Shoes for Olympic Marathon Runners
In the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials, all three men on the podium were wearing Nike. The top two women were wearing Hoka and the third woman was wearing Nike.
Jeff Dengate tallied the Olympic Marathon Trial finishers by shooting high resolution photos of every single runner. Zooming in, he tallied the brand and model for each runner who finished the race. He removed the brands of runners who withdrew from the marathon.
The Four Highest Ranking Brands for Marathon Runners:
- Nike had 408
- Brooks 59
- New Balance 28
- Hoka 26
Highest Ranking Models for Marathon Runners:
- Nike zoomx Vaporfly Next% – 65 for men and 148 for women = 213
- Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% 53 for men and 95 for women = 148
Modern-day top marathon runners might wear Nike running shoes, but during the Middle Ages, Roman soldier’s wore sandals.
A Roman Soldier’s Sandals
“Roman soldier’s feet were fitted with sandals. These sandals were made to help protect soldier’s feet during their long marches into battle. They had extremely thick soles and wrapped perfectly around their ankles in a way that protected against blistering. Their shoes also had spikes on the bottom to help them stand firm as they traveled. This helped them have a firm foundation.” [Connect Us]
Foundational Thoughts on the Gospel of Peace
“The soldier must have his feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. This suggests a readiness to go out with the good news of peace, and therefore an invasion into enemy territory. When we relax in our tents, we are in deadly peril. Our safety is to be found in following the beautiful feet of the Savior on the mountains, bearing glad tidings and publishing peace (Isaiah 52:7; Romans 10:15).” [MacDonald]
“Roman soldiers wore boots with nails in them to grip the ground in combat. The gospel of peace pertains to the good news that, through Christ, believers are a peace with God and He is on their side (Rom. 5:6-10). It is that confidence of divine support which allows the believer to stand firm, knowing that he is at peace with God and God is his strength (Rom. 8:31, 37-39).” [MacArthur]
“Relying on Isaiah 52:7, Paul commanded that we live ready to proclaim a Gospel that brings Peace.” [Moody]
“The Roman soldier wore sandals with hobnails in the soles to give him better footing for the battle. If we are going to ‘stand’ and ‘withstand,’ then we need the shoes of the gospel. Because we have the peace with God (Romans 5:1) that comes from the gospel, we need not fear the attack of satan or men. We must be at peace with God and with each other if we are to defeat the devil (James 4:1-7).”
“But the shoes have another meaning. We must be prepared each day to share the gospel of peace with a lost world. The most victorious Christian is a witnessing Christian. If we wear the shoes of the gospel, then we have the ‘beautiful feet’ mentioned in Isaiah 52:7 and Romans 10:15. Satan has declared war, but you and I are ambassadors of peace (2 Corinthians 5:18-21); and, as such, we take the gospel of peace wherever we go.” [WBC]
Gospel of Peace Application
“Believers have a firm foundation in the Gospel. As believers, we have peace in knowing we are secure in what Jesus has done for us.” [Connect Us]
In one sense, the ‘whole armor of God’ is a picture of Jesus Christ. Christ is the Truth (john 14:6), and He is our righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21) and our peace (Ephesians 2:14). His faithfulness makes possible our faith (Galatians 2:20); He is our salvation (Luke 2:30); and He is the Word of God (John 1:1, 14). This means that when we trusted Christ, we received the armor.”
“Paul told the Romans what to do with the armor (Romans 13:11-14): wake up (Romans 13:11), cast off sin, and ‘put on the armor of light’ (Romans 13:12). We do this by faith, put on the armor and trust God for the victory. Once and for all, we have put on the armor at the moment of salvation.”
“But there must be a daily appropriation. When Kind David put off his armor and returned to his palace, he was in greater danger than when he was on the battlefield (2 Samuel 11). We are never out of reach of satan’s devices, so we must never be without the whole armor of God.” [WBC 624]
Full Armor of God Scripture
In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might. Put on the full armor of God [for His precepts are like the splendid armor of a heavily-armed soldier], so that you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly [supernatural] places.
Therefore, put on the complete armor of God, so that you will be able to [successfully] resist and stand your ground in the evil day [of danger], and having done everything [that the crisis demands], to stand firm [in your place, fully prepared, immovable, victorious].
So stand firm and hold your ground, having tightened the wide band of truth (personal integrity, moral courage) around your waist and having put on the breastplate of righteousness (an upright heart), and having strapped on your feet the gospel of peace in preparation [to face the enemy with firm-footed stability and the readiness produced by the good news].
Above all, lift up the [protective] shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. (Ephesians 6:10-17 AMP)
The Gospel of Peace to Finish Our Race
Roman soldiers wore well fitted sandals during the Middle Ages to protect their feet and to provide a firm foundation for their long marches. Modern-day marathon runners wear running shoes designed to carry them long distances in a competitive race.
We, as Christians, would be wise to follow their example by fitting ourselves with the Gospel of Peace that we might stand firm and share the Peace of God that passes all understanding, and that we might “lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.” (Hebrews 12:1b-2 NASB)
Words Seasoned with Grace https://strengthwithdignity.com/words-seasoned-with-grace/
Daniel: A Man above Reproach https://strengthwithdignity.com/daniel-a-man-above-reproach/
Amplified Bible. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation, 2015.
Armor of God. Kindle edition. Rose Publishing, 2005.
Dengate, Jeff. “What Shoes Do the U.S.’s Fastest Runners Wear?” Published by RunnersWorld.com, March 2, 2020. Retrieved August 2, 2021 from https://www.runnersworld.com/gear/a31180532/olympic-marathon-trials-shoe-count/
MacArthur, John. The MacArthur Bible Commentary. Thomas Nelson, 2005, page 1706.
MacDonald, William. The Believer’s Bible Commentary. Thomas Nelson, 2016, page 1992.
The 7 Pieces of the Armor of God and How to Use Them. Written by the Editor in Chief of Connect Us. Published December 2, 2019. Retrieved June 28, 2021 from https://connectusfund.org/7-pieces-of-the-armor-of-god
The Moody Bible Commentary. General Editors: Michael Rydelnik and Michael Van Laningham. Moody Publishers, 2014, page 1855.
Wiersbe, Warren B. The Wiersbe Bible Commentary: The Complete New Testament. [WBC] Published by David C. Cook, 2007, page 623.