Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
6 minute read
13 Feb 2020
12:51 pm

Nike’s super shoes: Making or breaking a sport?

Wesley Botton

Nike recently launched a running shoe so good, it had athletes breaking records left, right, and centre, prompting calls to ban the shoes. This leads us to ask how much technology really influences sportsmen, and should we be banning it, or embracing it?

When Eliud Kipchoge broke the two-hour marathon barrier in Vienna last October, he was wearing a prototype of the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT%. Since then, the shoe has become a hot topic in the world of athletics. Picture: Nike.com

Rattled by one of the most controversial and furthest reaching issues to have rocked the sport in recent years, global athletics officials have been widely criticised for their approach to the recent road running shoe debate, and while they have tightened their regulations, the problem seems to be far from resolved. With shoe manufacturer Nike leading the charge by capitalising on poor regulations, innovations in recent years have resulted in widespread improvements in performance. The Vaporfly, with its distinctly thick sole, first made heads turn at the 2016 Rio Olympics where the shoe was worn by the top three finishers...