The running shoe used by Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei to smash Paula Radcliffe’s marathon record is set to be banned.
There is no decision yet on whether the new women’s marathon mark — which Kosgei set wearing the Nike Vaporfly — will be allowed to stand.
The 25-year-old recorded a time of 2hr 14min 4sec in Chicago, well inside Radcliffe’s mark of 2:15:25 set at the London Marathon in 2003.
The shoes worn by Brigid Kosgei to smash Paula Radcliffe’s marathon record are to be banned
Eliud Kipchoge also wore the controversial Nike vaporfly ZoomX during his 1.59 challenge
It is also understood shoes which sources at World Athletics believe to be a hybrid of the Vaporfly — and in which Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge ran an unofficial sub-two-hour marathon in Vienna last year — will also be outlawed.
The contentious issue is the foam and carbon-fibre composition of the sole, which acts like a spring to help runners get the most forward push from each stride. A technical body looking into the Nike shoes are set to deliver their findings at the end of this month.
A moratorium is being considered by World Athletics, which may see records stand despite likely bans for the shoes.
Also set to be outlawed are the revolutionary running spikes developed for sprinters. These have sparked fears that inferior athletes at this year’s Tokyo Olympics will break Usain Bolt’s 100metres best of 9.58sec.
The shoes worn by Laura Muir to set a British record for the women’s indoor mile (4min 18.75sec) in Glasgow last year are also likely to be axed.
The initial designs were released in a neon green colourway as well as a vivid pink
The development comes amid increasing pressure on World Athletics to introduce stricter rules on running shoes because of integrity fears.
When Kosgei took 1min 21sec off Radcliffe’s record in October, it prompted calls for a probe into the technology behind the Nikes, which have been a huge hit with amateur runners.
There are also concerns over the long-term health impacts the shoes — which feature carbon plates in the soles — have on those not at the elite level and who predominantly use their heels rather than toes to springboard their steps.
Rules that limit the thickness of soles and the use of carbon plates are expected soon. Current regulations state shoes cannot confer an ‘unfair advantage’ and have to be ‘reasonably available’ to everyone.