World Athletics amends rules to cap track shoe sole thickness at 20mm

A pair of track spikes
Recent years have seen the impact of advancements in shoe technology become a significant talking point

The thickness of the soles of track spikes will be capped at 20mm from 2024, World Athletics has confirmed.

The sport's governing body says manufacturers have "sufficient time" to make adjustments to products before the rule begins on 1 November 2024.

Track spikes can currently measure from 20-25mm in stack height, while the mark is 40mm for road shoes.

World Athletics said it is exploring solutions for athletic shoes that balance "innovation and fairness".

Recent years have seen questions posed as to how influential advancements in shoe technology have been on new records set both on the track and road.

After taking 0.76 of a second off his own world record at this year's Tokyo Olympics, Norwegian 400 metres hurdler Karsten Warholm warned shoe technology was proving an issue.

"When somebody does a great performance now, everybody will question if it's the shoe and that is the credibility problem," he said.

"People sitting at home. I don't want them to feel like they've been fooled or tricked. I want there to be credibility."

In announcing the rule change for 2024, World Athletics said it will make a more "flexible" compliance process for checking if shoes are within the rules for each specific event.

Post-race checks will be given stronger focus and a shoe control officer role will be created to oversee new processes.

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