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Nike Quietly Rolled Out a Revolutionary New Material Tested By The World’s Top Marathoner

The newest Nike sneaker is 11 grams lighter than previous iterations of the Zoom Vaporfly Elite.

Nike has done it again. The day after Boston and ahead of the London Marathon (both races are World Majors), Nike launched Nike Flyprint. Developed for elite runners, the 3D printed upper on race day shoes uses athlete data to design a shoe more accurately than traditional methods. The 3D printed textile upper starts with athlete data, which then informs the final textile. Since the technology conforms the fabric to the athlete’s foot, each upper can be unique to individual athletes, or to specific functions (like sprinters, distance runners, jumpers, etc.). This type of performance printing is 16 times quicker than previous manufacturing methods — meaning more shoes in less time.

The fastest marathoner in the world, Eliud Kipchoge, ran a 2:00:25 at Breaking2 (Nike’s race on a Formula One race track in Monza, Italy in attempt to run a sub-two-hour marathon), and is looking for another fast performance at the London Marathon on April 22. The new Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite Flyprint will debut on Kipchoge’s feet in London. He worked closely with the Nike Design team to figure out how to deal with rain and moisture in the shoes — which is smart considering how wet Boston was this year.

Look for the new shoes on Kipchoge in five days. These are 11 grams lighter than his original pair, so there’s no telling what his time might be.

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