Vaporfly 4% faster? (Read 227 times)

Runs with the pack

    nytimes article.


    Interesting stuff. Sorry if it's been posted before, but a quick search didn't turn much up.

    sport jester




      Basics physics, it's impossible for any spring to return more energy than it takes to compress it. Therefore no spring, or shoe can make anyone faster...


      What better definition of pure barf does anyone need?????


      Why spend that kind of money when I can teach you to run 20% faster for a hell of a lot less...


      Especially when the shoe was created to break the 2hr marathon record. Did anyone mention that it completely failed??????



      Since you cant run faster unless you change the way you run, thanks for proving my point.

      Experts said the world is flat

      Experts said that man would never fly

      Experts said we'd never go to the moon


      Name me one of those "experts"...


      History never remembers the name of experts; just the innovators who had the guts to challenge and prove the "experts" wrong

      T Hound

      Slower but happier

        Here we go again...


        2019 Races:  John Dick Memorial 50K, WI, 6:52.  Potawatomi 50 mile IL 4/5, 13:14

        Earth Day 50k, 4/20, IL, Episode 4- 5:49:54 (hey I worked for those 6 sec!). Kettle Morraine 100 mile 6/1 29+hrs


        Glute Force

          I would need the Vaporfly 20% - but hey it all sounds pretty cool and I have to retire a pair of Asics Nimbus soon anyway so....I better start saving Smile


          Does anyone have first hand experience with the shoe?

          Glute Force

            After reading up on some reviews one was particularly funny. He/she said of course you gonna be much faster since your wallet will be much lighter. I liked that one.


            Question from my side: how durable are these shoes and do you only use them for racing or also for workouts?

              Mick from that link above


              " Compared with typical training shoes, the Vaporflys are believed to wear out quickly: Some runners have said they lose their effectiveness after 100 miles or so.


              Not great !

              Personally I like light bouncy shoes for racing and feel like they help. I have the Nike Streak shoe which came in 2nd with a 3% race improvement but of course so many other factors come into race performance that I dont think they can draw any solid conclusions.

              50+ PBs5k 18:29 Tauranga Parkrun May18   

              10k 38.55 oct 19 strava run

              " If you don't use it you lose it but if you use it, it wears out.

              Somewhere in between is about right "      


              Glute Force

                I see I see. So you really just do a few strides in them to break them in and otherwise only wear them on race day.


                Bah. 250 bucks for 100 miles or 25 cents per mile and thats way more expensive than driving....I think I will have to take a pass unless I find some long forgotten money in one of my or someone else's pockets...


                That Guy

                  Bah. 250 bucks for 100 miles or 25 cents per mile and thats way more expensive than driving....I think I will have to take a pass unless I find some long forgotten money in one of my or someone else's pockets...


                  I like what you're implying here.  I'm going to take on my next marathon in my Jeep.  I did a 13 mile training "run" this morning and I feel fresh as a daisy!  

                    I think it's funny how the vaporfly 4% is the softest, most cushioned shoe Nike makes, and yet every shoe company is touting "responsiveness" as a key feature to being a fast shoe. ("responsive" is the word they use to describe midsoles that are as forgiving as cement)


                    If you watch the Breaking2 documentary where they show Kipchoge running in slow motion, the vaporfly 4% midsole compresses by more than half. In an interview with Nike techs, they commented on midsole materials and said that when they were testing midsole durometers (soft/hardness), the one that resulted in the lowest effort expenditure over time for the athlete was one that had about the same durometer as a thick kitchen sponge!


                    And now we can return to the debate over the carbon insert, and if it counts as a "spring or mechanical device" that would be in violation or regulations for competition. A lot of racing shoes have a similar insert, even the Skechers GoMeb Speed. Once in a while Jester is correct; energy cannot be created out of thin air, and no passive device in a shoe will return more energy than is put into it. We are at a point where some sort of insert could be controlled by an integrated circuit and powered by small batteries to contract or stiffen at certain points of the running gait to actually provide more energy than is put into it by the runner, though. We may see some cheating via this tech sooner or later. Even a few percent makes a big difference over 26 miles. Thus the vaporfly 4%.


