Athletics

World Athletics bans prototype shoes after Nike controversy

2020-01-31 17:21
Nike (Getty Images)
Nike (Getty Images)

Paris - World Athletics on Friday announced a ban on using prototype shoes in competition after a recent spate of world records set by athletes wearing the Nike Vaporfly trainers.

"From April 30 2020, any shoe must have been available for purchase by any athlete on the open retail market (online or in store) for a period of four months before it can be used in competition," athletics' governing body said in a statement.

The basic Nike Vaporfly has a carbon blade in the sole, which stores and releases energy on each step, and air cushions.

Kenyan marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge broke the two-hour mark for the distance in Vienna last October wearing a new Vaporfly prototype with three carbon blades in the sole and four air cushions.

But that would be banned under the new rules which state that shoes cannot contain more than one "rigid embedded plate or blade" of any material, although shoes with spikes can have an additional plate "for the purpose of attaching spikes to the sole".

Kenya's Brigid Kosgei broke Paula Radcliffe's women's marathon world record in Chicago with a time of 2:14.04, wearing the basic one-blade version that has been available in shops since 2017.

"It is not our job to regulate the entire sports shoe market but it is our duty to preserve the integrity of elite competition by ensuring that the shoes worn by elite athletes in competition do not offer any unfair assistance or advantage," said World Athletics president Sebastian Coe.

"As we enter the Olympic year, we don't believe we can rule out shoes that have been generally available for a considerable period of time, but we can draw a line by prohibiting the use of shoes that go further than what is currently on the market while we investigate further."

Kipchoge had defended claims he only managed to break two hours due to his footwear.

"I trained hard," he told British newspaper the Daily Telegraph. "In Formula 1, Pirelli issues the tyres to all the cars but Mercedes are the best one. Why? It's the engine. It's the person.

"It's the person who is running, not the shoe. It's the person driving, not the person making the tyres."

Read more on:    nike  |  athletics

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2019/20 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
Vote

How much of a runner are you?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.