Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2

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Our Conclusion
The Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2 is one of the best race-day trainers out there on the market if you are able to swing the intimidating price point. What makes this shoe unique (besides the sleek and futuristic style) is that it is a super lightweight neutral runner with a lot of extra cushioning and support.

Many neutral runners tend to skimp on the overall cushioning to keep agility high and the weight low. This shoe is composed of some of Nike’s best midsole cushioning that is incredibly lightweight, while still giving you that plush step-in feel right out of the gate.

It’s great for nice and easy tempo runs, and the Zoom X cushioning firms up as you pick up the pace to provide a bright and energetic ride. Nike has rounded up all of the high-performance materials into one sleek and energetic shoe that is well worth the higher price point if you need a secret weapon at your next race.

Below, I wanted to dive into all of the advanced details that make the Nike Men's ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2 one of the best race day shoes that money can buy!
Where to Buy
Pros & Cons
ZoomX midsole cushioning
Very lightweight Carbon Plate is incredibly responsive
Sleek style
Breathable mesh upper
Offset laces
Wide toe box
Very expensive
Not ideal for heel strikers
Slightly narrow in the midfoot
Key Features
Key Features

What makes the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2 unique is that it is a neutral runner with a ton of extra cushioning and support where you need it most. The midsole is broken down into two sections that help to fight leg fatigue when running long distances, while also providing a bright and energetic ride while keeping the weight low. The midsole is composed of ZoomX foam cushioning, which is one of Nike’s most popular midsoles (for a very good reason). It provides a nice and cushioned ride on nice and easy tempo runs, and firms up quite a bit when you need to pick up the pace.

What runners also love about this design of this midsole is that it is also reinforced with a full-length carbon plate. This carbon plate is what adds that little extra spring to your step. While the plush ZoomX cushioning protects your legs and joints on long runs, the carbon plate is what gives you that extra speed edge when running in a race, or when you just want to shave a few seconds off of your PR.


One of the biggest changes made to the newest addition to the Nike Men's ZoomX Vaporfly Next% is the construction of the upper. While the changes that were made are small at first glance, they are incredibly impactful to your runs. It ditches the slightly hot Vaporweave upper and replaces it with a more lightweight and breathable Vaporfly material. Not only has the upper on this design gone on a bit of a diet, but it is also much more breathable and flexible as well for an overall better fit.

The offset laces help to boost lockdown while still feeling nice and natural. On the previous version of this shoe, many runners felt that the offset laces caused the tongue to dig into the top of the foot. Nike has addressed this issue and added very subtle padding in the tongue to create a more comfortable fit on the top of your foot.


To keep the overall weight of this shoe low, Nike uses a blend of thick and durable rubber in high-impact areas and keeps the midsole exposed in low-impact areas. It boasts a thick and durable layer of rubber in the forefoot, which allows for strong and stable toe-offs with added traction. It also has two strips of rubber on the side of the heel for added durability and performance.

The downside to this outsole is that it isn’t exactly built for heel-strikers. Many of the reinforced rubber overlays favor the toe box, which leaves heel-strikers a bit exposed. While the overall durability doesn’t suffer, heel strikers may notice the lack of support in the heels. Overall, these design features won’t hinder the overall durability, and even when exposed to continuous impact, the heel stays strong and supportive even after hundreds of miles.


The Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2 is a master of all trades. When diving into the race-day neutral running category, runners often have to sacrifice cushioning or performance. However, this shoe provides runners with ample cushioning (think Brook’s BioMoGo DNA) with a full-length carbon plate that boosts agility and speed. I would recommend this shoe for runners gearing up for a big race, or for those that just want a good deal of cushioning and performance for long-distance runs.


The fit of this shoe runs true to size. If you wear a size 10 in other Nike trainers, the same will be true for the ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2. The offset laces may look a little peculiar, but they help to really contour to the natural shape of your foot for a comfortable lockdown that melts away as you start to put miles behind you. It also boasts a wide toe box that allows your toes to naturally splay inside of the shoe for added stability and an overall comfortable fit.

One of the downsides to the fit of this shoe, however, is that it fits slightly narrow in the forefoot. Nike adds a little additional padding in the tongue to mitigate some of that tightness in your forefoot, but for some runners, it just isn’t enough. If you have a wider foot, it may be in your best interest to take these shoes on a test run before you bust out your credit card.


Nike likes to shake things up in the style department, and the styling of this shoe is no different. Be prepared for a few envious glances when you take these sneakers out for a run. It has an exaggerated outsole that comes to a point at the end, and the upper boasts a very large Nike Swoosh. While the outsole is pretty large, the upper is sleek and streamlined.

It boasts a low profile that sits below your ankle bone, and low cushioning on the heel collar and tongue keeps the styling sleek and minimalistic.


Now, onto the bad news. The price tag of this shoe is pretty steep and costs almost twice as much as race-day Hoka’s or Mizunos. However, if you are looking for the best of the best and are willing to spare no expense, this is a really great investment. In fact, many runners refer to the ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2 as their race-day secret weapon.

Also, the heightened durability will last for hundreds and hundreds of miles, so you won’t need to stash these shoes away waiting for race day. It’s a great shoe to wear while training, and the durable features will be just as strong and supportive on race day.

If you have hit a wall and just need a slight edge to run faster or for longer distances with minimal pain and fatigue, you may want to start putting some money aside to save up for this shoe!
Comparisons to Previous Versions
Nike struck gold when they designed this shoe, and they know it. Many of the performance features of this shoe remain largely unchanged as we move from the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% to the Nike Men's ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2. The style, construction, and materials used for the midsole and outsole remain exactly the same. The biggest change made to this newest model is the construction of the upper.

Nike changed the material used in the upper completely, They swapped out the Vaporweave knit and replaced it with Vaporfly mesh. This upgraded material is a lot more breathable than the previous version, it is also a little lighter and more durable as well. They also listened to complaints of previous users and added a little bit of extra padding in the tongue to prevent the tongue from digging into the top of your feet.
Want a slight edge over the competition at your next race? The Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2 may cost quite a bit more than other neutral trainers, but it is well worth every penny. This shoe does what few running shoes can do- it offers max cushioning without affecting the overall weight and responsive ride. The ZoomX midsole cushioning is one of Nike’s best inventions. It provides runners with nice step-in feel on those slow tempo runs, and firms up when you start to pick up the pace.

It’s the perfect marriage between peak cushioning and agility, which are two things that don’t often work together. While it comes in at a pretty steep price point, this shoe is well worth it for runners that need something that is durable, cushioned, and responsive for race-day as well as daily training sessions.
Where to Buy
Last updated:
Paul Lemley