Preprint / Version 1

Effects of a Highly Cushioned Racing Shoe on Running Economy at Slower Running Speeds




distance running, endurance performance, road racing, super shoes, carbon-plated, carbon plate


The Nike Vaporfly line of running shoes improve running economy by 2.7-4.2% at running speeds of 13-18 km·hr-1. It is unclear if the same benefits are conferred at slower speeds. Our purpose was to determine the effects of the Nike Vaporfly Next% 2 (VFN2) on running economy at 10 and 12 km·hr-1 compared to a mass-matched, control (CTRL) shoe. Sixteen runners completed 4 x 5-minute trials at both 10 and 12 km‧hr-1 on the same day. Each shoe was tested twice at each speed in a counterbalanced, mirrored sequence. A two-way repeated measures ANOVA showed a significant shoe x speed interaction for V̇O2 (p = 0.021). At 12 km‧hr-1, V̇O2 (ml·kg-1·min-1) was lower (-1.4 ± 1.1%; p < 0.001) for VFN2 (35.8 ± 1.7) relative to CTRL (36.4 ± 1.7). This was greater in magnitude than the differences observed at 10 km‧hr-1 (-0.9 ± 1.8%; p = 0.065) between VFN2 (29.4 ± 1.9) and CTRL (29.6 ± 1.9). From these data, it appears that the VFN2 still provides benefits to running economy at 10 and 12 km‧hr-1, however these benefits may be smaller in magnitude compared to previous research at faster speeds.


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