                    BUT, the vaporfly 4% probably won't help mid-pack runners much. It's designed and tuned for elite gait and cadence, and unless you're running under 2:18 there might not be much difference for you than your regular marathon shoes. Using what was learned from the creating of this shoe, the poor man's version would be the Hoka Clifton or Skechers GoRun Ultra Road; both of which are light and cushioned, the Ultra Road being 20% lighter than the Clifton, as well as more cushioned. Hoka no longer makes a lightweight cushioned racing shoe, "responsive", yes, cushioned, no.

                    55-59 age group  -  University of Oregon alumni  -  Irreverent and Annoying

                    Glute Force


                      I like what you're implying here.  I'm going to take on my next marathon in my Jeep.  I did a 13 mile training "run" this morning and I feel fresh as a daisy!  


                      and I bet you didnt even sweat Smile


                      Actually its pretty embarassing but I got the math completely wrong since its $2.50 per mile which is pretty crazy. You could have a cheese sandwich at McDonalds for that price!!!


                      In response to Bill- I would disagree in that most of the benefits are from mid pack runners as per Strava data analysis in the article.


                      Mother of Cats

                        I own and have run in the VF - it's now my preferred shoe for the half and full distance.  (before, I used the Adios Boost 2).


                        I think it's a great shoe (that's why I wear it) for the longer distances.  But it's not the magic "5-10 minutes" off of your marathon time that some would claim.  I've run 6 races in it: two 5Ks (both way off of my PR),  two halves (one was a PR, the other was very close in time to the first), and two marathons (one was a PR, the other was Boston 2018...).  So two PRs for 6 races.  And both PRs were times that I expected to run, based off of my training in non-Vaporflies.


                        All these studies and articles fail to control for one big factor (to be fair, you can't control for it) - because the shoe is very hard to find, expensive, and supposedly doesn't last long, people don't race in it unless they think all the other factors are in place for a great race.  People don't want to "waste" the shoe.


                        As for mileage, I have 128 miles on my first pair so far.  I see no reason to retire them yet - they seem close to new.  I last wore them for my marathon PR - they had over 100 miles on them then.


                        (link to my shoe history with the VF)


                        To those of you who want to try them but are hesitant about the cost, I'll just note that it should be trivially easy to resell these shoes on ebay, even with a few miles on them  So you're not really risking $250.

                        Everyone's gotta running blog; I'm the only one with a POOL-RUNNING blog.


                        And...if you want a running Instagram where all the pictures are of cats, I've got you covered.

                        Glute Force

                          Darkwave thanks for the insights. Regarding the selection bias aka I only run in them when I feel 100% ready: the NY article states a number of runners who had literally no improvements before the VF came out and then had major jumps in the range of 5-10 minutes off the marathon. So there you have the contradiction to your hypothesis.

                            The placebo effect is powerful. Just ask the acupuncture, essential oil, and homeopathic industries. I'm not ranting, if these things work for people, then keep at it. Science and controlled studies have ruined them for me, though. I have to find some other thing to place naive faith in. Maybe tiny chocolate donuts? The tiny chocolate donut industry has done studies showing that eating them will improve physical fitness by 34%, extend lifespan by 16 years, cure cancer, give you "energy", remove ghosts from your blood, and boost your immune system (but not TOO much, if your immune system were actually boosted beyond normal levels, your white blood cells would attack your normal cells, and you would get sick and die).


                            And, new shoes always give a performance boost.


                            NEW SHOES!

                            55-59 age group  -  University of Oregon alumni  -  Irreverent and Annoying

                            Glute Force

                              Sure Bill: many marathoners run the Boston marathon in a new pair of shoes every year. New shoes whether New Balance Saucony Asics Nike you name it always make claims like the new component that will help you get faster. Yet they never improved significantly prior to the VF.


                              And the VF was also tested in a lab for its biomechanics. So I think there is evidence that this is beyond Placebo.

                                Mick, I'm referring to the psychological effect of new shoes. Any brand or model.  

                                55-59 age group  -  University of Oregon alumni  -  Irreverent and Annoying