Nike Air Zoom Streak 5

The joy of a new release of the Nike Air Zoom Streak series can be a double-edged sword: there is the high of the expectation for great improvement and the low if those expectations are not met. The evolution of the Streak 3 to the Streak 4 was not an easy one, with the fans of the 3 remaining loyal to it. However, the Nike Air Zoom Streak 5 brings the joy and you can feel it as soon as you put them on. The shoes are essentially a family of technology partnerships working together to provide a lightweight, comfortable, ventilated, snug but with a relaxed forefoot fit, low profile shoe which are the characteristics of a very fine distance road racing shoe.

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Where to Buy
Road Runner Sports Link
See Deal
Where to Buy
Road Runner Sports Link
See Deal
Pros & Cons
  • Innovative and dynamic Flywire technology lacing system
  • Very light
  • Well cushioned
  • Superior and upgraded breathability
  • Cons
    • Stones can somehow work their way through the mesh
    • Not the best shoe for sour weather conditions
    • Heel strikers can find them an inconsistent ride
    • Minimum pronation control
    • Key Features
      If it’s not broken why fix it? That seems to be the message from Nike with the Zoom Streak 5, which incorporates many of the features from previous versions for the outsole of this shoe. It uses extra-thick and super lightweight Duralon reinforced blown rubber under the forefoot, which provides an added degree of comfort and protection at toe-off whilst maintaining the durability of the shoe. The synthetically made BRS1000 carbon rubber heel, complete with a wishbone type bridge behind the midfoot, works with the Duralon forefoot to provide a profile that follows the curved last and allows the forefoot to be noticeably wider than the heel.
      The Nike Zoom Streak 5, again remains loyal to the tried and tested format of combining the Nike Zoom heel unit, which is master of shock absorbency, with a full-length compression-molded Phylon midsole. The outcome of this marriage between these two great technologies is a responsive cushioning which is both supportive and lightweight. The previous version of the Nike Zoom Streak 5 raised criticism that it ran too soft, but this has been alleviated by the addition of a midfoot plastic shank that connects the rear and forefoot and delivers a good level of midsole stability.

      The shank also plays a part in the greater efficiency of the Nike Zoom Streak 5 during transitions: the firmer midsole complements its lower profile to noticeable effect and propels you through your stride. The Zoom heel unit is covered by a thin fabric strobe which covers a contoured but non-removable insole, which should be a great way to prevent slippage. However, the insole is fixed in place with a series of adhesive dots and you can hear them peeling and re-sticking when you move at walking speed: it sounds like you have left your sticky price tag on the bottom of your shoes (even though you know what the source of the sound is, you will repeatedly check). The solution to this minor annoyance is to stop walking, and run!
      The upper is where the Nike Zoom Streak 5 has excelled itself in comparison with the previous versions, although staying true to form with the pleasing engineered mesh, it has incorporated some new and exciting features that accentuate its distance running focus. On a purely superficial (but aesthetically satisfying) level, the upper is extremely minimal, it has a clean profile and has even abandoned the logo on the medial face and keeps only one giant swoosh for the lateral forefoot. Whilst the logos have been stripped back, the technical benefits box is ticked too: there are no bulky overlays that add weight and reduce breathability.

      The absence of overlays means that the foot is not squeezed in any way and allows a greater than expected foot splay. The greatest development to the Zoom Streak 5 is the use of Flywire technology which is a fully customizable, ultra-lightweight lacing system that performs like the cables on a suspension bridge. Every element of the Flywire design is function aware. The cables wrap the midfoot and arch for a dynamic, sock-like fit and yet they relate only from the second row of eyelets to allow the runner to have a relaxed forefoot fit whilst cradling the foot and giving exceptional support. Details such as the eyelets being punched rather than needing additional casings and the reflective heel strip show the extent as to how the Streak has advanced.
      Size 7.5 U.S ladies shoe weighs in at 6.7oz or 189g. The collection of weight-aware features such as the mesh, the Duralon outsole, and the Phylon midsole gives rise to a shoe that hits the golden mark between weight and cushioning: the foam underfoot will see you to a marathon distance and the lightweight responsiveness may even inspire you to achieve a PR.
      The Nike Zoom Streak 5 has impressive breathability. Nike has again excelled in designing elements that standing alone would be commendable, but by bringing them together, the ventilation attributes of this shoe are second to none. It’s all in the detail. One can expect the overlay free double-layer mesh in the fore and midfoot to offer superior breathability, and you could anticipate that the mono-layer mesh of the heel would help ventilation. But to have a mono mesh tongue that is only padded at the top is another level.
      The Flywire technology in the Nike Zoom Streak 5 provides a glove-like fit for the runner and is the obvious place to start when considering the comfort of this shoe. From the lack of overlay which removes any chance for the foot to feel squeezed to the seamless toe construction which removes the chance of irritation, comfort is a central theme for these shoes. The Zoom heel unit and Phylon foam midsole promote a level of cushioning that some runners feel detract from the soul (pun intended) of the shoe, but it is non-the less a welcome benefit particularly for long distances.

