The Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% is one of the fastest and most controversial road running shoe ever created. It is just as popular as it is fast: whenever Nike releases another batch, it gets bought up almost instantly. Fear not, though, for we have collected all the best Nike Vaporfly alternative running shoes that are equally as competent as the coveted Nike and can also be bought in stores now (or will be released soon).
Many people claim the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% are the best running shoes ever made; and although it certainly brought more attention to and revolutionised modern day road running, there had been running shoes before – and there certainly will be in the future – that made a significant impact on running as a sport.
The announcement of its successor, the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT%, made the demand for the Vaporfly NEXT% surge even higher. If you can't wait until the new Alphafly is available to buy, have a look at the list below of current and upcoming best Nike Vaporfly alternative running shoes.
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1. Hoka One One Carbon X
The Hoka Carbon X has been one of the first true Nike Vaporfly alternatives, even before it was a thing. Hoka is famous for its oversized soles and chunky design; the Carbon X has those qualities and marries it with an integrated carbon plate and a lightweight upper that really is only there to hold the hunk of sole against your feet as you run.
If you haven't tried running in the Hoka One One Carbon X before, you definitely should, it's a thrill of a ride to run in these shoes.
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2. Saucony Endorphin Pro
In running circles, it's all about being fast and feeling fast at the moment. Adidas' current campaign is called 'Faster than...' while Saucony is going with "The evolution of fast". The embodiment of this principle is the Saucony Endorphin Pro, a road running shoe that features the updated PWRRUN PB cushioning and Saucony's 'signature' S-curve carbon fiber plate for extra propulsion.
The SPEEDROLL curved outsole can help you shift from heel to toe in one smooth movement and the FORMFIT upper "wraps the foot in 3D comfort" to provide a secure fit. Just in case you need some extra encouragement to buy these shoes, we'll let you know that the default colourway is called "White mutant". That in itself should be enough reason to buy this speedster.
The Saucony Endorphin Pro has an offset of 8 mm and weighs in at 7.5oz/213 grams (men size 10).
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3. New Balance FuelCell TC
The New Balance FuelCell TC is a brilliant shoe: it feel soft and bouncy under the feet, comes with an integrated carbon-plate wedged in the middle of the sole and a lightweight mesh upper for extra ventilation. It is also less odd looking than the Vaporfly NEXT%, so there is that as well.
If you are after a running experience that really closely resembles the Nike ZoomZ Vaporfly NEXT%, get the New Balance FuelCell TC.
4. UA HOVR Machina
Maybe a bit heavier than the rest of the shoes on this list, still the UA HOVR Machina is probably the most accessible of the lot. The HOVR Machina features the Pebax propulsion plate and the UA HOVR foam for maximum energy return.
For even more propulsion, carbon rubber pods have been placed under the heel to deliver "greater traction and durability at high-impact strike zones".
Better still, it is a £100 cheaper than the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% and contains loads of useful tech. Just saying.
5. Adidas Adizero Pro
The Adidas Adizero Pro was announced in Feb 2020 and follows the footsteps of the exceptional Adidas Adios line of long distance running shoes. As a main feature, the Adizero Pro features a multidirectional Carbitex carbon plate that provides maximum propulsion at toe-off point.
Adidas has completely revamped the midsole for the Adizero Pro: the new compound is the combination of Lightstrike and Boost technology, a mix that allegedly provides the same riding dynamics regardless of the temperature. The Continental rubber outsole is hard-wearing and grippy, especially on hard surfaces like concrete.
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6. Brooks Hyperion Elite
The Brooks Hyperion Elite uses the DNA Zero midsole technology and it works in tandem with Brooks' Carbon Fibre Propulsion Plate to give you the best energy return shoes Brooks has ever created.
Just 5 grams heavier than Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT%, the Brooks Hyperion Elite tries to pull off the same stunt as Nike (or even the Hoka One One Carbon X): a super lightweight, carbon-plated, well-cushioned running shoe that delivers excellent energy return and comfort. Of the three shoes mentioned, the price of the Brooks Hyperion Elite sits in the middle of the range with its £210 price tag – the Nike being £240 and the Hoka One One £160.