When you look at the podium of any major marathon over the past few years, chances are the smiling elite runner will have a pair of the Nike Vaporfly Next% on his or her feet. The original super shoe, the Nike Vaporfly 4% broke the mold six years ago, and fast forward a few years the Nike Vaporfly Next% 2 has been wildly popular with elite athletes and amateur marathon runners alike. But it’s about to receive an update, as Nike’s super shoe gets lighter, and faster.
The Nike Vaporfly Next% 3 is due to drop this March. Here’s everything you need to know about the shoe:
Nike Vaporfly Next% 3: Price and release date
The Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 3 (we’ll call it the Vaporfly Next% 3 in this article), is due to go on sale on March 6 in a ‘prototype’ white colorway, although there will be more colorways to come. The shoe will cost $250/£225, which is the same price as the Vaporfly Next% 2 when it launched in March 2021.
Like all of Nike’s super shoes, it’s likely to be hard to get hold of for the first few months. Normally Nike shoes go on sale to members beforehand, so now’s a good time to sign up if you haven’t already.
If you are on a budget, now is a good time to buy the Nike Vaporfly Next% 2, which is likely to be on sale now the newer shoe has dropped.
Nike Vaporfly Next% 3: What’s new?
We’re yet to get our hands on the Vaporfly Next% 3 (watch this space), but from the looks of things, the main differences to the shoe are structural, in an attempt to make the shoe lighter. Nike claims the shoe has more energy return than ever before too, but we’re yet to test whether that is indeed the case.
The shoe has a new, reshaped midsole, with triangular chunks cut out of the side of the midsole, and the heel. This is likely to cut down on the weight of the shoe — the Vaporfly Next% 3 is reportedly 198g (6.98 oz) for a men’s US 10, compared to the Vaporfly Next% 2, which weighed 215.7g (7.53 oz). While 17g (0.6 oz) might not be all that noticeable for the majority of runners, these are designed for some of the fastest runners on the planet, where every ounce makes a difference.
The upper is also a lot thinner than the Next% Vaporfly 2, and indeed the original Vaporfly, which had an almost plastic-feeling upper. The Flyknit yarn looks to be see-through, and again, super lightweight — more like the upper on the Saucony Endorphin Pro 3.
One of the main complaints with the original Vaporfly and the Vaporly Next% 2 was that it was a little unstable around corners, especially when running fast — which is what the shoe is designed to do. The midsole foam appears to be covered in small ridges, which Nike says is to rectify these stability issues, saying, “The engine of the Vaporfly 3 remains the same, with the propulsive feel runners love from the pairing of a full-length carbon fiber Flyplate and ZoomX midsole. The Vaporfly 3’s reductive midsole geometry features a convex shape around the forefoot, providing a comfortable and stable ride throughout your transition with Nike’s most resilient foam.”
While we're yet to run in the Vaporfly 3, we got hands-on with the shoe at a Nike event in February. The shoe felt pretty similar to the Vaporfly 2, however, it now has chunks cut out of the midsole. The upper feels pretty tough, yet also lightweight, similar to the Flyknit we saw on the Alphafly and Alphafly Next% 2.
We’ll be updating this page with a full Vaporfly 3 review once we have our hands (and feet) on a pair of the Vaporfly Next% 3. A lot has changed in the past six years, and pretty much every running brand out there has designed a carbon fiber running shoe to take on the Vaporfly, so whether Nike still reaches the top spot on the podium remains to be seen.