The Vaporfly 4% has become a much-coveted marathon shoe since Nike’s elite athletes started tearing up the World Marathon Majors in them. The ZoomX foam and carbon-fibre plate are responsible for a (claimed) 4% improvement in running economy, making it easier to run faster for longer.
Last week, Nike announced a new version with a Flyknit upper (pictured above). This makes the Vaporfly 4% Flyknit lighter than its predecessor, and the knitted upper is more breathable and comfortable as well.
Before we get too carried away, it’s probably best for us to throw a bucket of cold-water on proceedings – the odds are slim that you’re going to be on the start line of your next big race wearing the new Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% Flyknit. Like the first iteration of the Vaporfly, these shoes will probably only be available in very limited amounts and at a very steep price. The first iteration costs an eye-watering £199.95 when it is in stock, so you’ll probably need to have luck and plenty of spending money on your side to get the Flyknit version. Nike are running a competition on the Nike+ Run Club app offering a chance at early access on 7th September ahead of the October 1st general release date in Europe if you run the equivalent of a marathon over ten days.
All the same, there are reasons to be excited because Nike has also updated the more accessible Zoom Fly to make it a faster, more durable shoe.
Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit
The Zoom Fly Flyknit will get the same knitted upper and the full carbon-fibre plate used in the 4%, instead of the carbon-infused nylon plate it had previously. The Zoom Fly doesn’t use the same ZoomX foam that’s in the 4% and the new Pegasus Turbo, but it will have Nike’s React foam in the new version. This is durable (especially compared to the relatively short shelf life of the ZoomX), light and bouncy.
The previous Zoom Fly was a great shoe and we loved the Epic React too, so a combination of both with the full carbon-fibre plate should be a running shoe that can take both training and racing in its bouncy stride. Plus, the Zoom Fly Flyknit should be more widely available and far cheaper than the 4%, with the previous version costing £129.95. It’s set to be released on September 13th on the Nike website.