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Saucony Terminal VT Review: Super Nimble
By David Salas & Matthew Klein

Saucony enters the super spike game with the Terminal VT. The Terminal VT is a long distance racing spike using their PWRUN HG midsole seen in the Endorphin Elite. The shoe uses a four spike design and a unique spike plate. The plate is full length, though decoupled at the heel and midfoot, making for a horseshoe like design. The plate also doubles as an outsole. 

Saucony Terminal VT
Price: $149.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 3.7 oz, 104 g (men's size 9) 3.4 oz, 94 g (women's size 8)
Stack Height: Not Provided
Drop: Not Provided
Classification: Super Spike: Long Distance


Matt: The Saucony Terminal VT is a super light but moderately cushioned 4-pin track spike for those who want the nimble, but firmly cushioned distance spike. The fit provides a snug, close fit that works best for sockless wear or thin socks. Balancing a decent amount of PWRRUN HB underfoot, the Terminal VT is for those who want as light a spike as possible with some cushioning underfoot.

David: The Saucony Terminal VT is a super spike for the longer distances. The shoe is incredibly lightweight and runs very nimble for the category. The PWRUN HG midsole is noticeable and gives some more life to this new track spike. The spike uses the classic four spike plate consistent with a lot of distance spikes. The Terminal VT is a lightweight, new-generation spike with a unique spike plate and fun ride.

: Hoka Cielo X LD 2, Nike ZoomX Dragonfly


Matt: The Saucony Terminal VT fits me slightly short in my normal men's US size 10. The fit is snug from the heel through the forefoot. The forefoot does have a little more room compared to rest of the shoe, but only with sockless wear. The volume is quite low and the upper fits quite close to the foot. The mesh extremely thin yet secure but still has a little stretch to it. This is further reinforced by extensions of the laces that wrap completely around the midfoot. The laces are unique in that they connect on the inside of the lateral aspect of the upper and on the outer side of the medial aspect. I'm not sure how this impacts security, but it seems to hold the foot well. The tongue is connected to the upper, which eliminates the concern for slippage. The tongue is on the thin side, which makes it easy for the laces to dig into the top of the foot.

Fortunately, the fit is snug, so security is not much of an issue. The heel is snug with no major heel collar cushioning and a small highly flexible heel counter. This has not bother me at all and should not be an issue for most. The heel tab does come up quite high and I had some mild irritation on the skin of my calcaneus after 4-5 miles. This went away quickly, but those sensitive to blisters in this area should be careful. As mentioned, this shoe works better sockless for me as it makes the fit less constrictive. Those who have sensitivities at the heel and arch may need thin socks or may need to consider a half size up with normal-thickness socks. 

David: The Saucony Terminal VT fits similar with a lot of other track spikes. The fit is snug through the heel and midfoot, and actually pretty forgiving in the forefoot. The volume is low like most track spikes. The length is true to size for my men's 9.5. If you are used to spikes you know that most of these shoes do fit a little more snug and length might be tiny bit short. All of that is consistent with the Terminal VT. The mesh upper is very lightweight and surprisingly comfortable. There are overlays that double as reinforcement and part of the lacing system. The tongue is a stretchy knit like material that is very comfortable on top of the foot (with or without socks). There is a very thin (in width) heel counter that supports the back of the Achilles, though flexible on the other areas.

The overall lockdown is great and one of the best track spike uppers I have ever worn. My only thing with this shoe is the laces... they are so thin and easy to knot on itself. If you have all the time in the world its not a big deal, but on the track you are often pressed for time. I found myself spending more mental energy than I would have liked playing with the laces to make sure I tied them or untied them cleanly. Thicker laces would easily fix that. 


Matt: The Terminal VT is an extremely light spike sitting at 3.7 oz for men's size 9. There is a large amount of PWRRUN HG foam for a spike underfoot. This makes for a firmer but protective ride underfoot. Combined with the nimble feel, the Terminal VT feels especially good running at high speed and faster paces. Despite the split plate on the outsole, there is some snappy mild flexibility that I tend to enjoy more with shoes for shorter/faster workouts. This rolls forward even more with a significant amount of toe spring. Hitting fast 200m/400m repeats feels best in this shoe as well as quick changes of pace. Longer repeats can be a bit fatiguing, but may also be my body getting used to the aggressiveness of this shoe. Part of this may be the fact that the plate is also the outsole. The sharkskin grip on the outsole grabs the track well and combined with the four removable spikes feels fast even when turning. Additionally, despite over 15 miles of hard use, I have not experienced any wear on the outsole. This is likely due to the fact that the outsole is plated PEBAX, which is far more durable than normal rubber.

