As is so often the case in sport, a new technical development in the marathon has led to shorter and shorter times. A carbon plate in the shoe is responsible for this. One record after another fell in recent years. A new shoe triggered this boom from the American sporting goods manufacturer Nike. The World Athletics Federation accepted its model. Since then, the record flight has never come to an end.
Many experts criticize that development. After all, according to the top athletes, the shoe should save two minutes over the entire distance of the marathon. How much the shoes accelerate, you can read from a few numbers. Four years ago, only four men ran a time of fewer than 2.05 hours in the marathon. Two years later, there were already 17 runs. The picture is similar for women. In 2016, only a few women achieved a time of fewer than 2.20 hours. Three years later, 13 women managed to do this.
At the same time, the athletes improved numerous world records. Especially on the streets, the athletes improved their times. Eliud Kipchoge even managed to keep the distance under two hours for the first time in Vienna in 2019. However, the conditions did not conform to the world record. In the meantime, numerous top athletes have confirmed the accelerating effect of shoes with carbon plates. The imprint should be much more intense; the marathon runner jumps. The running feeling is better; this is how the faster times arise. The shoe should save two to three seconds per kilometre.
Numerous Manufacturers Offer Their Production
Of course, this innovation did not go unnoticed for long. In the meantime, other manufacturers are also offering carbon plate in running shoes. That is where Adidas and Asics count. They should bring a lot, especially over long distances. At the same time, the route must have few curves and be as flat as possible. Then these shoes will achieve the best result for the runner. Marathon fans are critical of this development. They fear that the outstanding records will no longer be worth anything. After all, they might get broken regularly. Some of them are even calling for a ban on technical innovation. She believes that the dramatic increases in performance in recent years have damaged the sport.
It Remains That Way For The Time Being
Other experts consider this to be an exaggeration. It is not necessary to freeze the best performances mentioned with these shoes. The development is serious, but they still see this running technology within the framework of the rules. They think it is wrong to keep two different leaderboards. After all, in the future, records would have to be differentiated according to equipment. After all, the material has always influenced the performance of athletes. That is also the case in numerous other sports. The price of the top models is currently 200 to 300 euros per pair. But they have a severe disadvantage. The shoes lose their effectiveness. This effect occurs after around 200 kilometres. That, of course, gives those runners an advantage who can regularly afford new shoes.