Could These New Shoes Help You Run Your Fastest Marathon?

Adidas has just launched a new shoe aimed at helping marathon runners break the elusive 2 hour mark. The current world record for the 26 mile event is 2 hours 2 minutes and 57 seconds, set by Dennis Kimetto of Kenya. Adidas is now trying to help former world record holder Wilson Kipsang, also from Kenya land a sub-two hour time.

The shoe is called the Adizero Sub2, and it features a version of very light material called Boost foam which has been used on other Adidas models, called Boost Light. The brand is boasting that this is their lightest material ever, and because of this runners will be able to finish long distance races in less time.

Kipsang will debut the new kicks at this weekend’s Tokyo Marathon, and he has already said they are a “game-changer” for him.

One of the reasons why the shoe business is so robust is the fact that every runner has their own footwear preference. Some prefer Adidas, others prefer Nike, then there are a ton of runners who have moved over to Asics. This competition means that companies are forced to embark on ambitious marketing campaigns dominated by grandiose claims, like getting runners below the 2-hour mark.

Like with any product, you can’t allow yourself to buy into the marketing hype. Instead, do what your feet tell you—yes, I know that feet can’t talk. I’m saying, try on a variety of pairs and select the kind that offers you the best comfort. Aesthetics are nice, but when you are an hour into the race you no longer care about how your shoes look; you want them to feel good.

Although I’m no marathon runner, I can attest to the importance of comfort when playing tennis. Sometimes the biggest factor separating you from others is speed and movement around the court. If your shoes are sluggish, your game will suffer.

Adidas has claimed its goal in the new boost shoes is to be “100 grams lighter than the latest Adizero edition.” Wilson Kipsang’s shoes weigh a slim 150 grams.

How does weight affect runners throughout a race? As explained by Adidas’s global running category directory, “When you run a long run or a marathon, at one point, you’ll notice a man with a hammer comes out of nowhere and hits you in the legs”—a metaphor for sore muscles.

If Kipsang is able to set a new world record, expect to see a serious boon for Adidas while the other shoe companies scramble to get their runners into world record territory.

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