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3 Track Spikes for Every Distance in 2020

A photo of the Nike Zoom Rival S 9 track spike in pink

Just like the runners who compete in each event, there’s no one perfect track spike for every race.

From the outside, each spike might look similar, but there are differences that optimize different models for different events. Some track spikes are built for sprint events, others for a middle-distance like the 800M, and still others are primed for long distances, like the 5K or 10K.

So, lacing up the right spike for the right race can make all the difference.

Sprint spikes

Mid-distance spikes

Long distance spikes

Spike plate

Most rigid, steepest

Less rigid, flatter

Less rigid, flatter

Number of spikes

Up to 10

4-6

4 or fewer

Cushioning

Least

Moderate

Most

Distance

Up to 400m

400m-1500m

Mile-10K

Here are three of our favorite spikes for everything from the 100-meter dash to the 10K.

For Sprints: Nike Zoom Rival S 9

A photo of the Nike Zoom Rival S 9 on a track

The Nike Zoom Rival S 9 is a unisex track spike designed for sprint events, hurdles and jumping events.

A soft sockliner conforms to your foot for increased comfort while a synthetic upper and internal arch band gives you a supportive, secure fit. This makes the spike extra comfy sans socks.

A rigid plate extends under the arch, which increases power and propulsion over short distances, and keep you on your forefoot. The Rival S 9 also comes studded with seven removable spikes to give you optimal purchase on the track.

Tech specs

Nike Zoom Rival S 9

Price

$65

Spikes

7 (removable)

Distance

60m-400m

Upper

Synthetic mesh

Sizing

Unisex

For Mid-Distance: New Balance MD500v7

A pair of the New Balance MD500v7 track spikes

A touch of extra heel cushion makes the New Balance MD500v7 a fast and versatile mid-distance track spike.

The six-spike configuration beneath the MD500v7 gives you the optimal grip for mid-distance events from the 400m up to the 5000m. Like our pick for sprinters, the MD500 can pull double duty during hurdles or in jumping events.

A lightweight upper provides structure and a lock-down fit, and a sleek silhouette makes the shoe look as fast as it feels.

Tech specs

New Balance MD500v7

Price

$70

Weight

4.5 oz (women’s), 5.1 oz (men’s)

Spikes

6 (removable)

Distance

400m-5000m

Upper

Synthetic mesh

Long Distance: Saucony Endorphin 3

A pair of the Saucony Endorphin 3 track spikes

Running more than two loops around the track? The Saucony Endorphin 3 blends comfort and speed a featherweight package for long-distance runners.

A lightweight woven upper delivers a snug, secure fit without adding any unnecessary weight to the shoe, while a thin layer of EVA foam provides comfort for events from the mile to the 10K.

Plus, it’s topped off with a four-pin spike plate to bite into the track when you hit the home stretch.

So, when you’re called to the starting line, you know the Saucony Endorphin 3 has your back.

Tech specs

Saucony Endorphin 3

Price

$120

Weight

3.2 oz (women’s), 3.7 oz (men’s)

Spikes

4

Distance

Mile-10K

Upper

Woven mesh

By Evan Matsumoto. Evan played many sports growing up but didn’t go pro in any of them. Now, he’s the digital copywriter for fleetfeet.com and editor for the Fleet Feet blog where he writes about different foam densities and engineered mesh uppers.

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