Can a shoe run faster? Nike's controversial Vaporfly escapes the Olympic language

January 29, 2020

The girl runs across the London bridge

A shoe that makes running faster sounds too good to be true. Are you sure that moving fast will take you to hard work and hardware? Well, yes, but as we get closer to this coveted 2-hour marathon, more is being done to shave milliseconds for racing. Nike's Vaporfly shoe technology is no exception, but how does it work and should I allow it?

Of the 36 podium positions in the 2019 marathon, there were athletes Nike Vaporfly Of the 31, when official marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge wore them in a 2:01:39 race in Berlin, along with newly crowned women's WR owner Brigid Kosge, they also wore it for their 2:14:04 run. You can't help but think that these highlighted running shoes must have some form of strength in all their acclaim and are considered by athletes as an unfair advantage in sports. If the current rule in the world of athletics says that shoes "should not be built to the disadvantage of athletes or to the advantage", is Nike and their athletes breaking the rules or is it just a development of the sport? Let's take a closer look.

How running shoes work

When we run, a great force is created when the foot bumps to the ground – be it your heel, middle or front foot first – which slows you down in the first part of the ground contact (the "stance" phase) and then drives you through the last part. Your foot also rolls in the first half of the position phase inward (tilt) to help slow down, turning outward (supporting) to help speed up the phase in the second half. In general, padding for running shoes increases energy absorption in the heel and can also increase leg stability to control pronation and supination.

However, these two features tend to conflict. The more upholstery the more energy is absorbed and the more energy you have to use to move you forward – plus the larger padding tends to weigh more. A less padded shoe with a stiffer midsole has better energy transfer from heel to toe, but you lose the softer and more comfortable feeling that a softer shoe is better than a shoe.

How Nike Vaporfly Works

Vaporfly differs from regular running shoes by its built-in carbon fiber board and midsole thickness and material.

Carbon fiber board is often used in match spikes and reduces current economy 1%, acting as a lever, which means the ankle does not have to work so hard. The middle midsole is made of lightweight, durable material that has shown it return 87% of the energy, compared to 76% for adidas Adios and 66% for Nike's own Zoom Streak. Despite its high midsole, it is lighter than its shoe counterparts (184g with a 31mm heel height, compared to Streak's 181g at heel height 23mm), and the extra height provides lower running energy!

Should a shoe be banned from the Olympics?

World Athletics (formerly IAAF) are expected to announce that Vaporfly will not be banned at Tokyo 2020. However, all completely new technologies that will be used in running until the end of the Olympic Games will be banned. After that time, a comprehensive report is planned to find out the fair ones how preference is given to this type of shoe with competing trademarked shoes, which is likely to result in the trademarks being required to present a prototype to the governing body before being competed.

Basically, athletics in the world depends on what they do or don't do in sports, but personally, I think this is technological advancement and means that other shoe manufacturers are increasing their R&D and following suit. This is exciting! Nike loves a bit of controversy, especially during the Olympic year, so it's a shame we can't see what they made for the road race debut, thanks to WA's tech ban. I don't think it takes anything away from how incredible athletes and athletes are age the peculiarity of the sport heats up in a continuous 2-hour marathon.

What does all this mean for the casual runner?

Vaporflys are said to improve a person's running economy by 4-5%, which can mean an elite marathon runner in 60-90 seconds, but this elite marathon runner has still put years of hard work with a team of professionals to take care of training, sleep, nutrition, stress – everything! Unless we are full time athletes, most of us do not have that luxury and are unlikely to compete in the top 1% athletes.

However, we all want to get better and smash PBs. Do you need these shoes for this? I had to mumble over this recent newspaper article:

Running an hour at the PB Marathon is an incredible achievement! I will not take away from Andrew what he did here, but it is unfair to say it falls under his shoes. He is more than likely to have worked hard and smart, and at the same time taken care of his health, and that is as much as many of us can expect from demanding jobs, a full family and a close social life.

If you have 240 pounds of free running shoes, buy them, but don't expect them to do all the work. Transplant Hard If You Feel You Are Ceiling And Want To Try Shoes For An Extra Boost, Search!

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