Nike Vaporfly Elite

Photo: Michael Doyle.

There’s a high-demand market for a pair of racing flats going for well above the US$1,500 mark.

RELATED: Finishing times had the world’s top marathoners not worn the Nike Vaporfly 4%.

Nike’s Breaking2 shoe, the Nike Zoom VaporFly Elite, is not available for sale publicly and has been released only in limited quantities at special events for a hefty price. (Breaking2 is the term coined for the sub-two-hour marathon attempt which occurred in May 2017.) Searching the Elite on eBay brings up several buyers asking for more than US$1,000 including one at US$2,340.

According to StockX, a “live ‘bid/ask’ marketplace,” the Elite is selling for an average of US$1,125, making it one of the most expensive shoes ever made.

A variation of the Zoom Vaporfly Elite, the Zoom Vaporfly 4%, is available to the public at a price of $330 though the product is often unavailable online because of high demand. The main differences between the Elite and the 4% are a Flyknit upper on the Elite, a sock-like ankle wrap and individual specifications geared to each of the three Breaking2 runners, Eliud Kipchoge, Lelisa Desisa and Zersenay Tadese. Notably, the 4%, which was inspired by the Breaking2 shoe, was found to improve running economy by an average of four per cent (versus the Nike Streak 6) in a lab study.

Nike Breaking2

Photo: Michael Doyle.

Both the Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% and Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite have a carbon fibre plate in its midsole, unique to the Breaking2 footwear lineup.

Another variation, the Nike Zoom Fly, is publicly available though it does not include the ZoomX foam – the Zoom Fly instead features Lunarlon foam – and is geared more towards a racer-trainer hybrid than a pure racing flat. The Elite, 4% and Fly all have been manufactured with identical colourways –
ice blue/bright crimson/university red/blue fox – which makes differentiating them a bit tougher.

How much would you pay for the chance to own the limited edition pair of kicks?

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