It should have been a perfect moment for Carson Caprara, head of footwear development for Brooks Running, when the company’s star athlete claimed bronze in the 1,500-meter finals at the Tokyo Olympics.
Instead, there was a catch. The runner, Britain’s Josh Kerr, wore shoes designed by Nike. That’s because, amid the complications of COVID-19, Brooks had been delayed in developing a version of next-generation track spikes that are transforming the sport.
“It was so frustrating,” said Caprara, whose company let Kerr and other sponsored elites race in spikes from rival brands. “We’ve always responded for our athletes, every time. To