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Ironman follows World Triathlon lead with super-shoe ban

Ironman announces "allignment with World Triathlon" as part of updated Global Competition Rules

Photo by: Kevin Mackinnon

Last December we reported that World Triathlon was banning super shoes like the ones Gustav Iden wore to win last October’s Ironman World Championship – now we’ve learned that Ironman will be following suit. Iden was one of a number of pros wearing shoes that will no longer be legal at Ironman events. The new rules affect both sole depth and the carbon plates used in many of the high-tech shoes on the market. The new rules state that:

  • The sole must be no thicker than 40mm.
  • The shoe must not contain more than one rigid embedded plate or blade (of any material) that runs either the full length or only part of the length of the shoe. The plate may be in more than one part but those parts must be located sequentially in one plane (not stacked or in parallel) and must not overlap.

World Triathlon’s rules follow those of World Athletics, which also require that any legal shoe must “have been available for purchase by any athlete on the open retail market (online or in store) for a period of four months before it can be used in competition.” That means prototype shoes, like the On shoes that Iden wore in Kona, won’t be permitted.

“The updated policy can be found in Section 6.02 of the Ironman Competition Rules,” Ironman stated in a release. “Athletes are encouraged to check out the 2023 Ironman Competition Rules well in advance of their upcoming events to view these updates as well as other updates to the Competition Rules for this season. Any event specific questions can be directed to the corresponding event contact email.”

Chelsea Sodaro wore the Asics Metaspeed Sky+ in Kona. She’s since signed on with On.

The prototype version of the On Cloudboom Echo 3 that Iden wore in Kona had a sole that was thicker than 40 mm, but the regular version of the shoe features a rear stack height of 35 mm, so it will be legal under the new rules. The Asics Metaspeed Sky+ that Chelsea Sodaro wore to win in Kona (and was worn by a number of pros including Kristian Blummenfelt), features a 39 mm rear stack height.