The Nike Vaporfly Next %, a shoe designed to improve running economy by at least 4 percentage, wasn ’ t the only race shoe in the V-shape formation that shepherded world record-breaker Eliud Kipchoge to the first sub-two hour marathon in Vienna. Kipchoge himself wore something different—an iteration of the following % that appears to have a bulge ( air bags, if you listen to the Internet ) in the forefoot .
We ’ ll get a better look at the prototype as images from the INEOS 1:59 Challenge surface, but until then, we ’ ve got something better : A U.S. patent filed by Nike in 2018 that looks highly like to Kipchoge ’ s Vienna shoe. The patent drawings, recently unearthed by the site Believe in the Run, outline a padding apparatus that includes a segment exclusive, three plates ( likely carbon character ), and up to four fluid-filled chambers. Of run, the shoe international relations and security network ’ t the only divisor in Kipchoge ’ s historic function. first base, he ’ s intelligibly the “ GOAT, ” holding the official world record and is undefeated in his last 10 marathons, including a amber decoration at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Plus, he had a rotating frame of pacers not permitted in record-eligible runs, was besides handed bottles of Maurten from a bicycle, and benefited from a pancake apartment track lined with cheer fans. But, were those shoes the X factor ?

Line art, Text, Organism, Diagram, Drawing, The pancake stack of cushioning includes a plate between the outsole and the first layer of chambers, a plate between the chambers, and a plate atop the chambers, directly beneath your foot.

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U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Let ’ s start with the chambers—those visible “ bags ” seen in the forefoot. They ’ re made of TPU and contain something Nike calls “ tensile strands. ” When fluid is added to the chamber and pressurized to between 15 and 30 psi, the pressure places the strands into tension. The strands retain the shape of the chamber, Nike ’ s patent states, although it ’ randomness ill-defined whether that ’ second to improve cushion, stability, energy return, or something else altogether. The chambers besides add a rebuff start to the forefoot of the shoe, discernible in flit views of Kipchoge ’ south metrical foot. This subject is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same message in another format, or you may be able to find more data, at their network locate .
Each side of the horseshoe has a chamber, with the designs showing the four chambers stacked in a 2×2 formation. however, Nike allowed for the chambers to be replaced with foam blocks—only the bottom two chambers are visible in Kipchoge ’ second brake shoe, so it may contain two chambers and two foam blocks, or the crown two chambers might be hidden behind ZoomX foam .
Line art, Those vertical pillars represent the tensile strands within the fluid-filled chambers. This sketch has four chambers, but other sketches included a top layer of foam blocks and a bottom layer of fluid-filled chambers and vice-versa.

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U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

future, let ’ s talk plates. We can ’ thymine be certain that they ’ rhenium made of carbon fiber, but Nike ’ s “ possibly they are, possibly they aren ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate ” legalese makes us believe they ’ re carbon. regardless, this is officially the year of carbon character and Nike ’ s going all-in, throwing not one but three curse plates inside this thing. Think of them as the bread in a club sandwich sandwich, holding in concert the two layers of fluid-filled chambers. The bottomland plate goes between the outsole and the bottom chambers, the middle plate goes between the chambers, and the top plate sits directly beneath Kipchoge ’ sulfur foot .
Line art, Vehicle, Longship, Boat, Viking ships, Watercraft, Ship, Coloring book, Naval architecture, Galley, Like the Next%, a carbon plate splits the midsole. Unlike the Next%, there’s a carbon plate atop the midsole and one just above the outsole, too.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

nike explains the kinetics of the cushioning system like this : As the brake shoe touches polish, the penetrate plate distributes the force across the first level of cushioning ( fluid- or air-filled chambers, in the case of Kipchoge ’ s shoe ). That force is taken up by the middle plate, and transferred up to the second level of cushion ( either chambers or foam blocks ) and finally to the top denture. The design allows for two layers of compression, and the plates ’ force-distributing qualities prevent localized pull ( hot spots ) from reaching the metrical foot .
White, Text, Line art, Font,

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U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

The rear of the brake shoe appears to be the standard slab of ZoomX foam found in the adjacent % .

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Without official information from Nike, we have a lot of questions : Why is the chamber organization in the forefoot better than ZoomX ? By what degree does it improve running economy ? Will we see the shoe on the feet of more nike elites in the coming months ? Can anyone without a Nike sign promise to win against this shoe ? And, will this shoe always be available publicly ? For now, we ’ ra resigned to pouring over the patent and images of Kipchoge ’ s top-secret kicks—tell us what you think about the barrier-shattering shoes in the comments .
Dan Roe
Test editor program
A former Division 1 ball carrier, Dan grew up riding fixies and mountain bikes and nowadays reviews everything from performance running shoes to road and thwart bikes, to the latest technical school for runners and cyclists at Bicycling and Runner ’ randomness World .
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