A couple of weeks ago, Nike presented a project called "Breaking 2", which was about trying to beat that magical 2-hour marathon time. After conferring with the three athletes Eliud Kipchoge, Lelisa Desisa and Zersenay Tadese, and finding the perfect route in Monaco, Nike has now presented the perfect shoe for this historical event: the Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite. For the production of this shoe, Nike has used the help of an entire team of biomechanics, sports scientists and material experts. The Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite is definitely a step up from other marathon shoes.
Until now, the motto for marathon shoes has always been “less is more”, i.e. less weight, less damping, less cushioning, etc. Nike has turn this way of thinking on its head and followed a motto of “more is more”. “Form must follow function. We leveraged aerodynamic insights to deliver a radical and iconic aesthetic that screams speed”, says Stefan Guest, Sr. Footwear Design Director, Innovation. With the brand new Nike ZoomX midsole, our partner Nike has managed to create a sole that is lighter, softer and more responsive than any that can be found on any other shoe. The 21mm thick foam sole provides maximum energy return to the runner during every step, pushing you forward. “Nike ZoomX truly enables the innovation of the Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite”, explains Tony Bignell, VP from Footwear Innovation at Nike, Inc. “The groundbreaking new Nike ZoomX midsole and curved carbon fiber plate work together to provide responsive cushioning and minimized energy loss at toe off.”
This carbon plate in the forefoot ensures the shoe stays stiffer than other shoes, especially before the rolling phase. Dr. Geng Luo, Nike Sport Research Lab Senior Researcher, Biomechanics, explains that “the goal of having a plate is to reduce how much energy loss happens when the runner bends at the toe. This curved plate is stiff enough to achieve that and because it has this geometry, it does so without increasing demand on the calf”. With this shoe, three world class athletes are going to try to break the 2-hour marathon record. Do you think they’ll manage it?