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What Kipchoge wore to break the historic two-hour marathon barrier

Everything the world record holder and history maker wore to run 1:59:40

On Saturday morning, Eliud Kipchoge did something no one has ever done–he ran a sub-two hour marathon. And he didn’t just run under two hours, he cruised to a 1:59:40, knowing he had the time with about 1K to go.

RELATED: Eliud Kipchoge runs the fastest marathon in history, 1:59:40

What does a runner wear to make history? If you’re Kipchoge, you put on a pair of future edition of the Nike Next% marathon shoes and race. If you’re his pacers, you wear the brand new Nike Next%.

Kipchoge’s shoes look quite different than the Next% that are available to consumers. While the aerodynamic shape of the heel remains the same, the tread looks different and the midsole is even more built up. The lack of tread has been a chief complaint of the Vaporfly (the shoe’s predecessor), especially in wet conditions. To save on weight, the tread of previous models was kept very minimal, but on this shoe, there seems to be more emphasis placed on the outsole. This was a great addition, especially considering the intermittent rain during the attempt in Vienna.


The midsole is still cushioned with a carbon-fibre plate and Nike’s ZoomX foam, but there’s something new that the company has added. There seem to be built-in shock absorbers through the toe, that you can see a peek of on the inside of the shoe. The marathon beats up your legs, and this could be a step to ensure that Kipchoge felt as fresh as possible through 42.2K.

Kipchoge’s racing shoes in the past two years:

Breaking 2: Vaporfly Elite
Berlin 2017: Vaporfly Elite
London 2018: Flyprint Upper, Vaporfly Elite tooling
Berlin 2018: Vaporfly Elite upper, Vaporfly NEXT% tooling
London 2019: Vaporfly NEXT%

Nike said in a press release that Kipchoge has been an important part of their quest to redefine the marathon shoe.