NIKE AIR ZOOM STREAK 7. IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT.
The Nike Air Zoom Streak has been released for the seventh time. The shoe that is famous for being a racing flat which lives for long marathon miles has big shoes to fill (pun intended). The previous model 6 was a fine tuned machine and really worked well for its intended purpose. So how do you improve upon an existing recipe for success? You don’t, you tweak and fine tune it a little more for a better experience and of course as a method of calling it by a new name so you can get some hype and sell a bunch of shoes.
Inspired and tested by the world’s fastest runners, the Nike Air Zoom Streak 7 delivers the feeling of continuous propulsion through its anatomical toe, redesigned midfoot and innovative outsole pattern. Its lightweight, minimal design keeps you focused on the finish line. – Nike.com
The Test Subject
Nike Air Zoom Streak 7
Mens size: 12
Weight: 8.00oz (mens 12)
Offset: 8mm (26mm heel, 18mm forefoot)
Type: racing; cushioned
Use: road racing (all distances) / speed work
Color: Black / Oil Grey / Whip
Model Number: AJ1699-010
If you’re familiar with the Zoom Streak 6, then the style aspect of the Zoom Streak 7 will be the biggest change to this shoe. From a looks standpoint, the shoe takes on the same silhouette as the previous model, but the upper takes on a totally new mesh design as well as Nike swoosh.
On the Zoom Streak 7 you will notice grey patterns across the top of the shoe as well as grey arrow types of designs along side the shoe. These are actually the ventilation holes, they are smaller than the Streak 6, but there’s many more of them and they’re laid out in a pattern that is somewhat reminiscent of the way Nike’s flyknit shoes look.
On the lateral side of the shoe, we see the new Nike swoosh that was introduced later in 2018 on certain models. The swoosh is very large and extends down and is cutoff by the midsole. Along with the upper matched color that transitions down on the midsole from the mid foot to the forefoot, breaking up the solid white midsole and adding a more premium feel. I’m personally a big fan of this new design as it makes the shoe look more bold and aggressive, but I will say that i think Nike should have extended the logo onto the midsole like we see in the new Vaporfly and Pegasus Turbo. It just seems odd to me that a company would want to cutoff a chunk of their own logo.
All in all, from a looks perspective, I think the design was a very big win for this shoe, it was the little extra something that this was begging for.
Style Creativity: 9/10
Color Combinations: 8.5/10
Physical Lines: 8/10
Attention to Detail: 9/10
Overall Look: 8.5/10
Performance and Feel
Like its predecessor, the Zoom Streak 7 is a racing flat designed to win marathons. From the upper to the midsole, this shoe was carefully planned and designed for someone looking to bring their A game on race day.
The upper is made of an engineered mesh as seen in previous models. It’s very thin and very light weight. There isn’t a ton of structure to it, but in the world of racing flats it has plenty of structure given that this shoe is designed to be as fast as possible. The feel of this mesh seems a tiny bit different than the Streak 6. The Streak 6 felt a bit more plastic-ish whereas the Streak 7 has a light feel of something more plush, almost like a flyknit. I’m not sure if the weave of the upper is causing this or if it’s the smaller and more plentiful vent holes, but it just feels a tiny bit softer to touch and while wearing it.
The heel cup provides some padding for comfort and security over the distance of your race and is just the right balance between comfortable and minimalist.
“Anatomical toe design follows the natural contours of the foot. It increases space in the forefoot, which lets your toes splay naturally.” – Nike.com
In the midfoot, the tongue is connected to an internal arch strap that allows the shoe to stay locked on your foot for a more secure feel.
The tongue on the Streak 7 is a new, more anatomical design. The edge of the tongue now has a smoother shape to it that sits perfectly along your lower ankle. In the past model, the tongue was more square and sat more awkwardly against your ankle. This new design sits effortlessly and isn’t noticeable or uncomfortable. The padding is still minimal and consists of nothing more than a single layer with softer fabric around the edges. Comfortable enough to last through a race but nothing like you’d find in a daily trainer.