Although stack height and drop is not listed, the Terminal VT feels really low drop. Subjectively I would guess this shoe is a 0-3mm drop shoe as my calves have definitely gotten worked by this ride. This makes it feel even faster and overall for me works better as a middle-distance spike than a distance spike. Its ability to turn over extremely quickly combined with the lightweight ride and mild flexibility works better for high speeds rather than longer efforts. 

David: The fun part of track spikes. This shoe performs. A little bit different than the other spikes, though it moves. The Terminal VT is very nimble and lightweight. I found it very easy to turn over in this shoe because of the weight and plate placement. The plate also doubles as an outsole and I felt good connection with the track immediately upon landing. For quick pace changes or kicking I really like the way these feel. I will say the sensation is more consistent with an older spike like the Brooks Wire (with the Dragons) or the original Nike Victory. The PWRRUN HG gives a lot more cushioning than those spikes, but subjectively this shoe still feels firmer than that of ZoomX in Dragonfly or Lightstrike Pro in Adidas Avanti TYO. The plate is full-length and uses a horseshoe like design, leaving the midline of the shoe exposed. I like this design because it also makes the landing on foot a little more forgiving and less jarring due to the firmer nature. This also gives a small sense of guidance and allows you to run a little more naturally having the plate decoupled in those regions. The spike plate is a little more flexible than a lot of spikes and this does not have any carbon.

I personally like having a little bit of flexibility in my fast shoes so this worked really well for me. For comparison it is a little more flexible than Dragonfly or HOKA Cielo, but still noticeably more stiff than the Avanti. Ironically I would love this spike for the 1500. I could definitely see someone taking this 5k (as I might do soon) but I struggle to see myself going a full 10k in these. These still feel aggressive enough that I would choose something more forgiving. Before I forget, yes the spikes are removable!


Matt: The Terminal VT is a neutral track spike. The sole is quite thin particularly in the midfoot and heel for weight reduction. There are sidewalls on the medial and lateral midfoot area combined with a slightly higher arch. The plate splits and runs on the medial and lateral sides of this spike. This provides some extremely mild guidance with resistance to torsional motion. Those with high stability needs will not be appropriate for this shoe, but those with mild needs will be fine. 

David: The Terminal VT runs with pretty good stability throughout. Being a track spike, the design is fairly minimal. Despite that, they did a few things that give the shoe a good connection with the track. The spike plate is the first thing that interacts with the track. This gives some inherent firmness from the beginning and less deformation of the midsole. The plate also has some traction built in as an outsole. The horseshoe design of the plate gives a small sense of guidance through midline. More importantly I feel this spike lets you run organically because of the decoupling and doesn't force you to run in the spike a specific way. The upper locks down well throughout and I had no issues with slippage or translation anywhere.  

Thoughts as a DPT: So... Are These Really Super? 
By David Salas

In recent years there has been a lot of focus on midsoles in the road running scene. The introduction of the Vaporfly blew down the doors to the fortress of marathon performance and metabolic efficiency. At this point in 2023, nearly every company has a "super shoe" offering for the road running distances. On the track we really only see Nike and Adidas using these new midsoles, being the Victory/Dragonfly and the Ambition/Avanti. Saucony has entered the battle with the Cheetah and Terminal VT. The former is a middle distance spike with the latter being the distance spike. Due to metabolic labs, treadmills, force plates, and other fun toys it is relatively easy to test road running shoes. There are a lot of barriers with testing spikes. 

