As a runner who apparently should be running in stability shoes, I’ve spent a fair amount of time looking for stability offerings from all corners of the running shoe market.
Surprisingly, the biggest name in the running shoe game, Nike, doesn’t have a huge number of stability shoes, so when I came across the Nike Air Zoom Winflo 6, I had to give it a try.
- Cushioned ride
- Plush fitting around ankle
- Grippy outsole
- Front Air Zoom unit feels a bit flat
- Fat laces
- Not the best looking shoe
Many of you will have heard of the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus line of shoes which is a neutral shoe hugely popular with runners – the Winflo 6 is essentially the low-cost, stability version of the Pegasus (if you’re looking for the equivalent stability shoe to the Pegasus, you’ll be looking for the Structure, but that hasn’t been updated recently). And I say low-cost not because it’s cheaply made, just that it’s cheaper than the Pegasus.
Like all Air Zoom shoes, the Winflo 6 features two Air Zoom units in the midsole, and also features an engineered mesh upper, partial bootie, and a heel design that allows for more space around your Achilles tendon.
In a standard mens size US 9, the Winflo 6 weights in at 270g and features a heel-to-toe offset of 10.5mm (forefoot 14.5mm, heel 25mm).
Size & fit
Since I have a wider foot, I find many Nike shoes to be narrow, and I found the Winflo 6 to be narrow in the toebox also. The engineered mesh doesn’t have that much give, so I had to size up from my usual US 10.5 to a US 11 to get a more comfortable fit.
Once I got the right size, though, the fit of the shoe was great – the Winflo 6 has great step-in comfort thanks to a plush upper around the ankle. The main stability features available in the Winflo 6 is a raised medial arch, which feels quite aggressive at first, but eventually becomes a feeling a needed to feel when my arch started to feel tired.
The Winflo 6 is definitely on the heavier side, which surprises me given there’s really not all that much there, but I also never noticed the weight when I was training in them.
The upper comprises of an engineered mesh over the front of the shoe, and a synthetic material over the middle and rear sections of the upper.
The engineering mesh at the front of the shoe almost seems too thick to provide enough ventilation, but on running in it, it’s one of the best ventilated shoes I’ve run in – must be something to do with the vent pattern.
Moving up to the laces, you get a standard eyelet hole configuration (though no extra holes at the top) and fat laces. For me, I don’t love these laces – they look cool, especially since you don’t see them on many shoes, but that’s probably for a reason. To this day, the Winflo 6 is the only shoe where the laces have untied themselves even while using a double knot.
Towards the back of the shoe, the synthetic upper is part of the reason why I like the feel of the Winflo 6 so much – it’s plush and just hugs your foot while it’s inside; the tongue is similarly padded and helps with the snug feeling. Like many shoes on the market these days, the section around the heel flares away from your heel to minimize chafing, though I’ve never had this issue on any shoe to date, and definitely not the Winflo 6.
The Winflo 6 is my first experience with the Air Zoom line of shoes, and to be honest, my experience is mixed. Of the two Air Zoom units in the midsole (one in the front, one in the rear), the rear Air Zoom unit is sublime, giving my a great, bouncy feeling that makes it joy to run in.
Conversely, the front Air Zoom unit is so underwhelming (or poorly placed) that it almost offsets the good the rear unit had done. I’m not sure what’s happening, but I kind of feel like the front Air Zoom unit is actually behind the ball of your foot, but you can’t feel that part of your foot, especially in a shoe with medial arch support.
If that Air Zoom unit was just slightly more forward, under the ball of your foot, I think the Winflo 6 could be an even better shoe, but at its price point, that probably wasn’t the intention.
The outsole of the Winflo 6 looks like all the other shoes that have been derived from the Pegasus, and to be honest, it it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. There’s ample rubber on the bottom of the shoe to both maintain a good grip on the ground you’re running on, as well as last as long as possible.
In fact, out of all the shoes that I’ve run over 150km in, the outsole of the Winflo 6 looks the best, by far. Normally I get a lot of wear where the outside of my heel hits the ground, and while there is still some wear, it’s no where as bad as some of my other shoes which have already started on wearing the foam by then.
With a heel-to-toe offset of 10.5mm, the Winflo 6 is on the higher end of offsets, however I didn’t have any issues getting used to running in them (though this can be quite a personal experience). As I mentioned earlier, the medial arch support is probably the only thing that takes getting used to, but that subsides relatively quickly and became very appreciated just as quickly.
As I mention in the midsole section, I really didn’t expect my first experience of an Air Zoom shoe to be so mixed. Overall, I really enjoy the ride of the Winflo 6, but the fact that the front Air Zoom unit seems so absent makes me use this more as a daily trainer than a long run shoe so that absence doesn’t seem so obvious.
Overall, I really like the Nike Air Zoom Winflo 6 – I like that it’s a little cheaper than the Pegasus, and I like that I can get a stability Nike shoe so I can experience Air Zoom. The ride is good and it provides adequate stability for me.
It’s not a perfect shoe, by any means, which is probably by design given how Nike manages its tiers of shoes – if Nike ever updated the Structure line with the Structure 23, which I assume is a more premium stability shoe, I would definitely be on board to try them.
I’d definitely recommend the Winflo 6 as more of a daily trainer – there’s no reason you can’t use them for something else, but to me, the combination of features make me lean towards daily usage.
So there you have it – my review of the Nike Air Zoom Winflo 6. If you’re liking these reviews (or not), I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Till next time!