Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%

Truthfully, I think it’s dumb to post a review about the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% (or just Nike Vaporfly Next%). Before reading anything, you’ve already made up your mind if you are going to buy the Nike Vaporfly Next%. Most brands are coming up with some form of carbon fiber plate shoe, Nike just did so first. There is plenty of research to shoe the Nike Vaporfly Next% does make you run faster, but you also have to put in the work.

It’s no secret there have been plenty of world records run and races like the London Marathon won and Eliud Kipchoge has run the fastest marathon time. The Next Vaporfly Next% is a race day shoe. I would do some training in the running shoes, but save most of the shoe for racing. That way you get the most out of your money because the Nike Vaporfly Next% is not durable.

Anyway, since Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% is a lot to type out, I’ll just say the Nike Next%. You get it.  I do believe the second version of the Nike Vaporfly has gotten a good update, and I wouldn’t be as worried about sliding down the streets on a poor weather day.

Nike Vaporfly Next% Fit:

Like the Nike Zoom Fly 3, the Nike Next% now uses Vaporweave. According to Nike, the Vaporweave absorbs 93% less water. This isn’t limited to rain but also includes sweat. A common complaint was the flyknit upper absorbed the moisture and made your feet feel sloppy (which is true).

The Vaporweave upper material is transparent and also lighter than the Flyknit and mixes two plastics: TPU and TPE.  So be sure to wear cool socks, because you’ll see them.

Outside of the Vaporweave material, the toe box is wider. The Nike Next% isn’t made in wides, but it does fit wider. The laces are now asymmetrical to remove the pressure that some had on the top of their foot.

Nike Next% fits true to size. I wear a women’s size 10-11 wide and I found the unisex 9 to be sufficient.

Nike Vaporfly Next% Ride:

The Nike, Next% ride, is where all of the magic happens. That’s why people (myself included) are willing to spend the $250. Much of the shoe’s performance benefit comes from Nike’s ZoomX foam.

For Nike Next%, the Nike team added more ZoomX.  By adding an additional 4 mm of stack height, they added 1 mm of ZoomX foam. Why does this matter? The ride is significantly different than previous versions. The heel to toe drop of the Nike Next% is now 8 mm when previously it was 11 mm. (Your calves might be sorer).

Finally, the most important feature Nike added to the Next% was the rubberized bottom. Now if you run in a torrential downpour (like say Boston), you won’t slide around. Plus instead of the Nike Next% lasting 50 miles, it will last about 100.

Nike Vaporfly Next% Conclusion:

The Nike Next% is a faster shoe than the previous Nike Vaporfly. I’m surprised; it didn’t jump in cost because of more expensive materials to use in the product.  If you are willing to spend $250 to shave a minute or two off your race, then it’s worth it. Other brands are coming out with a similar carbon plated shoe soon too.

With the exception of NYCM last year, none of my PRs are from the Next % series. Last year at NYCM was the first marathon I ran in over 3 years so I don’t attribute PRing with the shoes. I personally have mixed feelings about the shoe. I think there are better shoes for shorter distances, but I do think they are a good marathon shoe (because I didn’t injure myself during last year’s marathon).


Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Hoka Bondi 6,  Brooks Ghost 12

Speed Work: New Balance FuelCell RebelReebok Float Ride Run fast ProHoka RinconNike Pegasus Turbo 2

Long Runs: New Balance FuelCell RebelMizuno R2Hoka Cavu 2

Races: Nike Next%,  Reebok Run fast Pro, 

You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.

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Questions for you:

Have you bought a pair of Nike Nike%?

Do you love them? 

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  1. Great review. I bought my first pair of these a few days ago after trying them on at a running store, and comparing the fit to the original. The original had a sloppy fit, and no matter how tightly I tied it, I could easily slip it off my foot without untying the laces. So the Next fixed that issue for me. I can’t wait to actually run in them.

  2. I haven’t decided if I’ll ever buy the Next%, I passed on the 4%. I just don’t know if I can justify the price but I am curious and have come close to buying. Reviews will never tell me if they will work for me but I’m still addicted to reading them so thanks for the write-up.

    1. Ha too funny Gary. If you do try the Next% or 4%, you’ll have to let me know. I’m always interested to hear about how people like that shoe.

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