One barrier that comes up immediately is the platform itself. You can't run very well with a hard plastic spike plate, let alone spikes in the shoe on a treadmill. Field tests can also be difficult with larger measurement error and training stimulus on the testers. Healey et al (2022) discussed these difficulties in larger context. Developing spikes for top speed and acceleration is rather easy to accomplish with space and time parameters, though developing a spike for metabolic efficiency is very difficult due to the fact that aerobic running economy values are not valid at track racing distances/paces. Metabolic efficiency at those paces is largely dependent on individual biomechanics (Healey et al. 2022). They suggested a broader scope when quantifying potential benefits from these new generation spikes. The first thing that needs to be done is to use a retrospective lens and analyze the top 20-50 performances annually and compare the masses. So the answer to our question is rather grey. Are these super spikes that super? 


Healey, L., Bertschy, M., Kipp, S., & Hoogkamer, W. (2022). Can We Quantify the Benefits of "Super Spikes" in Track Running? Sports Medicine, 52. 1211-1218.


Matt: David mentions the same below but I found the Saucony Terminal VT to be more of a 1500m to 5000m shoe than a distance spike. Despite the PWRRUN HG, the ride is more firmly cushioned and snappy. It has worked really well for the mile training I have been doing, but began to get fatiguing when I took it longer. Despite the plate, the sole is also a bit more flexible and snappy, which I prefer for faster efforts. For longer efforts, I would suggest a bit stiffer, overall rockered and cushioned ride. I understand there is a stack height limit for spikes, but suggest softening the HG foam density to adjust for adding a stiffer plate might take the edge off. 

David: One thing for sure I'd like to see changed is the laces. I like the lacing system, though I found myself weirdly annoyed about how thin the laces were on the track as I fiddled with them. It's happened pretty consistently. The other is more conceptual. With this being the long distance offering, I would challenge Saucony to look into making a spike that could easily tackle 10km without hesitation that someone would not have to second guess their experience. For me, I feel the Adidas Avanti gets that across as a true distance spike being a 5k-10k shoe. I see the Terminal VT more as a 1500-5k shoe, though someone who has a lot of practice in these could take it 10k. For the record I do see the Dragonfly in that 1500-5k wheelhouse as well. 


Matt: The Saucony Terminal VT is a middle distance racing spike for someone who wants the combination of the super light track spikes of old with a large amount (for a spike) of firmer superfoam underfoot. The upper fits close to the foot and works best for sockless wear unless you want to size up a half-size. There is a bit more flexibility and snappiness, so those who want the lightest possible spike for the 1500m to the 5000m may want to take a look at the Terminal VT. 

David: The Saucony Terminal VT is a distance racing track spike for someone that wants the nimbleness of the classic track spikes with a touch of new generation cushioning. This spike still has good cushioning throughout but runs a tad firmer than the other track spikes. For those wanting a little more track connection in a lightweight package this could be an option to look into. 


Fit: B+ (Snug fit that can work for sockless wear. Will need to size up if want to wear socks)
A- (Extremely light, fast, snappy spike. Feels more 1500m/5k than longer distance spike. Works well for really pushing the pace)
Stability: B+ [Neutral] (Rigidity, midfoot sidewalls and split plate add some mild guidance, but overall neutral spike)
DPT/Footwear Science: B+ (A little firm for how much cushion there is, but HG foam seems to run that way. True distance spike may need more stiffness and rocker, rather than the super aggressive design that may work for middle distances)
Personal: B+/A- (A fun faster spike, but for my speeds I prefer a longer distance spike. Some mild chaffing at the heel initially, but overall solid fit and ride. )
Overall: B+/A-

Fit: A- (Great dimensions, materials, and lockdown. Laces were overly thin and knotted themselves easily.)
A- (Very light, nimble, responsive spike. Doesn't feel like a true distance spike to me though. 1500-5k range personally)
Stability: A (I feel they did a good job here. Natural transitions and mechanics for a spike, good lockdown, no issues cornering.)
DPT/Footwear Science: A (I like that Saucony reimagined the track spike here. There are a lot of new things in this spike I really haven't seen. A full length horseshoe plate, new generation midsole, and a 4 spike plate on that combo.)
Personal: A (Very fun and nimble spike. Easily my go-to for 1500. Tough call on the 5k between this and Dragonfly...)
Overall: A-/A (A well done track spike for the distances, may be a tad aggressive for 10k)


Saucony Terminal VT
Price: $149.95 at Running Warehouse

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Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your
local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the people at Saucony for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run as well as a warm-up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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