Nike Vaporfly Next% running shoes - Are they worth it?

SteWood78SteWood78 ✭✭✭
Hi Folks

I've a feeling that this topic may divide opinion but has anyone on here actually brought a pair of these trainers and observed the 4-5% improvement in race times Nike claim or it that simply marketing BS? I'm normally the last person to consider trainers costing even £100 and tend to buy to 2 cheap pairs at a time and aim to never run in trainers that are too worn out. That said I've seen a lot of "objective" reports from publications other than Nike itself stating great things. If no one has I'm going to bite the bullet at xmas and be the fool that buys these and will then get the average time for weeks 1,3,5 vs 2,4,6 and post up here when done. 

week 1 = 6 mile tempo (standard supportive running trainers)
week 2 = 6 mile tempo (Nike next%)
week 3 = 6 mile tempo (standard supportive running trainers)
week 4 = 6 mile tempo (Nike next%)
week 5 = 6 mile tempo (standard supportive running trainers)
week 6 = 6 mile tempo (Nike next%)

P.S - I'm no Kipchoge so this will be a test for us average club runners out there as I'm at 120:38 for a HM and am trying to go sub 80. 



  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    I asked this question on my club's Facebook page, and our fastest marathon runner (2:30, and hoping for quicker at Valencia in a few weeks) said that for a 5k hard effort, there was maybe 5 seconds difference in the shoes at the same fitness, but of course those 5-secs could be down to plenty of other variables.  When he was on the London Champs start this year he did say that the majority of runners had them on.

    There is an active sub-3 facebook group (I'm nowhere near sub-3, by the way) and I think most have them on there.  But there was an interesting post from a decent runner with his thoughts on why he won't be wearing them (in summary, he wants to know that any gains he gets come from himself).

    Having never worn them, I wonder if it's partly a confidence thing.  I.E., a runner has them on, expects to be quicker, so then is quicker (of course, assuming the training is there).  I can't help but think that for runners such as myself, I'd get more gains by lots of other improvements first - weight loss, better training, better strength/conditioning, better nutriton, better sleep, and a host of other things.  But with an 80-min Half time, you're at a different level to me, so maybe you've got all that stuff right anyway?

    I have read a few people that say that the shoes help recovery, as after a hard session the legs don't feel was trashed the next day.  And also, because they're so light, someone was thinking that their stride length may have slightly increased at more or less the same cadence, which would obviously lead to a faster time if that's the case.

    It's an interesting test but I am not sure if your test would be totally valid.  I wonder if you may be quicker on those Nike tempo runs, simply because you may want to be.  Unless you train to HR and the HR effort is exactly the same in the sessions, and all other variables are the same (same course, same weather conditions, same time of day, and you're just feeling the same too) I'm not sure you can really tell too much from that.
  • Yep that's an interesting point re the test. I could never make them truly comparable but things like using the same route, time of day will all be the same. TBH I'm fairly anti-Nike as I see them as the Apple of the running trainer world so would like to think I wouldn't be wanting to be give the Nike shoe tempos a better result but there's no denying that after spending £240 on some trainers I might be a tad invested in the result. Re the training and weight loss etc I'm usually fastidious about things like that so I'm at the limit of what I can do so am looking for the small improvements.
  • HA77HA77 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2019
    To test properly I think you should be comparing them to another racing shoe of similar weight rather than your "standard supportive running trainers" which I would guess are quite heavy.

    I have a pair. I like them but don't feel particularly different running in them and my legs don't feel noticeably better after a race. Having said that I set some big PBs this year in the marathon and half marathon, but my training was better than it has ever been before so can't really make any conclusions about how much was down to the shoes.
  • Ok good point, I'll do them against my lightest pair then (Asics Noosa FF 1) at around 252g to the Nike's 190g which isn't too much of a difference. 
  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    SteWood, there was a chap on the sub-3 group with a 3:01 time and he was having the same dilemma about not really liking Nike, but if they help to get him his sub-3, was it worth a try.  As you said in your opening post, there is a split opinion about them.  At the moment, for me personally I can't really justify the price as I know I don't train perfectly etc, but I can see why you're tempted.
  • Yep I am tempted. I really liked the Russel runner blog though and it matches my usual outlook on such matters. That said I'll be 41 at my next attempt at this so may need all the help I can get.
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