Nike launch Alphafly running shoes that comply with World Athletics rules for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Nike have moved quickly to modify their controversial Vaporfly model to ensure the shoe adheres to World Athletics’ new regulations

Jack Rathborn
Thursday 06 February 2020 09:21
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The new Nike Alphafly will be used at the Tokyo Olympics
The new Nike Alphafly will be used at the Tokyo Olympics

Nike has unveiled the mainstream version of the controversial prototype Nike Alphafly shoe, which they claim adheres to the new World Athletics rules.

Last week, World Athletics placed limits on the use of prototypes in competitions, with the shoe needing to be made publicly available for four months prior to the event, as well as a maximum of 40mm for the sole and just one rigid embedded plate or blade permitted.

Eliud Kipchoge used the initial prototype to shatter the two-hour barrier in his staged marathon in Vienna last year.

But after accusations of technological doping, the world governing body appeared to address the issues surrounding the groundbreaking release from Nike.

Further research into new shoe technology has been recommended, but Nike appear to have abided by the new rules with the new Air Zoom Alphafly Next% range’s release on Wednesday.

“We are pleased the Nike Zoom Vaporfly series and Nike Zoom Alphafly Next% remain legal,” said Nike in a statement.

“We will continue our dialogue with World Athletics and the industry on new standards.”

Nike vice-president, Tony Bignell, said on the American brand’s website: “Barriers are inspiring to innovators. Like athletes, when a barrier is in front of us, we are challenged to think differently and push game-changing progress in footwear design.”

The Nike Viperfly will be used for sprinters but do not currently comply 

World Athletics stated that from April 30, only shoes that have been available for purchase on the open market by any athlete for a period of at least four months will be permitted in competition.

The immediate moratorium covers shoes with a sole thicker than 40 millimetres, and shoes which contain more than one rigid embedded plate or blade that runs either the full length or part of the length of it.

Shoes with spikes are allowed an additional plate or blade for the purpose of attaching the spikes, World Athletics said, but the sole must be no thicker than 30mm.

PA contributed to this report

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