After a debut in early 2013 and a prolonged episode of explosive growth in 2015/2016, adidas Boost cushioning is widely regarded as the go-to option for comfortable running/casual shoes. In fact, it has converted some Nike loyalists to the Ultra Boost and NMD models, a shift that has reflected in adidas’ upward trend and a 24-month period of stagnation on Nike’s end.

The most recent Q1 numbers prove that as well; adidas U.S. athlete footwear sales grew 85% in Q1 2017, whereas Nike dropped in the single digits, and it’s precisely the running/training categories where the German brand is excelling.

Earlier this year, Nike unveiled a new cushioning technology called ZoomX. This cushioning system has been in development since 2013 and been given to select runners in early 2016 before the running trials for the Rio Olympic games. Nike claims that ZoomX foam cushioning provides up to 85% energy return, a popular buzzword in the performance running industry. You might recall adidas’ demonstration of “energy return”, where metal spheres were dropped from a few feet above the ground onto concrete, classic EVA foam, and their all-new Boost cushioning.

While ZoomX has the potential to be a better theoretical performer than Boost, what it comes down to is casual appeal. The ZoomX VaporFly Elite, which features a Flyknit upper cut in the trendy “sock” height and an enlarged Swoosh branding that overlaps into the midsole, has received generally positive first-glance reviews. Unfortunately, Nike hasn’t mentioned any information regarding a release of the VaporFly Elite, but the ZoomX VaporFly 4%, which features a classic mesh upper, is indeed confirmed for a June 8th drop (price TBD).

tagged in Nike, ZoomX