Nike Vaporfly - Wow

I realize this is mostly a cycling forum, but there are a lot of triathletes lurking here as well. Nike Vaporfly shoes don’t appear to have been discussed here. This article is shocking how much benefit these specific shoes impact speed across the board… About as close as you can get to causation.

Curious, maybe the benefits of these shoes is already common knowledge to all runners? Imagine if this were cycling and all you had to do to get an almost guaranteed 4% improvement was pay $250 for some piece of equipment? I noticed my Adidas shoes proffered me a -1% benefit - doh!

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Great article, thanks for posting!

I used the Vaporfly 4% in my marathon earlier this year and used the ZoomFly flyknit for my quicker sessions. Both shoes are very very good, however there is something special about the 4%s. I knocked 2 minutes off my marathon time but I was running more miles in training so expected a PB, whether I’d have run as fast in my old Mizuno racing flats is up for discussion.

I’ve only recently come back to cycling having left as I felt equipment choices played too big a part in performance gains, one can level the same argument at running now I guess.

I’d say there’s still a fair bit to go before running ever can match cycling in terms of equipment’s role in performance. Sure, the Vaporfly shoes cost a bit, but there really isn’t much else that costs a lot or can make a significant difference to your time in a marathon. A good running watch, a pair of shorts and a top, and perhaps a pair of Oakleys? The cost of a pair of carbon wheels could fund a running team, and still there’s a bike, shoes, helmet, glasses, etc to consider :grimacing:


With the way records are falling, a lot of people in the running community are looking at it as the Pre Vaporfly and Post Vaporfly eras. I wonder if they’ll come out with new tech for track spikes and all of those records will fall too.

Lot’s of peer pressure due to these shoes. I should know, I recently bought a pair of these due to the peer pressure! Have not run in them yet, but am planning on using them next triathlon season.

It appears that there is something to these. Interestingly this is the first time in decades that manufacturers claim about the benefit of their shoe technology really shows tangible results and already people are shouting about bans and regulation and whatnot.

I’ve just decided to give them a try. My speed is coming back and I hear that they’re not only faster but also easier on the legs after the hard stuff, making your legs feel less beat up. The price is ridiculous but I’ve spent more on stuff that had a lower confidence level. I’ll give them to myself for Christmas and will use them for my spring races. If they fit that is, I hear the fit can be difficult.

The only issue I have is Nike charged $250 and they sold like hot cakes. So now the new pricing bar has been set and other manufacturers will follow. When I was running high volume it wasn’t uncommon to go through a pair of shoes every couple months. This type of shoe would be hard to justify training in at the price point and unfortunately one of the benefits of the shoe is faster recovery. With all that said I would still buy a pair if I had a important race on my calendar. Another interesting point is the sub 2 hour marathon was not run in these exact shoes. We still don’t really know exactly how much more efficient those are. It will be a interesting next couple years for running.

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I didnt want to believe it when these were first released. Mostly because I did not want to shell out $250 for a pair of shoes… But when I qualified for Boston I took the plunge and got a pair.

I broke them in on a HIM at the end of October and I have to say I’m a believer. I got off the buy running sub 6 miles and 100% thought my watch was malfunctioning. I asked several people what pace their watch was reading… By mile two I had to let off but almost felt like I was purposely going really slow…

I wore them a second time for a 5k on Thanksgiving. I’ve done very little speed work and managed to PR by 30 seconds… I know it wasn’t just the shoes, I’ve done so much aerobic work this year so that obviously plays a huge part, but the shoes most definitely give me an advantage.

I’m running an open half marathon tomorrow and will for sure wear them again. Looking forward to see how they perform.

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They definitely save your legs that’s for certain. Marathon legs and walking backwards down stairs the next day are a thing of the past.

I don’t think they are supposed to be 4% “faster”. But more “efficient”. I know most front of the pack finishers are wearing them. Friends say the major benefit is they don’t take as much of a toll on your legs so you’re fresher the next day. I bought a pair of Pegasus turbo2 which has the same super-foam, but not the carbon plate. I wanted to try it without spending $250. Hard to judge for me. It was a 5k with a massive hill and it hurt the middle toe on my foot (where I thought I might end up losing a toe nail). I’m guessing with these i really have to tighten them up so my foot doesn’t move around, and maybe coming down the hill my toes were hitting into the end of the shoe. But coming out of T2 I’m used to sliding right into my On Cloudflow shoes with elastic laces and taking off. Not sitting there and tightening up my tie-shoes.

I can’t speak to the turbo 2 but I really like my Turbo 1 (Pegasus Turbo 35)… they’re great for tempo and some speed work. I used them for 5k’s and duathlons.

As much as I like them, they definitely have a different feel from the next%.

I believe all of these shoes; including 4%, Next% and Turbos have the same Zoom X foam… the big differences being the carbon plate and the amount of foam in each shoe.

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My personal experience. I bought a pair of vaporflies around a year ago to attack a sub 3 hour marathon in February.
Along the way I manage to do a 1:23 half marathon PR.
The point here is that those times are very very close to the ones I was getting 20 years ago.
I know I train better now but the shoes are for sure one big factor.
I am 53 now so I can say the vaporflies made me run as if I was 32 or 33…