Facts

  • Terrain
    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
    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 normal, high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

    Stability / overpronation / normal arch

    Shoes for runners who need mild to moderate arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a low 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.

  • Use
    Use

    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
    Price
    $250
  • Weight
    Weight
    Men: 6.5oz
    Women: 6.5oz
  • Heel to toe drop
    Heel to toe drop
    Men: 10mm
    Women: 10mm

    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.

  • Heel height
    Heel height
    Men: 39mm
    Women: 39mm
  • Forefoot height
    Forefoot height
    Men: 29mm
    Women: 29mm
  • Width
    Width
    Men: normal
    Women: normal
  • Release date
    Release date
    Jun 2017
Show more facts

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

Expert Reviews

Experts are runners, 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.

87 / 100 based on 24 expert reviews

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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.