Login required to started new threads

Login required to post replies

Prev Next
The Nike Vaporfly 4% Really Is 4% "Faster"!
Quote | Reply
Nike is famous for and VERY good at marketing. But many times there is actually science and engineering behind the products that the sporting goods behemoth makes. The Nike Vaporfly 4% shoe is like that. Many scoffed at the claims about the shoe - that was in part designed and engineered for Eliud Kipchoge's attempt to break the 2 hour barrier in the Marathon - which he almost did! After-the-fact 3rd party research has confirmed that Nike's claims are correct - the 4% does make a runner 4% more efficient and thus potentially faster.

Alex Hutchinson who has become the go-to writer for this sort of thing in Endurance Sports confirms all of this here - https://www.outsideonline.com/...campaign=onsiteshare

Put this all together - the science that actually works, AND Nike's famous marketing muscle, and you have a shoe that Nike can't keep in stock or make fast enough. I note that Nike took a HUGE jump up the Kona Shoe Count this year to 2nd spot just behind Hoka - Many 4% included in that. And at large fall marathons like the NYC Marathon, it seemed every 2 or 4th runner was wearing the 4%


Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
Quote Reply
Re: The Nike Vaporfly 4% Really Is 4% "Faster"! [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I would agree with you on all counts. Good marketing, decent science and some incredible performances from Nike athletes wearing the shoes in the past year all led me to spend the extra money. There were a ton of people running New York Marathon in them. Word there was that most of the major shoe companies will have something comparable in the coming year with a carbon fiber plate(spring) plus better foam. Might take a while to trickle down to consumers. I don't love Nike but I do love the shoes. They are super light and very cushioned. The placebo effect probably helped but I ran first marathon PB in years this year wearing them.
Quote Reply
Re: The Nike Vaporfly 4% Really Is 4% "Faster"! [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
The shoe might be 4% more efficient, but the shoes are a tiny part of the equation. A 4% more efficient shoe does not make you 4% faster. Although that is what clever marketing makes you believe.
Quote Reply
Re: The Nike Vaporfly 4% Really Is 4% "Faster"! [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
  

1) The research article was published about a year ago :
A Comparison of the Energetic Cost of Running in Marathon Racing Shoes
by Hookgamer, Kipp, ...
https://link.springer.com/...07/s40279-017-0811-2


2) I own the VaporFly 4% for nearly a year also, and yes it is efficient, especially for heel striker (the study show it bring more than 4% to heel striker, and less to others), but it is also very unstable at heel. Too unstable for me.
So, for me, and for many others, this shoes does not deliver the 4% improvement.

For me, it probably deliver 2% for 10km (because I mid foot strike), but is useless for semi and longer.
Last edited by: Pyrenean Wolf: Nov 21, 18 5:05
Quote Reply
Re: The Nike Vaporfly 4% Really Is 4% "Faster"! [Pyrenean Wolf] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I agree the heal feels slightly unstable compared to shoes I have come from but that being said I guess it us due to how soft the ride is. Between the vaporfly for racing and the turbo for training they are shoes I enjoy running in more than others so I'd say at least 4% more enjoyment...
Quote Reply
Re: The Nike Vaporfly 4% Really Is 4% "Faster"! [ecce-homo] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
ecce-homo wrote:
The shoe might be 4% more efficient, but the shoes are a tiny part of the equation. A 4% more efficient shoe does not make you 4% faster. Although that is what clever marketing makes you believe.

I've mentioned this in other threads. I have the 4% & raced SLOWER every duathlon or triathlon this year with them, than when I used my Speed Rival 6. Both are within grams of each other. The 4% issue is a lack of heel support. They are supposed to help propel you forward, but in a multisport race when your legs are already tire post-bike, you don't have the leg lift you would on a regular foot race. I find myself landing on my heels and lose the 4% built in spring effect. The side to side wobble from fatigue really throws off the running gait too. Personally, I am not a fan of the 4% in triathlon or duathlon--while I did recently give them one last try at US LD Nats last week. My run was incredibly slow (again, only using the 4%) for me. Even on the same courses, within weeks, same everything...the Speed Rival 6 was faster for me.

Would I use the 4% on a road race? Heck yeah, they are faster for me there...just not in a tri/du. Again, the hype & marketing...how many fell for it? I did.
Quote Reply
Re: The Nike Vaporfly 4% Really Is 4% "Faster"! [Rocky M] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
The 4% efficiency gain (if you heel strike and have no issues from heel unstable) is not coming from spring effect of the foam.

As hinted in the research article, it comes from greater leg stiffness due to the fact the knee bend less, due to high level of cushion. Midsole compression is measured in the article, twice than the 2 other shoes studied (race flat, little cushion).

