Nike has launched the retail version of Zoom Alphafly Next%, the shoes worn by Kenyan marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge last year in October when he became the first man to run a marathon in under 2 hours in Vienna.
The technology behind this line of shoes is supposed to increase an athlete’s performance by up to 4% according to studies.
The prototypes have caused major controversy in the athletic world as five of the fastest marathon times ever run where all accomplished in the past 16 months with athletes wearing some form of this prototype.
On Friday the sports governing body issued a ban on all shoes that have a 40mm or thicker sole and more than one rigid embedded plate or blade.
Although the soon to be released Nike Zoom Alphafly Next% falls under within these restrictions, the Wednesday released Viperfly shoe range does not conform to these restrictions.
Nike announced that it will be heading back to the drawing board to tweak this issue with the Nike Zoom Viperfly.
The Viperfly has been designed for 100m racing while the Nike Air Zoom is designed for distances ranging from 800m to 10km.
The newly designed retail version Nike range maximizes sports science by boosting body performance through technological enhancement. Nike have achieved this by adding air pods to the forefoot of the shoes and foam in the heel
A member of Nike’s Advanced Innovation Team and also an elite marathon runner herself Carrie Dimoff went on to say:
“The groundbreaking research that led to the original Vaporfly unlocked an entirely new way of thinking about marathon shoes,”
“Once we understood the plate and foam as a system, we started thinking about ways to make the system even more effective.”
After Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge won his record marathon, the shoes began to cause controversy in the athletics world as some runners will be unable to wear them competitively due to sponsorship restrictions giving their counterparts an unfair advantage.
American runner Jake Riley went on to describe his experience with the shoes as ‘running on trampolines’.
31 of the 36 top-three marathon finishes in top marathon races in 2019 came from athletes all wearing the new Vaporfly technology