According to a study conducted on 500.000 tests in marathon and half marathon since the year 2014 already has an answer.
The new Vaporfly claim to be able to reduce a few 6 minutes for a runner on a three-hour race and about 8 minutes for a four-hour marathon, but will it be an unfair advantage for the rest of the riders?
Can steamfly make you run an 4% faster?
A few days ago The New York Times, published the result of an investigation that may be of great interest to any broker who wants to improve their brand.
It is a study that has been based on the data of the races registered in the Strava social network. For this, a total of some 500.00 tests between marathon and half marathon have been used since the 2014 year.
Well, this study shows that the shoes used and depending on the model in particular can guarantee an 4% in energy savings when running with them.
To be clear, we would be talking about a greater efficiency that translating on time would mean reducing 6 minutes in a corridor that does a three-hour marathon or a few 8 minutes in a corridor than a four-hour marathon.
This is the renowned model of Vaporfly shoes that the Nike brand has launched to the market this past summer and that has a price of approximately 250 dollars, ie about 215 euros.
The latest model, the Elite Flyprint shoes, have been sold under the limited edition format to runners of the London Marathon last year 2018 at a cost of 499 pounds, ie, a few 560 euros.
Unlike the most common running shoes, these have a novel carbon fiber plate located in the midsole that is able to store and release energy in every stride that the runner gives. In this way it could be said that it acts as a catapult, pushing the runner further and further forward.
When compared with other normal training shoes, the Vaporfly model has a greater wear and its effectiveness can be reduced after performing with them 160 Kms.
However, the technological advance offered by these shoes is a disloyal advantage in relation to other riders?
It can be a case similar to polyurethane swimsuits that ended up being prohibited by an improvement in the speed and buoyancy index in swimmers, decreasing their brands up to 2%.
According to the permitted footwear standards, the only thing he refers to is that "shoes should not be manufactured to give athletes an unfair advantage or advantage" but there is no specification about the advantages.
More details about the study
The study concluded that in a race carried out by 2 runners in very similar athletic conditions, the one that used the Vaporfly would get an advantage over the runner with another model of running shoes. This happened in slow, fast corridors, in men, women and in people running their 2do marathon or fifth in a total of their trajectory.
This is an affirmation that is extracted from the data of the millions of runners who participate in the races and who end up uploading their data in the Strava network.
In particular it has been based on the profiles of some 700 races in different countries since the 2014 year. In general, these are data that include statistics such as the partial and total time of each of the runners per kilometer traveled and a map that indicates the route the runner has made.
Also, in many of the Strava network's racing tracks, the athletes include the data of the shoes used in the races.
However, there is something that escapes from the study. Runners may use the Vaporfly when they know they will perform better, or that the Vaporfly themselves will make the runner work hard to achieve a higher performance. They are factors that can be related and that in one way or another the broker can control.