thin laces. They do the job, but don’t feel quite as premium as the other Nike racing shoes.
It’s been noted previously but it has plenty of volume in the forefoot (width and length). If you have a short and/or narrow foot you could consider sizing down.  It’s also possible to see some bunching/scrunching of the upper. The lockdown is still good, but it’s visibly noticeable. This hasn’t been an issue for me, but everyone’s foot shape is different.
Shop Nike Streakfly – Unisex

nike zoomx streakfly top and bottom

Nike Streakfly Conclusion

THOMAS: I’m a fan of this shoe as well as similar shoes like the New Balance Rebel v2 and the Adidas Takumi Sen 8. Hand me a light shoe with near-perfect cushioning, and I’ll be smiling as I run down the street. My first stride sold me on the Streakfly. The way the ZoomX feels underfoot is silky smooth. Footfall after footfall, the shoe sings. Running at an uptempo pace felt effortless. Better yet, the shoe’s foam felt responsive and a little firmer when I was up on my toes for a redline effort. The Nike ZoomX Streakfly’s ride doesn’t feel sloppy without a full-length plate, either.

However, I’m at a bit of a loss as to where this shoe fits into my rotation. While marketed as a 5k/10k race shoe, I’m still turning to the Vaporfly or Alphafly no matter the distance over the Streakfly. I’ll probably use the Nike ZoomX Streakfly for days when I want to feel fast on a training run or for speedwork when I don’t want to put extra miles on my race day shoes. It’s just too much of a fun shoe to be saved for race days.

BRANDON: The Nike Streakfly is an improved version of the racing flats of yesteryear. If you’re someone who misses lower-stack 5k and 10k racing flats, then this shoe is the one for you. If you want a nimble shoe with a more responsive ground feel than most traditional racers on the market, then this is the one for you. If you only have $160 to break the bank and not $275 to burn, then goddammit this shoe is the one for you — ok, yeah, that was a little much, but you get the point.

BEN: The Streakfly has been the most hyped Nike shoe since the Alphafly. It is is marketed as a 5k/10k race shoe (as it says on the side of the shoe), but it can do much more than that. The Streakfly has a classic silhouette and a flexible, natural ride. But that is packaged with the magical Pebax midsole foam, that Nike calls ZoomX. It looks great, fits great, and I find it really fun to run in.
While the spirit of this shoe is a mashup of the Streak and the Vaporfly, another worthwhile comparison is to the (no longer available) Nike Pegasus Turbo. I find the Streakfly compares favorably in just about every way.  The Turbo (and Turbo 2) was a shoe that I liked, but I find the Streakfly far more responsive, lighter, and also a much better fit. I have almost 60 miles on my Streakfly’s and they still look and feel great, but only time will tell if they’ll be durable enough to be a long-term training option.
In a day and age where most racing shoes cost over $200 and sometimes up to $300 (I’m looking at you, Alphafly Nature), the Streakfly starts to feel like a good value. At $160 the shoe is considerably lower priced than the Vaporfly or Alphafly. It’s a great option for someone who’s looking to get their first “race shoe” without breaking the bank, but also still something to consider if you want a versatile shoe, that can go fast when needed.

Once it’s re-stocked, you can pick up the Nike ZoomX Streakfly for $160 at Running Warehouse once new colorways drop (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.

Shop Nike Streakfly – Unisex

nike zoomx streakfly heel

Brandon is the video editor and fastest runner on the Believe in the Run core team. He’s from New Jersey but lives in Baltimore where he recently graduated from Loyola University.

Ben Johnson( Contributor )

Ben is a true running shoe enthusiast (as seen by his Instagram feed) and data geek who loves looking through all of the data and stats related to running shoes and gear. His running continues to improve after his first marathon in June 2019 (2:52). Other hobbies include photography. Home is Minnesota.

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