“It’s Gotta Be The Shoes!” It Actually Is, As Nike “Super Shoes” Dominate Olympics

Karsten Warholm, of Norway, leads Rai Benjamin, of United States,in the men's 400-meter hurdles final at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Forget about which country won the most medals during track and field competition at the Tokyo Games, to find out the real winner, lets analyze which shoe company produced the most medal winners. 

That would be Nike, by far, as athlete’s wearing the Swoosh on their shoe took 64% of the podium spots during the Olympics. That’s 64%, and if you’re wondering why Nike was so dominant, it is because a superior design. 

Their shoes that are dubbed “super shoes” are next level, and constructed to give runners an advantage.  Their design surrounds plates that are made of carbon fiber or stiff plastic into pliable foam cushion.  

That’s where the secret sauce comes from, as that particular design actually gives back energy to the runner with each step they take. 

Nike’s dominance with this new shoe technology started at the Rio Games in 2016.  That’s when Nike debuted their Vaporflys, and runners wearing those shoes dominated the marathon, and for the last five years those shoes have been on the feet of every major long-distance road race winner. 

The Vaporflys are literally built to shave minutes off a marathoners times. 

There was some controversy regarding Nike gear in Tokyo, and it centered around the “super spikes.”  This is a shoe they debuted in 2019, and it essentially uses the technology that makes the Vaporflys so successful, except these spikes are for shorter distance sprinters. 

It’s truly a competitive edge that other shoe companies can’t touch right now, as they are chasing Nike, trying to come up with their own version of those shoes. 

Some athletes say that the super spikes provides an unfair advantage.  The most outspoken was Norwegian 400-meter hurdle gold medal winner Karsten Warholm, who set the world record in his non-Nike super spikes.  He wore Puma’s.  

American hurdler Sydney McLaughlin, who set the world record while winning Gold in the 400 hurdles wore New Balance.

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