The Super Shoe – Nike Vaporfly

2021 Tokyo Olympics

Yesterdays 2021 Tokyo Olympic Marathon saw Nike’s poster boy and Marathon World Record Holder Eliud Kipchoge defend his Rio Olympics Gold Medal by winning the race. Eliud completed the race in a Nike Vaporfly Next% 2. The Silver and Bronze Medalists Abdi Nageeye and Bashir Abdi were also competing in the Nike Vaporfly. Of the 76 athletes who completed the Olympic Marathon, 33 of those wore the Nike Vaporlfy making it the most used shoe in the race. Why would that be?

The Super Shoe

In this Reform Podiatry Camden blog post, we will discuss the rise of the “Super Shoe”, and discuss how this may “enhance” your performance. Kenyan runner, Eliud Kipchoge broke the World Record when winning the Berlin Marathon in 2018. He broke the previous record by an astonishing 1 minute and 18 seconds. This improvement in time was the single greatest improvement in Marathon World Record times for 51 years. In October 2019 he completed a marathon in 1:59:40, becoming the first person in history to complete a marathon in under 2 hours. Since 2018, there has been a continued spike in athletes breaking world records in long-distance running races.

The Study

A recent study  examined the finishing times and racing shoes from the top 50 male and female runners from the World Marathon Series, before and after the introduction of the Nike Vaporflys.

It found:

  • Male Marathon finishing time was 2.8 minutes faster in the Nike Vaporfly
  • Female Marathon finishing time was 4.3 minutes faster in the Nike Vaporfly

Are they cheating? No – the shoe has been declared legal by the regulating bodies. As you can see in yesterday’s marathon 33 of the runners were in this shoe. The other contestants were in:

  • Adidas Adios Pro – 12
  • Asics Metaspeed – 9
  • ON Cloudform – 2
  • New Balance RC Elite – 2
  • Hoka One One Rocket X – 1
  • Li-Ning Fedian – 1
  • Puma Deviate NitroElite SP – 1
  • Saucony Endorphin Pro – 1
  • Unknown – 2

The one thing in common with all of those identified shoe? A carbon fibre plate. It is obvious under race conditions, these Carbon Fibre plates are advantageous for improving your running pace and overall time. Book yourself in for a running and gait assessment at Reform Podiatry Camden, and see if we can help advise you on the best super shoe to purchase to run faster for longer. 


You can purchase the shoe here 


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