66 Changes Afoot With Running Shoes

Yes, pardon the pun, but changes seem to be afoot in the world of the running shoe. This is because, in the last 14 months, the five fastest marathons of all time have been run with the latest version of the Nike Vaporfly.

I love talking running shoes! While these recent results involve elite runners at the top of the running pyramid; what are the implications for age group runners?

COST - I freely admit it, I’m cheap when it comes to buying a quality running shoe and don’t possess brand loyalty! While I love talking running shoes, I accept the challenge to buy my next pair at the best quality while not breaking the $100 Cnd ($75 US) mark. Last weekend, I priced out the Vaporfly at one store for $330 Cnd ($248 US). In the future, look for competition among running shoe companies to intensify on this front. Look for economy of scale to come into play that results in a lower price for a shoe like the Vaporfly.

TECHNICAL - From my research into the Vaporfly, two features seem to set it apart from other shoes contributing to these record-setting results: 1) carbon plate located in the sole and 2) unique foam which increases energy return from ground contact. These features would likely be important for the age group runner to consider when purchasing shoes in the future.

RESULTS – Nike reported runners to be 5% faster when testing the latest model of the Vaporfly. For a four-hour marathon runner that works out to time savings or ‘free speed’ of 12 minutes just from wearing the shoes. From my research, the time savings (from being faster) doesn’t  seem to happen immediately. Runners testing the Vaporfly reported there is a learning curve with using this shoe technology to go faster.

SHOE ROTATION – Like many of you, I'm rotating four pairs of shoes right now depending on the situation e.g. road, trail, race, etc.

THEREFORE, if COST EFFECTIVE, I would use a shoe with a CARBON PLATE and ENERGY RETURNING FOAM by first LEARNING how to benefit from this technology then using it in RACE SITUATIONS.

How about you? Is a shoe like the Vaporfly in your future?

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