Two minutes and fifty seven seconds. That is how close Dennis Kimetto came to running a sub 2 hour marathon in 2014. In the three years since, no one has managed to get any closer to this goal, but that might change with the roll out of the Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite runners.
In what Nike is calling a ‘Moonshot’, these shoes are built with the explicit purpose of shaving down those 177 seconds to nothing and aiding in the effort to run 26 miles in less than two hours. In the process of trying to build the perfect marathon shoe, Nike has done away with some of the conventional wisdom of the running world. Namely how thick the sole of a shoe should be.
Instead of going with a low profile mid, they’ve opted for something they’re calling the Nike ZoomX midsole. This mid, featuring a 21mm thick forefoot with 9mm offset, provides progressive cushioning on foot strikes, and helps return more energy to the runner on each and every impact. In addition to the new high tech foam, the shoe is fitted with a unidirectional carbon fiber plate that allows for more of a stiff ride and taught response. Of course, topping off this impressive technology is a Flyknit upper custom fit for each runner in the brand’s Breaking2 program. All things said, each shoe weighs just 7 ounces, and makes runners a total of 4% faster. While that may not seem like a whole lot – remember, we’re talking about a matter of mere minutes here. Don’t expect to find these special versions on the shelves, but Nike is promising to release a Zoom Vaporfly 4% and Zoom Fly this summer. [Purchase]