The shoe inspired by Nike’s Breaking2 project, the quest for a sub-two-hour marathon, is finally available to the public after months of anticipation.
The Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% is a racing flat designed for the marathon and features a full-length carbon fibre plate. Understandably, the carbon fibre plate makes the shoe incredibly stiff. The sportswear brand says that the Vaporfly 4% can improve running economy by upwards of four per cent, which could mean a drop in your race times, even if you aren’t a marathoner. The carbon fibre plate feels as though you spring off from impact to toe off.
The Vaporfly 4% retails for $330, one of the most expensive running products on the market today. Currently, the Vaporfly 4% is offered in a single colour – Ice Blue/Bright Crimson/University Red/Blue Fox – for both men and women. It’s currently sold out at Nike.com after being released July 20.
The Vaporfly 4% looks very similar to the Zoom Fly, a heavier, more durable everyday shoe that can be used in training. Noticeable differences in the 4% include a thinner upper, a lighter ride, a thinner Achilles wrap and ZoomX cushioning, a form of lightweight foam that provides considerable energy return. Both have 10 mm offsets. The Zoom Fly also features visible Flywire at laces upper while the Vaporfly 4% does not.
The Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% weighs in at 184 g or 6.5 oz. for a men’s size 9. The Zoom Fly meanwhile weighs 248 g (8.7 oz.).
Back on May 6, Kipchoge ran 2:00:25 wearing a pair of Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite, a shoe customized for the three athletes who took part in the Monza, Italy experiment. Those shoes are not, and will not be, available to the public so the Vaporfly 4% is the closest thing runners can get their hands on.
Listen to CR editor Michael Doyle’s first run was like in the the Vaporfly 4% (32:50 mark)
Meanwhile, the Nike Pegasus 34 is also included in the three-shoe release and sticks to a more-traditional everyday trainer that has made it one of the brand’s staple shoes for more than three decades.