Jessica Pettway for TIME; Prop styling by Stephanie L. Yeh

In 2019, Eliud Kipchoge ran 26.2 miles in 1:59:40, becoming the first human to run a sub-two-hour marathon. His not-so-secret weapon: a pair of high-tech kicks, the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% ($275). The shoes have air-filled pods that help return some 90% of the energy an athlete exerts. “We think of the airbag almost as a ­battery—when your foot lands and pushes down on it, it stores that energy and then it returns more of it to you than we could do with foam,” says Nike senior footwear innovator Carrie Dimoff. —Jesse Will

Buy now: Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next%

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