The shoe is also designed with an anatomical toe according to Nike.
The toe box has plenty of room and the overall shape of the fore foot is comfortable and natural feeling, there’s nothing there to add a hot spot or point of contention.
The upper felt great for a race or speed work shoe. I personally like more structure in my upper as a means of support and stability, so this obviously won’t be something I run in frequently. But that’s ok, this isn’t meant to be a daily trainer, no harm no foul.
The midsole of the Zoom Streak 6 and 7 are identical and consist of Nike’s Phylon foam with a Zoom Air cushion in the heel for increased response along with a full length Pebax plate between the mid and out soles. The combination of the foam midsole and the Pebax plate allow for the show to retain a soft cushioning but still have a stiffer, responsive feel when your foot strikes the ground.
The midsole is also strategically built with material only in the places where it’s necessary. The Midfoot is a web of very little connecting pieces of foam which reduces a significant amount of material which helps keep the weight down.
The midsole is a mix of soft and firm. There is enough cushion to add comfort, but it’s a denser more rigid foam which helps keep things moving forward. The feel of the plate is subtle, nothing like the Vaporfly, but it adds a great feeling pop that keeps your steps feeling energized. I will say however, this is the least amount of cushioning I’d personally want in a marathon shoe, in fact I’m not sure if I will use these for a full marathon, especially since I have a pair of the Vaporfly 4% to reach for.
The outsole is made of a common blown rubber but it’s only placed in areas that receive the highest amount of wear, which is smart, only add weight and bulk where needed. Nike claims that the lug patterns are specifically designed in their shape and location for the most efficient experience. The outsole is grippy and traction wasn’t an issue, even on wet ground, and it had an overall good feel with no intrusive bulk or slop.
Outsole grooves between lugs promote a smooth, natural range of motion – Nike.com
I ordered these in a size 12 which weighs exactly 8oz. For a racing flat it’s not the lightest but for a marathon racing flat it’s definitely in the zone of ideal weight. The shoe feels light and I don’t think I could ask for anything lighter considering the benefits that come along with items that add weight. In comparison, the Vaporfly 4% weighs 8.32oz in a size 12, so the Streak 7 would be a lighter option if weight is your biggest concern.
In a Nutshell
The Air Zoom Streak 7 is an improvement over the Streak 6, but none of the improvements are significant. The shoe has just enough cushion to make it last through a full marathon but not enough to make the shoe sloppy or unstable. The upper is very; thin, light and breathable. The midsole is very responsive largely in part to the Pebax plate and the overall feel is a natural energized feel.
I’m a big fan of this shoe as a racing/speed work shoe. I use this for anything up to a half marathon, but for a half to full, I go for the Vaporfly 4%. Full disclosure, I’m a heavy runner at 185lbs, so I look for as much cushioning as I can get for the long mile runs.
For a marathon racing flat, this Streak 7 is possibly one of the best options out there for its price, $110. Most other options are $130-$250. If you want a long distance race shoe and don’t need a large amount of cushioning, this would be a great pick. Or if you’re like me and just want a good, fast shoe that isn’t so minimal that you feel beat up afterwards.
As far as upgrading from the Streak 6 to the 7, from a functional standpoint there’s no reason to buy the 7 unless you’ve worn out your 6. I liked the style a lot more and the tongue is more comfortable, so for me it was worth selling my 6’s and keeping the 7’s. If you don’t feel like you need the new upper, go buy some Streak 6’s while they’re still being sold, you can currently get them for $99 from Nike and as low as $59-$89 on other sites. In regards to fit, the shoe fit’s about a 1/4 size small. If your current size has some extra room in it and you like a snugger racing shoe, stay with your current size. If your current size is as tight as you’re willing to wear, go up a 1/2 size. My last thought, while this shoe is an improvement over the last model, I do feel that Nike could’ve done a little something else. I could use a little more snap from the plate, I would like to see what this shoe would be like if the Pebax plate were replaced with carbon fiber.
Overall Feel: 9/10