Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: €250 Nike Vaporfly Shoes...Value for Money???

Thursday, December 06, 2018

€250 Nike Vaporfly Shoes...Value for Money???

When Eliud Kipchoge broke the marathon record in Berlin in September, he was wearing Nike Vaporfly 4% running shoes. There has been a huge amount of publicity and hype about this shoe and its performance of late. At roughly $250 or €250 a pair, they're certainly not cheap.

Nike claim the shoes can improve performance by as much as 4% and there has been a huge demand for them. At the recent New Work Marathon Expo, people were queuing up to buy them. Think about that... a $250 sale every minute or so for hours on end.

Do they live up to the hype though?

The shoes contain a curved, carbon-fiber plate embedded in a thick layer of lightweight foam. Tests done with fast male runners determined that the 4% shoe slightly changed how the men ran. This reduced the amount of muscular activity around their ankles and feet and lessened the amount of energy they burned. It seems that the internal structure acts like a lever instead of a spring and this leads to improved efficiency.

It's one thing improving the efficiency of highly trained athletes but will the shoes work for the ordinary Joe Soap?

As Dr.Kram who supervised one of the studies said....“The shoes might help” to shave a minute or five from a plodding runner’s 10K or half-marathon finishing time But, realistically many people will get much more than a 4 percent improvement from more training and maybe a little weight loss.”

On the other hand, €250 for something that will last perhaps 6-12 months is small beer compared to the entry fees of some of the big marathons.

As the saying goes... Caveat Emptor.

More information about the Nike Vaporfly studies can be seen on the New York Times website.

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