- Joined Aug 30, 2012
What “technology” are they borrowing? Zoom unit with spikes?
you guys got access to the full article?
Nike has shelved a “super shoe” for sprinters after rival manufacturers expressed fears that they would allow an inferior athlete to wipe out Usain Bolt’s world records.
The Nike Zoom Air Viperfly was launched 12 months ago with the sportswear giant claiming that it represented “a new paradigm of performance on the track”. It also said that the spikes were “designed specifically for the 100 metres, the truest test of pure human speed”.
Nike designed the Viperfly by borrowing technology from its record-breaking road-racing shoes, and its arrival caused widespread concern among other manufacturers, not least after one shoe company reported startling results from testing the spikes with a group of sprinters. It led to fears that the legacy of Bolt, who ran his world records over 100m and 200m in Puma spikes, could be undermined by advances in technology that have sparked serious debate across the sport.
The shoe is understood to have been tested by Christian Coleman. The American, who set his personal best of 9.76sec when winning gold at the 2019 World Championships, was rated the world’s fastest man before he was banned last October for missing three drugs tests. Bolt’s world-record time stands at 9.58.
The shoe was due for release last summer but that did not materialise. It was never put forward to World Athletics for approval and was not on the list of approved shoes published by the sport’s global governing body last August. Experts have told The Times that the shoe may not have met the new criteria for approval amid concerns that its spike plate was acting as a secondary spring.
According to Nike, the forefoot “Air Zoom unit” has been designed to provide responsiveness and energy to sprinters, particularly over the last 20 metres of the race.
Sources have indicated that a revised version of the Viperfly could yet appear before the Tokyo Olympic Games this summer.
Bolt set his 100m record at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin and broke the world record for the 200m at the same meeting with a time of 19.19. He also holds the record for the fastest 4x100m relay, running 36.84 with Nesta Carter, Michael Frater and Yohan Blake to win gold for Jamaica at the 2012 Olympics in London.
Last year, World Athletics invited manufacturers to join scientists and other experts in forming a working group on athletics shoes.
Nike, which has led the way with its revolutionary Vaporfly road shoes, has been able to produce a track shoe for longer distances that complies with the new rules. These spikes, which feature a sole as deep as 25mm, have been worn by athletes who have set some remarkable times indoors this winter.
By the summer, most manufacturers should be offering a spike to rival Nike’s, which should at least establish a level playing field for athletes who wear different brands. On the road this has happened, with records falling to runners in shoes made by other manufacturers.
Elliot Giles, the Birmingham runner, broke Sebastian Coe’s 38-year-old British indoor 800m record this week wearing the latest Nike shoe. The 26-year-old, who clocked 1:43.63 to move second on the all-time indoor list behind Wilson Kipketer, said it was an “insult” to suggest that his achievement was solely down to the shoes.
World Athletics officials are working on introducing a further dimension to the rules that focuses on energy return from shoe technology. The proposal is, however, said to be meeting resistance from manufacturers who argue that such limits could hinder innovation.
Nike has been approached for comment.
This pretty much echoes my sentiments. The only thing I'd add is that as one with a wide-ish midfoot, that plastic clip surrounding the heel counter does 'pinch' my midfeet at the beginning of the run. It does go in time, so I'm hoping it's not a long-term issue. So far so good.Opted to pay a little more from Pro Direct Running because I have been antsy to get these. Ordered Thursday morning and they arrived Monday morning.
Quick thoughts from someone who enjoys cushioned, daily trainers (and is not out here breaking speed records by any means):
I posted a few thoughts on my IG page, but I covered most of it above. Looking forward to putting miles in these.
- Upper reminds me of a Bondi 7 and Vomero 13. Very plush, comfortable and most of all, secure.
- Laces aren't too short, but if you're into runner's knots, I could see it being an issue, however, I don't see any need for a runner's knot with the lockdown on these.
- Fit = TTS
- ZoomX has that famous "thud" when running, but feels nice. Literally just feels like they took a rolling pin to a Vaporfly to widen it for stability.
- Midsole is very nice, not overly squishy, if you ask me, and there's still enough road feel underfoot.
- I could see the shoe running hot in warmer temps.
I believe they are still releasing.
Have you tried lifting in these? Seem like they might be too unstable with a tall, soft stack?No running. Weightlifting/casual. These are a phenomenal shoe for me. Cushioning like a Vaporfly with comfortable upper and quick on/off. Nice wide base. Heel doesn’t sink as much as Vaporfly/alphafly, but as soft if not softer.
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