Roger Bannister completed the sub-4 minute mile 63 years ago and since then, the running world has focused on completing a marathon in under 2 hours. That’s been no easy feat, as accomplishing that record would mean a pace of 4.5 minutes each mile for 26.2 of them. It’s an obsession with pushing the limits of human athleticism that’s driven both Nike and adidas to compete with their latest models in honor of the coming marathon season. The three stripes unveiled their adidas adiZero Sub2 Marathon Shoe featuring Boost cushioning, and now Nike has answered the call with the Nike Zoom VaporFly Elite. The model is aimed at redefining speeds on the road through a responsive cushioning system and lightweight knit upper that completely reshapes the way we think about running models.
The Swoosh started with a less is more motto but that quickly transformed into a ‘more is more’ echo. More research, more data, more individual designs based on specific athlete’s foot structure. Nike cut down on the actual cushioning throughout but sought to maximize the areas where energy return would benefit. What resulted was the ZoomX midsole, a painstakingly researched process as part of Nike’s Breaking2 platform in order to break the two-hour marathon barrier. Traditional racing shoes feature a flat, low profile but the Zoom VaporFly Elite changes that form through traditional foams rising higher than ever at 21mm. Hidden inside is a unidirectional carbon fiber plate while the heel juts out to help a specific geometric fit to reduce running stiffness.
Check out more photos of this concept marathon runner below, and while we might have to wait until we see this pair actually hit retailers given the custom form of the concept, you can check out more of the future of Nike Zoom Running over on Nike News.