You will have same effect with any other max cushion shoes, apart weight and response can be different.

Now mid-foot strike, and not fast, I'm pretty sure I could have nearly same efficiency with Clifton 5, Ride 7, NB Beacon, Razor 3, ...
Quote Reply
Re: The Nike Vaporfly 4% Really Is 4% "Faster"! [Shambolic] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Shambolic wrote:
I agree the heal feels slightly unstable compared to shoes I have come from but that being said I guess it us due to how soft the ride is. Between the vaporfly for racing and the turbo for training they are shoes I enjoy running in more than others so I'd say at least 4% more enjoyment...

Yeah I've switched from the Hoka Clifton for training to the Peg turbo and really like it. I've also just picked up the Vaporflys. They're an odd shoe to run in. They feel strange, like there is something broken the way the heel seems to give way. But they're a comfortable and quick shoe. I think it will just take me a while to get used to.
Quote Reply
Re: The Nike Vaporfly 4% Really Is 4% "Faster"! [Rocky M] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
If your legs are toast at the beginning of the run, perhaps you are overbiking?

OR, do you think the 4% benefit degrades throughout any endurance running race? I could imagine a situation where you get the 4% benefit for the first 15 miles of a marathon and it peters out as you fatigue. Since the run leg of a tri is kind of proportional in time to the last 10 miles of a marathon, maybe that is the point?
Quote Reply
Re: The Nike Vaporfly 4% Really Is 4% "Faster"! [Rocky M] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I think you should also note if I read correctly from the other threads you race sprint distance where you can wear a racing flat and not longer races as the shoe is more designed?
Quote Reply
Re: The Nike Vaporfly 4% Really Is 4% "Faster"! [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
The "we don't know" part of the article was kind of funny. I'm sure the designers knew what was up.

Rugby Media Dude-earfulofdirt.com

Hooker training for the Sport of Scrum-Halves [Triathlon]
Quote Reply
Re: The Nike Vaporfly 4% Really Is 4% "Faster"! [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Nike claims 4% increase in running economy, not speed. There's a huge difference.

I find holding a fast pace to be significantly easier in the 4% than any other shoes including my Turbo. I don't heel strike nor do any of the top athletes who race in them. The carbon plate helps on pushoff.

Honestly I'm not surprised many don't feel the difference because it really changes depending on pace and probably form. Compared to the Turbo, I don't much of a difference at 8 min/mi, feel a noticeable difference at 7:15-7:30 pace (IM marathon pace), and below 7 they really start to feel easy to run fast in.

And if it's all placebo, that ok too as long as the PRs are real :)
Quote Reply
Re: The Nike Vaporfly 4% Really Is 4% "Faster"! [BigBoyND] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Nike claims 4% increase in running economy, not speed. There's a huge difference.


Thank you. I agree.

Please note the in the title I said "Faster" with quotation marks around the word!

What I found most intriguing about the findings is that the 4% was "faster" (again note quotes) than track spikes - but they don't say for what distances or at what speed. What does this mean - you are better to wear the 4% in track races of a certain distance vs traditional track spikes?


Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
Quote Reply
Re: The Nike Vaporfly 4% Really Is 4% "Faster"! [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I think Nike is doing a great job. I recently got a pair of Pegasus Turbo and feel more connected with the shoes and pavement than 7 pairs of Hokas I own. I also have Altras and Newtons, but none of them are like Pegasus Turbo. They were recommended by a friend of mine who runs all the time. I can see why Nike shoe count has increased a lot lately and I'm curious to see the number next year.
Quote Reply
Re: The Nike Vaporfly 4% Really Is 4% "Faster"! [BigBoyND] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
BigBoyND wrote:
Nike claims 4% increase in running economy, not speed. There's a huge difference.

So I understand the shoe is 4% "more efficient" or has 4% "more running economy".
I understand the claim is not 4% faster, although the title of the thread suggests this.

What does this mean though? If I would consider buying I would expect an increase in speed. What is the relation between efficiency and speed?
Maybe increase of speed = x times increase in efficiency with x < 1?
(which means if x=0,5 the increase of speed is 2%)

The only reason I would buy is if I would be convinced to become faster. But a mere increase in "efficiency" (from which I do not know how it is measured or defined) makes me hesitate.

Whereby it is clear that many triatletes including me are prepared to pay money for 5 minutes in the marathon.
Quote Reply
Re: The Nike Vaporfly 4% Really Is 4% "Faster"! [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
4% faster than what? Other Nike shoes? All other shoes? Faster can mean a lot of things.
Quote Reply
Re: The Nike Vaporfly 4% Really Is 4% "Faster"! [BigBoyND] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
BigBoyND wrote:
Nike claims 4% increase in running economy, not speed. There's a huge difference.

