09 Mar Could Nike’s New Sneakers Be Giving Runners A Leg Up?
Nike’s latest technology is making those in the running world take a second glance, according to a New York Times report. The shoe in question is the newly introduced Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite with Nike Zoomx Midsole. The shoes will be customized for, and worn by three East African marathon runners sponsored by the athletic brand, as a part of the Breaking2 project, trying to break the two-hour mark for running a marathon, in Monza, Italy, according to NYT.
The shoes feature light, soft and responsive cushioning, paired with a unique scooped-shaped carbon fiber plate to minimize energy loss at the toe. In theory, this helps runners conserve energy and propel them forward. Hence growing concern voiced by those in the running world over the legality of such a shoe in competitions.
“The goal of having a plate is to reduce how much energy loss happens when the runner bends at the toe,” said Dr. Geng Luo, Nike Sport Research Lab senior researcher, biomechanics. “This curved plate is stiff enough to achieve that and because it has this geometry, it does so without increasing demand on the calf.”