Nike Vaporfly Super Shoes Set to Escape Ban: Report

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(Bloomberg) -- Nike Inc.’s high-tech Vaporfly running shoes, which have attracted controversy while helping marathon runners break records, will escape a mooted ban from use in competition, the Guardian reported. That’s bad news for rival footwear makers in Japan.

The Guardian said international governing body World Athletics won’t impose a blanket ban on the Vaporfly sneakers in a decision set for Friday. The organization is expected to say all shoes currently on the market using advanced technology will remain legal, the report said. There will be no restrictions on sneakers that incorporate carbon plates such as Nike’s, the report said, although the body will launch an investigation into how much of advantage they confer.

Nike Vaporfly Super Shoes Set to Escape Ban: Report

Shares of Japanese trainer maker Asics Corp. fell as much as 6.4% in trading Wednesday, extending declines in the afternoon session after Japanese media picked up the report.

The Vaporfly shoes helped Eliud Kipchoge break the 2-hour marathon mark, but have attracted controversy, with some denouncing the sneakers as “technological doping.” Shares in Asics and fellow Japanese sneaker maker Mizuno Corp. have fluctuated as the the fate of the super-shoe has been debated.

The two companies fell at the beginning of the year, when Vaporflys were featured as the favored shoe in Japan’s most-watched road race. But the stocks bounced back later in January amid report World Athletics was mulling a ban on the shoes in professional competition.

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