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Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh Steelers Max Soul Shoes

In 2017, Nike released a running shoe with the intent to make marathon runners markedly faster. Led by Professor Iain Hunter, researchers at BYU decided to test if those claims were true.

After conducting tests, the team did find that the benefit offered by the Nike Vaporfly 4% shoes was enough to reduce the energy cost of running by 2.8 percent on average compared to other popular running shoes which could ultimately improve a race time by several minutes.

“The Vaporfly 4% shoe has the ability to allow runners to use less energy when they run,” Hunter said. “It especially seems to help those who spend less time on the ground than those who spend greater time on the ground when running.

The study, which was published online in the Journal of Sport Sciences, compared the Nike Vaporfly 4% with the Adidas Adios Boost and the Nike Zoom Streak, two of the most popular shoes for elite marathon runners.

To measure the effectiveness of the shoes, nineteen men participated in two days of testing. To qualify, each of the men had to have completed a 10km run in less than 32 minutes within the past year. Subjects completed five-minute runs at 6:00 minutes per mile pace on an instrumented treadmill followed by five minute-breaks to change shoes until they had worn all three shoe models twice.

“We added in a few measurements from a force-sensing treadmill so we could begin to understand what is making the shoe effective and how people move differently when they wear the Vaporfly 4%,” Hunter said.

The treadmill measures three-dimensional force as someone is running on it. It captures information such as how long the runner is on the ground, how much he or she is pushing backwards and forwards on each step, where the foot hits the ground, how much force the foot is applying and the length of the runner’s stride.

“Muscles contract to aide tendons in absorbing and returning energy,” Hunter said. “If the sole of an energy efficient shoe can contribute to this instead, less muscle work is required, which improves running economy.”

The data showed significant differences in the oxygen uptake (a way to measure the energy cost of running) in the Vaporfly shoe resulting in a 2.8 percent improved running economy, or the amount of energy it takes a runner to go a certain distance, over the Adidas shoe on average. Many physiological, anatomical, biomechanical, and external factors affect running economy. Since it is such a large component of endurance performance, even a small change in oxygen uptake is likely meaningful to a runner and can add up over the course of 26 miles.

Additionally, the Nike Vaporfly 4% shoe led to an average of increased stride length of two centimeters, partially due to its higher heel height. Even small changes such as a two-centimeter change in stride length means putting someone more than 200 meters further ahead through the distance of a marathon.

BYU professors Ron Hager and Jared Ward as well as Aubree McLeod, a graduate student, and undergraduate students Dru Valentine and Tyler Low, all contributed to the study.


  • Prepare a pen, a ruler tape measurer, and a white paper.
  • Use a ruler or tape measurer to measure your foot (from the heel to the tip of your longest toe).
  • Choose a size from the sizing chart above.
  • Find the closest measurement, in Heel to Toe (cm), that is equal to or greater than the length of your foot. For example, a man whose foot measures 27 cm will fit size US 8 (EU 41).


  • To ensure an accurate reading when measuring, flatten your foot by shifting your weight forward.
  • If your measurement is between two sizes, always move up to the larger size.
  • Be sure to measure both feet. Many people have feet of different sizes. Fit to the larger of the two.
  • Fit yourself at a similar time as when you will be wearing the footwear. For daily footwear, fit yourself when you’ve been on your feet all day because your feet have expanded.
  • If you have a wide foot, please move up 1-2 size larger for better fit.



  • Made of mesh fabric, breathable mesh upper helps you stay cool and comfortable.
  • Soft rubber outsole enhances cushioning.
  • More air underfoot creates a softer, more comfortable ride


  • A comfortable and beautiful pair of sneakers will make your outfit much more fashionable.
  • Extremely fashionable and dynamic, easily combined with many types of outfits
  • Suitable for special occasions such as Christmas, birthday, celebration, housewarming gift.

PRINT: Dye-sublimation printing

WASHABLE: Clean with damp towel

PRODUCTION TIME: 7-9 Business Days

Note: – Since the size is manually measured, please allow a slight dimension difference.

– Due to the different monitor and light effect, the actual color of the item might be slightly different from the visual pictures.


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