Last week, World Athletics announced major changes to the rules for shoes and sneakers. The new rules are to state that runners are no longer allowed to take prototype shoes after April 30th and shoes with more than one carbon fiber plate or sole with the thickness of more than 40 mm are banned or prohibited.
Following the Kipchoge 2-hour marathon in Vienna wearing the prototype of Nike Alphafly, the shoe was actually the subject of speculation. Many runners asked what the new rules mean for the brand.
Today at its New York Olympic Summit, Nike announced the launch of the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% – a shoe with a full-length carbon fiber plate and zoom air capsules. We don’t have an official stack height from Nike, but Nike told Runner’s World that we are pleased that the Nike Zoom Vaporfly series and Nike Zoom Alphafly NEXT% remain legal.
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We will continue our dialogue with World Athletics and the industry about standards for Performance shoes that meet the needs of elite and everyday athletes. Nike believes the shoe will be legal because of its size, but is also waiting for World Athletics approval.
In her publication, Nike said, let’s call it the ultimate test run: when Eliud Kipchoge broke the two-hour marathon barrier in Vienna last October, he wore a prototype of the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT%. The new Alphafly is not the exact same shoe that Kipchoge wore, but is also based on the Kacamata Rayban technology he worked with.
Nike’s Vice President of Footwear Innovation, Tony Bignell, said records like the four-minute mile and the two-hour marathon are a barometer of progress for runners. These are barriers that have tested human potential. When someone like Eliud breaks them, our collective belief in what is possible changes. Barriers inspire innovators. Like athletes, we’re challenged to think differently and drive groundbreaking advances in shoe design when there’s a barrier in front of us.