High stack shoes with carbon plates in the midsole have become the norm for runners tackling road races of any distance in recent years. This year the landscape seems set to change again, however, with the Nike ZoomX Streakfly being a shining example of a new type of racing shoe.

With a stack height of 32mm at the heel, the Streakfly has much more cushioning than classic racing flats, but comes in well under the 40mm limit set by World Athletics that shoes like the Nike Vaporfly NEXT% 2 bump up against.

The Streakfly also does not have a carbon plate in the midsole, instead having a Pebax shank in the mid foot to promote stability and a snappy transition. The lower stack and lack of a plate mean that the Streakfly is very light at around 170g for the men’s shoe, with pretty much all carbon shoes coming in over 200g, and most over 230g, in a UK men’s 9.

This lower design means that the Streakfly could have the edge in shorter road races like 5Ks and 10Ks, since it will be more stable rounding tight corners at speed. Whether it still produces the goods without a carbon plate to boost running efficiency is the key question for the Streakfly.

The Streakfly has a full ZoomX midsole, with the bouncy PEBA-based foam used in the Vaporfly and Alphafly being among the best on the market. The outsole is fairly minimal to keep the weight down, but has been designed to promote traction in key areas when rounding corners at speed.

Nike is not the only brand to release a racing shoe for 5K and 10K of late. Adidas launched the Takumi Sen 8 late in 2021 for a similar purpose, with the shoe weighing less than 200g and having a lower stack than the brand’s long-distance carbon racer the Adios Pro 2.

These shoes still have much more cushioning than classic racing flats and could also be great options for longer events for runners who prefer a lighter shoe and/or find the ultra-high stacks of most carbon racers unstable.

We’ll be putting the Streakfly through its paces for a full review as soon as possible. The shoe will go on sale on 27th January on the Nike website.


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