Facts

Terrain

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Arch support

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who need arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

Price
$250
Weight
Men: 6.5oz
Women: 6.5oz
Show more facts

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who does not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who needs arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overproanation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.

Summary

We spent 7.9 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

5 reasons to buy

  • The Zoom Vaporfly 4% gave an all-new sensation to the foot and made running feel effortless, pondered a reviewer.
  • Many runners were satisfied with the breathability and lightweight nature of this running shoe.
  • Several users commented that the heel cup worked well in preventing foot slippage.
  • A lot of runners praised the ZoomX cushioning as the best thing they have ever felt in a running shoe.
  • The shoe was supportive enough to provide the sensation of running at a better pace and quality, according to a tester.

3 reasons not to buy

  • There are no Flywire cables, which are typically present in most of Nike’s shoes. It made the Vaporfly 4% feel lacking in support, said one reviewer.
  • A user commented that the very thin upper felt weak and flimsy.
  • Some runners thought that the price did not justify the small number of features that were offered.

Bottom line

The Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% is a shoe with a smart design. While it does not introduce newly-invented technology, it has put together existing technologies in a way that enables an improved running performance which satisfied most users. Despite its high price tag, many found the shoe to be worth it.


Rankings


Ratings

3.7 / 5 based on 7 ratings

5 star
14%
4 star
43%
3 star
43%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%

My Rating

Expert Reviews

Experts are running shoe geeks, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.

88 / 100 based on 25 expert reviews

  • 97 / 100 by RunRepeat • Stephen Clevenger • Level 3 expert

    The hype is real and this shoe is so much different from any other marathon shoe on the market that any marathoner should at least try them to see if they pay dividends.

  • 95 / 100 by RunRepeat • Samuel Chua • Level 3 expert

    The Nike Vaporfly 4% is a speedy racing shoe that is a must try if you have sufficient ankle stability and don’t pronate severely.

  • 95 / 100 by Believe in the Run • Thomas • Level 5 expert

    Probably one of the most incredible shoes I've ever run in.

  • 88 / 100 by Jamison Michael • Jamison Michael • Level 5 expert

    ...based out of the performance of the shoe alone, I think it's an awesome racing shoe.

  • 90 / 100 by Road Trail Run • Sam Winebaum • Level 5 expert

    What more can I say the ride and performance is incredible. Vapor Fly is light, cushioned, dynamic and despite the stiffness of the shoe far more fluid than the Zoom Fly for me.

  • 89 / 100 by Fellrnr • Fellrnr • Level 5 expert

    Overall, I feel like I'm faster in the Vaporfly than other shoes by a noticeable amount, which is quite astonishing.

  • 100 / 100 by Running Shoes Guru • Thomas Caughlan • Level 4 expert

    Simply put, Nike has designed the greatest marathon racing shoe in history. The Vaporfly 4% is the culmination of a great deal of design research by Nike for the Breaking2 project.

  • 89 / 100 by Running Competitor • Running Competitor • Level 4 expert

    This is a shoe designed for marathoning, and while my first race in them was a downhill 10k, I was amzaed by the cushion.

  • 75 / 100 by s2DoubleU • s2DoubleU • Level 3 expert

    As a general consumer, I couldn't justify paying this high amount for a shoe like this yet.

  • 83 / 100 by Sean Go • Sean Go • Level 2 expert

    Overall the price tag was high but I was very curious to see how this new technology feels on feet and I do have to say that I am not disappointed, so this is such a dynamic feeling shoe and it really feels like you're motion even without any effort being put in.

  • 80 / 100 by Sole Collector • Brendan Dunne • Level 2 expert

    Running in the VaporFly 4% is a more demanding experience overall, and one gets the sense that more experienced runners will get more out of the sneaker.

  • 60 / 100 by Hes Kicks • Hes • Level 2 expert

    Is it worth $250? I say absolutely not, it's not worth a price point only because of the durability from a casual perspective.

  • 94 / 100 by J Bird Runs • J Bird Runs • Level 1 expert

    The thing that I was most interested in was the carbon-fiber plate in the midsole that is supposed to extend the push-off in your toes and lead to less energy loss.

  • 93 / 100 by Standford Bear • Standford Bear • Level 1 expert

    These are super lightweight; as soon as you step in them you feel that really bouncy kind of trampoline-like effect in the shoe itself.

  • 90 / 100 by Ty Kix • Tyronne • Level 1 expert

    Overall, lots of spring back, lots of cushioning.

