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  • brush spikes

    What do brush spikes look like? I remember reading that John Carlos wore them when he set a world record in the 200 at the 1968 Olympic trials, but his record did not count because brush spikes were illegal.

    Why were they deemed illegal? What kind of advantage did they give to sprinters.

    I was wondering if someone can send or show me a pic of what a brush spike looks like.

  • #2
    Re: brush spikes

    I don't think I have ever seen a photo, but the descriptions I have read is that the sole of the shoe is covered with fairly short, thin spikes (kinda like a vegetable scrubber, but metal). They were new at Echo Summit, and the powers that be didn't understand the effects of altitude and decided the new spikes were the cause of all the records. I think Larry James lost a record as well, but could be wrong on that. T&FN probably has photos of the spikes.

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    • #3
      Re: brush spikes

      People did not have a full understanding of the effects of altitude, but that wasn't why the brush was banned. The problem is that it didn't conform to the six-spike maximum for running shoes as defined in IAAF rules. As a result, it counted as a technical advancement, which had to be introduced more than a year in advance for it to be allowed in the Olympics.

      Carlos lost his 19.7 wr in the FOT final. Matthews lost a 44.4 wr from a pre-FOT meet, and then Evans lost a 44.0 wr in the FOT, which meant that runner-up Larry James--wearing legal spikes--claimed the WR with his 44.1.

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      • #4
        Re: brush spikes

        I remember those spikes. I think they were made by Puma with 64 spikes. I believe they banned them primarily because they were ruthless on artificial track surfaces not because of the speed by the runners.

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        • #5
          Re: brush spikes

          My memory of the brush spikes was that the covered almost the entire surface of the bottom of the shoe, right out to the edges, was bristling with little spikes, so there was traction at every angle where the shoe struck the track. I have heard that the wear and tear on artificial surfaces was brutal and that led to rejection of the shoes.

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          • #6
            Re: brush spikes

            I was going to post something here, but it looks like the waterfront has been covered... and there was a picture in T&FN back then.

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            • #7
              Re: brush spikes

              Since there were so few artificial surface tracks in 1968, I doubt that the wear and tear from brush spikes was a reason to eliminate them. The before-mentioned reason of "technical advantage" is what I remember.
              Actually the Echo Summitt, Lake Tahoe track is still in great shape. On a day trip from the 2000 FOT I happened on it behind a junior(?) high school. Understand it was moved there after '68 so more people could use it. It seemed a bit thicker and softer than other Tartan tracks I've seen, but still in remarkable condition.

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              • #8
                Re: brush spikes

                In response to the above, it's true that there weren't tons of all-weather tracks in '68, but the number was growing. The brush spikes were designed solely for such surfaces...I can't imagine that they would have been effective at all on a cinder surface.

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                • #9
                  Re: brush spikes

                  There's a picture of both the adidas and Puma versions on p. 32 of the September '68 issue. With the picture is this copy:

                  <<... wore the new Puma shoe pictured at left above. The 68 spikes, which are about an eighth of an inch long and sixteenth in diameter, far outnumber the legal limit of 6 per shoe. [The spikes are in 6 rows, the first, near the toe, has 6 spikes; then there's a 9, then a 10. Then there's about an inch of space, and three more rows under the ball of the foot: 14, 15, 14.]

                  <<Puma, which developed the shoe especially for Tartan surfaces and in cooperation with the Tartan people in Europe, does not refer to them as spikes but calls them, collectively, "a brush." Also new, but non-controversial is the Velcro fastener instead of shoelaces.

                  <<adidas, meanwhile, has a new "Quill" shoe with many spikes--42 to be exact--and removable. [These are arranged as six rosettes of 7 spikes apiece; one on the toe, two near the edge on the inside, three on the outside.] adidas refers to the shoe as experimental and claims it is illegal.

                  <<But both Puma and adidas are ready for any eventuality and have thousands of shoes on hand in Mexico should the IAAF give sudden and unexpected approval. IAAF secretary Don Painhas dampened any such hopes,however, stating, "the new shoes cannot be allowed at the Olymics because no change inour technical rules can be made for the 12 months leading to the Games."....>>

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                  • #10
                    Re: brush spikes

                    Maybe somebody in the home office could scan that pic and put it up for nostaglic reasons??

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                    • #11
                      Re: brush spikes

                      Originally posted by MJR
                      Maybe somebody in the home office could scan that pic and put it up for nostaglic reasons??
                      bumped into this thread and noticed the 10 year statute of limitations was drawing near :wink:
                      Tom Hyland:
                      "squack and wineturtle get it"

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                      • #12
                        Re: brush spikes

                        Originally posted by gh
                        But both Puma and adidas are ready for any eventuality and have thousands of shoes on hand in Mexico should the IAAF give sudden and unexpected approval.
                        Are there any still for sale since they are were not approved? They must be somewhere if not destroyed.

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                        • #13
                          photo here
                          http://tahoequarterly.com/images/mad...os_500_722.jpg
                          Tom Hyland:
                          "squack and wineturtle get it"

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                          • #14
                            I never quite understood the technical advantage reasoning for outlawing the brush spikes. Fiberglass vaulting poles and platform HJ shoes were accepted. Why not new sprint shoes?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jc203 View Post
                              I never quite understood the technical advantage reasoning for outlawing the brush spikes. Fiberglass vaulting poles and platform HJ shoes were accepted. Why not new sprint shoes?
                              Never understood the thing about brush spikes. But Platform HJ shoes were banned after the 1957 season (when the horse had already left the stable).

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