Nike makes some lofty claims with the Nike Vaporfly NEXT% promising to be the fastest shoe you have ever seen or used. Featuring a full-length carbon fiber plate that runs underfoot, the Vaporfly NEXT% is designed to propel you forward with each stride. With each footstrike, the carbon plate stays fixed under the forefoot but the rear portion of the plate bends under your bodyweight, which then springs back as the foot transitions forward.
This is made possible because of the Nike ZoomX foam, which not only allows the carbon plate to flex in the heel but also delivers the energy return for the propulsive sensation that helps you move faster. Additionally, the foam delivers a high level of cushion without adding weight. Nike Vaporfly NEXT% also features Nike’s signature Vaporweave material which is strong, lightweight, and water-resistant.
The shoe is engineered to support long-distance running. There are a few users who felt the heel lacked lateral and medial support at slower speeds but these are not designed to be stability shoes. Additionally, the Vaporweave material fits rather snugly and contributes to an overall feeling of narrowness on the shoe.