When competing, the right shoe is one of the most important considerations for a runner. Track shoes are engineered for different types of feet, strides, and types of running, so a shoe that works for one person may not work for another. It’s important for runners to find the shoe built for them in order to get as much as they can out of their decision.
When selecting track spikes, it’s important to first determine which events you’ll be competing in. There are many types of spikes made for different distances and events.
Because sprinters run on their toes, the spikes put the focus of traction and stiffness on the front of the shoe. Most sprinter spikes have eight or more holes on top of aggressive traction patterns. The upper part of the shoe is lightweight and built to lock your foot in while moving at rapid paces.
Middle-distance spikes are built to be versatile for runners that compete at both long and short distances. It carries more flexibility than sprinting shoes, but still provides stiffness to keep you on your toes. Equipped with 6-8 spike holes this shoe can be used for a wide variety of events.
Long distance spikes typically come with around four spike holes, as traction isn’t the top priority. They are built to be as lightweight as possible to make your race turnover as fast as possible.
Spikes and shoes vary when it comes to different field events. Pole vault and long and triple jump spikes distribute the spike holes throughout the shoe and have more support for lateral movements. Throwing shoes don’t have spikes and are built for grip and spin.
Racing flats are typically used for long-distance running, and most often, road races. Flats are typically much lighter and smaller in size than training shoes. Usually, they don’t have the durability to be worn for everyday running or training. The main purpose of this shoe is to be worn on off-track courses or races.