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Scott Fauble Enters the Shoe Debate, Early Thoughts on 2020 Trials

Live from New York, it’s the CITIUS MAG Podcast with Chris Chavez and Scott Fauble.

Thanks to Hoka One One for hosting us in their pop up shop at 93 Mercer Street during the New York City Marathon festivities. On this show, Scott rejoins the program to discuss what it’s like coming back to the city one year after being the second American across the finish line, recovering from his 2:09:09, his summer of racing that followed, the great Nike Vaporfly debate and the shoe war that’s underway + an early look at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.

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Scott’s general thoughts on the shoe debate:

“We are in the HOKA One One Pop Up. Everyone has been touting this Nike shoe with the carbon fiber plate. HOKA has two shoes with carbon plates that I think you guys would like and should check out. One is the Carbon X. The other one is the Carbon Rocket (which I wore in Boston and ran 2:09 in). Frankly, I think there’s this thing that happened where Nike is good at marketing and so everyone is like, ‘Oh this is the shoe we need! This is the shoe that’s so much faster!’ But, every running shoe has a shoe with a carbon plate in it. I’ve never seen any conclusive evidence that their shoe is better than our shoe by any means. I think innovation is part of the sport. There’s this idea that we should ban carbon fiber plates or something like that. That’s unrealistic to me. I think innovations are part of sports and everyone is always looking to innovate. Frankly, I think it’s a good thing. Even if there is some sort of ban or regulation on technology, I feel 100% confident that HOKA will have a shoe that meets all of those requirements and is just as good as the fastest performing shoe, if not better.”

Does he feel like it is a level playing field against the Nike athletes:

I do, personally. One thing that I don’t really care for in the way people interpret these impressive results – everyone is like, ‘Oh look it’s all Nike athletes that are running really amazing!’ Well, Nike has a massive budget and these people would be Nike athletes no matter what shoe they’re wearing. They’ve always had and put in a ton of money into elite athletes. Kenenisa Bekele, for example, broke the 5K and 10K world record back in the early 2000s and he was a Nike athlete back then too. Eliud Kipchoge has been a Nike athlete for a really long time and he’s been awesome for a really long time. I think people are missing that. Just because they’re running so well in these shoes, doesn’t mean that it’s because of these shoes. It’s because they’re awesome runners. Geoffrey Kamworor is a distance running god. Of course, he’s really good at the half marathon! What would you expect?

What’s a solution to the issue? The IAAF says it’s looking into the shoes

“It’ll probably get crazier until it gets regulated. I would be skeptical that it will actually get regulated in a meaningful way. The IAAF has a lot of intertwining strings with other companies that make shoes with carbon fiber plates in them. We don’t have to get into the behind-the-scenes politics going on at the IAAF. That would be a seven-hour podcast.”

Thanks to Ryan Sterner for the photos from the event.

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