Study Finds That The Nike Vaporfly 4% Will Actually Make You Run Faster
Nike released the Vaporfly 4% sneaker last year with claims that it will make you run faster. Exactly 4% faster, henceforth the name. Now there is a study that found that Nike’s claims of increased performance are true.
The New York Times investigated if these magical shoes would actually make you a faster runner. The NYT teamed up with the social network Strava to analyze data to verify if the Vaporfly could improve running times. For the study, they analyzed running times for 500,000 marathons and half marathons.
It turns out that Nike’s $250 Vaporfly sneakers did indeed improve running times. The “advantages for runners wearing Vaporflys were consistent for slower racers and fast ones; for men and women; for runners on their second marathon or their fifth,” the Times reported. So for amateur and professional runners the Vaporfly 4% sneaker actually made people run faster.
Nike first boasted the increased performance when Eliud Kipchoge not only won the 2016 London marathon, but also ran the second fastest marathon time of all time. Kipochoge also won the Berlin Marathon last September, while Galen Rupp wore the Vaporfly 4% on his way to win the Chicago Marathon, Geoffrey Kamworor won the New York Marathon in them, and so did Shalane Flanagan, the first American woman to win the New York City Marathon in 40 years.
While a 4% increase doesn’t seem to be a lot, in the world of marathon running it could mean a huge difference from finishing first and not being in the top 20. The technology in the sneakers could even mean that runners could break the two-hour marathon barrier. The fastest runners can finish a marathon after two hours and three minutes and a 4% speed increase could take off nearly five minutes. That improvement seems well worth the $250.