Nike’s fastest running shoes may actually help you run faster; but will it be legal to race in them?
The running shoe business is quite competitive. Whoever designs the next shoe that can help you run faster while reducing injuries is likely to have a marketplace winner.
Nike’s hype machine was promoting the fact that Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya broke the two-hour marathon barrier this past October with a time of 1:59:40 in a park in Vienna. The previous record was 2:02:57 by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in 2014 who ran in the Addidas boost shoe which was reported by Runners World. While the conditions were as perfect as possible, the thick-soled shoe he ran in had a unique design which, along with his training and their choice of running surface allowed him to run a sub-2-hour marathon.
The design, which uses a carbon-based midsole with a specialized foam may offer real advantages since they can enable a runner to run up to 4-5% faster than a standard running shoe would.
The shoes are named the Zoom Vaporfly 4% or ZoomX Vaporfly Next% and they are about $250 per pair.
Is it fair or appropriate for a shoe to offer this kind of advantage to a runner? Governing bodies are looking into what is fair vs. what is not and whether a shoe like this is legal to wear in a marathon. True, it gives the athlete an advantage however, the runner must still be a very high caliber elite runner.
Other manufacturers such as Hoka, Saucony, Brooks, One One and Asics offer similar shoes which have entered the market which expected to grow.
The NY Times recently investigated this shoe and the other companies who are trying to compete in this area. Check out the article below
Nike’s Fastest Shoes May Give Runners an Even Bigger Advantage Than We Thought
By Kevin Quealy and Josh KatzDec. 13, 2019
Anyone who saw Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya break the two-hour marathon barrier in October very likely saw something else, too: the thick-soled Nike running shoes on his feet, and, in a blaze of pink, on the feet of the pacers surrounding him.
These kinds of shoes from Nike — which feature carbon plates and springy midsole foam — have become an explosive issue among runners, as professional and amateur racers alike debate whether the shoes save so much energy that they amount to an unfair advantage.
A new analysis by The New York Times, an update of the one conducted last summer, suggests that the advantage these shoes bestow is real — and larger than previously estimated.
At the moment, they appear to be among only a handful of popular shoes that matter at all for race performance, and the gap between them and the next-fastest popular shoe has only widened.