The Only Shoe Shalane Flanagan Will Wear (And 3 Other Shoes That Are Great for Race Day)

Shalane Flanagan & Amy Cragg at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trial in 2016

Shalane Flanagan & Amy Cragg at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trial in 2016

By Takia McClendon

In a recent Instagram post, Shalane Flanagan, the U.S. four-time Olympian, Olympic Medalist and New York Times best selling author made a shocking announcement to her 123,000 followers: "...When I first tried the Nike Zoomfly 4% it was love at first run. I will never wear another flat to train or race in again". That's a bold statement from an American record holder.

So what's the scoop on this shoe?

Screen grab via Instagram.com

Screen grab via Instagram.com

Last week, Nike made headlines when they announced three new shoes that have been developed around Breaking2. Breaking2 is the company's attempt to break the 2 hour marathon. That's right, Nike is working with three elite runners to run the marathon in under 2 hours! Yikes. There's no wonder the shoe's technology, a new midsole material and full-length carbon plate, has already been the topic of discussion in running blogs and even the New York Times

If one thing's for certain, Shalane Flanagan is loving the technology in the Vaporfly 4%. According to her post, she wore the shoes and finished third at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, reached a new half-marathon pr, set a new American record in the 10K and placed 6th in the marathon at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. 

Can a running shoe really help you go faster?

Many runners sure do hope so. If you're wondering if you'll ever be able to get your hands on these shoes, you're in luck. The Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% and the Nike Zoom Vaporfly will be available for purchase on June 8, 2017. Here's what you need to know: 

Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% via Nike.com

Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% via Nike.com

The Vaporfly 4% [$250] : 

  • Performance-driven design of the Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% makes runners 4% more efficient compared to Nike's previous fastest marathon shoe.
  • Features a carbon fiber plate to minimize energy loss during toe bend without increasing demand for the calf.
  • New Nike ZoomX midsole provides cushioning over every stride to return energy for push off.
Nike Zoom Vaporfly via nike.com

Nike Zoom Vaporfly via nike.com

The Vaporfly [$150]:

  • Fast enough for race day, yet durable enough for everyday training
  • 10mm offset is designed to minimize Achilles strain
  • Nike's Lunarlon foam creates a light, responsive underfoot experience, while an embedded full-length carbon infused nylon plate increases stiffness.

To learn more about Breaking2, click here or listen to this podcast via Runner's World. 

Shalane Flanagan being carried after the U.S. 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials while wearing the Vaporfly 4%.

Shalane Flanagan being carried after the U.S. 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials while wearing the Vaporfly 4%.


3 Other Shoes That Are Great for Race Day

If the price tag on Flanagan's favorite shoes are a little too high, here are three other great shoes that are perfect for making your way around the track and for lining up on race day. 

Brooks Launch 4 [$100]: Lightweight, responsive ride that you can count on to feel fresh and springy mile after mile.

Nike Zoom Air Elite 9 [$120]: A Nike Zoom Air unit in the forefoot creates a snappy, responsive ride to help you spring into your step.

New Balance Vazee Pace 2 [$110]: A responsive, lightweight midsole makes these shoes feel fast.

What do you think about Shalane's new favorite shoes? Do you have a favorite running shoe that you can't live without?


Takia McClendon is the co-founder of City Fit Girls. She's a shoe expert and manager at a running store in Philadelphia and a Certified Level 1 USATF Coach. Follow her online at @takiamcclendon. 

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