- Jan. 19, 2023
-- Ever since Pheidippides ran from Marathon to Athens, athletes of all levels have marveled at the pursuit of running a marathon.1 26.2 miles is an incredibly daunting task, and professionals to amateurs alike have learned to respect the distance – the race does not owe anyone anything. The allure of competitive racing is the act of accomplishing something that many others cannot, as well as breaking personal barriers and records. For years, feats in professional distance running saw few advances and many runners were reaching unbreakable plateaus using the same shoes they've been wearing for years (with very minor advances in shoe technology). However, in recent years, many big players in sportswear have begun to develop what are now being called "super shoes."2 Basically, this category of running footwear is inclusive of any shoe that is meant to be fast and lightweight with enough cushion and bounce to propel your next step to the finish.3 However, it is the implementation of a few more specific attributes that has garnered attention from runners, coaches, and sports journalists worldwide – carbon plates and engineered mesh upper.4 The addition of this plate, along with lightweight yet stable uppers, allows for a greater energy return during a runner's stride and was marketed to have increased running economy by roughly over 4%, hence Nike's naming of their shoe to be the "Vaporfly 4%.