Nike Vaporfly 2 Vs Vaporfly 3 comparison

Vaporfly 2 Vs Vaporfly 3

Nike Vaporlfy Next% 2 Nike Vaporfly Next% 3
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Nike recently released the 3rd version of the award-winning Nike Vaporfly race day trainers.

But what is the difference between the Vaporfly 2 and the Vaporfly 3 and should you upgrade?

What Is The Difference Between Version 2 and Version 3?

The Heel Difference

vaporfly 2 vs vaporfly 3 heel

A trademark feature of the Vaporfly 2 is its pointed heel. The Vaporfly 3 has maintained this heel shape, but made it slightly more square compared to the Vaporfly 2. This gives the shoe an even more streamlined appearance, which Nike also claims provides a more ‘stable ride’.

Another small adjustment seems to be the heel seam inside, which is now slightly offset reduce friction on the heel.

The Vaporfly 2 was already well padded to help reduce blisters, but the Vaporfly 3 goes the extra distance to keep the heel comfortable.

Uppers Difference

vaporfly 2 vs vaporfly 3 uppers

The Vaporfly 2’s uppers are made from a mesh fabric that’s very breathable.

However, the Vaporfly 3 seems to have taken this breathability up a gear with a super thin ‘flynet’ fabric. For those that suffer from uncomfortably hot and sweaty feet when running, this upgrade is likely to make a small difference. 

Aside from this there is not much of a noticeable change. The way the laces loop through the side supports feels identical. Both trainers also have a large tongue with light padding to reduce lace pressure on the top of the foot. 

Outsole Difference

vaporfly 2 vs vaporfly 3 outsole

There is a noticeable difference in the appearance of the outsoles on both trainers. In fact, when viewed from below, they almost look like completely different shoes. 

The Vaporfly 2 has a more solid outsole with ‘flexibilty grooves’ to add traction. These follow the curve of the foot with a couple grooves around the edge of the outside extending down towards the heel.

The Vaporfly 3’s outsole design feels more intricate and is a lot more reminiscent of the Alphafly 2.

It is described by Nike as a ‘waffle’ pattern and uses less material due to its larger honeycomb grooves. These provide less weight and more grip.

Could this thinness potentially make the soles less durable? Possibly, although you could also argue that the fact that it is less flat may actually help to reduce wear.

Both outsoles do still have a similar shape, sporting large indents on the inner side of the foot in order to hug the foot.

Nike Vaporlfy Next% 2 Nike Vaporfly Next% 3
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The Midsole Difference

vaporfly 2 vs vaporfly 3 midsole outside
vaporfly 2 vs midsole inside

The most impressive engineering is in the midsole of these trainers. Both have a full length carbon plate running through them.

They are also cushioned with award-winning ZoomX foam, which is designed to return more energy than other foams on the market in order to aid running perofrmance. 

The Vaporfly 3 uses a little extra foam than the Vaporfly 2 in order to make it feel springier.

It’s also shaped a little differently, particularly towards the heel (as previously mentioned) giving the Vaporfly 3 the edge.

The Weight Difference

vaporfly 2 vs vaporfly 3 weight

The Vaporfly 3 is lighter than the Vaporfly 2, however the difference between the two shoes is minimal. 

My UK size 9 Vaporfly 2 shoes weighed 212 grams. My Vaporfly 3 shoe in size 9 weighs 194 grams - so 30 grams lighter. This is likely due to the thinner outsole and possibly the thinner fabric used in the uppers. 

Both are clearly very light shoes and you can’t really notice the weight difference when wearing them. 

Will it make a difference in the later stages of your races? I doubt it. 

The Stack Difference

Both the Vaporfly 2 and Vaporfly 3 have the same stack height 40mm/32mm giving a 8mm heel to toe drop height. This means that both offer plenty of impact protection while running. 

It does feel like the Vaporfly 3 feels slightly higher, but this is likely due to the added 2mm of underfoot ZoomX foam.

The thinner outsole counterbalances this in order to keep the shoes the same height. 

How Long Do They Last?

It is too early to tell how long the Vaporfly 3's will last and as I am only planning to use them in races, it might be a while before I can report on this.

I have used them once on the track and only in races I have previously raced in and know the route. 

I have always kept my Vaporfly 2 trainers for road races, but I have done alot of track sessions in them and have never had a problem with the wear of the foam, except when I wore them on the treadmill once, and unsurprisingly it shredded them, so avoid wearing them on a treadmill! 

Are They Difficult To Get On?

The Vaporfly 3 is not hard to get on. The foot opening feels very similar to the Vaporfly 2 in design, so getting them on is just the same as before. 

Is The £234.95 Price Worth It?

I think this comes down to personal choice, but for me, yes! 

Nike still have some Vaporfly 2's on there website (see links below) so you can pick up a bargain for around £150. 


I always liked version 2, but found them quite hard on impact which effected  my achilles and calves, which meant I could wear them once a week at best, usually on the track. 

Vaporfly 3 seems to still be that snappy aggressive trainer but has a extra bit of bounce in them to take out the impact, at least it doesn't seem to effective my calves and achilles, like previous models. 

I would say the best way to describe Nike's Vaporfly 3, is the lovechild of the Alphafly 2 and the Vaporfly 2 giving you the best of both. 

Where To Buy

The prototype version sold out in minutes but Nike has starting releasing new colour ways including a lovely bright pink. 

Nike Vaporlfy Next% 2 Nike Vaporfly Next% 3
nike vaporlfy 2
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If you have any questions you would like to ask about the Nike Vaporfly 2 or Nike Vaporfly 3, please ask below in the comments.


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