Herzogenaurach, Germany, July 12, 2021 – Sports company PUMA and Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 have teamed up to create PUMA’s fastest, lightest and most propulsive Track & Field spike to date.
Together with Mercedes AMG Petronas F1, PUMA applied engineering insights from the world of Formula 1 and automotive to design the EVOSPEED TOKYO FUTURE FASTER+ and the EVOSPEED TOKYO FUTURE NITRO FASTER+ for its athletes, including Karsten Warholm, Norwegian hurdler, World Record holder, World Champion and European Champion, and André De Grasse, Canadian sprinter and Olympic silver medalist.
“To make the best spikes for our athletes, that comply with the regulations, we connected the engineers of Mercedes AGM Petronas F1 with our best footwear people,” said PUMA CEO Bjørn Gulden. “With the input from our athletes and their coaches, the team developed the best spikes PUMA has ever made.”
Learnings and technological advances from the FASTER+ program were also passed down and integrated into other track and field spikes for athletes such as Ukrainian high jumper Yaroslava Mahuchikh, Swedish pole vaulter Armand “Mondo” Duplantis and Swiss sprinter Ajla Del Ponte.
“The FASTER+ program is about creating elite products for our elite athletes to help them excel in their sport” said Erin Longin, Global Director Run/Train at PUMA. “We believe that together with Mercedes AMG Petronas, we have created unique, innovation-led Track and Field spikes that will help our athletes run faster, jump farther and soar higher.”
“This collaboration with PUMA has been a natural alignment – track spikes need to run fast, and racing cars need to drive fast,” said Toto Wolff, CEO of Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport Formula One Team. “Whether you’re designing a great racing car or the perfect track spike, it comes down to engineering and putting as much performance as possible into the product. We have drawn on our experience and expertise in carbon fibre with the design, and along the way we learned that making an innovative track spike involves the same kind of complexity as a Formula One car – and it has been an exciting challenge to tackle together. Working closely with a trusted partner like PUMA, I believe this FASTER+ track and field spike is just the beginning of the collaboration between the two companies when it comes to innovation.”
The EVOSPEED TOKYO FUTURE FASTER+ was designed with 400m hurdles World Record holder Karsten Warholm and his coach. The spike’s upper is infused with carbon fiber threads and its sole has a carbon plate, engineered by Mercedes AMG Petronas, with permanent titanium pins. It weighs 135 grams.
“What’s important for me is that I run very much on my forefoot,“ said Karsten. “This is why you want the carbon fiber plate to push you in the right direction, so when you land you want the plate to bend in the right way and return the energy. When you sprint, you have a very short amount of contact time with the ground, only 1 second, so you want the plate to answer very quickly. Therefore, I want the carbon to be stiff enough that I get the return before I leave the ground. That helps me run even faster.”
To respond to the needs of Canadian 100m and 200m sprinter Andre De Grasse, the EVOSPEED TOKYO FUTURE NITRO FASTER+ includes PUMA’s proprietary NITRO Foam in addition to the Mercedes AMG Petronas engineered carbon plate for added rebound. It weighs 199 grams.
“I believe that the partnership between PUMA and Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 is excellent for the brand. It’s pretty cool that I actually have the carbon fiber in my spikes that’s going into the F1 cars that Lewis Hamilton races in,” said Andre. “The stiffness of the plate is just amazing because I’m able to get off the ground as quickly as possible. Having this propulsion forward at the start of the race and being able to rebound and get off the ground as quickly as possible make these spikes just perfect for my 100m race.”
PUMA’s FASTER+ program applies engineering insights from every corner of sport culture to our PUMA sports products. Benefits are focused on helping our athletes excel in their sport by looking beyond their typical field of play to make them better, faster, stronger.
“What I feel is very unique about this project is that it combines the best of all the worlds,” added Karsten. “It combines what PUMA knows about how to make a shoe that’s comfortable and fits your foot. It combines what Mercedes knows about carbon fiber through their Formula 1 work and it combines what my coach and I know about running and the biomechanics for running. This is very unique and it has given us the perfect product for us to work on the track – a spike that is really aggressive, with a really good forward propulsion, and it gives me all the tools I need to be the best version of myself.”
FASTER+ is part of PUMA’s Only See Great’ campaign – launched in the spring of 2021 – to convey a spirit of optimism, hope and self-belief – following a difficult year and leading up to major sports moments.