Several long-distance runners requested the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to investigate whether Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) ‘s Vapor Fly sneakers offer any undue advantage to athletes. It is on the backdrop Nike sneaker wearers showing an excellent performance in Marathons.
Eliud completes a 26.2-mile race in less than two hours
Eliud Kipchoge, who wore Nike vapor fly sneakers, finished a 26.2-mile race in 1:59:40.2 in an unofficial event in Austria and became the first person to complete the race in such a short time. He has already established a world record in men’s marathons. Brigid Kosgie has set a new record in the World’s Marathons at Chicago Marathons by completing the race in two hours, fourteen minutes, and four seconds. The last five runners, who wore other versions of Nike Vapor fly, also established new records in the men’s marathon.
Those dazzling performances in Marathons raised suspicion that Nike’s Zoom Vapor fly could have offered an unfair advantage to the wearers. The elite athletes demand an investigation into whether Vapor fly has impacted the fair competition.
IAAF faces challenge
Now, IAAF is facing the problem of maintaining fairness, universality, and accessibility, which are fundamental characteristics of the sport and encourage the development of new technologies.
Kipchoge showed excellent performance by wearing a prototype of the Nike Vapor Fly. The users can buy a base version of Nike Vapor fly at $250 from its website. In April 2019, Nike has released an updated version of sneakers, which are initially released in 2016.
The vapor fly sneakers use a carbon fiber plate to improve the boosting effect of spring. It has used ultra-light foam in the midsole to increase energy return. Therefore, Nike’s Vapor Fly provides a boost to the performance of an athlete without causing any impact on the leg muscles. According to a study conducted by Nike, the sneakers pair offers a 4% savings in energy and hence added a 4% tag.
According to the prevailing rules of IAAF, the sneakers for use in the competition should not offer an unfair advantage and available at a reasonable price to all the players. However, the agency has not put any restrictions on the Vapor fly prototypes of Nike for any maximum.