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Not any other shoe! World Athletics approves shoes for competition

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 13 – Ahead of the new athletics season, the World Athletics on Thursday published the list of approved competition shoes that all athletes will be required to adhere to.

The list has been compiled following introduction of the requirement on January 1, 2020 that any new shoe that an athlete proposes to wear in international competitions needed to be assessed by World Athletics.

The list does not contain every shoe ever worn by an athlete, but it does include some older models of shoes that manufacturers sent to World Athletics for assessment by its independent expert.

The position with older shoes that are not on the list is that they still need to comply with the rule going forward.

The athlete, or their representative, will need to ensure their older shoe complies with Rule 5.13 in terms of the maximum sole thicknesses for their specified event and any inserted plate or blade, including spike plates if relevant.

“Transitioning rules is never easy but is significantly harder with the current pandemic and the challenges we all face in staging, competing and providing kit and equipment during this time,” World Athletics CEO, Jon Ridgeon said.

“We will continue to communicate, clarify and explain the rules and would like to thank our athletes, Member Federations, meeting organisers, shoe companies and technical officials for working with us to ensure the rules are understood and adhered to and, when this is not possible, that we resolve issues quickly, consistently and compassionately within the framework of the rules,” he added.

Following the heated debate around the controversial Nike shoe commonly known as ‘Nike Vapour Fly’ late last year, which stated that the shoe specifications were helping athletes register better timings, the athletics body swung into action, taking up the responsibility of researching on which shoe to be worn in various competitions.

The Vapour Fly shoe gained its popularity after Marathon World Record holder Eliud Kipchoge donned it during the INOES 1:59 Challenge where he became the first man under the planet to run a marathon under two hours.

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A day later, his compatriot Brigid Kosgei also donning the shoe, significantly lowered the women’s marathon record, which had been standing since 2003, as she cruised to victory in the Chicago Marathon.

The new rules further state that if there is doubt about a shoe then athletes, officials and meeting organizers should first refer to the approved list. Also, during competition if the competition referee has a reasonable suspicion that a shoe worn by an athlete might not comply with the rules then at the conclusion of the competition the referee may request the shoe be handed over for further investigation by World Athletics.

Eleven shoe companies have had their different products given the green light among them Adidas, Mizuno, Nike, Asics, New Balance, and Puma with their specifics advised on which track or field event they should or should not be used in.

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