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Nike’s Zoom Vaporfly 4% shoe improves running performance

Katie Jones, Reporter

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Teammates Cragg and Flanagan run a marathon in Los Angeles California with their new Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%’s. Both placed top three at these trials, according to Nike News. (Nike)

The Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% are Nike’s newest running shoe made to enhance performance by four percent. After its debut in the summer of 2017, the shoe has proved to live up to its standards during marathons that top runners have won.

After a three year treck to make a shoe that would assist marathon runners in breaking two hours in a 26.2 mile race, The Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% have helped to set world records and win several races. The first real attempt at the Breaking2 project took place in Italy on May 5th, 2017, where the shoe was first put to test. Though sub-two was not achieved, the world record was broken by Kenyan Eliud Kipchuge, who wore the shoes.

“It’s perfect. It’s really perfect,” said Kipchug when describing the shoes.

World class athletes besides Kipchuge have put the shoes to the test. Amy Cragg and Shalene Flanagan were the first two runners to be given the shoe. 

At first Flanagan thought, “they didn’t look sleek or fast.”

Also doubting the shoes, Cragg admits, “When I first heard about this shoe, I thought it sounded gimmicky.”

Despite the first impression of the shoes, Nike News reports on Flanagan and Cragg’s first run in the shoes.

Cragg said, “after two miles, we looked at each other and both said, ‘this is incredible.”’ Wearing the shoes, Cragg placed first in the olympic trials, and Flanagan placed third.

The basics of the shoe trace back to the lightweight Nike ZoomX foam that provides 85 percent energy return, according to Nike News. Along with the foam, there is a curved carbon fiber plate that provides support. The shoes weigh in at only 6.5 ounces, which is 3.1 ounces lighter than the average weight of a running shoe.

The Vaporfly 4% were created specifically for the Breaking 2 project and cash in at $250, so nike also created a more affordable and less high tech version of the shoe. The Nike Zoom Fly is very similar to the Vaporfly 4%, but they are made of Lunarlon foam on the sole, have a carbon infused nylon plate, and cost $150.

Along with professional runners, the shoes have reached immense popularity in the Hershey community as well. Hershey High School senior, Andie Demko, has a pair of the Nike Zoom Flys. Demko is a competitive cross country and track runner who is continuing her athletic career at Penn State University next year. Demko describes the Zoom Flys as being “very quick and lightweight.”

Demko has had the shoes for about a month and a half and puts about 40 miles on them per week. Though they do show signs of wear on the top of the shoe, Demko says she expected them to wear out fairly quickly considering her high mileage and the lightness of the shoe. Overall, Demko is very happy with the results of the shoe and will definitely buy them again.

The Nike product has nearly no flaws, and works for the majority of most distance runners. The breakthrough with the Nike Zoom Vaporflys and Nike Zoom Flys has left runners with overwhelmingly positive reviews.

The black numbers beside each city show the multiple marathon races won wearing the Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%, according to Nike News. Out of 36 top three finishes, 19 of them have been achieved while wearing the Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%. (Nike)

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Nike’s Zoom Vaporfly 4% shoe improves running performance