I find holding a fast pace to be significantly easier in the 4% than any other shoes including my Turbo. I don't heel strike nor do any of the top athletes who race in them. The carbon plate helps on pushoff.

Honestly I'm not surprised many don't feel the difference because it really changes depending on pace and probably form. Compared to the Turbo, I don't much of a difference at 8 min/mi, feel a noticeable difference at 7:15-7:30 pace (IM marathon pace), and below 7 they really start to feel easy to run fast in.

And if it's all placebo, that ok too as long as the PRs are real :)

https://link.springer.com/...07/s40279-017-0811-2

The research article, link above, is clear :
it bring more if you heel strike, gains quantified by type of strike
most people using it heel strike, as the shoes is pushing to this : it is shown and discussed in the article : most peoples using it reduce their cadence for same speed, they increase stride length, so do more heel strike. Because it is easier to go fast heel striking with heavy cushion at the heel. You can't do that with racing flat.

Also clear on the non dependance on speed, between 14 and 18km/h in the study

Personnally, I get the efficiency impact tested (not precisely 4%, but significant) at 10 and 12km/h also.

And in fact, MOST peoples feel the positive impact. Especially when using heel strike.
But what many peoples also feel is the heel unstable, creating injuries.

If you do not heel strike, you have only a part of the efficiency gain (shown by the research article), but you take less injury risk (heel unstable related at least).
This is what I'm doing now. Still feeling efficiency. Less injury risk.
Quote Reply
Re: The Nike Vaporfly 4% Really Is 4% "Faster"! [Scottxs] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Scottxs wrote:
4% faster than what? Other Nike shoes? All other shoes? Faster can mean a lot of things.

Compared to adizero adios and Nike's top marathon shoe at the time of development (forgot the name)
Quote Reply
Re: The Nike Vaporfly 4% Really Is 4% "Faster"! [longtrousers] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
longtrousers wrote:
BigBoyND wrote:
Nike claims 4% increase in running economy, not speed. There's a huge difference.

So I understand the shoe is 4% "more efficient" or has 4% "more running economy".
I understand the claim is not 4% faster, although the title of the thread suggests this.

What does this mean though? If I would consider buying I would expect an increase in speed. What is the relation between efficiency and speed?
Maybe increase of speed = x times increase in efficiency with x < 1?
(which means if x=0,5 the increase of speed is 2%)

The only reason I would buy is if I would be convinced to become faster. But a mere increase in "efficiency" (from which I do not know how it is measured or defined) makes me hesitate.

Whereby it is clear that many triatletes including me are prepared to pay money for 5 minutes in the marathon.

Resistance increases with speed. Think bike wattage and top speed car horsepower. If you save 4% at a pace then you can exert the same amount and go faster but not by 4%. I don't know whether Nike quantified that during their testing and it's dependent on your pace anyway. A 4% speed increase at 10min/mile wouldn't require much additional energy compared to that speed increase at 5 minute miles.
Quote Reply
Re: The Nike Vaporfly 4% Really Is 4% "Faster"! [BigBoyND] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
BigBoyND wrote:
Scottxs wrote:
4% faster than what? Other Nike shoes? All other shoes? Faster can mean a lot of things.


Compared to adizero adios and Nike's top marathon shoe at the time of development (forgot the name)

full research article with all details :https://link.springer.com/...07/s40279-017-0811-2

4% gain in efficiency (O2 consumption) compared to the 2 racing flats. At different speed, other several athletes.

Disclaimer : not for pronators ;-) except if you take care to not heel strike...
Quote Reply
Re: The Nike Vaporfly 4% Really Is 4% "Faster"! [Pyrenean Wolf] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Pyrenean Wolf wrote:
You will have same effect with any other max cushion shoes, apart weight and response can be different.

In my experience you can't make any generalization about max cushion shoes at all, especially about speed. The very early Hokas I tried didn't seem slower than the Brooks Adrenaline I had been using. But the last Hokas I have are the Clifton 3 and Bondi 4. With that generation they added additional cushioning and weight and the shoes clearly got slower for me. I now have the NB Beacon which are reasonably cushioned but nowhere near as cushioned as any of those Hokas, and I'm consistently about 15 seconds a mile faster than with the Clifton 3s. Yes, the Beacon is a little lighter than the Clifton 3 but not enough to account for the difference, there's just too much cushion to be fast. Previously I was running a Kinvara and that shoe was also significantly faster. Not sure what the difference is to the Bondi 4s as I gave up on them after about 50 miles because they were so slow and tedious. And I haven't bought a Hoka since.

