Hébert-Losier, K., Finlayson, S. J., Driller, M. W., Dubois, B., Esculier, J.-F., & Beaven, C. M. (2020). Evidence of variable performance responses to the Nike 4% shoe: Definitely not a game-changer for all recreational runners. SportRxiv Preprint. https://doi.org/10.31236/osf.io/ctavy
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/14310
Purpose: We compared running economy (RE) and 3-km time-trial (TT) performances of male recreational runners wearing the Nike Vaporfly 4% (NIKE), lightweight racing flats (FLAT), and their habitual footwear (OWN). Methods: Eighteen male recreational runners [age: 33.5 (11.9) y, V̇O2peak: 55.8 (4.4) mL·kg-1·min-1] attended 4 sessions ~7 days apart. The first session consisted of a V̇O2peak test to inform subsequent RE speeds set at 60, 70, and 80% of the speed eliciting V̇O2peak. In subsequent sessions, treadmill RE and 3-km TT were assessed in the three footwear in a randomised, counterbalanced crossover design. Results: RE was improved in NIKE (3.6 to 4.5%, p ≤ 0.002) and FLAT (2.4 to 4.0%, p ≤ 0.042) versus OWN across intensities, with a trivial difference between NIKE and FLAT (1.0 to 1.6%, p ≥ 0.325). NIKE 3-km TT (11:07.6 ± 0:56.6 mm:ss) was superior to OWN by 16.6 s (2.4%, p = 0.005) and FLAT by 13.0 s (1.8%, , p = 0.032), with similar times between OWN and FLAT (0.5%, , p = 0.747). Only 29% of runners were more economical across intensities and faster in NIKE. Conclusions: Overall, our findings indicate that NIKE could benefit RE in male recreational runners at relative speeds when compared to OWN, but not when compared to FLAT. More runners exhibited better TT performances in NIKE (61%) versus FLAT (22%) and OWN (17%). The high variability in individual RE (-3.1 to 12.1%) and TT (-3.8 to 8.2%) shoe-responses suggests that individualisation of running footwear prescription is warranted.
Center for Open Science
This article is published under the CC-By Attribution 4.0 International licence.