NIKE ZOOMX VAPORFLY NEXT% 2 REVIEW. THE CARBON PLATE RUNNING SHOE REDESING.
Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2 review. The carbon plate running shoe evolves. Our RUNNING SHOES section presents today the 2021 version of this best-sellers shoe, despite its high price of 250 €.
A shoe whose numbers are: 200 grams, 8mm drop and a ground height of up to 40mm in the heel. All its variables advertise a shoe that seeks elite competition. Let’s go with the analysis by Mayayo.
NIKE ZOOMX VAPORFLY NEXT% 2
The Nike Vaporfly wasn’t the first carbon plate running shoe, but because of its commercial impact it was the one that changed the rules of the game. Its massive use in the elite helped propel runners to new personal bests and world records since its launch in 2016.
In response to this success, almost all other brands have then launched their carbon plate competition runnning shoes, creating a subsegment with prices starting at 200€ almost in 100% of the cases.
The 2019 Vaporfly Next was the next step, which also went up to 275€ of investment to get a pair of them. In 2020, Nike launched the Alphafly NEXT%, the shoe that Eliud Kipchoge used to run the first marathon of less than 2 hours and which recently brought us a new version “Nike ZoomX Alphafly Kenya”.
This new Nike Vaporfly NEXT% 2 from 2021 is a relatively modest update, but promises to be a new breakthrough. That is mainly due to the fact that the price of the shoe has dropped from those 275€ of the initial version, to the current 250€.
Moreover, while the overall performance has remained the same the 2021 version rains with an improved cover, which provides a more comfortable fit around the toes specifically. So, an interesting breakthrough, but it continues to be at the top of the segment’s price range.
Would you make that extra money effort that Nike asks us for, versus other alternatives from giants like Adidas or New Ballance? Let’s first look at the details of this Vaporfly Next 2 and then its rivals.
NIKE ZOOMX VAPORFLY NEXT 2: DATA SHEET.
As you can see, it’s a pure and hard racing shoe. Expensive, too. But for those who train days, weeks, months or even years to improve their PB, it can be a very profitable investment.
- Price: 250€. A healthy reduction from the first Vaporfly in 2019.
- Weigh: 200gr. Among the lightest in the segment… or almost. A standout advantage.
- Recommended Use: Competition or very fast runs. Running sub35m the 10k would be reference.
- Runner type: Lightweight up to 65kg and with fine technique so not to suffer with the enormous height to the ground.
- Drop 8 mm. With that wedge and that height on the ground, to take advantage of it, you have to know how to run.
- Ground height: 32mm front – 40mm rear. The maximum allowed by World Ahtletics.
- Available colors: 2 (see below)
- Sizes: 37.5EUR to 47EUR
NIKE ZOOMX VAPORFLY NEXT% 2 : HIGHLIGHTS.
Despite all the new competition, the truth is that the Nike Zoom X Vaporfly NEXT% is still the best-selling running racing shoe. With that popularity and tremendous margins in mind, it’s understandable that Nike has opted for a relatively modest update to this Vaporfly 2. In fact, perhaps the REAL key change is the new lowest price.
The Vaporfly are real racing shoes. That means it must be light and light. For most Spanish runners, where the 43EUR is the most common number in the samplers, its weight will be around 200 grams, perhaps a few grams more than the previous one but nothing relevant.
The Vaporfly 2 fits your usual brand size faithfully. There may have now a little more toe space than in the original NEXT%, but it will be very rare for your foot to feel better by changing size now.
CARBON PLATE AND 40MM GROUND HEIGHT.
Its design differential comes from a full-length carbon plate on the midsole. That plate is interspersed in a large Nike ZoomX cushioning mattress. The height of it rises up to 40mm on the heel, so squeezing them is not only a matter of speed and power, but also a refined technique in the tread. Without it, they can do more harm than good to our ankles and knees.
There are no major changes to the midsole or sole of the Vaporfly NEXT% 2, which offer the same impressively fast and comfortable ride as its predecessor. However, it weighs slightly more than the original NEXT%, which reached just under 200g in a UK 9.
ZoomX is a soft, elastic PEBA-based foam that provides a protective yet fast ride for your long-distance racing. The board stabilizes soft foam and adds propulsion at every step, helping you run more efficiently so you can more easily maintain your running pace for longer. The shoe has an 8 mm drop from heel to toe, and the heel stack reaches the 40 mm World Athletics limit.
The rubber sole is what weighs the most in every shoe, therefore, as is normal in any racing shoe, there is not much rubber on the sole of the Vaporfly NEXT% 2. Little more than a cover on the fore foot and two small sections on the heel.
This has the advantage that it keeps the weight low while providing grip where you need it most. In return, it doesn’t last as long as the full rubber outsole I’d wear in a workout shoe.
Therefore, given their high price, we suggest to exclusively use it on the competition day and key trainings. With the extra mental benefit of knowing that next to the bib, that day you’re wearing the “flyers”.
The asymmetric cover is where all changes have been made. It is now a softer and breathable mesh compared to the VaporWeave fabric used in the original Vaporfly NEXT%. Nike has also added a reinforced section around the front of the toe, and this helps keep the top away from your fingers to ensure there are no frictions.
Another change is on the reed, where Nike has added some cushioning to reduce pressure on the top of the foot when tightening the displaced laces. This subtle change makes the difference in the race, with the slight pressure we sometimes feel with the Vaporfly NEXT% disappearing completely.
NIKE ZOOM VAPORFLY NEXT2: CONCLUSION.
This Vaporfly 2 is a shoe designed to COMPETE. And more, at the next price… Givenits lightness it will be an excellent choice for short races like 5K, while for its large amount of cushioning it is also comfortable enough for the marathon. There will even be athletes that will bet on them in the ultra distance. However, we insist whenever your fine technique allows you to squeeze them without damaging your ankles or knees.
In fact, the running efficiency gains you get from them, will perhaps be greater in longer events, such as half marathons or marathons. If you move it well, maintaining your running pace should be a little easier for longer.
The 2021 changes are generally welcome all: Not only the price, but also the wider fit now on the front, as we now have more space on the toe in particular. The knit mesh used is also more breathable than the Vapor in the original NEXT% and also drains water more and better if you have to compete in the rain.
Well, like most racing shoes, they are not meant to last long. Neither the sole nor the foam will give you the same feeling once you exceed the first 300 km. An important difference with the approx 800km that we think here should last us healthy a running shoe for regular training.
ah! And keep it on the asphalt or tartan whenever you can, because its relatively soft sole will wear out faster in the forest track terrain or trail which are more abrasive.
NIKE ZOOM VAPORFLY NEXT2: ALTERNATIVES.
ADIDAS ADIZERO ADIOS PRO. The new version brings innovations such as lightstrikePRO and EnergyRods carbon rods. Price 200€ Weight 247 grams. Drop 10mm.
It is born with the aim of maintaining maximum speed in long distance races. Its ambitious purpose is, according to the German brand, to help elite runners break world, national or personal records. No complexes! 🙂
NEW BALANCE FUELCELL RC ELITE : Pure racing shoe, with a range of uses from the 5k to the Marathon. This is the most “racing” version derived from the NB Fuelcell TC that we have already presented here. Price 230€; weight 207 grams, Drop 10mm.
It arrives with a lower weight, coupled with new cushioning, sole and cover to look for that point that we are always looking for on the day of the race. We go with the technical analysis by Mayayo and, given its limited availability, we point you where to buy it from now on, if it calls you.
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