Buying track spikes for the first time can be daunting. Make sure you understand how your spikes affect your performance so you can choose the best track spikes for you.
A good rule of thumb: the longer the distance, the fewer spikes in the spike plate.
Long distance track spikes typically have four or five spikes, while sprinting and mid-distance spikes can range from six to ten spikes, which provides the extra grip needed to reach top speeds.
Depending on the surface you race on, you’ll want to choose the appropriate spike length so you don’t find yourself sliding around an indoor track.
Quarter (¼) inch spikes are usually a safe go-to for outdoor track races and field events. If you are racing on an indoor track, there can be regulations on the length of spike you are allowed to wear in order to keep the track intact as it’s used; on average, one-eighth (⅛) inch spikes are the standard for indoor track.
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.
Read more in our Best Track and Cross Country Spike guide.