October 23, 2017

Nike 2016 Spikes

Update:

Since this post, Nike have released a 2016 colour way (blue/ white/ yellow) of the same Victory 2 spikes seen for the last few years. However, many elites have started to debut what seems to be the Victory 3 spikes, the same ones as those promo spikes covered in the post.

You can read the full Nike Zoom Victory 3 post here.


I have already talked about my thoughts surrounding the current distance spikes available from Nike, but I also think it is interesting to speculate and see what the future may hold for the world of elite running shoes, especially the Nike 2016 spikes. For each of the last couple of Olympic cycles it seems that Nike has released to the entirety of their sponsored athletes their brand new version of spikes to be worn in promotion during the games. From what I can remember this was mainly first seen at the Beijing games with the release of the so called ‘Original’ Nike Zoom Victory spikes along with their Matumbo compatriots. This would be continued forward to the next games with the high profile release of the volt coloured range worn by the vast majority of athletes in London 2012.

Almost all of Nike’s athletes would not have had access to these shoes prior to these games, however a select few have been seen to be testing and trying out prototype versions to help fine tune the spikes for general, final release. This has meant that for the last year or so some of Nike’s more high profile athletes have been helping this process, making select debuts of these spikes at various meets around the world (mainly America).

One of the main athletes in the forefront of testing duties for Nike is Ciaran O’Lionaird, now running for the American based team, the Oregon Track Club Elite. He often uploads images to his Instagram and Twitter detailing to the rest of the track and field community things which we may expect to see from Nike in the up and coming future. I remember back at the 2011 World Championships seeing him wearing a pair of unseen spikes which would soon become the Victory 2 spikes which we would all come to know so well in 2012.

Ciaran O'Lionaird debuting the Victory 2's the year before general release
Ciaran O’Lionaird debuting the Victory 2’s the year before general release

Multiple other American track stars have also been in the frame of spike testing for Nike, more heavily so this year than previous years. Many of those running at the Oregon Track Club Elite such as Will Leer, Jordan McNamara and Ben Blankenship have been bearing what appears to be the next instalment of the Victory collection with an all new design and and adapted flywire system around the midfoot section. These new spikes look to have been crafter from an all new mesh material similar to that on the Nike Structure trainers but with greater breathability and lightness. Other notable features would appear on the sole of these shoes which from one account seen of the sole of Will Leer’s version having a split sole formation with two separate spike plates along the two of the spike.

The potentially new spike plate foe the Victory 3 spikes
The potentially new spike plate foe the Victory 3 spikes
Various different versions which have appeared over the last year
Various different versions which have appeared over the last year

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There have also been other reports about these spikes indicating that they are still not fully complete coming from Galen Rupp. Rupp wore these spikes a while ago last indoor season but would complain about injuries coming to his toes as a result and apparently would not wear these specific ones again. Saying this, Rupp wore them during his American 10km Record (26:44) and on other, more recent occasions.

Rupp with an early prototype including the original spike plate
Rupp with an early prototype including the original spike plate

The final question surrounding these spikes is when they will be released. From recent times, it would be assumed that they most likely will be released when finally ready for all sponsored athletes in 2016 just prior to the Rio Olympics. This would allow Nike to us the event as a perfect marketing tool before public release. However, it does seem that these spikes are duly ready to be released sooner rather than later with them appearing on more and more occasions such as with Ben Blankenship wearing a slight adaptation with less, tighter flywire at the IAAF World Relays. So potentially, many athletes may be seen wearing these new spikes at the World Championships later this year, rather than the suspected later release for the coming Olympics.

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