This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.
Most of the time when I do a running shoe review, the first one comes after 50 miles, but with racing flats, I mean true racing flats like the LT-3's, you know those sub - 6.0 oz shoes that you want to "go fast" in, I tend to know what I need to know about them after 25-30 miles and at least one race.
These were a personal purchase from Running Warehouse.
I got the LT3's to fill a void in my running shoe rotation, I had my long run shoes, but the shoes I was wearing for racing, I felt were more light-weight trainers than racing flats at around 8-9 oz. I strongly believed that I would run faster in true flats than what I had been using, especially for me to do a mile race on Memorial Day.
Notice I said race, not run. I wanted to really hammer that race and once I got the LT3's, I started to train for a fast/hard mile.
It was working, I was running faster in training and even had started to get into the hallowed sub 6:00 minute pace range every so often. As the graph blipped into the range I really wanted to get near for that mile race, it was after that second blip that things started to go bad and by the time I did the 4th repeat I knew it wasn't going to be a good thing.
So yeah I liked the LT3's - A LOT!!!
They make me want to run fast in them and they did everything that I asked of them, including some runs of up to 8.0 miles or so. It got to the point that I wanted to run in them too much.
You see I like to run fast (well fast for me) and the Nike Zoom Streak LT3's let me, hell they encouraged me to run faster than my actual fitness levels were at the time.
Unfortunately, I am also a helluva lot closer to 60 than I am 30 (I will be 59 in August) and ramping up the speed as quickly as I did, lead to an Achilles injury. While I was wearing the LT3's when the injury occurred, in the above workout (I forgot to change the shoes on Strava) - I didn't and still don't blame it on the shoes.
I blame it on my dumb training and doing too much, too soon on too old a body that just wasn't ready for the paces I was running.
Getting back to the LT3's
What did I like:
I feel fast in the LT3's and know that I can run fast in them.
Comfortable, the toe box and upper combination did not bother my Tailor's Bunionette at all, I was able to run more than 8.0 miles in them and not have my feet hurt at all. Once I figured out that I didn't have to cinch down on the laces too hard, that having them snug was enough, the shoes just seem to mold themselves around my feet and it just felt good, not too tight, but not sloppy either.
Light at around 5.5 ounces, yet they felt protective enough to run down-back on the dirt road without any issues. No I couldn't just run without paying attention to where my feet were landing like in a pair of Hoka's or trail shoes with a rock plate, but they make me feel nimble and I managed to avoid most of the bigger rocks.
Mostly quiet, not PI quiet and smooth, but other than a light tapping when landing, they were quiet and the softer heel combined with a more stable forefoot really seemed to work well for my stride. Until I got tired it seemed as though I was running with more of a mid-foot stride when running in them.
One of the reasons that I got them was the multi-purpose type of outsole. It is a little more aggressive than many of the racing flats that I have run in before, which is something I wanted for racing over at Quarry Road or some of the course up heah that have dirt/grass/road combo's and the choice seems pretty rock solid. Also they show no signs of wear, which is not something I could say for many pairs of racing flats I have had in the past even at the 30 mile point.
The insole is glued down and doesn't move around at all.
What I didn't like
They do collect pebbles in the forefoot and once in a while a rock will get stuck in that cavity in the midfoot area. I did have to stop one run and did it out because it was poking into my foot and making a dreadful noise on the road every time my foot landed.
The colorway is okay, but this one doesn't really do anything for me.
When I wear them, I feel as though I am supposed to go fast in them, which is a good thing when I am supposed to go fast, but a bad thing when you are supposed to be going slower. In other words they are not a shoe I would wear again for runs that are planned to be slower, because I would end up running it too fast.
In other words not much.
The reality is that
The Nike Zoom Streak LT3's allowed me to run faster than I have in a while, they didn't get in my way of how I run and I enjoyed running in them.
For me and looking back with 20/20 hindsight, for my purposes I probably would not run more than a 10K in them. I need a little more cushioning than what they have for longer training runs. Although, I know that I could race a 1/2 marathon in them, but I would feel pretty beat up afterward.
Once the Achilles gets healed up and I get my legs back in shape, the LT3's are going to become my 5K and shorter racing flats. However, I will not run as aggressively or the sub 6:30 paces, get real Harold the sub 7:00 paces, until I get muscled up and better trained for it next time.
I can't wait to get back to running in them, there is just something about the LT3's that makes me want to put them on and "go faster".
I just gotta remember that sometimes going faster has unintended consequences when an old fart's body ain't quite ready to go THAT fast. Right Mr. Achilles.
A shoe that I really like so far.