Your spikes are your most important piece of gear. Make sure you get the right ones. From sprint spikes to high jumpers, the shoes you pick can give you the push you need to compete your best.
Sprint spikes are the fastest shoes on the track.
The spike plate on the bottom of these track shoes defines the category. Built to hold up to ten spikes, the rigid plate helps sprinters dig into the track for sure footing.
But it's not just for grip. The spike plate also gives the shoe shape.
For shorter distances — usually up to 400 meters — the plate helps keep a runner's heel higher than her toes. The forward position optimizes a sprinter's momentum during a race, and since sprinters don't land on their heels, sprint spikes have minimal cushioning, which shaves precious ounces from the shoe's overall weight.
These light and fast sprint spikes are perfect for the 100m, 200m and 400m.
Distance runners run differently than sprinters. While sprinters spend their races on their toes, distances runners can shift their stride to a more mid-foot strike. So shoes have to adapt.
Mid-distance and distance spikes still uses spikes to give runners grip on the track, but the plates that hold the spikes are less rigid and less steep than their sprinting counterparts. The extra flexibility and decreased heel-to-toe drop make the shoe more comfortable over the longer distances. Some distance spikes also come with soft midsole cushioning, more like a traditional road running shoe, to support the mid-foot and heel.
The extra cushioning combined with a spike plate make middle distance and distance track spikes look like a hybrid of sprint shoes and road running shoes.
These mid-distance and distance spikes are ideal for the 800m, 1,500m and 3,000m.