Nike Running‘s ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% may be the fastest, most futuristic running shoe on the market, but it’s heading back to the brand’s roots for inspiration with a “Blue Ribbon Sports” style. Combining a penchant for powerful technology with graphics inspired by Nike’s earliest days, this is the first ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% to offer a tinge of lifestyle-themed detailing.
Uppers are constructed of semi-translucent white Vaporweave and quickly hit with a deluge of hand-scrawled royal blue graphics. Although embellishment each is different, all nod to the brand’s first retail location at 3107 Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica, CA — a store that opened when Nike was still Blue Ribbon Sports. Highlights include a Swoosh with a “Pico” text hit, Nike’s “By Runners, For Runners” motif and a race bib with “3107.” There’s also a Sunburst pattern, “Santa Monica” in flowing script and a doodle that may be a nod to the store’s stacked awning, plus more.
Even the insoles get in on the fun with a printed Blue Ribbon Sports business card. This is the only repeating graphic on the shoes besides a standard giant Swoosh that reaches from the toebox to the medial midfoot and a smaller Swoosh towards the lateral collar. Finally, lace tips alternate between an OG Nike Sportswear-style logo and a checkered finish line pattern.
Down below, the sizeable midsole is bulbous towards the forefoot and tapers off to a sharp point behind the heel. It’s equipped with a full-foot carbon fiber plate and ZoomX cushioning system for world-class responsiveness and energy return. These innovations are acknowledged by black text that boldly and truthfully states “Verified With Medals and Records.” A retro orange Swoosh on the outsole completes the look, and a special dustbag is included in the packaging.
The Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% “Blue Ribbon Sports” is available on the Nike webstore via Members Access, and retails for $250 USD.