Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Nike Say It's $250 Shoe Will Make You Run Faster (photo)

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If a running shoe made you 25 percent faster, would it be fair to wear it in a race? What about 10 percent? Or 2 percent?

 The Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% — a bouncy, expensive shoe released to the public one year ago — raises these questions like no shoe in recent distance running history.


Nike says the shoes are about 4 percent better than some of its best racing shoes, as measured by how much energy runners spend when running in them.

 That is an astonishing claim, an efficiency improvement worth almost six minutes to a three-hour marathoner, or about eight minutes to a four-hour marathoner.

And it may be an accurate one, according to a new analysis by The New York Times of race data from about 500,000 marathon and half marathon running times since 2014.

Using public race reports and shoe records from Strava, a fitness app that calls itself the social network for athletes, Reports found that runners in Vaporflys ran 3 to 4 percent faster than similar runners wearing other shoes, and more than 1 percent faster than the next-fastest racing shoe.

We found that the difference was not explained by faster runners choosing to wear the shoes, by runners choosing to wear them in easier races or by runners switching to Vaporflys after running more training miles.

Instead, the analysis suggests that, in a race between two marathoners of the same ability, a runner wearing Vaporflys would have a real advantage over a competitor not wearing them.

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 Vaporflys — which retail at $250 a pair — were widely released to the public by Nike last summer.

Unlike most running shoes, they have a carbon-fiber plate in the midsole, which stores and releases energy with each stride and is meant to act as a kind of slingshot, or catapult, to propel runners forward.

Compared with typical training shoes, the Vaporflys are believed to wear out quickly: Some runners have said they lose their effectiveness after 100 miles or so.

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Author: verified_user

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