NANOSpikes by Kahtoola Review

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NANOspikes by Kahtoola

My first impression of the NANOspikes by Kahtoola was one of interest. I had not seen running spikes quite like these nor had I really ever shopped around for spikes. I currently use ones that have a velcro toe strap and have been satisfied enough to not really want to look for a new pair. However, the first thing I noticed was that the NANOspikes came in a very nifty zip up sac which was different than what I currently use to store my other spikes, the back floorboard of my car!

NANOspikes Packaging Out of the Box

NANOspikes zip up bag

I took the spikes out of the bag, and unfolded them to get a feel for what I was working with. I was pleasantly surprised. This was a great feature of the product for storage to keep mud and wetness out of the car or house.

You can see where the NANOspikes can be folded. This is them fully opened up

I could see that they were light (8.0 oz for my size Mediums) with a lot of rubber around it which made it very easy to stretch onto my shoes. Overall, from a first impression standpoint, they looked cool and I really liked the storage option. I was curious to try them out right away…but I needed some snow and ice first!

Performance of the NANOspikes by Kahtoola

I tried these NANO spikes on for three different trail runs and also lent them to a friend who actually forgot his spikes at home the day we ran. I have had great success with these spikes, but did figure out one thing that personally caused me some issues. It’s that my go-to shoes are not ideal for these NANOspikes.

The first day was a trail run with a mix of snow and wet dirt or mud. I found that they performed great in these mixed conditions however I did have an issue with the spikes staying in place on my wide toe boxed trail shoes (Altras). For most of the run they stayed in place and I found that the 10 tungsten carbide spikes on each foot worked very well, and I ran with a high level of confidence up and down the trails without a fear of slipping out. However, as I mentioned, the bummer was that the front of the spikes would slide to the outside of the shoe and cause some issue with traction. I noticed that it was always the shoe that was on the uphill side of the trail.

The toe of the NanoSpikes slides on wider toed shoes

The second run I did was great for the most part, but again the uphill shoe resulted with a slight shifting. This was a mixed condition trail with mostly ice and again the spikes performed excellent. Full confidence in running up and down icy hills! The carbide spikes even hold pretty well on rocks with hardly any slippage. On this same run, I let my friend barrow them on his Hoka shoes and he found them to be excellent as well. As a matter of fact, he experienced no slippage on the front of his shoes. I discovered the reason was that his shoes had a bit more of a pointy toe, whereas my Altras did not and had a rather large toe box. It was my belief that the toe box on the shoe was the issue for me.

So, my third run was on a trail but I ran in my Saucony Ride 7’s which had a pointy toe box and the NANOspikes performed great with no slippage! This is something to keep in mind when purchasing and using this product.  Make sure you wear a shoe with a smaller toe box so when slipping the NANOspikes over your shoes, the toe pokes through the front with the rubber on either side to help keep them in place. Otherwise, you will be frustrated and stopping periodically to fix your spikes.

NANOspikes Top View on Wide Toe Shoes

NANOspikes Fitting on Trail

Final Thoughts on the NANOspikes by Kahtoola

Overall these are great spikes. With 10 Tungsten Carbide spikes on each one, they served to really help the performance out on ice, mud, and snow. I even felt confident and comfortable while running in these spikes or walking over large rocks. The rubber used for the fitting was genius and made it very easy to slip these over my shoes quickly. You will need to ensure that you follow the sizes so you don’t get spikes that are too loose or even worse, too tight and thus pinching. I wear a 9.5 trail shoe in Men’s and the Medium fit well.

Additionally, I really liked the zip up bag that can be used to store the spikes. Once you fold the spikes in half, they fit neatly in the bag for easy transport and storage. The look of them is great as well. I definitely had the cool gear out there on my group run, and always seem to get questions when I wear them. My only knock (a slight knock) on the NANOspikes is how the front of the rubber fits around wide toed shoes like my Altras. I found that pointed toed shoes benefit more from the spacing on the front of the spikes although my wide toed shoes still work. The frustration just came from having to stop and pull the rubber back around the front. This won’t make me stop using them (I ran in them today with my Altras) but it’s something to consider when you run in these. Overall, a great product I was excited to try and I highly recommend them to runners that want to get the miles in even in the winter conditions! For more info or to purchase, visit www.kathoola.com or www.amazon.com/kahtoola.

Specifications of NANOspikes by Kahtoola:

  • 10 SPIKES PER FOOT ON ALL SIZES
  • SPIKE MATERIAL: TUNGSTEN CARBIDE
  • PACK SIZES (5¾ X 4 X 2¼) 52 INCHES3
  • WEIGHT PER PAIR:
  • SMALL 7.5 OZ.
  • MEDIUM 8.0 OZ.
  • LARGE 8.3 OZ.
  • 1 YEAR WARRANTY
Dan Gladden: I am an active guy who has lived and traveled all over the globe. Things I do or have done that keep me alive include: Ultra Marathons, snowboarding, mountain biking, international nonprofit work, bungee jumping, sky diving, rock climbing, and my love for my dogs and family. I drink craft beer, eat well, exercise, and love my God.
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