World Athletics modifies rules governing competition shoes for elite athletes
World Athletics has today amended its rules governing competition shoes to provide greater clarity to athletes and shoe manufacturers around the world and to protect the integrity of the sport.
The rule amendments (link) that the World Athletics Council has this week approved were recommended by its Assistance Review Group, an internal working group containing technical, scientific and legal experts as well as athlete representatives.
From 30 April 2020, any shoe must have been available for purchase by any athlete on the open retail market (online or in store) for a period of four months before it can be used in competition.
Further, with immediate effect there will be an indefinite moratorium on any shoe (whether with or without spikes) that does not meet the following requirements:
- The sole must be no thicker than 40mm.
- The shoe must not contain more than one rigid embedded plate or blade (of any material) that runs either the full length or only part of the length of the shoe. The plate may be in more than one part but those parts must be located sequentially in one plane (not stacked or in parallel) and must not overlap.
- For a shoe with spikes, an additional plate (to the plate mentioned above) or other mechanism is permitted, but only for the purpose of attaching the spikes to the sole, and the sole must be no thicker than 30mm.
World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said: “It is not our job to regulate the entire sports shoe market but it is our duty to preserve the integrity of elite competition by ensuring that the shoes worn by elite athletes in competition do not offer any unfair assistance or advantage. As we enter the Olympic year, we don’t believe we can rule out shoes that have been generally available for a considerable period of time, but we can draw a line by prohibiting the use of shoes that go further than what is currently on the market while we investigate further.
Notes to editors:
- The amendments do not affect the heights of the high jump and long jump shoes, see Rule 5.2.
- The Assistance Review Group was chaired by Brian Roe (member of the former Technical Committee) and its members were Aziz Daouda, Yukio Seki, and Julio Roberto Gómez (members of the former Technical Committee), Susan Ahern (member of the former Legal Commission), Pedro Branco (former Health and Science Commission member), Michael Frater (former member of Athletes Commission) and Iñaki Gómez (Athletes' Commission member).