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What’s responsible for these boosts to performance? Their design includes a plate of carbon fiber in the middle of the shoe, and midsole foam which research suggests also plays a role. And even if you’re not an elite runner like Kipchoge, the Times’ research still indicates that these shoes can make you faster; the effect is on runners across the board. Besides race times and the names of shoes, we also have data on runners’ gender and approximate age. For some of the more serious runners, we have detailed information about their training volume in the months leading up to a race. We also know about the weather on race day.

Race times are, in many ways, a crude way to measure performance. One marathon may be hilly or full of sharp turns; others may be flat and straight. Weather, too, is important , with higher temperatures typically resulting in slower times. And yet race times are how runners qualify for prestigious races , like the Boston Marathon, and most runners know their personal best times by heart, regardless of whether the race they ran was flat or hilly, on a hot day or a cold one. However, her makeshift shoes didn’t stop her from winning other athletes who wore proper, covered shoes to the meet.

The latest in Nike’s React line of running shoes, the Phantom utilizes the company’s exceptionally soft and responsive React foam, just like its laced up sibling, the Epic React Flyknit 2 The difference, of course, is in the upper: The Phantom’s Flyknit upper is constructed with elastic yarns along the collar and tongue to flex with your foot, and non-elastic yarns in other areas to provide structure and support. There’s also a plastic heel clip to guide your foot, but the real draw here is the minimalist, sock-like fit.

Photos of Bullos’ feet and her taped up Nike incorporated shoes quickly raced around social media and reached one head coach of a professional team in the Philippines. Although the minimalist running craze has come and gone, the Nike Free continues as a stripped down, highly flexible trainer for short distances. The latest version sports a completely redesigned midsole that bulges in key areas to provide more support to the foot and a new curved groove pattern that maximizes flexibility. The upper is a mixed bag, however: It’s seamless and roomy, but many testers felt it didn’t keep their feet stabilized on the run.

Founded in 1962 by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight and originally called Blue Ribbon Sports, the brand grew over the next decade and changed their name to Nike in 1972. Since then, Nike has grown to become one of the most recognised and trusted names in the sports market. With a range that spans apparel, shoes and accessories suitable for any and every athletic pursuit, Nike has positioned themselves as a leader in their field. Runners who wear Nike’s fastest shoes may have a 4 to 5 per cent advantage over others during races, according to a recent New York Times analysis.

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