It seems that a shoe with a good amount of cushion can still be fast but if you overdo it or don't do it right they can definitely get quite slow.
Quote Reply
Re: The Nike Vaporfly 4% Really Is 4% "Faster"! [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I looked around a bit here in the internet in Germany but the shoe seems unavailable
Last edited by: longtrousers: Nov 21, 18 14:24
Quote Reply
Re: The Nike Vaporfly 4% Really Is 4% "Faster"! [tttiltheend] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
tttiltheend wrote:
Pyrenean Wolf wrote:

You will have same effect with any other max cushion shoes, apart weight and response can be different.


In my experience you can't make any generalization about max cushion shoes at all, especially about speed. The very early Hokas I tried didn't seem slower than the Brooks Adrenaline I had been using. But the last Hokas I have are the Clifton 3 and Bondi 4. With that generation they added additional cushioning and weight and the shoes clearly got slower for me. I now have the NB Beacon which are reasonably cushioned but nowhere near as cushioned as any of those Hokas, and I'm consistently about 15 seconds a mile faster than with the Clifton 3s. Yes, the Beacon is a little lighter than the Clifton 3 but not enough to account for the difference, there's just too much cushion to be fast. Previously I was running a Kinvara and that shoe was also significantly faster. Not sure what the difference is to the Bondi 4s as I gave up on them after about 50 miles because they were so slow and tedious. And I haven't bought a Hoka since.

It seems that a shoe with a good amount of cushion can still be fast but if you overdo it or don't do it right they can definitely get quite slow.

Yes, I understand what you say.

Not saying all cushioned shoes are equal for everybody.

Just saying the VF is efficient because of cushion, vs low cushion racing flat, as shown in research article.
Essentially heel cushion, targeting essentialy heel strikers.
For me, mid foot striker, I can find other shoes, with lower drop (5 mm instead of 10), also well cushioned in mid foot, giving a "similar" advantage for me.

I noticed that for my strike and speed, Clifton5 works same as VF. Much better than flats.
Apparently for some other mid foot striker (faster than me) the Razor 3 do it also. Better than flats.
May be for you it is Beacon and Kinvara.
Quote Reply
Re: The Nike Vaporfly 4% Really Is 4% "Faster"! [dfroelich] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
dfroelich wrote:
If your legs are toast at the beginning of the run, perhaps you are overbiking?

OR, do you think the 4% benefit degrades throughout any endurance running race? I could imagine a situation where you get the 4% benefit for the first 15 miles of a marathon and it peters out as you fatigue. Since the run leg of a tri is kind of proportional in time to the last 10 miles of a marathon, maybe that is the point?


Really not overbiking. I have good days & bad days at both bike & run, but all the runs have been *bad* IMO with the 4%. Just did US LC Nationals & while the run really is what won it for me, the swim & bike were sort of just "go through the motions" and cruise (not a *crush it effort*) by any means. With a what I'd call a sub-par run, it allowed me to win the AG by 10 min. So I didn't "over-do" anything, especially the bike. I would agree with some that the thickness of the shoe heel, like any shoe such as a HOKA (which I've raced in also), offers great cushion-- but really loses the feel of my normal run landing and push off. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy not getting beat up by the ground the following day when I should be more sore...but the runs really feel "off" and show it in my times anytime I use the 4% in a multisport race only. I've got 30 Ironmans in me so not like I don't have cycling endurance. Enough bike-run bricks to make a firehouse...it's not a lack of that. Spent a lot of time on strengthening the iliopsoas this year also.

I will use them on road races though, they seem to be fast. Anything with a bike--regardless if it is a super slow bike, just screws it all up. It's my belief that the heel is just too thick & there isn't enough support, which interferes in my specific run economy--regardless of the marketing hype and articles saying it improves run economy (I don't think their study was with triathletes biking prior to runs). After all, I should know more about it specific to me, than they do--I'm the one actually in the shoes & that is my determination. Nike has more to gain than lose by pumping their studies. Others have run studies just using running as well. As a triathlete, I'm saying this is not the case always.
Quote Reply
Re: The Nike Vaporfly 4% Really Is 4% "Faster"! [Shambolic] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Shambolic wrote:
I think you should also note if I read correctly from the other threads you race sprint distance where you can wear a racing flat and not longer races as the shoe is more designed?
Nope. I do it all. Short to Ultra. Sprint to Ironman. However, I just started racing tris again after 2 years due to massive injury at US Duathlon Nationals in St Paul a few years ago.
Quote Reply

Prev Next