The Vaporfly Elite is the latest model in the faster than ever shoe. Part of Nike’s Breaking2 project , the prototype shoes were designed to allow runners to break the two-hour mark in marathon running. The world record currently stands at two hours, two minutes and fifty-seven seconds. The new shoe weighs approx. 6.5 ounces (184 grams) . These are lighter than sprint shoes and have been developed by the Nike Sports Research Lab.
The Vaporfly Elite features a combination of 3D knitting and cushioning technology with an ultra thin, lightweight stiff, carbon fibre plate to help propel the runner forward. According to the manufacturer, the carbon-fibre plate helps reduce the amount of oxygen needed to run at a fast pace. The new runners have been tested by Nike sponsored runners; Zersenay Tadese , (the half-marathon world record holder), Lelisa Desisa, (a two-time Boston Marathon winner); and Eliud Kipchoge, (a champion at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, 2016). Each pair were tailored to match individual athlete’s strengths and stride length. The Nike Vaporfly and the Zoom fly's will go on sale to the general public for $250 and $150 respectively in June.
The Vaporfly Elite is Nike's response to their biggest rival, adidas' marathon shoe, Adizero Sub2 trainer. Both shoe designs come in the wake of Hoka One
The introduction of a spring plate is a grey area which might be considered unfair performance enhancement for the feet. Currently, Nike’s Vaporfly shoes does not meet the International Association of Athletics Federations marathon regulations and may offer their owners an unfair advantage. According to IAAF's Rule 143 shoes "must not be constructed so as to give an athlete any unfair additional assistance, including by the incorporation of any technology which will give the wearer any unfair advantage".