norda OO1 G+ Spike Review

Article by Jeff Valliere

norda 001 G+ Spike ($352)

Introduction

Jeff V: I had never heard of Norda of Canada before Sam, Jason and Jeremy recently reviewed the Satisfy norda 001 (RTR Review) and they sounded really exciting.  When Sam informed me that there was a studded and waterproof version on the way to me, I got really excited given the fact that my local trails in Boulder in the Flatirons were starting to ice up.  

The Norda Spike is made for snow and ice with a Vibram Megagrip LiteBase outsole with 10 carbide spikes per shoe built in and with a Dyneema upper with a G+Graphene water resistant  and breathable membrane.

The Norda 001 G+ Spike is a stunning shoe to behold, with a sharp contrast of white, black and orange. They are somewhat on the maximal side given their 34mm heel 29mm forefoot stack, but are strikingly light at 10.6oz  / 303g in my US 10 and especially so for a winter studded waterproof shoe. 

The low weight is due to the very thin G+ Graphene waterproof breathable membrane laminated to the already very light Dyneema upper. Comparing Sam’s US 8.5 (he has had no snow to test yet) in the non waterproof and non studded norda 001 version to the Spike the additional weight for the winterizing is only 15g / 0.53 oz which is pretty amazing with a US9 Spike coming in sub 10 oz / 284g. Compared to the Cascadia 16 GTX with Gore-Tex Invisible Fit and which is without spikes we come in a full ounce lighter here on a higher stack of cushioning.  

Pros: 

Jeff V:  Light, comfortable, secure, traction w/studs, cushion, quality, style, responsive

Cons:

Jeff V:  Would love to see more spikes on each shoe.

Stats

Estimated Weight:   9.95 oz / 282g US9

Sample Weights: 10.6 oz / 303g US M10, 10.19 oz / 289g US8.5

Stack Height: 34 mm heel (measured)  / mm 29 forefoot (spec 5mm drop)

Available now: $352

Fit and Upper

The upper is made of a Bio Based Dyneema with a G+ Graphene membrane that is light, water resistant and breathable. 

In our review of the Satisfy X Norda 001 which has  no G+Graphene but the same Dyneema material upper the guys including Jason Schlarb who put over 500 miles on a pair found the upper to be incredibly durable. 

From Dyneema:

Dyneema® fiber is 15x stronger than steel at the same weight, with a tensile strength up to 43 cN/dtex. As well as its extraordinary strength, Dyneema® excels in cut and abrasion resistance and has a high resistance to chemicals and UV. Dyneema® fiber is so light that it floats on water and furthermore has a very high modulus (resistance against deformation).

Norda describes the G+ membrane laminated to the Dyneema as follows:

The nordaTM 001 G+® Spike is the world’s first shoe lined with a G+® Graphene

membrane – the lightest, strongest, most conductive material on Earth.

It’s properties include:

  •  Waterproof to 10,000mm and breathable

  •  Regulates temperature and thermal conductivity to keep you warm

  •  Bacteriostatic effect

  •  G+ graphene nanoplatelets are natural, Chemical-free and sustainably produced

This upper is exceptionally comfortable, light in feel and flexible, yet remarkably secure and well held.  Protection so far has been very good, not just in a traditional manner of durability and not having to be overly cautious in tech terrain, but also in being very warm and waterproof, having run them in temps in the teens without ever even thinking of my feet and also in plenty of snow and slush without ever getting soaked (though I use a gaiter given there is not one built in).

The toe bumper is quite sturdy and integrates with a 360 degree rand for added protection.

There are also reflective accents around the shoe with the heel being almost entirely reflective. The gusseted tongue is very thin and maybe even a touch on the short side, but it is comfortable and protects well from the laces. 

Lacing is once and done secure, with Dyneema fibers in the laces which are said to be 4x stronger than a normal lace.

The heel counter is thin and flexible with almost no padding, aside from a very minimal and thin inner ring of padding around the collar just below the rim. 

 I was uncertain of this heel structure (or lack thereof), but after a run or two, I adapted and it never has been an issue, feeling comfortable and secure.  

There is also a nice and handy heel pull tab.  

Fit is true to size and even though I normally size up a half size in a winter shoe to accommodate for a thicker sock, I have not found that I have to here.

