Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Late last year Nike announced their Breaking2 initiative—with Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya, Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia and Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea—to break the two-hour marathon. With that announcement, Nike shared that the team on this project includes world-class experts across biomechanics, coaching, design, engineering, materials development, nutrition and sports psychology and physiology.
As of this morning, we got to see what some of them have been hard at work on: Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite.
About The Shoe
Each pair of the Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite is custom-designed to fit the needs of the three athletes participating in the Breaking2 initiative. It is ultra lightweight (under 7 oz) with special cushioning and an aerodynamic heel. Also added is a full-length “scooped-shaped” carbon fiber plate to minimize fatigue on the runners. The shoe has a 9mm offset to minimize strain on the Achilles and a flyknit upper.
The Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite will be put to the test later this month at the halfway attempt for Breaking2. After analyzing environmental conditions such as altitude, temperature and more, Nike has chosen a fixed 2.4km loop combining portions of Grand Prix track and Junior track of the Autodromo Nazionale Monza complex outside Monza, Italy. The length was chosen for easy control on pacing, hydration, nutrition and support team transitions along the white asphalt of the track.
Nike Has Something Up Their Sleeves For You, Too
Modeled after the Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite, the Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% and Nike Zoom Fly will both be available on June 8 and make use of many of the innovations developed for Breaking2.
Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%, $250
The 4% is measuring running economy—and this shoe will help you save some serious energy. It’s aerodynamic and ultra-lightweight (6.5 oz based off of a men’s size 10). It comes with the same cushioning and this shoe will have a 10mm offset to prevent Achilles strain. It comes with a scoop-shaped carbon fiber plate the VaporFly Elite.
Nike Zoom Fly, $150
This shoe uses the same construction principles of the Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% but contains a different foam. This shoe weighs 8.5 0z (based off of a men’s size 10) and has the same 10mm offset. The Nike Zoom Fly comes with a full-length carbon infused nylon plate and a bit longer of a midsole than you’ll find on the Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%.
You’ll want to keep an eye on the Breaking2 project to get a look at how the Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite perform for Kipchoge, Desisa and Tadese—and then plan to get a pair of your own in June.