Nike Vaporfly 3

The OG super shoe returns for its 3rd iteration!

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Although the 3rd iteration has a new upper, reshaped midsole and brand-new outsole, the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next percent 3 maintains the characteristic speed and feel of the versatile race shoe.

 

Key Info

Price: £235

Foot type: Neutral
Weight: 244g – Men’s sample size
Stack height: 40 – 32mm
Heel drop: 8mm
Surface: Road
Best for: Podiuming on race day

Background

Created with the specific aim of breaking the 2hr marathon mark, the Vaporfly Elite was worn by Eliud Kipchoge as he tried to create history. Although on that occasion he was unsuccessful, the shoe which was later released to the public as the Vaporfly 4% has topped podiums worldwide on the feet of professional athletes and amateur race goers alike.

 

In the second version the Vaporfly dropped the 4% part of its name, as tests suggested it now provided even more than 4% improved efficiency over previous shoes. They opted to call it the Next % as they are always striving for the next advantage. If 4% doesn’t sound like much, a bit of quick rough maths shows that on an average recreational marathon time of 4hrs 30 it can take 10.8 mins off your time.

Closer Look
Already sold out in the now traditional Nike Proto colourway of White and Orange, the Vaporfly is also available in new exciting colourways for Men's and Women's!

At first glance, the new flyknit upper stands out due to the size of the mesh holes over the forefoot in particular. About as close to not wearing a shoe upper as you can currently get, this super breathable mesh is ready for your feet to go through some hard, fast miles with minimal overheating. The fabric also takes on very little water on rainy days, keeping the weight down even as you splash through puddles.

A complete redesign of the outsole sees a thinner waffle design that offers excellent traction, and lighter weight, without sacrificing durability.

By using a thinner layer of rubber underfoot, Nike have been able to squeeze a few more millimetres of responsive ZoomX foam into the midsole without changing the stack height for improved propulsion with a familiar ride.

A full-length carbon fibre flyplate runs through the midsole, and is visible in the centre of the outsole, providing stability, a smooth transfer, and that pop of energy as it releases at toe off.

The midsole has been redesigned too, with a more balanced ride for improved stability, though the stack of highly responsive and lightweight ZoomX foam still gives you the same sensation of speed and stride efficiency expected.

 

Conclusion
Claiming a preposterous number of podiums in its short lifetime, the Vaporfly undoubtedly sits near the top of the super shoe tree, and if you love it, what’s not to love about this new version? Improved traction, more propulsion and a touch more stability through the forefoot all tweak the performance without changing its popular race day ride. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is so special about the Nike Vaporfly Next Percent 3?

From the PEBA based foam, full length carbon plate and lightweight build, it was designed to break records and has been proven to provide an advantage over traditional running shoes.

Which is faster the Alphafly or Vaporfly?

Both were built to break the marathon world record, and although it was the Alphafly that broke the 2hr mark, many Elite athletes prefer to run in the Vaporfly, while the Alphafly is perhaps more popular on the feet of recreational runners. It will come down to personal choice between the max stack Alphafly, and the sleek and lighter Vaporfly.

 

Is the Nike Vaporfly Next Percent 3 legal?

Coming in comfortably under the maximum depth of midsole permitted and using only one fixed plate (more than one is banned by the IAAF) the Vaporfly is legal for almost any form of road or track race.

Can you run in the Nike Vaporfly Next Percent 3?

Designed not just for running, but for topping podiums and breaking records, you might want to keep the Vaporfly for race day so you can maximise its speed.

What shoes are similar to the Nike Vaporfly Next Percent 3?

The Nike Alphafly Next Percent was designed for the same purpose but is very much its own shoe. Other alternatives include the ASICS Metaspeed shoes, adidas adizero adios Pro 3, New Balance Supercomp Elite V3 and the Saucony Endorphin Pro 3. For a cheaper alternative you may try the PUMA Deviate Nitro Elite. 

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Ray Barlow

Having suffered from Chronic Fatigue for over a decade, I am a recent convert to the joys of running. Although every run steals a lot of energy, the mental health and fitness benefits more than make up for it. My runs are mainly across the back of the nearby beaches, dodging between the tourists. When not geeking out over the latest running tech, you can find me trying new gins, making gins, or boring anyone within earshot about gin.
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Nike Vaporfly 3

The OG super shoe returns for its 3rd iteration!

Shop Men's Shop Women's