Sneakers
From the ground up

Today, Nike unveiled the next milestone in its Breaking2 initiative, a project with the lofty goal of helping runners complete a full marathon in under two hours.

At the 2014 Berlin Marathon, Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto tackled the full distance of 42.195 kilometers in only 2:02:57, a time which remains unbeaten today. The four pillars of this Breaking2 project are the Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite featuring a Nike ZoomX midsole, Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%, Nike Zoom Fly and Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34, heralding what Nike hopes to be a new future for running.

The new footwear range is designed to improve the efficiency of all runners, from world-class marathoners like Kimetto to amateur athletes. The innagural colorways derive inspirational cues from the speed and elegance of auto racing at Monza, an Italian city with a legacy of hosting Grand Prix and Formula One events.

Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite

Rather than continuing to follow the mantra that distance racing shoes should be lightweight and low to the ground, Nike’s Zoom Vaporfly Elite uses extra cushioning to maximize energy return. Touted as ultra-lightweight and ultra-responsive, the sneaker abandons the idea that “less is more,” conversely favoring the idea that “more is more” might better define the near future of running.

“Nike ZoomX truly enables the innovation of the Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite,” notes Tony Bignell, VP of Footwear Innovation for Nike, Inc. “The groundbreaking new Nike ZoomX midsole and curved carbon fiber plate work together to provide responsive cushioning and minimized energy loss at toe off.”

Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%

Nike’s Zoom Vaporfly 4% is named for its purported ability to make runners 4% more efficient when compared to Nike’s previous fastest marathon shoe. Nike designers have worked to make this possible through an aerodynamic heel counter, Nike Flymesh upper with midfoot dynamic archband, and a carbon fiber plate that is specially placed to reduce energy loss. These new features culminate in a racing shoe that is built for the exact needs of world-class marathoners.

Nike Zoom Fly

Up to the task of enduring a full marathon, yet tough enough for everyday training in the gym, the Nike Zoom Fly uses Lunarlon foam to provide a light, responsive ride, while an embedded full-length carbon-infused nylon plate increases stiffness. High abrasion rubber has been added to the shoe’s heel for extra durability, while Flymesh again constitutes the upper, alongside Nike Flywire on the midfoot.

The Nike Zoom Fly’s 10mm offset is designed to reduce Achilles strain, and the 33mm stack height ensures impact protection.

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34

The fourth and final member of the Breaking2 footwear family is the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34, featuring a Nike Zoom Air unit and Cushlon ST foam, saddled with an updated Flymesh upper, crafted from translucent monofilament yarn. The design efficiently ventilates the wearer’s foot and simultaneously maintains stability, while a radiused heel tapers on the lateral side to ensure a natural range of motion when running.

Stay posted for more coverage of the Breaking2 pack as it arrives, but while you wait, head to Highsnobiety‘s curated shopping channel What Drops Now to browse more of our favorite releases.

The Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%, Nike Zoom Fly and Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34 release June 8 at Nike.com and through select retailers.

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Vancouver-born, Berlin-based writer, photographer and editor with a steady hand on the keyboard.

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