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When Eliud Kipchoge first attempted to break the 2 hour barrier for the marathon distance in 2017, a lot of discussion ensued about the shoes he wore on the day. Amid whispers and rumour about Nike’s upcoming carbon-plated super shoes, his shoe of choice was the precursor to what would eventually launch to the public as the Vaporfly 4%. It’s fair to say that in the intervening months the running world sat up and paid attention. The original PEBAX-based midsole foam of the Vaporfly 4% was tweaked by Nike in subsequent models and rebranded as ZoomX. This foam remains the lightest and most energy-returning cushioning used by Nike and is now incorporated into a number of their models. Fast forward a few years and a few iterations of the Vaporfly and we arrive at the current model, the Vaporfly 3. Still regarded by most as the benchmark super shoe, the Vaporfly 3 delivers an even faster and superbly agile underfoot sensation. The full-length carbon fibre plate works seamlessly with the reformulated and heightened ZoomX foam midsole to deliver a truly incredible running experience. More stability is provided by revised midsole tooling and a lighter, perforated outsole design increases the feather-like feel. And it doesn’t end there. A super-lightweight and highly breathable knit upper utilises an offset heel seam design to avoid friction, and additional padding is added in key areas for extra comfort. It may have been significantly updated but the Vaporfly remains a lean and very mean racing machine. Kicking off with the launch of the Vaporfly 4%, the benefits of carbon plates and super foams have been widely and vigorously debated but in terms of delivering outright performance, race results at many levels in this shoe speak for themselves. The demand for and the performance of these shoes continues unabated. Turn up wearing a pair at a race and it’s certain yours won’t be the only pair on show.


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