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1st Impressions – Nike VaporFly 4%

The brand new Nike Vaporfly 4% has been released and we took it out for a short run to get our 1st impressions on this new model. Who is this shoe for? Read more to find out and where you can purchase.

Nike VaporFly 4%


Having just tested the Nike ZoomFly Flyknit last week, the brand new Nike Vaporfly 4% fits and feels very similar when you first step into it. Both have a 10mm drop and have the new Flyknit upper but that’s where the similarities end. Even without taking the Vaporfly 4% out of the box, it feels significantly lighter. It feels like there’s only one shoe in the box. Aside from the new Flyknit upper, everything else about this shoe remains the same as the previous version. The Nike Vaporfly 4% uses Nike’s new Zoom X midsole, which is the lightest midsole foam that Nike has ever produced. It also has the carbon fiber plate within the midsole that is supposed to provide a more efficient run. This is the same shoe that Eliud Kipchoge set a new marathon world record in the time of 02:01:39.


The Vaporfly 4% fits almost exactly the same as the ZoomFly Flyknit, so it is true to size (our tester wears a size 10 and tested a size 10). There is ample room in the toe box and it tapers in the midfoot toward the heel for that racer fit. While there is room in the toe box for the toes to splay at toe-off, someone with a wider foot may feel that it is narrow. The Flyknit upper will stretch but it’s hard to tell how much in our short test period. The heel felt secure despite minimal padding around the heel collar.


Initially, it feels exactly like the Zoomfly, until you start running. Overall, it’s a very comfortable shoe and due to how light it is, you almost feel like you’re not even wearing a shoe. Of course, you do notice rolling more toward the ball of your foot as you walk. While they feel good, it would feel slightly awkward as an everyday walking shoe. Unlike the Zoomfly, our tester did not notice the sensation of rolling in. Perhaps it had more to do with the arch being supported more by the carbon fiber plate.


The Zoom X midsole is soft, very soft. As you run, the midsole will compress where you’ll feel the carbon plate under your arch. While it was not uncomfortable, it was certainly noticeable. Just like the Zoomfly, you also notice the carbon fiber plate under the ball of the foot. You can definitely feel that the overall design of the shoe gets you quicker onto your forefoot while the carbon fiber plate activates and provides some propulsion.


In our short test period, it would be hard to determine a significant amount of difference between the $160 Zoomfly and the $250 Vaporfly 4%. Our tester is not an elite athlete so he couldn’t tell if the Vaporfly was worth the additional $90. Who should get a Vaporfly 4%? First of all, if you have the means to purchase a $250 shoe, then it’s at least worth a look. Otherwise, it’s for runners looking to achieve a PR or qualify for Boston. And by that, we mean, you’re probably within 5 minutes or maybe you qualified but missed the lottery by a few minutes. With so many people trying to get into Boston each year, you not only need to reach your qualifying time you need an additional 4:52 just to get accepted into the Boston Marathon. While we wouldn’t discourage someone that was a bit further away from a PR or BQ, the shoe alone is not going to get you your goal. You’ll need to put in some extra work and maybe work with a coach.

If you do purchase the Nike Vaporfly 4%, we would recommend that you only use this shoe for race day or a run or two before your race to get ready. Because the Zoom X midsole is so light and soft, we don’t think it will have the same durability as other shoes. We’d recommend training in the Nike Zoomfly Flyknit and racing in the Nike Vaporfly 4%.

The Nike Vaporfly 4% is available in these select Big Peach Running Co. locations. If you’re not in the Atlanta area, call one of these locations to purchase over the phone. We offer free shipping.

BPRC Alpharetta (Map)
5530 Windward Parkway
Alpharetta, GA 30004
BPRC Marietta (East Cobb) (Map)
1062 Johnson Ferry Road
Marietta, GA 30068
BPRC Midtown (Map)
800 Peachtree St. NE
Atlanta, GA 30308
BPRC Suwanee (Map)
320 Town Center Ave.
Suwanee, GA 30024


Check out the video below and watch our tester put the Nike Vaporfly 4% through its paces.