Reviews,  Running

Are the Nike Vaporfly 4% worth it? – Amateur Runner Review

Before I get into the ‘review’, I should probably let you know that I’m not a fast runner. So I can’t tell you how they feel at 5:00/mi pace gliding down the road. Also, I’m a bit of a sneakerhead so I’m more willing to buy them than some other people. BUT, I’ll try to make this balanced and see it from a few angles.

I currently have both the V1 Vaporfly and the V2 which is the flyknit version. So I’ll be talking about the whole Vaporfly series, not just one pair. However, I might throw in a comparison section at the end.

First impressions

There is still sooooo much hype about these shoes.. so when I first ran in them I was expecting fireworks. It’s a feeling that I’ve never had from another running shoe and it’s very hard to describe. It’s almost like you’re on stilts, but one’s that you can run for miles and miles on. They have an incredible bounce to them and they just make you want to run fast. Also, I find myself aching a lot less after a run in these. Saying that, the first time I ran in them, my calf muscles were in pieces the day after, I’m assuming because they were being used more than usual.

Being a sneakerhead, the looks of a running shoe is really important to me and these don’t let me down. In my opinion, you’ll struggle to find a better looking running shoe than the Vaporfly. There are a few Hoka’s that I like the look of too but these are in a league of their own.

I ordered my usual size in Nike running shoes which is a UK11 and they seem to fit fine. I’ve seen a few people saying that the flyknit version fit a bit smaller but I’m yet to notice that.


The style – There’s no denying it, these are some beautiful running shoes. From the fat pointy midsole, to the details on the tongue (V1).

Performance – The Vaporfly 4% is everywhere. The start line of most races is littered with them. The amount of science behind these shoes is insane and there’s a great documentary on youtube about Nike’s ‘Breaking 2 Project’. Records are being destroyed in these shoes and I’m excited to see what’s coming next.

What comes with having the Vaporfly on – The amount of attention that this shoe brings with it is crazy. Especially with me being a fairly slow runner, people always look surprised when I bring out the 4%. I suppose this attention could be a bad thing, just depends how you look at it.


Stability (lack of it) – As these are a racing shoe, they offer very little stability. This can make it less than ideal for the average runner who doesn’t have the perfect technique. This is especially noticeable when walking in the 4%. My poor arch form/whatever you want to call it, means that I can sometimes collapse inwards on the shoes a bit. Obviously if you have better form and better arches, this won’t be an issue for you.

Price – At the moment they’re coming in at £209.95. That’s a lot of money.. But to answer your question, yes they are worth it.

Other talking points

Durability – This always comes up when talking about the Vaporfly 4% so I thought I’d share my experience with it. I purposely didn’t include this in the pros or cons section because it’s just average. My V1 Vaporfly’s have over 100 miles on them and my flyknit’s have roughly 27 miles on them. I’ll post some pictures of the wear below but I think they’re doing pretty well (for a racing shoe). Let me know what you think.

V1 or V2? – I personally prefer the looks of the V1 but prefer the fit of the V2. I feel like the current colour options on the V2 haven’t yet caught up to the amazing style of the V1, but there’s still time. I’d recommend just getting both pairs if you can.

Why they’re worth it (for me)

Yes, they’re expensive, but my word they’re beautiful. The feeling you get when running in them is 2nd to none and they just encourage you to run fast. If you can afford the £209.95, I’d say go for it. I’ll even put a link for them below because I want you to try them.

This has been a bit of a weird review (if you can call it that), but there you go. Let me know your thoughts on the Vaporfly 4%. Thanks for reading, peace.


  • Liz Johnson

    Really interesting post Kieran. Would love to try them but fear looking an absolute idiot on the the start line because I don’t think I’m ‘fast enough’ for them! My other half, who is fairly speedy (2:55 marathon time) swears by his Adidas Bostons which look soooo different to these but I secretly think he’d love to give these a shot too!

    • kierancooper

      Nooo everyone is fast enough for the 4%, you’re quicker than me anyway. Wow that is speedy, must be a good shoe because I see a lot of people wearing them. Try and convince him to try the 4% out, but be warned he might get addicted!

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