Nike ZoomX Streakfly
Rundown: Highly-anticipated, high performing lightweight speedy shoe with flaws that can be easily overlooked by running shoe enthusiasts.
Release Date: February 10, 2022
Drop: 6mm (26mm forefoot, 32mm heel)
Sizing: Fits true to size
- ZoomX Midsole
The Nike ZoomX Streakfly has shown up for the better part of two years in the surreptitious and blurry photos often found on Instagram’s many running shoe fan accounts. The running shoe geek community was in a tizzy waiting for what was often called the Vaporfly Light or Vaporfly 2%. And there’s some truth to those fan-created titles. The Streakfly does share DNA with its older sibling, the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%. But the Streakfly is also something completely different with echoes of both old racing flats and a fan favorite Nike trainer.
Thw Nike ZoomX Streakfly is actually one of our top Nike running shoe picks, it made our list of the best running shoes for high arches and our list of the best running shoes for men as well as being one of our top running shoe picks overall.
With this much anticipation for a shoe, the review needed some extra viewpoints. So I invited two accomplished running shoe geeks to join me in figuring out what the Nike ZoomX Streakfly does best.
This review is cowritten by Tyler Herrin and Scott Boatwright.
Tyler Herrin is an Atlanta native who primarily runs (mid-pack) for an excuse to buy shoes. He’s a sneakerhead when the silhouette is right and an eBay fanatic since 2004. Follow his running shoe centric Instagram account @chimpnamedenid.
Scott Boatwright is a lover of all things running, competitive at his core and obsessed with innovation. He owns Elite Running Company, a running lifestyle brand focused on supporting runners by connecting them with the gear they need, as well as through product reviews and run coaching. He loves being a part of the running community by spreading good vibes and info via social platforms (like his Instagram account) and giving qualitative and unbiased reviews on running shoes.
Scott: I’ll kick us off. The perfect running shoe doesn’t exi…. Well, maybe “perfect” is a bit of a stretch, but I’m placing my bets on the Nike ZoomX Streakfly being the best running shoe available upon the release of this review.
Tyler: Firmly in the grasp of the Nike marketing machine, here I am with another review of a shoe that I probably don’t need, but am eager to try. (Insert Renee Zellweger saying, “You had me at ZoomX!“) The Streakfly takes all of the ingredients that many of us have come to love and cooks up something extremely lightweight and aesthetically pleasing. But will they last?
Drew: As a bigger runner, I started out skeptical of Nike removing a bunch of ZoomX for their new racing shoe. The Vaporfly and Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% perform just fine in the 5k and 10k while packing more cushion. Do we really need another shoe for this niche category? Especially one with much less impact protection? We’re about to find out.
Scott: The Nike ZoomX Streakfly is light, very light. Lighter than any road shoe, especially one with this much softness and cushion. The Streakfly is the closest you can get to the feeling of wearing a track spike on the road.
Tyler: By far the lightest shoe in my rotation and a shoe that truly disappears on your foot. If I were in the middle of a training block, these would be a godsend for those days when your legs feel like they already have weights on them.
Drew: The lightweight build of the Streakfly makes it perfect for interval workouts on the local track. They just don’t get in the way of going fast because they feel like they’re barely there.
Scott: The midsole has a very familiar feel. It’s reminiscent of the Vaporfly. Not as much “boing” due to the reduced foam stack (and lack of full-length carbon plate), but the softness and some bounce do remain intact.
Tyler: This is a double edged sword because I love my fat, cushy ZoomX midsoles (Nike ZoomX Invincible Run, Alphafly, etc.). While that magic is there, it’s a thinner slab of foam AND one of the first Nike shoes in a few years to really get minimal with the application of ZoomX. That’s not a bad thing, but this is a sea change in a lineup that has been pumping out high-stack, high-cushion ZoomX for the past few years.
Drew: The Nike ZoomX Streakfly midsole is plush while still offering ground feel. That’s why it shines when doing track work or other speed-focused efforts. You feel the ground better than on higher stack racers and have more toe control when pushing off. But even with that ground feel, the ZoomX is still plush and keeps your legs from feeling horrible after a hard workout. Think of the midsole as a slight upgrade from the midsole of the beloved Nike Pegasus ZoomX Turbo 2.
Scott: The fit is as perfectly true to size as you’d expect any running shoe to fit. Although, for those wanting a super tight racing shoe fit, going down a half size will be necessary.
Tyler: Unlike a few early reviewers, I found the sizing to be spot-on to my normal Nike running shoe size.
Drew: The Nike ZoomX Streakfly is true to size. It’s got a little excess material in the toebox that can flex weird but going down a half size won’t fix it as the excess material is above the toes, not in front of them.
Scott: The Nike ZoomX Streakfly Proto and Fast Pack colorways are the only colors out so far, but both are spot-on. I have high hopes for tons of well executed color combos and designs.
Tyler: So far, we’ve seen the Proto colorway and the Crimson colorway and while they’re extremely similar in execution, Nike did a fine job of giving us some eye candy.
