World Athletics Won't Ban Nike Vaporfly Shoes

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What lies ahead for our planet find out on an extraordinary trip with the Wall Street Journal and National Geographic Expeditions Book now at Nat? Go expedition addition dot com slash WSJ or call. Eight eight eight two. Oh five five six two one. This is your techniques breathing for Monday February third. I'm Qatari. Oh come from the newsroom. At The Wall Street Journal in New York the Nike Vapor Fly has been the shoe of choice as for elite runners lately and most of the recent world record breakers were wearing the shoe when they crossed the finish line but the shoe is controversial. Some people say gives athletes an an unfair advantage on Friday. The sports governing body decided not to ban them our senior video journalist. Alex hots will join us to explain but I the check some headlines. The Corona virus continues to spread and could start impacting the tech market. The Chinese government government has ordered businesses closed until at least early February and tech executives are expressing concerns that the shutdowns will impact the supply chain electronics ext telecom and semiconductor companies all rely on factories in China. The epicenter of the outbreak. Wuhan is a key transportation hub and it's home to several high tech component suppliers as the virus continues to spread sodas misinformation about it. FACEBOOK has now said it will remove all posts that contain false claims about L. cures and prevention methods for the virus. It's a rare step for facebook. which has been reticent to moderate speech in any context next up world? Athletics has decided not to ban on the controversial vapor. Fly Shoe our video journalists. Alex hots will join us to break down the debate. That's after the break capital one knows. Life doesn't alert you about your credit card. That's why they've created iino. The capital one assistant the catches things that might look wrong with your credit card e-e-e-e-no catches over tipping duplicate the charges or potential fraud than sends an alert to your phone and helps you fix it. It's another way capital. One is watching out for your money when you're not capital one. What's in your wallet? SEE CAPITAL ONE DOT com for details last October. Elliot Kashogi became the first person to run a marathon in under two hours that same weekend. Rigid Kosgei ran the Chicago marathon and shattered the women's record by more than a minute. Keep Shoghi and Kosgei had something in common. They were both wearing versions of the Nike Vapor. Fly Shoe. The shoe has ignited controversy in the world of running and some say it gives runners an unfair advantage on Friday world athletics governing body for track and field decided not to ban the vapor fly our senior video journalists. Alex hots joins us to explain Alex. Thanks so much for joining us. Thank you so what about these shoes. Make them so controversial. It seems pretty clear that they allow you to run not faster but they allow your running economy to be better and that just means that. What's the energy that you put in you get more out of so you did video on this and you actually sawed right through that show shale to look at what was inside? What did you find? So there's this really interesting system. That Nike is created in the shoe where they have this new foam which is commonly found in airplane installation. It's called P. Bax but Nike calls it Zoom X.. That's how they've sort of branded it and it's very very squishy and it's really bouncing. It's bouncier in scripture than any other phone. Previously used in running shoes before also in the shoe is a carbon carbon-fiber plate and just how the foam and the plate interact The science behind. That still isn't entirely clear. But what is that people people who run in these shoes. They tend to reduce their times and there seems to be a lot of good signs. That suggest that if you do wear these shoes you can expect your times to decreased by up to four percent track and field governing body the world. Athletics decided on Friday not to ban the shoe. They did have some caveats though about out she was and what they think should be some regulations going forward. Yes so the regulations for the shoes going forward. They can't be any larger adjourn than forty millimeters and the vapor flies. Right now. Those are thirty. Six millimetres saw the soul. Yeah and the technology. The foam from the The carbon-fiber played all of that is in the sole. And so what they're doing is they're trying to allow for some technological development going forward but they're trying to limit it and sort of keep it within a walled garden. I thought it was interesting that they chose this number forty millimeters because one of the experts that you interviewed in your piece actually had used that that same number in one of his recommendations right. He did yeah. We went out to Michigan to chat with this doctoral student. Jeff Burns in Jeff. Jeff is a really talented ultra. Runner is one of the best. Ultra runners in the world in fact and at Michigan he's pursuing a doctorate trid in bio mechanics. What's what's an ultra runner? An ultra runner is somebody who saw a marathon is twenty six point two miles. An ultra runner would be anybody who competitively runs runs longer than that and so like famous race. That Jeff is going to be competing in this. Summer is down in South Africa the comrades which is a a double double marathon so jeff's big idea was to regulate the mid sole thickness of the shoe and that's the same compromise that world athletics in their decision that they've handed down right and jeff as a bio mechanistic he wants to see technology