The Super Shoes That Made The 2023 TCS New York City Marathon Podium

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The winners of the 2023 TCS New York Marathon have been crowned, and with all the hype around super shoes, we’re going to take a look at the shoes that carried the men’s and women’s podiums across the line in the Big Apple.

adidas evo

Adidas Super Shoe Strikes Again

Tamirat Tola was the men’s winner at the NYC Marathon and broke the 12-year-old course record after crossing the line in 2:04:58.

Tola, an Adidas-sponsored runner, was wearing the coveted Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1 at the NYC Marathon.

This is the first time the ultra-lightweight shoes have won in a men’s marathon. 

The Adidas Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1 shot to popularity after Tigst Assefa wore them when she shattered the women’s marathon world record in Berlin earlier this year.

The Adidas super shoe is packed with weight-saving technologies ranging from a newly developed “Lightstrike Foam,” a thinner rubber sole that doesn’t sacrifice traction, and a translucent and thin upper.

The caveat with the Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1 is that it comes in at $500 and it is only durable for one marathon, plus familiarization.

Hellen Obiri Brings On Running To The Spotlight

Hellen Obiri took the women’s race after a surge in pace at the end of the race that her competitors couldn’t match. Obiri was crowned the winner after crossing the line in 2:27:23.

Obiri is an On Running athlete, meaning she wasn’t wearing either the coveted Nike or Adidas super shoe. Obiri was seen wearing an unreleased On development shoe.

On isn’t particularly known for being at the front of innovation in terms of carbon-plated race shoes. The Couldboom Echo is the latest advancement to On racing shoes.

The Cloudboom Echo comes in at 220g, a carbon plate and dual layers of their patented CloudTec in Helion superfoam.

Although we don’t have any information on what improvements are being made to their development shoe, we know to keep our eyes peeled for more information from On Running.

Albert Korir Opting Not To Wear A Super Shoe

Albert Korir took second in the men’s marathon, running a personal best time of 2:06:57.

Korir, like Tola, is an Adidas-sponsored runner. However, unlike Tola, he was not seen wearing the brand’s latest super shoe, the Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1. 

Rather, Korir carried himself to a personal best, wearing the Adidas Adios Pro 3.

The Adios Pro 3 is a more economical version of the Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1, featuring fewer technological advancements but at a more affordable price with greater durability.

The Adios Pro 3 still features a carbon plate, however, the shoe comes in at 218 grams, which is 80 grams heavier than the famous super shoe. 

Previous scientific research has shown that for every 100 grams taken off a race shoe, runners’ times were 1% better.

Why do you think Korir was using a less developed version of the super shoe?

Nike Continues To Find Its Way To The Podium

Letesenbet Gidey was the only runner able to disrupt the Kenyan dominance, being the only non-Kenyan to place in the top seven. 

Gidey, a Nike-sponsored athlete, was wearing the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next % 3 during the New York City Marathon.

The same shoe Kelvin Kiptum wore to run his 2:00:35 world record in Chicago has been at the other end in this year’s battle of the super shoes between Nike and Adidas. Eliud Kipchoge was also seen wearing the Nike super shoes in Berlin earlier this year.

The Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next % 3 is not yet available to the public but has a release date of January 2024

Although it is not as light as the Adidas Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1, the Nike super shoe features innovative air cushions, which reportedly increase energy return and running economy.

Shura Kitata Choses Vapourfly Over Alphafly

Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata rounded out the podium, crossing the line of the New York City Marathon in 2:07:11

A Nike runner, Kitata, was another runner not seen wearing his brand’s eye-catching super shoe. Rather, third-place finisher Kitata was wearing the Nike ZoomX Vapourfly Next % 2. 

Coming in at 187 grams, the Nike ZoomX Vapourfly Next % 2 is a carbon-plated shoe that is known to be a bit more comfortable, thanks to an improved upper.

This Nike shoe is reported by users to be quite comfortable for a racing shoe and with its unique geometry, provides a forward tipping motion to help propel runners.

Sharon Lokedi Bringing Lesser-Known Under Armour To the Podium

The women’s podium saw two unreleased shoes, from two lesser popular brands. 

Sharon Lokedi, a runner for Under Armour, crossed the line in 2:27:33 wearing a prototype of the unreleased Under Armour Velociti Elite 2.

An updated version of its predecessor, the Flow Velociti Elite, not much is yet known about the changes coming.

The earlier version, however, is a lightweight carbon-plated shoe that was built to compete with the big-name brands.

The women’s version comes in, weighing 180 grams, while the men’s carries a little more weight at 212 grams.

The shoe, developed specifically with marathon racing in mind, was designed with professional and experienced runners in mind. The lightness of the shoe requires a refined running technique to reap its full potential.

The negative aspects reported by users of this shoe was the instability and lack of traction on wet ground and the upper mesh was too delicate.

If Under Armour is taking reviews from athlete testers into consideration, there is a good chance the updated version could focus on these areas of improvement.

Could We See Another Brand Dominate The Battle Of The Super Shoes?

The New York City Marathon brought interesting results in terms of the gear the podium winners were wearing. 

Although we saw some expected shoes that have been consistently making podiums this year, such as Nike and Adidas’ super shoes, we also saw some underdogs making strides.

Seeing earlier versions of popular brands and newer unreleased versions from lesser-known brands, the battle of the super shoes seems to be ongoing, and every company wants to have its name in the spotlight.

Although Nike and Adidas have been dominant for years, it leaves us wondering whether another brand has something up its sleeve that could surprise us.

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Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

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