Midsole

Jeff V:  The Vibram SLE midsole is Vibram’s lightest and most resilient compound, providing comfortable, yet firm cushioning that is light, responsive and stable. The midsole and Megagrip outsole are carefully hand joined  by Vibram as a unit with just the right glue to match the rubber and midsole  unlike the usual process of Vibram shipping soles to another factory for assembly where often the glue layer mismatch  can cause stiffness. 

The midsole feel also seems to remain consistent in feel across a wide range of temperatures which I appreciate in cold temps, and most particularly that it does not suddenly become overly hard underfoot often the case in cold.

Outsole

Jeff V:  The Vibram Litebase with MegaGrip and Vibram SLE Sole Plate combination is especially grippy and effective with a very well designed lug pattern/configuration.  

This amazing outsole is complimented by 10 carbide steel tipped studs per shoe, which add a lot of extra grip and confidence on packed snowy trails, ice  and winter conditions.  

I feel confident running at speed through most winter conditions, but still slow down a bit when on steep bulletproof ice having to cautiously pick my way through.  They do however perform well on hard ice that is not steep and are amazing on steeper hard packed frozen snow that has not yet turned to hardened ice and also perform very well on everything in between. 

Protection under foot is particularly good, as I never feel any rocks poking through nor discomfort from undulating ice/ or rozen footprints.

Ride

Jeff V:  The ride is excellent, with the Vibram SLE midsole providing a very light, responsive and stable feel, allowing one to run quickly on just about any terrain, no matter how rough, technical or in the case of this spiked version in snowy, icy trails and in winter conditions.  

The shoe feels a bit stiff in the hand when giving it a flex test, however this is never a problem on the trail and I find them to be appropriately stable and protective, with a very comfortable level of cushioning while simultaneously feeling supportive and predictable.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Jeff V:  The Norda 001 G+ Spike is an awesome shoe for winter conditions.  It is relatively light and quick with full winter capabilities built in and including:  a secure, water resistant and surprisingly warm upper, a midsole that stays compliant in cold temps and an outstanding grippy studded outsole.  While there is a lot to love, and the Norda has earned a top spot on my winter shelf, I would love to see more studs added, at least 4 more per shoe in order to provide better grip on legit ice and I would also like to see a built in gaiter as I think a Dyneema gaiter would integrate perfectly with little weight penalty.  A little extra padding around the heel would add some comfort as well.

Jeff V’s Score:  9.2 / 10

😊😊😊😊😊

Ride: 9

Fit: 9.5

Value: 7 – It is hard to dodge around the fact that these are $354, which is a lot of money to spend on a pair of running shoes for most people, just slightly eclipsed by the Speedland SL PDX and HSV.  If that price fits into your budget however, you will not be disappointed in the least, as performance is excellent, as is quality.  I envision them lasting a long time.

Style: 10 – I can’t think of many (if any) shoes that match the looks and style of Norda, you have to see it for yourself to understand.

Traction: 9.5 – would love to see more studs

Rock Protection: 10 – I have never felt the slightest poke no matter

Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

La Sportiva Blizzard GTX (RTR Review)

Jeff V:  The Blizzard also has built in studs and a waterproof Gore Tex upper for weather protection.  The Blizzard weighs more and is not nearly as quick and responsive as the Norda, with a more firm and less lively midsole.  The Blizzard however has a nice built in gaiter which keeps out moisture and drafts and costs $120 less than the Norda.

La Sportiva Cyklon Cross GTX (RTR Review)

Jeff V:  The Cyklon Cross GTX is comparably light, but not studded (though you can add hobnails).  I love the zip up gaiter and Gore Tex upper of the Cyklon, plus the BOA dial makes things super easy, which is great in  cold and lousy weather to be able to adjust with gloves. The Cyklon is also $120 less.

Salomon SnowSpike CS WP (RTR Review)

 Jeff V:  The Salomon is much heavier, not as agile or stable and the studs are not as pronounced or grippy.  I do like the built in gaiter and the Salomon is notably comfortable and warmer, so excels at hiking, or slower paces when trudging through snow.

VJ Ice Hero (RTR Review)

Jeff V:  Probably the closest comparison and nearly $200 less, the Ice Hero is at comparable weight, has close or even better traction, is comfortable, quick, nimble, agile but has a lower stack height.  I will say that the cushioning of the Norda is much less firm and the Norda upper is more accommodating, whereas the Ice Hero is very precise and race ready.

The Norda 001 G+ Spike will be available from Norda HERE

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Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors’.

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