In addition to soliciting feedback from their elite athletes, Nike tested the shoe on a much larger number of runners than the previous model. All that input from so many runners led to a few other noticeable changes from the Vaporfly 4%:
- A wider toe box. Runners told designers they wanted more room in the forefoot, so Nike added width. We really felt the extra width, which made the shoe more comfortable.
- Offset laces. Nike moved the laces toward the outside of the shoe to mitigate extra pressure and friction on the top of the foot when runners cinch the laces down.
- Heel fit. Designers nailed the heel fit by adding a small cushion inside the shoe that wraps around the Achilles. The light and soft wrap dials in the fit and keeps your heel from slipping.
One of our testers ran an abbreviated track workout in the NEXT% at Nike HQ. She says the NEXT% fit her perfectly.
“My heel was cradled comfortably, the forefoot was extra roomy and the cushion was top-notch,” she says.
Another small feature we love is hidden under the shoe's tongue. Nike included two boxes to let you record the date and location of your milestone marathon or your 5K PR.