Where To Buy Track Spikes
As you gain experience and fine tune the feel you prefer in your spikes, you can toy around with a variety of spike shapes from pyramid to needle spikes on the track, but always be sure to check the meet rules before changing out your spikes.
where to buy track spikes
Your body moves differently and requires different support as your race shorter or longer distances. Long distance runners often run with more of a heel-toe gait while sprinters are on the balls of their feet during their races. To deliver the best possible performance, track spikes are engineered to accommodate these differences by using different foams, spike configurations and plate materials.
Long Distance Track Spikes (Best for 800m-5K): These are the most flexible and have the most midsole and heel cushioning while still keeping a slender profile and light weight. The spike plate is often made of the same outsole material as the rest of the shoe, or it is a more flexible material like PEBAX. The spike count can range from 4-6 spikes to give you grip and traction without disturbing your natural cadence.
Mid-Distance Track Spikes (Best for 400m - 1500m): These shoes are much more of a specialist shoe than long distance or sprinting spikes, and include features from both. Mid-distance spikes will retain the midsole and heel cushioning found in long distance spikes, but will often have a harder spike plate and less flexibility to deliver a responsive ride. The spike count tends to find a happy medium between 5-7 spikes to deliver more propulsion as you sprint through the 400m.
Sprinting Track Spikes (Best for 55m - 400m): Typically the lightest track spikes you can find, sprinting spikes have design features like carbon-fiber plates that keep them stiff and snappy to help you gain speed. These shoes have little to no heel cushioning and are designed to hold your foot in a lightly flexed position, keeping you on the balls of your feet as you run. Sprinting spikes tend to have anywhere from 6-8 spikes to help you push off the blocks and dig for speed with each step.
Throwing Spikes: Spikes for javelin, shot put or discus focus on supporting your ankle as the rest of your body twists to generate momentum. Unlike running spikes, throwing spikes are smoother on the bottom to allow for smooth motion transitions. Some discus or shot put spikes even have a special disk in the outsole that lets you place your weight on one foot and spin while you throw, helping to stabilize your body and allow fluidity in motion.
Jumping Spikes and Pole Vault Spikes: The spikes for these events are relatively similar, they focus on helping you gain speed before you jump or vault. Jumping or vaulting spikes are similar to sprinting spikes in that they are lightweight and feature more spikes in the spike plate to help you grip the track. High Jump spikes feature additional spikes in their heal because they are the only event where they need to run on a steep curve and require extra traction, especially at takeoff. Long jump and Triple jump spikes are the most like sprinting spikes because you need to generate speed in your approach, but the plate is positioned slightly differently to help you takeoff correctly. Pole Vaulting spikes are usually stiffer than sprinting spikes and have a solid base to ensure traction at takeoff like triple jump spikes.
Track and field spikes are designed to give you the traction you need to run, jump or throw effectively on a track surface. Spikes for track events are designed to promote a faster running form by placing greater emphasis on the balls of your foot; however, this does not guarantee that you will run faster.
Simply put, no. But they are a big help. Unlike the running shoes you train in that are designed to be used on the roads or a trail, track spikes are designed to give you traction on a track surface. Running on a track in road shoes won't slow you down, but you may not have the secure grip needed to perform well on the track surface.
If you want to top the podium and hit your personal best on the track, cross-country course or in your field event, then finding the right pair of track or XC shoes will help you crush your next meet.
A good rule of thumb: the longer the distance, the fewer spikes in the spike plate. Cross country and long distance track spikes typically have four or five spikes, while sprinting and mid-distance spikes can range from six to eight spikes, which gives you the extra traction needed to push top speeds.
For events ranging distances from 1500m to 5K, the best long distance track spikes have a low spike count (4-6) with just enough cushioning in the midsole and heel to keep your legs fresh enough for your final kick.
To let your foot move naturally as you run, long distance track spikes are often more flexible and do not use a firm, plastic plate on the outsole compared to sprinting spikes. Instead, designers will use carbon-fiber or PEBAX plates in the midsole of premium long-distance track spikes for extra speediness.
Ultra-light, aggressive and super fast, track spikes for sprinting are designed with a rigid spike plate to keep your weight on the ball of your foot and promote snappy transitions. Ready to explode off the blocks, they can use anywhere from six to eight spikes so you can dig into your starting position.
To accomplish this, field spikes are built to be lightweight with enough rigidity to push you faster and higher. They often have a higher spike count and can take needle spikes, which are longer than traditional spikes to help stabilize you as you jump and run.
For runners of all ages and experience levels, getting a little experience on the track can be a fun way to shake up your routine. After all, you don't need to be a collegiate athlete to hone your sprinting skills.
And while you can use regular running shoes to train on a track, you may want to invest in a pair of track shoes (aka track spikes) if you decide to compete or want a better estimate of your race time.
If you're comparing track shoes versus running shoes, track spikes are lighter, more minimal shoes that often have a cleat or spike in the forefoot to give you some extra traction as you push off the ground during a race, according to Janet Hamilton, CSCS, a clinical exercise physiologist and owner of Running Strong.
The best shoes for track also often have minimal heel cushioning, as most track runners tend to spend a majority of contact time on their forefoot, she says. In other words, they run on the front of their foot, rather than striking with their heel. So, track spikes are designed for that type of foot strike.
On the other hand, running shoes are the sneakers you see at most athletic apparel stores. These are more cushioned to help minimize the impact to your joints, making them ideal for longer-distance running, rather than a few speedy loops around a track.
We chatted with running experts and coaches to learn about all the best track spikes and running shoes. From there, we gathered a few great track spikes and running shoes you'll want to consider. Every pair takes the following criteria into account:
One of the best running shoes for track, these are built for fast, short track races, ranging from the 60-meter dash to the 400-meter sprint. But for athletes who compete in multiple events, these can also be used for hurdles, the long jump or pole vault.
These lightweight New Balance spikes are one of the best shoes for track when it comes to middle-distances races. They have a little extra foam in the heel to help propel you forward and offer a little extra joint protection during races.
For the most part, track shoes don't have too much cushion, as Hamilton mentioned, but you do want to look for a little extra support for longer-distance races. After all, running on a completely flat shoe for a mile or two can get uncomfortable.
As a former high school and collegiate runner, I can confirm that the actual spikes on the bottom of your shoes matter. Although cross-country spikes and track shoes are different, they both have small metal spikes on the bottom.
Track meets generally have regulations that dictate how long the spikes on the bottom of your shoe can be (usually a 9-millimeter max). This is to help prevent damage to the track during a race. So, it's best to check with your race organizers to make sure your spikes are appropriate.
No matter if you're running around a track or on pavement, traction is a must-have, according to Crawford. Your track shoes or standard running sneakers should feel safe and stable on all surfaces to prevent slips and falls. 041b061a72