The vaporfly series since its inception in 2017 has been the most popular super shoe for any road distance from 5K through to the marathon and further. The vaporfly next% then firmly cemented the vaporfly’s position at the top of the road running world because of how it performed in terms of energy return. Other new successful brands have challenged the throne of the vaporfly such as the Adidas Adizero Adios pro 3, Saucony Endorphin speed 3 and the Asics metaspeed sky+. However, the Vaporfly has always seemed to take priority over the other super shoes.
The upgrade from the Vaporfly next% to the Vaporfly next% 2 was a minimal upper change, which is fair because why fix what’s not broken? But the Vaporfly next% 3 seems as if Nike are taking a risk to improve the shoe, just as all the brands are catching up. The vaporfly next 3 looks almost unrecognisable in comparison to the previous versions of the shoe and could that promise a completely different feel on race day.
What needed to be upgraded from the Vaporfly next% 2
When a shoe is already the best, it is hard to think of ways to innovate. So, this list of needed improvements is more of an ideal scenario rather than pointing out weaknesses of the current vaporfly.
Losing weight – It is always better for a shoe to be lighter providing there is no less in energy return. So, despite the current vaporfly being one of the lightest shoes on the market, if it could get any lighter, then even better.
More stability and zoom x foam – Some efficiency can be lost by a shoe being unstable, therefore a more stable shoe would mean a more efficient shoe. One way to do this would be widening the shoe with more superfoam. This would need to be considering the previous improvement of saving weight.
A more intense rocker – A rocker is something which rolls the wearer’s foot forward as you can which aids the transition of landing to push off, which again should improve efficient. The most impressive rocker in supershoes right now is the Adidas Adios pro 3, which is aggressive whilst still having a lot of cushion and comfort from the super foam.
What the Vaporfly next percent 3 has to offer
Due to the release not being until early 2023 we don’t have too many people who have their hands on the shoe. But what we already know is how the shoe looks and the weight of the shoe. Using this information we can have an educated guess on how the shoe will compare and perform.
The 1st possible improvement was weight saving, although the Vaporfly next% 3 is almost the same weight, it is for sure proportionally lighter with what looks to be a higher stack and a thicker midsole. Therefore, the fact it remains the same weight is remarkable. Probably due to changes in the upper as well as a cut out in the midsole, where the carbon plate is now visable.
Stability changes also look to have been implemented. As shoes widen it tends to add stability, and with a thicker midsole, the next% 3 may come with added stability which is a welcomed improvement.
There is also more “cut outs” of the shoe in certain areas, not only does this save weight, it also replicates what has happened in the Adios pro 3. Due to these cut outs, you would assume there is a more aggressive rocker in place, which should make the shoe even more efficient, which hopefully the other improvements also make.
Overall there is a drastic change in this much loved shoe, which could promise to revolutionise the running World again, with something that is even more efficient and energy saving than what we currently have on the market. Or it could be a complete failure and people will stick to the previous model of the vaporfly or change brands.
Nike Vaporfly next% 3 – Nike’s new super shoe / Nike’s marathon shoe