Nike’s 3D printed elite shoe preparing for a wider release

Nike’s 3D printed shoe Zoom VaporFly Elite Flyprint 3D will soon get a wider release. The Flyprint 3D is the updated version of the famous 3D printed Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%, designed with the help of Eliud Kipchoge, winner Berlin marathon 2018.

The Beaverton-based footwear giant has worked to perfect the Vaporfly 4% since last year. For this purpose, the company once again recruited the help of Kipchoge.

Their collaboration produced the updated Zoom VaporFly Elite Flyprint 3D.

The Zoom VaporFly Elite Flyprint 3D. Image via Nike
The Zoom VaporFly Elite Flyprint 3D. Image via Nike

Updated Zoom Vaporfly 4%

The Zoom Vaporfly is called “4%” because an independent research found that Vaporfly wearing runners can gain 4% of the lead time on their competitors.

The authors of the paper A Comparison of the Energetic Cost of Running in Marathon Racing Shoes, say, “the prototype shoes[Vaporfly 4%] lowered the energetic cost of running by 4 percent on average. We predict that with these shoes, top athletes could run substantially faster and achieve the first sub-2-hour marathon.”

The success of the Vaporfly 4% prompted the Nike Footwear Design team to visit Eliud Kipchoge at his running cam in Western Kenya.

With the help of direct feedback from Kipchoge, Nike upgraded the Vaporfly 4% to bring the new Zoom VaporFly Elite Flyprint 3D.

The VaporFly Elite Flyprint 3D is 11 gram lighter than the Vaporfly 4%. One of the prime focus of the design team was to make running shoes for wet conditions. VaporFly Elite Flyprint has a 3D printed upper which prevents moisture from getting inside the shoe.

In praise of the Flyprint, Kipchoge said, “I had to take the shoe, put it on my foot and run on it. To get the comfortability of the shoe, the friendliness of the upper, how the 3-D printed part holds my foot, that’s what I was looking for in this shoe.”


The patterned fabric used in the Zoom VaporFly Elite Flyprint 3D. Image via Nike
The patterned fabric used in the Zoom VaporFly Elite Flyprint 3D. Image via Nike

3D printed footwear

The fashion industry has been active in providing customized solutions and using 3D printing for mass production.

Among these companies are the two titans of the footwear industry: Adidas and Reebok.

Adidas in collaboration with Carbon 3D designed a 3D printed Futurecraft 4D shoes. The 3D printed shoe is planned for mass customization and production. Another of Adidas product is the 3D printed Y-3 sneakers which cost $20,000.

In another news report, Reebok and BASF partnered to release a limited edition of 3D printed sneakers.

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Featured image shows Zoom VaporFly Elite Flyprint 3D. Image via Nike