The second place finisher was not wearing the custom Nike Zoom VaporFly Elite when he got a blister and fell out of the lead.

Read our previous article about the matterBekele was wearing Nike’s Zoom Vaporfly Elite shoes at London Marathon, and was not happy with them.

Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) went into the 2017 London Marathon the heavy favourite. But after a first half under world record pace, the Ethiopian fell well off the lead pack. He later claimed that it wasn’t his fitness, but his shoes that caused him to alter his stride and slow down.

He was battling a blister caused by a new pair of Nikes, and without runningsocks. Some mused that it was ironic that a pair of the company’s new Breaking2″ project shoes caused one of the greatest distance runners of all-time to actually slow down. But it turns out Bekele wasn’t actually wearing the shoes Nike hopes will breaking two hours next month on a Monza F1 track in Italy.


The shoe giant, which has been testing its revolutionary new shoes fitted with a carbon spring plate, says Bekele was not running London in the Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite with Nike ZoomX midsole. See Photomontage under, of the model:

Photo: Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite with Nike ZoomX midsole. Photo upper right: The internal carbon fiber plate minimizes energy loss at toe off creating a smoother transition and accentuates the sensation of forward motion. Photo lower left: Smooth fitting, lightweight Nike Flyknit upper provides support and containment where needed as well as enabling compliance for the foot in motion. Photo lower right: Nike ZoomX midsole cushioning is remarkably lighter, softer and more responsive than traditional foams and is designed to maximize speed by delivering greater energy return. Source:

Instead, Bekele has been wearing the more consumer-oriented version, called the Nike Zoom VaporFly 4% (see the model at the photo under), which he’s been spotted wearing in the past.


Photo: Nike has been working for 3 years with Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% on this photo. 4% account for the savings in energy consumption when compared to the Zoom Nike Streak 6, currently Nike’s fastest racing flat on the market. Something Runners World confirmed in their tests. Source:  Nike

Bekele hasn’t had issues with the model previously, having run the second fastest marathon in history (2:03:03) in a pair last year when he won Berlin.

But apparently this fresh pair bothered him , the 5,000m and 10,000m world record holder, enough to have him drop significantly off the lead pack, before he staged an impressive late charge to place second.


Photo: From left: Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite, will not be sold and will be adapted to the three running “Breaking2“. 2nd from left:  is Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% used by Nike sponsored runners, as Bekele,  in many marathon and Rio Olympics 2016, in other colors. 3rd from the left: is Nike Zoom Fly. Easily said a training version of Vaporfly 4%. Heavier but better durability. The last one to right: is Nike Zoom Pegasus 34.

These three last models are launched (with the exception of Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite) 8. June 2017 . In Norway will this three models be launched at the three sportsshops companies Løplabbet, Torshov Sport and Oslo Sportslager. Source: Nike 



The Nike Zoom VaporFly Elite will be worn by Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) , Lilesa Desisa (ETH) and Zersenay Tadese (ERI) –the three men selected to attempt running under two hours in the marathon in early May ( at a highly controlled event on a race track in Monza Formula 1 Track, Italy.

The Nike Zoom VaporFly Elite model will be custom designed for each athlete. And as said will not to be find in sportshops, at least this year. In the future we don’t know yet, since IAAF are not sure this shoes are whitin the rules of legal use.

“The sub-two-hour marathon barrier is one of those rare ones that, if broken, can transform a sport.”
– Sandy Bodecker, Nike’s VP of Special Projects


Read more about the Breaking2 Project.


Bekele has not been included in the Breaking2 project, although he has been used as a tester of the technology since at least 2016, along with other notable Nike athletes. Bekele is also aligned with another sub-two hour project, called “Sub 2 hrs”.

Vodafone has added its expertise to a group of specialist scientists, the world’s best marathon runners, and other industry partners in a project called SUB2 ( that is demonstrating how science and technology can fairly help athletes improve their performance.

Engineers from Vodafone Group’s Networks Centre of Excellence team have developed an innovative SUB2 mobile application that serves as a ‘hub’ to aggregate a range of data feeds to assist runners and their support team. The Vodafone SUB2 app is designed to run on smart watches with the Android Wear 2.0 operating system and standalone connectivity, meaning that the smart watch does not need to be paired to a smartphone.


Photo: Elite runner, Kenenisa Bekele tests the Vodafone SUB2 app at his training camp in Ethiopia. Credit: Kurat Pictures 

Adding insult to injury, it also appears that Bekele had a bit of a chafing issue with his white singlet on Sunday. Apparently, even tahe world’s greatest runners are still not immune to common marathon problems, including bloody nipples.