World Athletics changes rules on development of shoes
Nike Vaporfly shoe. /VCG
Nike Vaporfly shoe. /VCG
World Athletics has made changes to its rules governing development (prototype) shoes following requests by all major shoe manufacturers and the industry body that represents them, the World Federation of the Sports Goods Industry ('WFSGI').
The amendment to the rule will allow development shoes to be worn in international competitions and competitions sanctioned by Member Federations where World Athletics rules are applied, prior to their availability to other athletes, upon approval of the shoe specifications by World Athletics. These shoes will have to meet the same technical specifications as all other approved shoes.
Development shoes can continue to be worn in any competition where World Athletics’ competition and technical rules are not applied.
The amendment, approved by World Athletics' Council on 4 December, applies with immediate effect, to competitions sanctioned by World Athletics, Area Associations or Member Federations at which World Athletics' Competition Rules and Technical Rules are enforced, but will not be permitted to be worn at the World Athletics Series or the Olympic Games.
The development shoe can only be worn for a 12-month 'development' period.
A list of approved development shoes will be posted on the World Athletics website stating the date from which the development shoe can be worn and the expiry date for approval.
To date there is a list of 200 (spikes and non-spikes) approved shoes listed and published on the World Athletics website.
This new proposal will be complemented by an athletic shoe availability scheme for shoes which is being developed by a Working Group on Athletic Shoes with representatives from shoe manufacturers and WFSGI.
World Athletics CEO Jon Ridgeon said: "The use of competition to complete the final testing of development shoes by manufacturers has always been an important part of the shoe development process. This year has been a difficult one for both shoe manufacturers and athletes with significant disruption to manufacturing and reduced access to competitions for athletes around the world."
"With shoe manufacturers agreeing to our new process of submitting specifications and shoes, if required, for approval ahead of being worn in competition, we are confident that this amendment will not impact the integrity of the competition."
"Development shoe" means a shoe (i.e. spike or road shoes) which has never been available for purchase but which a sports manufacturer is developing to bring to market and would like to conduct tests with their sponsored athletes (who agree to test the shoe) on issues such as safety and performance before the shoe is available for purchase.