Drew: The Nike ZoomX Streakfly looks sleek and fast. Putting it on your foot is a confidence booster. And while I don’t love the mostly white colorways released so far, they’re pretty nice as far as white shoes go. That said, I’ve seen some leaked photos of future colorways and I think Nike has some fun options in the pipeline.
Scott: Absolutely! The Streakfly is one of the most versatile running shoes ever made. Sure, there are others that can be used for all sorts of running tasks, but none that can do all of that and perform at a high level alongside the other super shoes on the market
Tyler: While I’m not sure I’d go anywhere over 10-15K in these shoes, the benefit of the ZoomX and how fresh it keeps my legs would drive me to pick these up for more types of runs than I had initially assumed.
Drew: I too initially assumed the Nike ZoomX Streakfly wouldn’t be enough shoe for runs above six miles. However, my testing proved otherwise. I wore them for a 14 mile long run that had planned marathon pace sections in the middle and the Streakfly performed admirably. There was enough ZoomX to get through the half marathon distance. The cushion did lose some plushness around the 11 mile mark but the lightweight build really helped my legs not feel as heavy. That allowed me to close the run at a nice pace. I think most runners can race the mile to the half marathon in the Streakfly without any issues.
Scott: Not much there for support and naturally with ZoomX there is an inherent under-foot wobble. But compared to all of the other high stack racers, the Nike ZoomX Streakfly is more neutral in this area.
Tyler: The ground feel is great, but it creeps up on you in those later miles. You’re not going to find long-lasting support in these.
Drew: This is where the ZoomX midsole suffers from the lack of a full length carbon plate. ZoomX is very plush so a midfoot shank just can’t keep your foot from unnecessary motion. If your foot pronates in a way that requires extra support, this may not be the shoe for you. Alternatively, if you prefer letting your foot move more naturally than it does in racing shoes featuring full length carbon fiber plates, the Streakfly is going to be exactly what you want.
Scott: ZoomX will never last long. I think this shoe will last decently long, for a super soft new-age shoe, maybe 150 perfect miles, and up to 300 while still feeling “good”. This is definitely not a “best miles per dollar shoe” though.
Tyler: This is my biggest concern. After a 5K, they were already showing wear. I’m about 200 pounds, so that’s to be expected, but from my history of ZoomX midsoles, I would venture to say that these won’t last as long as I would hope.
Drew: After my very first run in the Nike ZoomX Streakfly, the exposed ZoomX on the outsole ripped where I stepped on a rock. Thankfully, that rip didn’t expand with future running but it highlighted my durability concerns. The Alphafly-like traction pattern is also wearing down faster than I expected. Because of that, I think it’s a touch softer than the Alphafly’s rubber. So yeah, the Streakfly won’t last long if you use it as an everyday running shoe.
Scott: I give Nike credit. Probably the lightest lace possible. They work. But, I want and would expect for Nike’s new scalloped edge laces as seen on the Alphafly and Vaporfly Next% 2.
Tyler: Thin. Really thin. Annoyingly thin.
Drew: The Nike ZoomX Streakfly laces are the worst part of the shoe. Super thin, impossible to handle in cold weather with frozen fingers or gloves and they came untied if not double knotted. If the Streakfly gets a v2, it needs nicer laces.
Scott: Not a cheap shoe in the grand scheme of running shoes. But, for what you get, I actually found the price to be below my expectations. Considering the Vaporfly is $250 and the Pegasus Turbo 2 was $180, I would highly expect and be ok with paying $180 maybe even $200 for the Streakfly.
Tyler: Is it even worth saying that I wish these were at a lower price point? I will, but I know it won’t be heard. For the durability and longevity that I’m anticipating out of these, I’d love to see a lower price point (~$140), but if it says ZoomX, you know it’s not going to be as budget-friendly as it could be.
Drew: Will they last long enough to be worth $160? Only for running shoe geeks who change shoes often. Is $160 too high? Yes. But that’s the premium you pay to live that swoosh life.
Nike ZoomX Streakfly Summary
Scott: Blending design aspects from the Pegasus Turbo and Vaporfly NEXT%, Nike has taken the concept of the Pegasus Turbo, a do-it-all shoe, and perfected it with the Nike ZoomX Streakfly.
Tyler: All in all, this is a fun shoe, but I don’t think it’s something I’ll have in my rotation in a few months. Not because there’s not a place for them, but because I expect the bottoms to be shredded and the ZoomX to have bottomed out by then. I hope I’m wrong, but for my money, I think there are comparable (and more versatile) shoes on the market that could scratch this itch.
Drew: The Nike ZoomX Streakfly is a highly-anticipated high performing shoe. It’s got some flaws but early adopters of running shoe tech won’t mind these particular flaws. If you’re not an early adopter, I’d only recommend buying these if you’ve been hoping for a less stiff, lower profile Vaporfly. If that’s what you’ve been waiting for, it’s go time.
- ZoomX Midsole