The Nike Running Shoe Controversy

There is quite a controversy brewing at the moment in the running community associated with a potential unfair advantage from performance enhancing running shoes. These are shoes that provide a return of energy after the foot has hit the ground. These types of shoes are potentially illegal and performance enhancing, but they have not been banned yet. Almost all elite runners are now using them in marathons and many nonelite runners are also using them to get an alleged performance boost. They have become so widely used, it may not be possible for the authorities to regulate there use, even if the wanted to. A recent episode of the podiatry livestream was devoted to this issues, especially the controversy around the Nike Vaporfly and Next% running shoes.

In this episode of PodChatLive, the hosts chatted with Alex Hutchinson talking about those running shoes which appears to have moved the needle more than any other shoe in history of running, the Nike Vaporfly and Next%. They talked about if they come good on their marketing promise of improving runners by 4% and what does that actually mean? They talked about where does the line between innovation and ‘shoe doping’ get drawn and if the shoes are they only for elite runners. Alex Hutchinson is an author and journalist in based Toronto, Canada. His primary focus these days is the science of endurance and fitness, which he covers for Outside magazine, The Globe and Mail, and the Canadian Running magazine. Alex also covers technology for Popular Mechanics (where he earned a National Magazine Award for his energy reporting) and adventure travel for the New York Times, and was a Runner’s World columnist from 2012 to 2017. His latest book is an exploration of the science of endurance. It’s called ENDURE: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance.