The same is true for these shoes, though to a much lesser extent, mainly because the frequency of elite runners with access and opportunity is much higher, so we’re far less likely to be shocked by a new athlete.
However, the second possibility is technological improvement.
In the case of the Nike Vaporfly, we know both those things only because Nike have said so, which may be marketing, but I think a theoretical basis needs to be acknowledged, because a spring made in this way would provide an advantage.Basically, I think there are two historical cases in play: The Pistorius advantage, which draws a direct line to this, and the Speedo LZR Racer swimsuit and subsequent suits, which illustrate a couple of conceptual issues. That means the carbon fiber plate, or plastic etc but not necessarily the gels/air patches that offer cushioning, and not the foam, either.To sum my position up, I think the addition of any device that purports to act as a spring (and the Vaporfly Elite clearly has this) should be banned for the credibility of performances both now and into the future. Since Kram raised it on Twitter, I also don’t think that orthotics meet that standard to be banned.I find it difficult to believe that a previous focus on energy recovery and locomotion efficiency using a curved spring plate was set aside to create a curved spring plate that didn’t do the very same thing.So to me, it’s pretty clear what the Vaporfly Elite’s curved plate has the capacity to do.It’s also clear if you understand how the Pistorius case led, in a direct line, to this point, but more on that below.