Nike Vaporfly 3

nike vaporfly 3Nike Vaporfly 3

The Nike Vaporfly 3 is the latest in Nike’s line of carbon-infused, super shoes for running. Simply put: they are designed to make athletes run faster. The Vaporfly 3 features two energy returning cushion technologies, ie a full-length carbon fibre plate and ZoomX foam.

At launch: USA $250 or UK £235,

The shoe is also very lightweight as, in itself, lower weight improves running speed more than would seem initially obvious.

The Vaporfly and its Alphafly sibling are not without their detractors both suffering a common criticism of high expense and a lack of durability. Additionally, running shoes’ carbon fibre plates can feel stiff to some.

Key Construction Elements

The Nike Vaporfly 3 features a number of key construction elements, including:

  • ZoomX foam: The Pebax foam material is made by Arkema and marketed by Nike as ZoomX. ZoomX foam is a lightweight, springy foam that provides excellent cushioning and energy return. It is more sufficiently durable but subject to UV degradation.
  • Carbon fibre plate: The carbon fibre plate is made in-house and is a stiff plate that provides stability, prevents the foot from rolling inward and returns energy to propel the runner forward.
  • Flyknit upper: The Flyknit upper is designed for comfort being a lightweight and breathable fabric that gives a snug fit.


Nike Vaporfly 3 specifications

The Nike Vaporfly 3 has the following specifications:

  • Weight: 8.6 ounces (men’s) / 7.3 ounces (women’s)
  • Drop: 4mm
  • Stack height: 39mm (men’s) / 38mm (women’s)
  • Midsole foam: ZoomX
  • Outsole: carbon fibre plate
  • Upper: Flyknit



The Nike Vaporfly 3 is clearly an expensive shoe. The shoe retails for $250 or £235, which is significantly more than other running shoes on the market. Historically we have seen massive discounts immediately before Christmas, usually, 23/24 December, timed so that they can’t arrive in time to be a present!

Why You Should Buy Them

AlphaFly appears to be the shoe of choice for HM and marathon distances whereas my personal preference and that of many others is Vaporfly for 5k and 10k. If you only plan a HM as a B race then the VaporFly will be perfectly fine.

Nevertheless, the science shows that VaporFly improves marathon performance as follows: running economy improved by 4% to 5%, and completion time reduced by 2% to 3%. “Nike Vaporfly Shoes and Performance in Elite Marathon Runners” by Martin, Lauber and Jones (journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2019)

My experience with VaporFly in comparison to other carbon-plated shoes is that the shoes are patently faster and perhaps the fastest. However, I’m not convinced my running gait enables me to glean the full level of performance improvement. Anecdotally, it seems to me that it is the Pebax foam that delivers all the benefits. For comparison and to save some money, it might be interesting to try Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 22 which has some Pebax foam in the midsole. Take Out – VaporFly might not give YOU miracles but you can at least expect MINOR miracles! #FreeSpeed

Going Forwards: I can’t see myself ever permanently changing from Nike VaporFly shoes although I have other brands eg adidas. My personal bias in years gone by was very much against Nike, so I do believe in these shoes.


At launch: USA $250 or UK £235,

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