Not long after the Nike Invincible 3 was launched, Nike is back with an absolute bombshell of an announcement. Soon, you'll be able to own the latest iteration of what many runners consider the best running shoes ever made, the Nike Vaporfly 3. Key updates include a smoother transition, improved stability and more energy return in the Vaporfly 3's lightweight design.
Nike is in a tricky situation with the shoes. Firstly, the Vaporfly has been immensely popular from the get-go, and it still is – just look around what runners are wearing on your next race. On the other hand, people love to see frequent updates on their favourite Nike running shoes, like the Nike Pegasus 39 or the Nike Alphafly 2. Put it this way: from a technical point of view, Nike didn't have to update the Vaporfly, but to make sure the shoes stayed relevant in the ever-so-saturated super shoe market, it was time to roll out some changes.
Building on learnings from the Nike Vaporfly 2, Nike designers focused on refining the Vaporfly’s lightweight design with improvements to "meet the timeless needs of distance runners, including a smoother transition, improved stability and more energy return," Nike explains. Of course, Nike didn't want to disturb its goose that lays the golden egg too much; the engine of the Vaporfly 3 remains the same, with the propulsive feel from the pairing of a full-length carbon fibre Flyplate and ZoomX midsole.
That said, the new Vaporfly 3 introduces a reductive midsole geometry that features a convex shape around the forefoot, providing a comfortable and stable ride throughout your transition with Nike’s most resilient foam (a.k.a. the goose mentioned above). Nike also updated the Flyknit yarn upper to provide better lockdown at any distance.
The shoes are launched in the Prototype colourway, ala the Nike ZoomX Streakfly and the Alphafly 2 mentioned above. “The Prototype colourway of the Vaporfly 3 is a nod to our development process, where the athlete and everyday runner feedback critically informs and guides our innovation journey from start to finish,” says Elliott Heath, Nike Running Senior Footwear Product Manager.
Several design features in the model’s first colourway pay tribute to the Nike Running team’s development journey. Graphic text on the midsole nods to the number of Flyknit upper iterations the team tested (57) and a dedicated weartester’s identification number (20126-23). The iconic drop Swoosh against the all-white silhouette pays homage to the first-ever Vaporfly worn at a Breaking 2 test event in 2017.
Launching in the Prototype colourway, the Nike Vaporfly 3 will be available on 6 March 2023 at Nike US, Nike UK, Nike AU and select running speciality stores for a recommended retail price of $250/£235 (approx. AU$435). More colourways will follow.