Nike's Controversial Vaporfly Running Shoes Declared Legal for Competition
So, yes, now would be a good time to go out and acquire some
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The Nike Vaporfly is a shoe with a contentious history. As the story goes, Kenyan marathoner and Olympian Eliud Kipchoge completed a 26.2-mile marathon in just under two hours while wearing the Vaporfly; that win, and a series of subsequent victories by athletes wearing the shoes, prompted an investigation by race legislators around the world.
For some months the running community debated what to do in regards to the shoe, some arguing that it gave racers an unfair advantage and others worried it would prompt a “sneakers arm race” with companies vying to outdo one another’s technology (uh, aren’t they doing that anyway?).
But this week, World Athletics announced an official decision regarding the fate of the shoe: both the Vaporfly 4% and Next% were declared legal, and both are likely to make an appearance at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. However, World Athletics did put a cap on sole thickness, banning anything that exceeds 40 millimeters or contains more than one plate. They have also established a group of experts to “assess any new shoes that enter the market, where required.”
But for now you’re still free to lace up your Vaporflys (or purchase a pair if you don’t already own them) and run really, really, really fast.
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