Updated Data-Driven Analyses Of ”The Super Shoe Effect”

Coach/performance researcher Peter John L. Thompson has updated his illuminating study of performances in the “super shoes era” by adding data for NCAA outdoor performances in the 2015–’23 period, including a new table of yearly averages. (updated through June 09, 2023)

World Athletics & NCAA Data Analyses – Synopsis

The past decade has seen two major impacts on the global performance of athletes:

1. The COVID-19 Pandemic

2. The introduction and availability of Carbon-plated Footwear Technology

How can we identify and evaluate this impact of both COVID-19 and Carbon-plated Footwear Technology?

Performance Criteria
Examining performance criteria over time is one way of evaluating an impact. Normally, the number of athletes globally who exceed a certain performance criterion is relatively stable from year-to-year, with slight fluctuations in Olympic and pre-Olympic years. Also, it is expected to see a gradual increase in the number of athletes exceeding the criterion over time, through natural ‘event development’. The years from 2015- 2022 are analysed here — with the 2023 season included for indoor events.

Since the Carbon-plated footwear provides an added and external mechanical kinetic unit to the body’s internal kinetic chain we can simply and accurately compare the differences in performance from when Carbon-plated shoes and spikes became globally available to the previous period, when athletes wore ‘conventional’ shoes and spikes.

Click on any of the six images below for data-driven analysis of the ”super shoe effect” as reflected by World Athletics and NCAA lists across outdoor, indoor and road events.

© Collated and Graphically Interpreted by Peter John L. Thompson, Spring 2023

Performance criteria used for each event are identified in the NCAA Outdoor Data 2015–2023 linked above.