A Series of Sneaks

Strava’s Fastest Runners Wear These Shoes

Looking to run just a little bit faster? A shoe swap might put you in some distinguished company. The fitness tracking app Strava just released its annual Year in Sport report, and it’s loaded with intriguing findings culled from 48 million runners and cyclists. Highlights include info on tech, trends and one of our favorite topics, gear. Among the top 5 lists in the report is one covering the running shoes worn by Strava users logging the fastest times, and one brand dominates the list: Nike.

Indeed, the top three “fastest” shoes worn by Strava users are all Nikes: the ZoomX Vaporfly Next%, whose wearers average an 8:06 mile; the Zoom Vaporfly 4% (8:16 mile); and Zoom Streak (8:17 mile). Rounding out the list are the Brooks Hyperion (8:28) and Adidas Adizero Adios (8:35). Of course, we have to take these findings with a few grains of salt, chiefly because we are really looking more at correlation than causality here.

Still, this list is consistent with other studies that have shown the speed benefits of ultralight, carbon-ated shoes like the Next% and 4%. Together with the fact that Eliud Kipchoge broke the 2-hour marathon barrier in some very special Next% sneakers, we’re inclined to ascribe some validity to Strava’s data. Check out and shop for all five shoes below — and recognize that you can make your shoe swap pretty affordably with at least a couple of kicks on this list.


Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% $250

Nike Vaporfly 4% Flyknit $250

Nike Air Zoom Streak 7 $110

Brooks Hyperion $130

Adidas Adizero Adios 4 $140 $98
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Steve Mazzucchi

Steve Mazzucchi is Gear Patrol’s outdoors and fitness editor. Outside the office, you can find him mountain biking, snowboarding, motorcycling or sipping a dram of Laphroaig and daydreaming about such things.

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