Gear Review – Spike Shoes – New Balance 1000

The New Balance 1000 is an excellent distance track spike, especially for youth and teen track athletes. My son received a pair for his 11th birthday, wore them for his debut 3000m at the New York Armory Youth Holiday Classic to beat his target time by several seconds, and has raved about them ever since.

Continue reading my review below the photos.

The New Balance 1000 distance track spike is a light, comfortable, low volume shoe

Standard width, low volume toe box

Full length Acteva midsole (white) offers some support and cushioning

Standard width heel, Pebax plate (gray) wraps around Acteva midsole (white)

Gently contoured insole offers some support

Closeup of seamless, perforated upper with lacing

Full length Pebax plate is rigid yet somewhat flexible, 6 removable spikes on each shoe

Shoes with 1/4 inch spikes

An experienced runner and having competed in distances from 800m to 5K, my son has always raced in his New Balance 790 training shoes while kids less experienced have competed in spikes. For his 11th birthday, he asked for a pair of track spikes for the upcoming indoor and outdoor track season. Youth and teens probably experience both a physical and mental advantage to wearing spikes compared to training shoes during competition (the performance improvement in elite runners is estimated to be 0.25 seconds per 400m).

The New Balance 1000 spike fulfilled all of my criteria:

  • The shoe is a distance and not sprint spike, and therefore is comfortable from the mile up to the 5000m on the track.
  • It is a track spike with a hard, flexible Pebax plate on the bottom and limited cushioning (Acteva midsole), which is perfect because my son will wear these for indoor and outdoor track. Six removable spikes are inserted with a key into the plate on each shoe (key and ¼ inch spikes included with shoes). (Note: I would not recommend these shoes for cross country competition.)
  • The spikes are comfortable and light, weigh 4.6 ounces (compared to about 8 ounces for the NB 790 Youth shoes), and have a soft, seamless synthetic upper (perforated in some areas).
  • The New Balance 1000 are affordable shoes (retail: $90, on sale: $50) given my son will wear them only for competition and grows a size every 6 months.
  • The spike is available in cool lime green with black.

I recommend that the shoes are used 2-3 times before competition to become accustomed to the spikes. My son ran a couple of speed workouts (8×200 run with 200 jog) with the New Balance 1000 before the Armory meet.


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