What’s the Science Behind Track’s New ‘Super Spikes’?

Will Tokyo Olympics see record-making races?

DATE:            Monday, July 26

WHAT:           A new generation of super spikes, worn by some Olympic track and field
                      competitors, is the focus of University of Massachusetts Amherst research.

WHO:            Wouter Hoogkamer, assistant professor of kinesiology and biomechanics

CONTACT:   Wouter Hoogkamer,
                      Patty Shillington,, 305-606-9909

Wouter Hoogkamer, assistant professor of kinesiology at the UMass Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences, is available to discuss new research that speculates about what mechanical advantages the features of “super spikes” may provide.

The super  spikes, which are believed to be a contributing factor in a slew of new track records, are modeled somewhat on the Nike Vaporfly 4% foam-and-carbon-plate marathon shoes that Hoogkamer and colleagues showed in research can reduce the metabolic cost of running by 4%.

The new research about super spikes is published in SportRxiv as a preprint study that has not yet been peer-reviewed, but it uses the same algorithm from earlier papers that were peer-reviewed.