actually did the homework wrote:
Nike and NB pros were rocking next gen spikes in 2019. Almost all the top Nike guys had them by Prefontaine Classic, and NB folks slightly later. By Doha, next gen spikes were everywhere amongst elites. Logically then, if the shoes are so good that you slip them on and gain ~1sec per lap, the top end of world times in the season best lists for 2019 should be noticeably faster than prior years.
8 year averages prior to 2019/2019 figure/% gap between them
WL - 3:28.52 - 3:28.77 - 2019 0.12% slower
10th - 3:31.76 - 3:31.46 - 2019 0.14% faster
20th - 3:33.76 - 3:33.25 - 2019 0.24% faster
30th - 3:34.78 - 3:35.01 - 2019 0.11% slower
WL - 12:52.29 - 12:52.98 - 2019 0.09% slower
10th - 13:02.14 - 12:58.85 - 2019 0.42% faster
20th - 13:07.61 - 13:05.21 - 2019 0.30% faster
30th - 13:12.22 - 13:10.21 - 2019 0.25% faster
Haven't had the chance to run a full statistical analysis on this, and there are definitely confounding variables, but it looks like to me that next gen spikes quite possibly give a benefit, however it looks to be less than 0.5%. In real terms, that means on the high end being worth ~0.5 seconds in a 1500m, and 2-3 seconds in a 5000m. For comparison, a WA sponsored study found the next gen road shoes give a time boost around 1% on the low end, to just over 2% on the high end (which obviously can shave whole minutes off of a marathon).
This is however a limited analysis. I've built a database for times going back to 2010 for the M/W 1500 and 5000, and once this season is over will be able to compare 2021 to the 2010-2018 averages and see how this goes. I think this is probably a better indicator than looking at just the NCAA - where there are probably more confounding variables (chiefly the extraordinary number of extra 5th year seniors).
In short - next gen spikes look like they could be a definitive improvement, but are not the transformative game changers in the same way their road shoe counterparts have been. Will keep tracking.
Brilliant. Everyone should look at this post. The spikes are a definite improvement, but they are INCREMENTAL. You are not getting multiple seconds over the 1500m as people have been claiming. That would be absurd.
+1 awesome post and correct to say there needs to be more info collected and more time elapsed
On the nick willis statement, that’s a valid anecdotal data point. But, stopwatches and times and trends are more accurate and telling than any one person’s experience.