Nike shoes that have revolutionised marathon times unlikely to be banned

• World Athletics working group considers limits to design
• Kipchoge says shoes are fair – ‘we must go with technology’

The World Athletics working group investigating the Nike shoes which have revolutionised marathon times is still deliberating over what limits to place on the carbon plate and foam technology and is unlikely to implement a wholesale ban.

The Guardian understands the group met again on Wednesday and intends to announce its findings by the end of the month. But sources suggest that, contrary to headlines about the shoes being banned, the issue remains under debate.

As things stand, the group’s emphasis appears more on putting limits to the future incarnations of the technology, which was first introduced in 2016, rather than restricting the Vaporfly shoes completely.

One option under consideration is to put limits on the size of the foam midsoles in all shoes, something that would make the next‑generation AlphaFly shoes worn by Eliud Kipchoge in his sub-two‑hour marathon run in Vienna illegal.

Kipchoge insists that focusing on his Nike shoes is wrong. “They are fair,” he told the Telegraph. “I trained hard. Technology is growing and we can’t deny it – we must go with technology.”

There have also been suggestions that similar shoe technology was used to power Laura Muir’s spikes on the track last year. However, sources close to her say that is “categorically” not the case.


Sean Ingle

The GuardianTramp

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