In the world of athletics and sports, there are no shortcuts to success. You need to get up and do the work to make yourself great, and the greatest athletes in the world reached that elite level through a raw dedication to their craft.
However, whilst elite sportswear and sports backpacks are not a substitute for all of the other ingredients that make people great, they can help in a variety of ways, from providing support when you need it, to reducing sweating and discomfort, meaning you can train harder and longer.
With that said, there have been cases where certain types of athletic wear have been considered so unfairly good that they would ultimately be banned, and here are some of the most interesting examples.
LZR Racer Swimsuit
The year 2008 was the year of the Beijing Olympic Games, and during the entire duration of the event, 25 world records were broken, which was an astronomical achievement.
However, this also led to considerable controversy, as it turned out all but two of these world records were achieved by swimmers wearing one specific swimsuit, the LZR Racer, which reduced water resistance by almost 40 per cent and could immediately speed up a swimmer by 4 per cent.
That adds up, alongside a wider Olympic-sized swimming pool in the Water Cube, to a lot of world records and accusations of “technological doping”.
Eventually, the rules were changed to ban all body-length swimsuits from 2010 onwards.
The right athletics shoe can make the world of difference and can be the difference between an athlete reaching their potential or getting themselves seriously injured.
However, one pair of long-distance prototype shoes were so good they managed to break a marathon world record milestone believed to be unbreakable.
In 2019, current world record holder Eliud Kipchoge ran a time of 1:59:40.2, over a minute faster than his current world record time of 2:01:09. However, a part of this was his prototype Nike Alphafly shoes, which had a huge foam layer that provided extra comfort and spring to each step.
These were banned and clearer policies were put in place to establish competition-legal shoes.