Nike is on a mission to break the current marathon world record of two hours, two minutes and 57 seconds. The sportswear company has just the shoe to do it—the Nike Zoom VaporFly Elite. Nike has designed the shoe to be ultra-responsive and ultra-lightweight.
This marathon-breaking initiative is called Breaking2. Basically the aim is to not only break the current record of 2:02:57, but to do it under 2 hours. That means that at the current marathon record time, 7 seconds needs to be shaved off each kilometre for 42 km’s. We know 7 seconds per km might not seem much, but trust us, it’s lightning fast.
Athletes, scientists and footwear designers agree that breaking the two-hour mark will be a very tough goal to achieve. In 1906, the best marathon runners clocked in at just under three hours. Three world-class long-distance runners – Zersenay Tadese, Eliud Kipchoge and Lelisa Desisa are brave enough to take on this challenge between 6 – 8 May in Monza, Italy. Breaking2 will be live-streamed from Monza for the whole world to, hopefully, witness history in the making. All three will wear the Zoom VaporFly Elite concept sneakers during Nike’s Breaking initiative, which seeks to break the two-hour marathon mark.
The Zoom Vaporfly Elites are not your typical running shoes. They are customised for each runner. Although conventional wisdom dictates that distance racing shoes be low to the ground and lightweight, these Nikes work in the opposite way. They have been built up instead of down. Nike included some of its best features on this shoe—the ZoomX midsole cushioning and the sock-like Flyknit collar. A unique curved carbon fibre plate and ZoomX midsole combine to reduce the amount of energy loss that occurs at toe off.
Want to get your hands on a pair of the Nike Zoom VaporFly Elites for yourself? Unfortunately, that won’t happen as these shoes will never be released for retail. The good news is that Nike does plan to release three very similar consumer shoes this June.