Over this past summer I’ve purchased and used way too many sprint spikes!!
So below is my review of them, and with a little knowledge, what should be the best spikes for sprinters in 2019
Adidas Adizero Prime SP, Nike Superfly Elite, Nike Ja-Fly Elite, Nike Zoom 400s, Brooks, New Balance Vazee Sigma.
Lets start with the reigning King of sprint spikes!
Adidas Adizero Prime Sp.
These are the lightest and stiffest spikes on the market, worn by some very good elites and the favoured among the sub-elites for the aforementioned reasons (including myself for so so so long!) an excellent feeling of springing off the track and a position that puts your on the balls of your feet.
However, these things are narrow and will hurt your feet if you feet that…. Are normal! (I’ve simply put up with the ever growing pain for years, resorting to only wearing for actual races)
The problem is with these spikes is the lack of metatarsal movement due to the stiffness and shape f the spike. So although these spike so give a great feeling of being able to spring off the track, they do so by reducing your foots ability to provide propulsion or stride length (obviously not entirely, but there is a compromise with these spikes for sure).
The “SP’s” are a great spike and have the reigning king for a good few years, and with a fair claim to the throne.
My Rating 8/10
The “Pretenders” to the throne
Nike Superfly Elite
In recent years Nike have tried to make a comeback introducing the honeycombed plate touted as being stiff where it needs to be and flexible where it should (see Adidas Review above for reasoning).
Now I have to be honest until this season I didn’t bother even picking up a pair Nikes as I believed so much in the “SP’s”. But alas, my left foot was being murdered by the SP’s and so I needed a wider shoe (which incidentally led to me buying all the other spikes in this review before the Nikes!)
They are beautiful pieces of art there is no denying that (though do get dirty way to quickly and look old before their time! So be aware if you like your spikes looking fresh) and on the feet these are perfectly fitted and comfortable on the foot, with appears to feel like a lovely rocker in the forefoot that aids that ball of your feet position.
The Nikes Spikes (these and the Ja-Fly’s) lack that real ‘spring’ off the track that the SP’s give you, but don’t let that initial feeling cloud your judgement as these certainly have enough bounce back and a good sprint position, along with being flexible enough to improve the use of your foot during acceleration and top end sprinting.
My Rating 9/10
Nike Ja-Fly Elite
Along with the Superfly these have undergone a few changes over the years with the new plate and upper (can they decide which is best for bend running please, is it asymmetrical or not!)
But just like the Superfly’s these are a great fit and of course that upper is part of the mechanism for the claim in regards to being a bend specific spike along with a slight variation to the plate holes to allow a little more ‘Torsion’ when running round the bends.
(I actually wore these spikes during my World Masters Championships campaign in which I won the M35 400m)
My Rating 9/10
Nike Zoom 400
Hmmm what can is say about these, so they are mixture/hybrid spike aimed at the 400 sprinter who perhaps isn’t a full out sprinter! And I think that’s where everyone Ive met this year has made the mistake!…. Including me! You here the talk about these everywhere, even Nikes new poster boy for the 400 Fred Kerley has been wearing these (and obviously with no real luck)
They have a full length cushion and what I can only define as an 7/10 plate. These are perfect for training the reps in! You can walk perfectly normally and help prevent your calves getting cramp but for actual speed. No! That cushioning is just enough to help when your not at full flight but even at 400 pace it switches off the front side mechanics too much, any touted gain you may make in the last 50 is lost over the first 350.
Definitely purchase if your 400 athlete but use for training during winter or if you’re more from the endurance side etc.
My rating 7/10
Brooks QW-K v3
These are a very valiant effort, a lovely thin and supportive upper and what we would term a standard plate even though the claim of these is that it has a carbon shaft in the plate to improve rigidity and energy return (Good! but see the SP review for issues with plate stiffness etc.)
The reasoning for my term of ‘Valiant’ is that these spikes are good, and do have potential, but the plate is just configured wrong. There is a ‘Spike’ right in the centre of the plate that causes a slight “see saw” effect of the foot depending on how you land (the centre where the spike is feels to cause an imbalance and a rocking effect).
My rating 4/10
New Balance Vazee Sigma
The last of my review but the first purchase of the year (That wasn’t an SP) and by far the heaviest spike on the market! These are a pure power spike, straight line 60! 100 if you’re a power runner but no way a bend show at all! Trust me! I struggled hugely with these round a bend especially indoor.
However, here is the biggest but!!!! I ran my best accelerations and top end fly times in these bad boys! The locking mechanism around the foot (Boa) really locked the plate into my foot and transferred every damn bit of power into the track. But I could never put the sections together, and so I never ran a 100 in these or even a times 60. This winter I will be purchasing a new pair hoping they are lighter and use for the my indoor 60 (maybe)
My verdict on these though (controversial, I can see why Trayvon Bromell hasn’t ran fast in a while in these!!!!)
My Rating 6/10
Conclusion for 2019
My spikes for the 2019 season will most definitely be the Nike Elite variations of Superfly and Ja-fly especially as they are changing their plate polymer to increase the spikes bounce whilst maintaining flexibility!