“The Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite shoes were custom crafted for each athlete. The shoes feature Nike ZoomX foam for responsive cushioning and a full-length carbon fibre plate to increase stiffness and provide a propulsion sensation."

By Ian Horswill


Posted on October 14, 2019

Record-breaking runners Brigid Kosgei, who smashed a 20-year-old world marathon time, Eliud Kipchoge, who became the first man to run a marathon under two hours, and Abraham Kiptum, who broke the half-marathon world record, all wore a variant of the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% running shoes.

The Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% running shoes, which cost US$320 from Nike online.

What are Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%?

Nike says the shoe has more cushioning underfoot and reduced weight up top, resulting in unprecedented energy return and comfort, allowing you to run faster. Embedded in the thick foamy sole is a curved carbon-fibre plate which Nike claims provides an improved metabolic efficiency of 4%.

Athletes who have worn the shoes, praised the ZoomX midsole as bouncy and soft, with some saying it is the most cushioned foam they have encountered.

“I’ve reviewed a lot of shoes and Vaporflys are the only ones that are obviously different – and better – to everything else,” running journalist Nick Harris-Fry said.

What Nike, the largest supplier of athletic shoes, says

“Designers combined the athlete’s body scan data with their personal preferences to develop a custom kit, perfectly tailored to each runner.

“The Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite shoes were custom crafted for each athlete. The shoes feature Nike ZoomX foam for responsive cushioning and a full-length carbon fibre plate to increase stiffness and provide a propulsion sensation. An aerodynamic heel reduces drag. A Flyknit upper hugs the foot without adding weight.”

The speed of Brigid Kosgei’s marathon run in Chicago was unbelievable. She smashed the 20-year record of British marathon runner Paula Radcliffe by one minute and 21 seconds.

The 25-year-old ran the 42.195 km marathon in an astonishing two hours, 14 minutes and four seconds.

“2:14 – holy crap, what is life right now?” American distance runner and Saucony athlete Molly Huddle said after the race.

Kosgei felt that she could run even faster.

“I think 2:10 is possible for a lady,” she said. “I am focused on reducing my time again.”

Kosgei’s amazing run came less than 24 hours after compatriot Kipchoge, the world record holder, became the first athlete to break the two-hour barrier in Vienna, Austria, although it is not a world record as he was unfairly helped.

Kosgei ran the first half of the race, aided by two pacemakers, in 66.59 minutes – more than a minute faster than Radcliffe’s time when she set her world record in 2003.

“I was not expecting this,” she said shortly after crossing the finishing line. “But I felt my body was moving, moving, moving so I went for it. This is amazing for me.”

“I appreciate what position I become and the record, which I break today,” she said. “My brother, Kipchoge, I was happy for him again. I hope Kenya now, they are happy. They have a woman and a man who are the record holders.”

Brigid Kolsei Paula Radcliffe Chicago