Of course they were called "nails" because that's how they started. I wore nails for years and was probably one of the late adopters of the soft spike. The early soft spikes just gave me no traction. Once the Black Widow came out, I switched and have never regretted it. While working at Champions a couple of years ago, Steve Elkington always wore (and to my knowledge still does) "nails" in his FootJoys. Don't recall anyone else doing so.