Wednesday, March 01, 2023

Saucony Terminal VT Track Spike Review

Article by Zack Dunn

Saucony Terminal VT Track Spikes ($150)

Weight: 3.7 oz / 104g US9


Zack: Over the past couple of years, the track and field community has seen a move of road running “super shoe'' tech into track “super spikes”. 

It started with Nike releasing the Air Zoom Victory and then arguably the best track spike to have ever been created, the Dragonfly. By the next year, Adidas released their version of a super spike (Adidas Avanti) and New Balance released their middle distance super-spike (MD-X), but other than that there have been no other major releases, only prototype images on the internet.

However, since the start of 2023, major brands have been releasing new track spikes with more modern technologies. 

Saucony has entered the game with the Terminal VT spike. It is marketed as their long distance track spike, and I can definitely say it is great for just that. 


  • Amazing upper lockdown

  • Extremely lightweight at 3.7 oz / 104g

  • Midsole has a lightweight, responsive supercriticalPWWRUn HG foam that is perfect for racing

  • Good traction is a given with the spike plate configuration

  • Pebax plate delivers a good amount of snapiness that is much appreciated during racing


  • Slightly pricey at $150

  • Pebax plate can be initially felt under the big toe, but feeling goes away once running

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Zack: My first impressions of this spike was definitely that it was intriguing, as Saucony was lacking in the track spike game in comparison to other brands, so getting their version of a super spike was very exciting. The spike fits true-to-size and has a snug fit, which for track races is just fine with me. 

In terms of the upper it was actually my favorite part of the spike. It is a very lightweight mesh / webbing material that allows for maximum breathability. 

It has fabric bands that the laces loop through (think almost like Nike Flywire) which makes the lockdown superb. 

The tongue of the shoe is a knit like material and it is quite comfortable while also resting nicely on the foot. 

The last part of the upper that I really liked was the heel cup, which held the heel super nice, and had just enough padding that allowed for comfortable racing. 


Zack: I quite enjoyed the midsole, and I feel that it worked great for track races. I have run in Saucony’s PWWRUN PB foam and this PWWRUN HG has quite a different feel, as it has a firmer / more responsive feel to it, whereas PWWRUN PB was soft and bouncy. I really enjoy both, but for track races, I definitely prefer the newer PWWRUN HG. 

There is definitely enough foam for any distance track race, from 800m to 10k. Compared to other foams, I would say this is very comparable to Adidas’s Lightstrike Pro. 

Outsole (Spike Plate)

Zack: The outsole of the spike, also known as the spike plate, is made of Pebax plate, I enjoy a lot in how it was engineered, as well as how it performed. Along with four replaceable spike pins, the entire plate has small spikes that allow for maximum traction in vital places. Along with that, down the midline of the spike plate is a cutout which does not sacrifice traction but definitely help decrease weight. 


Zack: I can definitely say that I thoroughly enjoyed the ride of the Terminal VT, and that it does an extremely good job at what it was intended for, running fast on the track. I have used this shoe for two races, and a few major track sessions that really gave me a grasp of whether the spike performs with the top on the market, and I can confidently say it does. 

I have worn the spike in two races, a mile indoor race (4:26) and a 3000m indoor race (8:42). In both races, the spike performed very well. The spike provided a comfortable yet fast ride.

I had also used this spike for different track sessions. An example of a faster session I used it for was 4 x (1000m, 400m, 200m) where for the last two sets, I had used this spike and it performed very well. The last set of the workout I ran a 2:47, 57, and 27, so this spike could even be possibly used for middle distances races possibly, although I believe there could be better options. I also used it for a 6 x 1000m session (3:12 - 3:15), and the spike did great for that as well! It was very comfortable during the 10k pace sessions and demonstrated to me  that this shoe can definitely excel at the 5k distance, and although I do not race 10k’s on the track, I think it can do well for those distances, but it might be a little too firm for me. 

Conclusions and Recommendations

Zack: The Terminal performed extremely well, and it definitely belongs with the best of the best. The upper is very well engineered and provided lightweight comfort, as well as an amazing lockdown. The midsole, with Sauconys new PWRRUN HG foam, was very responsive yet comfortable enough to be able to get through track races, whether long or middle distance. Finally, the spike plate allowed for a slight snappiness, but more importantly a very good traction for maximal grip on the track. 

Score: 9.6/10

Zack: 😊😊😊😊😊


Nike ZoomX Dragonfly :

Zack: Both of these spikes are amazing, but the Dragonfly is a super hard spike to be better than, and is the closest thing to the most perfect spike yet made for me. There were very few issues with the Terminal VT, and I think it was amazing in every category, however the Dragonfly just was slightly better at everything. To me the Dragonfly is a little softer, more responsive, and has a smoother feel to it. Saying this is definitely not to downplay the Terminal VT, because if the Dragonfly didn't exist, I would say the Terminal is the best. However that is not the case and for me, the Dragonfly remains at the pinnacle of distance track spikes. 

Nike Air Zoom Victory: 

Zack: These two spikes are very different, as the Nike Air Zoom Victory is more geared towards middle-distance races at 800m & 1500m, however many runners use it for 3k-5k and even 10k for those who like a more aggressive feel, so I feel a comparison is appropriate. The biggest difference is that the Victory is a very wild and unique spike as it has a carbon fiber plate with an Air Zoom unit, while the Terminal VT has a traditional foam midsole. Therefore, the Terminal VT has a much more comfortable ride, and I think is definitely better for distances over 1500m. However, if you are looking for the fastest, most aggressive middle distance/distance spike, then the Victory would be the best option. 

Adidas Avanti TYO 

Zack: Of all the comparisons, I would say that the Adidas Avanti and the Terminal VT are the most similar in terms of overall ride and feel. They both have less aggressive rides in comparison to the Dragonfly, feeling like a very low stack road racer with a little extra grip. To be clear, there is nothing wrong with tha for longer track races and especially in the 10k, they could feel much better for the majority of runners. Though extremely similar, I would say one of the things that the Terminal VT has over the Avanti is that it is nearly 2 ounces lighter! 

The Saucony Terminal VT releases April 2023

Tester Profile

Zack Dunn: is a college freshman/ runner at Lewis University. I’ve been running for 8 years, and focused solely on running after giving up on years of baseball and wrestling. I race distances between 800 meters and 10K  whether it be on the track, the roads, or on cross country courses. I do most of my training on the roads, some training on the track, and occasionally run trails logging anywhere from 65-80 miles a week. My typical training consists of easy days, long days, workouts (fartleks, tempos, interval training, etc.). My typical training paces range from 7’30 a mile on easy days to sub-5 minutes a mile on fast interval days, and with many paces in between. My personal bests are 4:20 for 1600m, 8:42 for 3000m, 15:27 for 5K, and 25:24 for 8k.  

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

Stock Pictures: Saucony Australia

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emf said...

Great review, thanks!

Josh said...

Should be super interesting to see how the foam holds up over time compared to the dragonfly’s too.