As you probably already know, Nike will release a brand-new Air concept that promises to boost athletic performance on Air Max Day 2017: The Nike Air Vapormax. But that’s not the only innovation ready to make an impact. In the world of marathon running, Nike wants to take athletes to the next level with the Zoom Vaporfly Elite.
The goal behind the shoe – currently in the concept stages and only available to select pro runners – is hyper-ambitious: Right now, the world record for the fastest marathon stands at two hours, two minutes, and 57 seconds. With the new Zoom Vaporfly Elite, Nike wants to help bring that number down below the two-hour benchmark – which would be historic.
So how does the new silhouette add spring to runners’ step? First of all, it breaks with convention by going against the principle that marathon shoes need to be super low-cut. The Zoom Vaporfly Elite sits on a light-weight Flyknit upper with a sock collar, enhanced with a super soft and responsive ZoomX midsole.
Adding to the forward momentum, the shoes are spring-loaded with extra pop by ways of carbon fiber plate inserts that avoid energy loss in the toe area. Overall, the silhouette carries a lot more heft than the running world is accustomed to, but it’s all part of a major plan (they use next-level motion capturing and biomechanics in their research think tank).
“Form must follow function. We leveraged aerodynamic insights to deliver a radical and iconic aesthetic that screams speed,” says Nike’s Stefan Guest, Senior Footwear Design Director, Innovation.
Wired magazine did a background feature about the design process behind the new shoe:
Don’t expect these next-level kicks to hit retail anytime soon, but follow the Nike Breaking2 program that has some of the world’s fastest people – including Eliud Kipchoge, Lelisa Desisa, and Zersenay Tadese – push their limits in the new shoe.
Nevertheless, June 8 will mark the release of a new set of runners in colorways inspired by the Vaporfly, including the Nike Zoom Fly, Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%, and Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34 (all pictured below).