  • 88 / 100 by iRunning • wkaxyst • Level 1 expert

    With the Vaporfly 4% they didn’t completely reinvent the materials, but what Nike did was really study how to put them together in a way that makes them perform better than anything on the market.

  • 88 / 100 by Runner's World • David Willey • Level 1 expert

    My initial runs in this shoe definitely confirmed that it's among the fastest shoes I've ever worn.

  • 87 / 100 by The Runner Beans • The Runner Beans • Level 1 expert

    If you’re trying to get faster at all costs and have money to spend, then these are the shoes for you.

  • 85 / 100 by Wired • Nicholas Thompson • Level 1 expert

    They're unambiguously light, and they do feel cushioned.

  • 85 / 100 by Collectivev Kicks • heskicks • Level 1 expert

    Most responsive shoe I have ever worn. The heel cup issue is very frustrating however, but a great sneaker all around.

  • 85 / 100 by Friddie1992 • Elvis • Level 1 expert

    It doesn't make you run all that much faster. I don't think 4% is the right amount. But it does make you able to kind of keep the pace a little easier...

  • 85 / 100 by Run Sherry Run • Sherry • Level 1 expert

    Overall, I highly recommend these shoes if you're a serious runner looking to improve your time. Although the may cost a pretty penny, they may be worth it.

  • 80 / 100 by Slowtwitch • Jeroen Van Geelen • Level 1 expert

    After several 1000-meter interval sessions I am routinely a few seconds faster per kilometer in the Zoom Vaporfly 4%. Each and every session and on every 1000m run I used the 4% I am faster.

  • 80 / 100 by Mr. Stoltz • Mr. Stoltz • Level 1 expert

    ...It's not for me, it is for real real runners. But, at the same time, I can use it.It is a really really comfortable shoe to run around in.

  • 73 / 100 by Aaron Jarvis • Aaron Jarvis • Level 1 expert

    I just don't feel like the durability of the shoe can even come close to justifying $200 price tag

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Updates to Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%

  • The Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% is constructed with racing enthusiasts in mind. The name implies that the wearer would be able to run 4% more efficiently with the shoe, as researched scientifically. It is highly cushioned and is recommended for runners with neutral pronation.
  • The upper features a minimal design, with its single-layer mesh, single-piece overlay, and lack of internal lining. It aims to deliver the most ventilation possible, with the anticipation of the runner wearing the shoe for marathons.
  • Nike introduces the new ZoomX foam in the midsole, which aims to deliver more cushioning and more responsiveness. The ZoomX cushioning promotes a more dynamic feel as it not only absorbs impact on landing, but it also projects the foot forward in expectation of the next stride.

Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% size and fit

The Zoom Vaporfly 4% features a standard running shoe length. It is a unisex running shoe, with a single width-profile of D - Medium for men and D - Wide for women. Its semi-curved shape follows the natural curve of the human foot.

Outsole

The minimalist pentagon patterns on the outsole aim to provide durable traction for the runner. It is made of lightweight foam rubber, which contributes to the flexibility and responsiveness of the shoe.

There are high-abrasion blown rubber reinforcements found on the heel and forefoot areas of the outsole, which give adequate traction. They are made durable to withstand various levels of stress from running.

Midsole

The Vaporfly 4% uses the all-new ZoomX foam, which Nike labels as a "cushioning revolution." ZoomX claims to be the most responsive and energy-returning EVA foam on the market.

The cushioning is supported and enhanced by a full-length carbon plate that is embedded beneath the midsole. It aims to amplify the sensation of propulsion. In this regard, the carbon plate acts similarly to a lever as it helps the foot transition to its next step. The second layer of ZoomX foam beneath the carbon plate is present to dampen the impact.

All the elements of the midsole work together to provide more spring to the foot during running, but without the sinking sensation of an overly-cushioned shoe.

Upper

Made from a single-layer Flymesh, the upper of the Zoom Vaporfly 4% presents a well-defined and customized fit. There is no internal lining, yet the façade is designed to be lightweight and breathable. This Flymesh upper is also intended to work against heat retention. There are perforations in the forefoot and midfoot area to help heighten airflow.

There is a single piece of overlay over the lace holes. It offers enough support and structure while maintaining a minimalist design.

The tongue features a thin and asymmetrical finish and is also made from a combination of Flymesh and fuse material.

A stiff bumper is installed to provide protection for the toes and to absorb stress around the forefoot area, which is commonly experienced in long-distance running.