The 1st Day of Kicksmas: Nike Vaporfly 4%
Believe the hype. The Nike Vaporfly 4% is every bit as advertised, allowing you to run faster using less effort. We included the shoe in our December issue, for our annual Gear of the Year package, and I said it was “unlike anything we’ve ever worn.” That’s true, in my experience running for three decades and testing hundreds of pairs of shoes over the years. Slip these on and you really do feel like you’re being tossed forward. The foam is an extremely lightweight, but thick, slab that compresses easily to soften your landing but immediately springs back. Inside that midsole is a carbon fiber plate which makes the whole shoe really, incredibly stiff—it’s intended to reduce the amount of energy you lose when you bend your toes. That plus the tapered shape of the sole makes them a bit uncomfortable if you’re wearing them casually or for a slow jog, but at $250 you really should just reserve these for race day. That is, if you can find a pair: retailers sell out of their allotment nearly as fast as they can get them in-store.
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