The dominant steeplechase spike and a reliable 1500-5K shoe, Mamba 2 carries over the mid/outsole but gains a refreshed upper.
No real surprises here, folks. Nike knows they have a winning formula in the Mamba, which is a go-to shoe for steeplechase and athletes competing in 1500m-5K events. The mid/outsole is completely unchanged, meaning that Nike focused its updates on the upper. The upper now is made from a softer mesh that is still plenty breathable. That's good news for runners who like the airy feel of the original Mamba, and great news for steeplechasers, who rely on this model to shed water quickly.
The Mamba 2 provides some cushion in the heel (relatively speaking, of course), and is pretty flexible all around with a carbon fiber shank and flexible Pebax spike plate. The textured plastic grip on outer heel helps you get a little traction in the water pit. A few testers were looking for a heel design that is just a touch more stable.
The new design of the upper looks sharp, though with the popularity of this shoe, athletes are unlikely to stand out very much from the crowd. Strange to say for a shoe that's bright red and neon green, but that's the state of the spike market in 2012.
“A few years back, I ran the steeplechase in the Nike Zoom Lanang ST. The Mamba 2 is a better spike overall. The extra heel cushion is a plus for landing after jumping barriers and water jumps.” - Isaiah
“There aren't a lot of options that work well for the steeplechase, and the Mamba 2 still has a lot to offer. The upper drains quickly and the spike plate provides a good foundation for toe-off.” - Daniel