It's a tough call with the shoe technology. Say hypothetically you had an athlete in the year 2000 with the best shoes they had then transport back to the 1950s and race against athletes in the shoes they had then. You'd have to say that was shoe PED too. If every top athlete now has access to the same shoes they all have the same advantage so it's a level playing field. It is obviously going to make current world records easier to break but that's always been the case in sport. As technology improves and athletes also have access to better nutrition, training etc it's inevitable. It's just that the latest technology has taken quite a leap over a short period of time compared to the past evolution of shoes.
Uh, no. The only advantage shoes from the 2000s had from shoes in the 50s is that they were lighter and (probably) more comfortable. Up until now shoes were always looked at as a performance hinderer. How much would a pair of shoes hinder the performance. Over the years it would be less and less as they became lighter and lighter. Would a pair of spikes from the 50s hinder performance more than spikes from the 2000s. Probably, but I doubt a 3:55 miler would run 3:50 just from switching to the newer spikes from 2000s. Fast forward to today - would a 3:55 miler become a 3:50 just from switching to the new Nike spikes? I’d have to say yes. It sounds ridiculous that you could take 5 seconds off an already incredibly mile time just by switching shoes, but that’s what’s happening.
It’s hard to determine this in the Oregon and BYU athletes because they’ve always been wearing Nike. But now I’m seeing schools not sponsored by Nike that are outfitting their athletes (well, the distance runners) with dragonfly’s and removing the swoosh. For indoor they were in a different brand so it’s more easy to compare. Their times have dropped instantly. Times that, by going back and looking what they ran during the indoor season, they shouldn’t be running. I would say the dragonfly is allowing mid to high 29 10k runner to take off ~30 seconds. This is unprecedented. Even if you traveled back in time to the 50s and gave a pair of 2000s spikes to a 29:30 10k runner they wouldn’t cut 30 seconds off their time. The new Nike shoes are the new PED. Take the two Oregon guys that recently ran 3:50 indoor. They are 7th and 8th ALL TIME. Faster than Scott, Spivey, Webb, Morceli, Elliott, etc. etc. etc. The most talented milers the world has ever seen who went their entire careers and never ran as fast as those two rookies did earlier this year. Did Oregon just win the talent jackpot and get the two most talented milers the world has ever seen? Hardly.