Tech battle: Nike launches the next VaporFly Next%, and how does Adidas respond?

Running – the simplest possible big sport – is increasingly drawn into the technology race familiar to the 21st century. Recently, the richest sports corporation in the world, Nike, has decided to return to its roots, remembering that they are not manufacturers of football and hockey uniforms and a golf carriage, but, above all, a running company, and big money began to produce new types of sneakers. First of all, this is, of course, the notorious VaporFly 4%. Many copies have been broken about them – whether they are mechanical doping, whether they give a real increase in the pace of running with the same energy costs, are they suitable for everyone who needs to shell out for them, whether they cause injuries, etc. There is even research on this subject, although they are sponsored by … Nike, which drastically reduces their value. Marketing is wildly divorced, so much money has never been pumped into running shoes. I have already conducted several seminars on this topic, which is not surprising – people are ready to pay for a story from slippers starting at $ 250. I will not dive into this topic now. At the moment, VaporFly 4% is not prohibited, and anything that is not prohibited is allowed. Already several brands have carefully approached this kind of marathon – a carbon spring plate inside the sole, the main element. And I’m still waiting for the main competitor – Adidas to join the technology race! It was Adidas who first used the carbon plate in marathons in the early 2000s in their super progressive Adistar Competition. At that time I owned a running store and persuaded me to bring a batch of these marathons to Russia, we were then the exclusive sellers of Adidas Performance in Russia. The Adistar Competition was really cool with the carbon ProPlate. I myself avoided myself until it crunched. It was in them that I ran my last competitive 5 out of 16 minutes in Luja in 2004, shortly before leaving for the Athens 2004 Olympics.

Vasily Parnyakov, Luzhniki, 2004. I still have a brand new pair of Adistar Competition on hold – I want to experiment with them this summer.

Nike is now releasing a new VaporFly update – Next%. April 27, 2019 – world premiere.

Eliud Kipchoge and Mo Farah will run the London Marathon 2019 with them and will be available for purchase worldwide on Saturday. Estimated price $ 275. VP Next% is much closer to the original VP4%, in which Kipchoge ran his 2-hour show race in Mons, and then Nike’s elite ran the marathons. Compared to VP4% increased grip on wet pavement, the previous ones slipped noticeably, reduced heel-toe drop to 8mm, added ZoomX in the forefoot, increased stability, changed the upper to super-light by removing FlyKnit and softening the heel, which often rubbed to blood even from the professionals.

So they write – until I held Next% in my hands and ran myself. Whether they were made more resilient at this price is unclear. According to the new rules of the IAAF, it is possible to perform only in those sneakers that are available to more or less everyone – we are not talking about the price. And what does Adidas answer? On the site, the old Adizero Sub2s are already flaunting as top marathons – with a discount and a marvelous pink in the male version of the color.

There is no plate, good old Boost – that’s all. Not that you can’t run fast in them – Worknesh Degefa in Sub2 in Boston rolled like children of all Nike women in custom VP4%. But as time goes on, Adidas is losing the running market, just as Nike had lost it before and has practically lost it. I’m already worried – did Adidas surrender and leave us all at the mercy of the triumphant monopolist winner? And will Asics give up its hard-earned leadership in the running market without a fight?

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