Sunday, June 7, 2020

Inside Zoom Streak 6

More than 700 Km are quite a lot for a racing flat. That's why I decided that it was about time to replace my Nike Streak Zoom 6 White & Yellow. Enter the Pink and Yellow version! But not before a thorough inspection of their inside. I was curious to touch with my hands two elements: the much-celebrated Zoom Air Unit and the plastic shank. So I grabbed my box cutter and I started my surgery. 

First of all, a few words about their "consumption". As predicted, the mesh proved to be the weakest element of these great shoes. After 650 km I started detecting the first tears and holes. Nothing new under the sun, it occurred also to my LT3, even if the symptoms appeared later. The midsole, which in this shoe is the softer part of the sole, was particularly worn out, as well as the outer sole (no surprise, I am a pronator). The color, once a glaring white, turned to a dusty grey, and the shoes looked old and exhausted. It was time for a change. 

The Zoom Air Unit is a responsive cushioning system made up of tensile fibers aimed at "absorbing" the impact of the runner whenever the foot touches the ground. The fibers compress and quickly spring back to their original state, providing the runner with a more energetic run. The unit is indeed very responsive, soft but not fluffy. In the Zoom Streak 6 model it is located under the heel (and not in the front), in order to help the athlete during long-distance performances. 

My intention was to separate the shank from the sole, but after more than 20 minutes of useless efforts I had to give up. Nevertheless, I was able to test it, as you can see in the clip. It is really elastic and flexible, but also incredibly resistant. These features enahnce stability and help the energy transition process, bridging the forefoot with the rearfoot. Along with the essential design, the ultra-light mesh and the soft foam, the Pebax Shank and Air Unit are the distinctive technological elements of the Zoom Streak 6, which justify their price and reputation. 

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