      It is a terribly well thought out shoe with details like the tongue being padded at the top to prevent lacing pressure and edged with a soft synthetic material t and that encourages the tongue to lie flat over the foot. The fact that the Nike Zoom Streak 5 allows your toes to play out in a more natural way, adds to the overall comfort of the shoe and heightens the chance of you keeping your toenails intact post-marathon. The previous versions of the Streak are great, but the design finesse of the Streak 5 is evident and offer a surprisingly relaxed fit for what is essentially a distance racing shoe.
      This version of the Nike Zoom Streak is a fine example of what Nike does best: a running shoe that you want to be seen in, in a range of colors that excite and inspire. It shouldn’t be so important to have good-looking shoes but with the technology guaranteed to be a sure winner, why not. Nike has toyed with its fan base by launching new colors to the range on different dates - a pat on the back for the marketing team! The Nike Zoom Streak 5 is minimalist, with only the swoosh being needed to explain exactly what it is (Is that for the benefit of the technical design and style of the shoe? Or perhaps it is a nod to the TV and media audiences of broadcasted races? Either way, it succeeds!). The Flywire lacing system, with the cables being such a visible feature, oozes dynamism; even the aglet is in on the act.
      Racing flats are not known for their durability, you buy them for other, more exciting features that will help you be a more efficient and fast runner. Durability is associated with weight. Weight is associated with a slower ride. However, the Nike Zoom Streak 5 bucks the trend. It's lightweight but the thick Duralon forefoot and the lightweight BRS1000 carbon rubber heel mean that they can take as much abuse as your everyday trainers.
      The use of Duralon, the soft grade rubber that Nike developed, makes the forefoot action feel padded and removes the potential of jarring should you land forefoot first. The Duralon and the Zoom air unit in the heel cushion the foot from the ill-effects of running long distances on the road without compromising the weight of the shoe.
      The design of the Nike Zoom Streak 5 encourages a forward tilt that promotes a quick tempo. It is agile, lightweight and does offer spring initially, and as the Zoom Air bag sits below a thin fabric strobel, its responsiveness is impressive. However, one criticism that has stayed with the Streak 5 from its predecessors is that the responsiveness reduces as the cushioning gradually becomes softer turning a racing flat into a trainer. But isn’t that what happens to all racing flats?
      The staggeringly innovative Flyknit technology in the Nike Zoom Streak 5 provides the runner with eight loops on either side of the shoe to customize and adjust the laces for a bespoke support. The potential here is phenomenal and promises a glove-like tight feel, a wrap-around lockdown. The combination of the BRS 1000 carbon rubber heel and the full-length Phylon midsole gives a dynamic support with an added support of the Duralon rubber sole on the forefoot.
      The only terrain that the Nike Zoom Streak 5 is really suitable for is the road. It doesn’t matter how long the road is, it just has to be a road.
      The good news is that as a newer version has been launched, it is easy to find a good and reasonable price online for a pair of Nike Zoom Streak 5s.
      The Nike Zoom Streak 5 with its blown rubber waffle outsole should provide for great traction but somehow it doesn’t quite hit the mark. Perhaps it’s because the shoe excels in all other areas that it feels like an issue. The surface of the sole is relatively smooth and devoid of lugs which does not help grip. The relaxed fit of the forefoot with its rubber outsole adds to the feeling of a potential slip - you want to feel as confident on bends as you do on fast straights.
      The Nike Flex Grooves are again evident in this version of the Nike Zoom Streak. They promote the natural range of motion to increase efficiency and the development of a more fluid movement which can only benefit the comfort of the shoe and PRs.
      Criticism of the Streak running too soft in previous versions have been alleviated somewhat in the Nike Zoom Streak 5 by the inclusion of a midfoot plastic shank. This addition to the shoe provides a firmer, midsole stability which feels as though transitions are smoother and more efficient. Of course, on the one hand stability is improved but some runners have observed that if you are a rear-foot striker and take full advantage of the Zoom Air heel unit, you may feel the juxtaposition between the firmer remainder of the sole, and the stability enjoyed by the majority gives way to an inconsistent ride to a few.
      The height of the heel is 30mm and the toe 18mm – that’s a drop of 12mm. The Nike Zoom Streak 5 has a higher stack than its predecessors but the ride comes across as flat and is still. It may be the Zoom Air heel unit that adds precious mm but in action, it feels right.
      Key Features
      • Dynamic Flywire provides great customizable support, an unmatched fit with enhanced comfort

      • Engineered mesh provides lightweight superior breathability

      • Full-length Phylon foam midsole gives plush and resilient cushioning

      • Duralon blown rubber is found under the metatarsal area for extra cushioning
      Bottom Line
      For such a minimalist shoe, the Nike Zoom Streak 5 is a thing of great beauty. Every detail on it is well thought out and serves a function or ticks a box. The maligned cushioning absorbs impact tremendously but still provides a satisfactory level of road feel to get you running at a quick cadence. Although it has more cushioning than the cult status Streak 3, it feels more balanced than the 4 version and is a supremely lightweight shoe which is versatile enough to be used for 5km to full marathons.
      Where to Buy
      Road Runner Sports Link
      See Deal
      By Ryan Sabin
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 24. 2021

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