RUBY: Out the box, Brooks hits you with a classy black and Nightlife colorway, with fluorescent yellow accents spicing up the stealthy upper and spike plate. Interestingly, Brooks came out with a white cross country spike, the Draft XC, yet stuck with black for the track. I’m no designer, but that feels a little back to front.
The overall familiarity was a little underwhelming — nothing about the spikes’ look screamed new, fresh, or exciting. That said, the sleek and breathable engineered mesh upper is built to last and keeps the feet ventilated well for those smoking hot summer track days.
RUBY: I didn’t want to judge this spike solely on its underwhelming appearance, so I laced up for a track workout and was pleasantly surprised. The firm full-length Pebax Rnew plate, inlaid with carbon fiber, acts as a springboard into your next stride and has you rolling smoothly from foot strike to toe-off.
This spike is undoubtedly suited to higher speeds: the faster you run, the more the spikes give back to you. Think of 200m to 400m repeats, a fast 800m or mile race — the Brooks ELMN8 v6 is made with the middle distances in mind.
As far as the fit and lockdown are concerned, the Brooks ELMN8 v6 is a proper goldilocks shoe, and Brooks has nailed it. I previously reviewed the Brooks Draft XC spikes and noted that they came up a little short in length and fit too snuggly for my liking. In contrast, the ELMN8 fits true to size in both length and width in my standard size (for reference, I wear thin socks with my spikes, so the fit may be different depending on your choice of sock or no sock).
The laces are also just right: not too long and flappy, yet long enough to double or triple knot for those of us, like myself, paranoid about shoes becoming loose or untied midrace. As with all spikes, the toe box is streamlined for speed, but the accommodating engineered mesh upper fits like a sock without feeling like you’re trying to jam a square peg into a round hole.Shop Brooks ELMN8 v6 – Unisex
RUBY: The Brooks ELMN8 6 feels a little outdated and left behind in this age of super spikes and magic foams. Brooks has played it safe with minimal updates on previous models, avoiding experimenting with responsive foams like other spike brands are now doing. Stripped back to an aggressive 6-pin spike plate and thin midsole, you’d expect this spike to weigh in considerably lighter than the more cushioned Nike ZoomX Dragonfly and Adidas Adizero Ambition. But, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, it doesn’t. I’m left puzzled about what is adding to the weight: maybe the firm full-length Pebax Rnew plate?
With such a rigid and aggressive spike plate, this spike might not work for inexperienced track athletes or those with a pronounced heel strike. The Brooks ELMN8 v6 has you up on your toes and heavily loading the calves and Achilles, so be prepared for the lower legs to take a beating.Shop Brooks ELMN8 v6 – Unisex
RUBY: If you’re looking for a classic, traditional track spike designed for mid-distance performance, the Brooks ELMN8 v6 is worth considering. The full-length Pebax Rnew plate inlaid with carbon fiber really promotes maximum running efficiency and energy return at these distances.
However, for longer track races and workouts, anything from 5km upwards, the full-length plate is too aggressive, and the midsole lacks cushioning, leaving your legs feeling battered and beat up. Fortunately, Brooks isn’t marketing this spike at the longer distances, but I think it’s worth noting that the ELMN8 lacks the versatility of super spikes like the Nike ZoomX Dragonfly.
I was underwhelmed by its design, weight, and traditionality, but not everyone wants a super spike. At faster speeds, the Brooks ELMN8 certainly held its own. Brooks has nailed the fit and lockdown, so this might fit the bill for athletes looking to get up on their toes and perform at the mid-distance events.
You can pick up the Brooks ELMN8 v6 for $130 at Brooks by using the shop link below.Shop Brooks ELMN8 v6 – Unisex
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Ruby is an NCAA Division 1 student-athlete, running shoe geek and all-around exercise science nerd, originally from the United Kingdom. An aspiring pro runner, Ruby currently competes on all terrains– road, track, and cross country– from the 3000m distance up to the half-marathon. A true mileage junkie, Ruby has plenty of opportunities to test out different shoes and properly put them through their paces.
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