pushing the sport Ford But as has a runner he also doesn't want to undermine the integrity of the sport and that means like there's so much technology in the sport at which point does the sports integrity integrity get compromised. How do you know that The Times that people are running is actually how fast they ran as opposed to being assisted by the shoe. I mean I guess one of the points that people would make is everyone can put the put the shoe on right. I mean at some point when the technology becomes part part of the equipment that you wear. Then everybody's being assisted equally the governing body though did make some other rules specifically about that about fair air advantage or fair use when they were looking at about talking about prototypes. So one of the rules that they came out with today was that prototypes had to be on the market for at least four four months and available before they would be allowed to be used in any kind of competition. So that's what's kind of interesting about the ruling that did hand down is they've let the vapor flies stand competition but they've basically made it impossible for any other shoe company other than Nike to really enter the Olympics in a really meaningful way hey Lots of different companies right now are working on prototypes to catch up with the vapor fly. But there's no way that any of those shoes that are currently gently in the prototype stage. There's no way that those will ever be used in the Olympics because of this ruling that they've had down that said that you had to have this on the the market for months before April and what that means is that even if a athlete is sponsored by Adidas soccer a Eh a six right even if they're sponsored by those other companies they can't bring those prototypes to the Olympic trials and they can't bring those prototypes to the Olympics. And so really the only shoe with this type of technology it's GonNa be allowed in competition vaporize. It does bring up a very interesting point though. I mean the point about the sponsorship because we we do know that a lot of athletes really depend on those sponsors in order to even make it to these elite competitions. That's a point you know it's the market availability of something is trying to Level the playing field right everybody should be able to have access to this new technology. Everyone should be able to buy a pair of these and if they can't if you're the only one with them that creates the potential unfair advantage. Reversely people who have sponsors were not Nike are saying. I can't wear my sponsor shoe you or I wear my sponsor shoe and I am potentially disadvantaged. Yeah IT'S A. It's a really interesting thing to think about. Just the spillover costs Sir of this decision. I think Comparable case is what happened in the two thousand eight Olympics with Speedo 's laser bodysuit. Everybody who wanted one was trying to get the laser and there were other types of full body suits that we're using this newfangled material which was supposed to mimic shark skin to to help sort of cut through water swim faster. Essentially right what happened. was that Speedo dominated those Olympics in you know a lot of I think the Japanese or the Korean team they were sponsored by another company but they got a waiver by their Companies Orthopedic Board to let them use the Speedo in competition because it was so clearly that much more of an advantage well and then that suit was actually outlawed right right. Yeah it was But what's important to keep in mind. Is that the full length. Suit was what was banned but the material that is still permitted in competition albeit in like a more limited form right so they can't wear the full body suits and competition but they can wear men can wear shorts essentially and women women can wear a smaller version basically a normal size swimsuit rather than the full body said so I mean it's interesting we're thinking about the way in which we we deal with Tekken. Obviously these sports shoes have come a long way since you know the sandals that were used when they ran the first marathon the the question. I think that they're starting to really think about is. How much is it really a competition if you're using all of this tax to your advantage do do we see other areas where they're putting the brakes on this and really trying to limit the assisted -ness of sports? Yeah there are tons of other examples. I think a good one is golf. There's some golf balls out there that you know you. Basically get hit farther because of the technology that was in the ball and it made driving long distances way easier than it had been in the past right and that brings down your your handicap. It looks like the shoes going to be in the Olympics. You talk to athletes are using them. What do they say they really makes that much of a difference? Yeah Yeah I think the consensus is a does I think some athletes prefer running other shoes but they also are mindful that their times might be faster astor some of them think there might be a placebo effect because this is so new and there's been so few studies done on this. It's we really don't know oh totally. What the issues do? But there seems to be a lot of evidence that S- it does make people run faster squishy and hard at the same time Alex hots. Thanks so much for joining us. Thank you and that was your techniques. Breathing don't forget that if you like this podcast you can rate and review us in your APP store. And and if you want more news about Wall Street Journal podcasts. You can follow us on twitter at W._S._J.. podcasts I'm Gary Ogm from the Wall Street Journal in New York thanks for listening.

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