Nike Winflo 6 Intro
Nike’s Winflo 6 comes in at a $90 price point for neutral runners, and features two zoom air units for additional shock protection in the forefoot and heel.
Similar shoes that go after entry level runners with budget friendly prices without sacrificing cushioning are the Asics Dynaflyte 3s at a current price of $99 with neutral focused design, and the Reebok Floatride Energy at $100 with an everyday neutral running design.
Compared to most sub $100 shoes, the Winflo 6 stands out with a smooth upper design and a unique midsole with the zoom air units.
Nike Winflo 6 First Impressions
Most of my lifetime miles have been in Nike shoes, so it didn’t take long for me to notice similarities to other Nike shoes when got the Winflo 6s.
What stood out the most to me was how similar it was to their Pegasus line of shoes, where it featured a modified waffle outsole, simple upper, and air zoom pockets.
It seems like Nike is bumping up the quality and price of their Pegasus shoes and then filling that product space with the Winflos.
I could tell these shoes on my first run borrowed a bit from the Pegasus shoes in terms of comfort and design.
I didn’t get the best responsive feel compared to the top of the line Nike models, but was confident they’d do well on long 10+ mile runs.
One part that stood out to me when lacing them up for the first time was how padded the heel and tongue were.
Nike’s using a tried and tested design on the upper there, but it feels bulky when compared to the other new models of nike shoes.
Other shoes in the Nike line right now that match up in the daily trainer category, but with a bit more speed would be the famous (infamous?) VaporFly line that offer the top of the tech available.
But something in between the VaporFly and Winflo would probably be the Pegasus or Pegasus Turbo line.
Nike Winflo 6 Sole Unit
Let’s start from the bottom up. You get a full length carbon outsole with an iconic dual-patch design featuring half as a modified waffle pattern and the other half as a slitted ridgeway for added traction on slick surfaces.
This kind of rubber is great for traction, durability, at the expense of some weight and cushioning. There’s a bit of flair on below the heel of the outsole that exposes a plastic plate.
This is a bit of a weight reduction, but also shows you the base plate of the Nike Zoom air pocket. One oddball piece to the outsole is how Nike extends the rubber all the way up the back of the heel.
I say all the way up because Nike added their new “heel spur” (not the preferred Nike term) design to the outsole, which wraps the heel upward.
This rubber up that heel is oddly thick for an area that will likely get no use unless you’re a crazy heavy heel striker.
The midsole brings in the pieces of tech that makes this shoe stand out at the < $100 pricepoint. You get Zoom Air units. One below the forefoot, one below the heel. For most runners, you won’t even notice it.
However, if you really slam down in a stride or put a lot of weight on a foot, you can kind of feel a difference in the support in those areas. The outline of the zoom air units feel squishier than the surrounding foam.
I’ve found these zoom air units to be helpful overall since they keep the shoe weight low but allow for consistent cushioning.
Just note that if you bring these shoes to extreme miles (>500), you’ll start to notice the air units more since the surrounding foam breaks down faster.
The rest of the midsole is a pretty standard foam from Nike. No space age ZoomX or squishy Lunarlon foam. Just average stuff from the Nike factory. What’s not standard about the foam is how it’s wrapped around the shoe.
You get a dramatic sweep up from the heel (what I call the “heel spur”) and additional forming around the heel that Nike claims to increase comfort for the achilles.
I think it’s more for looks as the upper around the heel is so thick that you don’t feel the sweeping designs around the heel. Overall though, the midsole delivers a good ride with no hotspots.
Nike Winflo 6 Upper Unit
The upper does look pretty new, to the point where it almost makes the shoe look like it belongs in the lineup of elite Nike shoes.
Nike managed to do a partial-bootie top with heat formed overlays to meld into a cushioned rear heel counter, wrapped up in some flat style laces. My fit for these shoes went well, everything was true to size.
The partial bootie is more of a marketing push than an actual selling point of the shoes. The main point of getting a bootie fit to the shoe is to provide a sock-like snug fit with the feel of no seems.
Splitting the “bootie” up in this shoe to multiple parts goes against what a bootie should be. But you probably won’t care too much since the shoe fits well and Nike did focus on making the upper fit as snug as possible.
What helped the most with the fit on the upper was integrating the tongue into the sidewalls of the upper so that the tongue doesn’t slide around left/right as you wear the shoe.
Nike’s material choices for the upper reveal where they saved money. The front is a basic engineered mesh that has some nice aesthetic designs that don’t compromise much on breathability.
But an inner layer is needed to keep the comfort of the shoe acceptable, unlike uppers made from flyknit. The lacing system also goes for some thicker fabric eyelets that showed some wear on my runs.
The biggest drawback to the shoe in my opinion is the material choice and design of the upper’s rear.
This area around the heel is padded well, comfortable, but the inner material began to wear down after only 40 miles on the edges. I do not expect this to be the failure mode of the shoe though.
Lastly, the upper features an enlarged plastic Nike logo that’s stylized in such a way that it gets clipped by the upper’s seam and midsole’s design.
I am not much of a fan of Nike cropping parts of their logo away for style, but luckily it has zero impact on the shoe performance.
Nike Winflo 6 Conclusion
With most budget conscious shoppers, I hesitate to recommend the newest model within a successful line of shoes.
However, Nike made so many changes to the Winflo model this year, and all of them help the shoe out to the point where I recommend upgrading if you can.
If you’re shopping around for other price-friendly neutral trainers, I think you could settle on these Nikes now and not miss out on much out there unless you just don’t fit well into Nikes.
We purchased a pair of Nike Winflo 6 from amazon using our own money. This did not influence the outcome of this review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.