Nike launches controversial Kipchoge shoe for retail

The Nike Alphafly

Nike has launched a mass market version of its controversial Alphafly prototype shoe that it says complies with new World Athletics rules.

On Friday, the sport’s governing body introduced an indefinite ban on any shoes that have a sole thicker than 40mm or more than one rigid embedded plate or blade.

The prototype shoes worn by Eliud Kipchoge when the Olympic champion became the first athlete to run a marathon in under two hours in October do not meet these restrictions.

But Nike said the retail version of the Zoom Alphafly Next%, set to go on sale this summer, will do.

“We are pleased the Nike Zoom Vaporfly series and Nike Zoom Alphafly Next% remain legal,” said Nike in a statement.

“We will continue our dialogue with World Athletics and the industry on new standards.”

Any new shoe technology developed after 30 April will now have to be available on the open market for four months before an athlete can use it in competition.

In bringing in the new regulations, World Athletics did not ban the Vaporfly range, the predecessor to the Alphafly.

It is claimed Vaporflys improve an athlete’s performance by 4%. The five fastest marathons of all time have been run in the past 16 months by athletes wearing varying forms of the technology.

On Wednesday, Nike also launched a new Viperfly sprint shoe designed for the 100m that does not meet World Athletics’ new restrictions.

For shoes with spikes, an additional plate or blade is allowed for the purpose of attaching the spikes, but the sole must be no thicker than 30mm.

Nike said it will now be working on the Viperfly accordingly.


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