Running on plenty: I love my ‘super shoes’ but here’s why they should be banned

Ethiopia’s Tigist Assefa celebrates after breaking the world record

If you sidled up to any athlete at a track event and offered them something that could instantly make them 4 per cent faster, they would probably assume you were offering them a performance-enhancing drug.

They would be amazed, however, if you were to insist that what you were selling was perfectly legal, and even accepted and regulated by all the appropriate sporting authorities. Even better, your wonder product cost no more than a few hundred pounds. The athlete would get their cash out in seconds, because a 4 per cent improvement in running time is a huge gain, something that could take months or years of training to achieve.

Anyone watching the Berlin Marathon on Sunday would have seen such a product in action. It could be spotted on the feet of the Ethiopian runner Tigist Assefa, who won the race in 2hr 11min 53sec, thereby absolutely obliterating the women’s world record by a massive 2min 11sec. What Assefa was wearing was none other than a pair of Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1s, which are made by Adidas and cost £400. While such a price might seem steep for your average park runner, for any competitive athlete – let alone someone world class – that price is a pure bargain.

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