Nike dreaming up crazy things again. This time we have the Zoom Vaporfly Elite that were created for Nike’s Breaking2 campaign, the goal of which is to help an athlete run a marathon in under 2 hours. Yes, 2 hours! That’s a pace of less then 4:35 per mile and would obviously be the new world record (prior record was 2:02:57). Well on Saturday May 6, a thirty-two year old Kenyan long distance runner, Eliud Kipchoge, ran the fastest marathon to date with a time of 2:00:25…while wearing the Zoom Vaporfly Elite. Absolutely insane.
But what’s so special about the Zoom VaporFly Elites? Nike says they utilize two new innovative technologies: their ZoomX midsole and unidirectional carbon fiber plate. The ZoomX midsole is shaped to be more aerodynamic in the heel, which pretty much means the cushioning comes to a point in the back of the shoe. The foam itself provides a high level of energy return back to the runner, giving the shoe a bouncy, springy, cloud-like feel that everyone seems to be looking for now a days. Also, the unidirectional carbon fiber plate provides a ‘springboard-like effect’ to propel the runner forward. The shoe also sports a sock-like ankle collar, which we saw on the LunarEpic Flyknit running shoe from Nike about a year ago. Personally I like Nike’s Flyknit upper, but I am not a huge fan of the collar that they have been implementing on many of their running shoes in the past year. For running, it just adds extra weight/bulk and restriction where it is not needed. I find it just unnecessary on a running shoe.
Want to buy the Zoom VaporFly Elites? Good luck…unless you’re Eliud Kipchoge, Lelisa Desisa, or Zersenay Tadese. Nike apparently made special versions of the shoe for only these athletes. This shoe was made to the exact specifications of each runner and each one is different when it comes to the fit and feel. Luckily, Nike plans to release a retail version of this shoe on June 8th called the Nike VaporFly 4%, another unnecessarily long name that Nike claims will make runners 4% more efficient than other running shoes. That seems like an incredibly marginal improvement, but perhaps a 4% bump over an entire marathon is worth it.
My biggest problem, however, with the upcoming VaporFly 4% is the outlandish price tag. Get ready for it… MRSP is $250, yes TWO HUNDRED and FIFTY DOLLARS! Personally, I think $150 is high for a running shoe, so $250 is just comical. This is almost double the price of a standard running shoe. You can get two pairs of good running shoes for the same price of the Zoom Vaporfly 4% and they will last twice as long! It’s a no brainer! So, unless you are really interested in this shoe and have to have it the day it comes out, save your money and wait for it to go on sale. Or check out some of our other Nike Running Shoes Reviews in the meantime.