The Science Behind Nike's New

  • The Science Behind Nike's New

    AT SUNDAY'S LONDON Marathon, Eliud Kipchoge, the greatest marathoner on earth, will toe the line in what could become the most controversial shoe his sport has ever known: Nike's ZoomX Vaporfly Next%.To buy more nike free run cheap with cheap price, you can visit official website.

    Long anticipated by the sort of runner who devotes his free time to scouring Facebook groups, Instagram pages, and online message boards for news about foams, colorways, heel-toe offsets, and inventory restocks (and who is willing to part with hundreds of dollars to gain a competitive edge), the Next%, which was unveiled this week, is the successor to Nike's Vaporfly 4%—a shoe the company claims can make runners 4 percent more efficient on their feet, translating to precious minutes over the course of a race like the marathon.

    Since their debut in 2017, Vaporflys have become a race-day favorite among professional athletes and hobby joggers alike. (Observe the sea of red Vaporflys among the elite field at the 2018 London Marathon.) They have so far avoided being banned from competitive events by the International Association of Athletics Federations, the governing body of the running world. But the Next% could change that: Nike claims that the shoe saves runners even more energy than its predecessors. This week, I confirmed those claims with the researchers who performed external validation of Nike's internal tests: The shoes, they say, provided a significant advantage over the 4%s in a controlled study.

    The new Vaporfly's superior energy savings could translate to even faster times. But how much of an advantage will the Next%s actually provide—and will it be enough to compel the IAAF to act?THE STORY SO far goes like this: In 2016, Nike unveiled the first version of the Vaporfly, appending "4%" to the name in reference to the energy savings they were purported to provide. The shoes represented the technological component of a three-year, multipronged effort to engineer a perfect marathon and break the 26.2-mile race's elusive 2-hour barrier at a track in Monza, Italy. Eliud Kipchoge, widely regarded as the greatest marathoner of all time, headlined the attempt. He came just 25 seconds short—closer than most people thought he would.

    Granted, the conditions of the race were optimized for speed—Kipchoge had a phalanx of pacers blocking the wind for the majority of the race, and he ran on a loop with zero time-sapping, 90-degree turns—so it didn't count as an official record. What's more, it was far from clear that the shoes were the key to Kipchoge's brush with the 2-hour barrier. Yet he and many other runners, professional and otherwise, have worn some version of the shoes in each of their races since.