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The Everyman's Superspike: Adidas Prime SP2

October 7th, 2022
The Everyman's Superspike: Adidas Prime SP2

This year, Adidas entered the superspike game with their Prime SP2. Their athletes found immediate success with the new spike, most notably 2022 world champions Noah Lyles and Shaunae Miller-Uibo. I recently managed to get my hands on a pair of SP2s and put them to the test.

Fit and feel

I appreciate Adidas shipping a relatively normal colorway, especially compared to the recent awful Maxfly colorways.

The Prime SP2s run a half size large: I’m normally a 10.5 in trainers and spikes, but needed to size down to a 10 for these. The spike is comfortable—there’s a noticeable difference between these and Maxflies which make my feet hurt after just a few minutes in them.

Another difference between Adidas’ offering and Nike’s is durability: instead of an air bladder, the SP2s have a layer of stiff foam on top of a carbon plate for energy return. Without a bubble to pop, these spikes should last longer than a season, and are easier to recommend as both a competition and training spike.

Like other superspikes, the Prime SP2s are bouncy. The energy return is insane, especially at max speed, where it makes my swing phase noticeably faster. However, until I got used to the shoes, my feet were landing pretty far in front of my center of mass, increasing my ground contact time and risk of hamstring injury. This is a common issue with superspikes—I’ve heard talk of hamstring issues with Maxflies as well.

One area for improvement is in the heel—I needed to both tie a heel lock and run barefoot to keep my heels firmly in the shoe. Without both, my heels slip every time I start.

Overall, Adidas has made a comfortable and seemingly durable spike that I’m happy to run in.

Are they faster?

I’ve run a couple of workouts, splitting reps between my two-year-old Superfly Elite 2s and the SP2. All of the below times were timed with a Freelap in very similar conditions. Of course, the sample size is quite small, so take these results with a grain of salt.

60m workout

Shoe Time
Superfly 6.98
Prime SP2 6.92
Prime SP2 6.93

30m fly workout

Shoe Time
Superfly 3.08
Superfly 3.11
Superfly 3.02
Superfly 3.03
Superfly (avg) 3.06
Prime SP2 2.95
Prime SP2 3.03
Prime SP2 2.97
Prime SP2 2.99
Prime SP2 (avg) 2.99

That’s a pretty significant advantage for the Adidas spikes of ~2.2% in 30 meter flies. Distinguishing between other superspikes is harder: I found that the New Balance SD-X was ~1.5% faster than Superflys last year. I didn’t explicitly test Maxflies in practice because of their durability concerns, but test times indicate a similar performance improvement over normal spikes.

The best superspike?

I’ve tried three “superspikes” now: New Balance’s SD-X, Nike’s Maxfly, and now Adidas’ Prime SP2. All three improve performance by a similar margin over regular spikes. The Prime SP2, however, stands out as the most available and durable spike of the three. Given a choice, I’d recommend it over the others today—though with all three rarely in stock, whichever you can get your hands on will be a fine shoe.

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