Expert Advice Sports

How Do I Find The Right Track Spikes for My Track and Field Event?

How Do I Find The Right Track Spikes for My Track and Field Event?

Feb 7, 2020

As a runner, bringing home the gold requires rigorous training, conditioning and mental focus. But all that won’t do you any good unless you have the right tools and equipment working for you.

While we can’t help improve your stamina or run your next practice session, our Hibbett | City Gear shoe experts CAN improve your footwear game by pairing you with the right tack spikes for your specific track and field event.

Just like soccer players require different cleat types for multiple playing surfaces, and baseball players play best in position-specific footwear, track runners need spikes built specifically for their event distance.

Sprint Spikes

Sprint spikes may not be super comfortable, but their sleek silhouettes are designed to enhance power and speed. During events where split seconds make the difference between winning and losing, having lightweight, durable shoes is crucial. The physical spikes on sprint shoes are typically located at the forefoot, where sprinters experience the most contract with the track.

The Sprintstar “Black/White” Men’s Track Spike is a solid option for technical runners who prefer footwear that’s all business. With their Celermesh upper — a light, thin mesh with an inner grid for superior lockdown — and feather-light Pebax® outsole plate these running shoes deliver optimal energy transfer. According to the makers of Pebax® Elastomers, the material is upwards of 20% lighter than other TPU materials, and Pebax Powered® shoe soles are as elastic as a pole-vaulter’s pole!

For runners who like a little flash in their flight, the Nike Superfly Elite “Platinum/Pink” Men’s Racing Spike delivers a high-tech/high-fashion design and serious performance tech. The shoe features Dynamic Fit technology for better lockdown support than seen in past models and a Flynit upper engineered with targeted ventilation that increases tension as you accelerate. The Superfly Elite also boasts a Generative support plate featuring combined zones of rigidity and flexibility.

The New Balance Sigma Harmony “Pink/Black Unisex Track Spike” offers the best of both worlds with its eyepopping two-toned upper, streamlined silhouette, and reimagined full-length Pebax plate. The shoe also employs BOA Closure technology, which features a midfoot canopy and knit heel wrap for a second-skin-like, customizable fit.

All three options are ideal for 100M to 400M races.

Middle-Distance Spikes

Versatility is the name of the game when it comes to middle-distance spikes. This style of track spike is perfect for the runner who tackles events ranging from the 400M to the one-mile race.

Middle-distance track and field shoes have a bit more flexibility than sprint spikes and usually include six to eight spike holes on the forefoot, whereas sprint spikes feature the max number of spikes allowed.

The Nike Zoom Rival M 9 is a worthy competitor when it comes to middle-distance spikes. An arch band provides a secure fit through the midfoot, while an overlay on the upper adds durability to high-wear areas. The aerodynamic Zoom Rival M 9 is among the most versatile track shoes in the Nike lineup, perfect for wear during a wide range of track and field events. And the simple “Platinum/Black” colorway and clean aesthetic eliminates distraction so you can focus on your times — not your toes. 

Beyond running events, these Nike track shoes also perform well in the high jump, long hurdles, long jump, pole vault, short hurdles, and triple jump events.

The brand offers both men’s and women’s styles of the Zoom Rival M 9.

Long-Distance Spikes

Throwing on a pair of sprint spikes for long distances is a quick way to come in dead last. Long-distance spikes have fewer cleats (usually four) to provide enough traction for turns and have much more flexible soles. Lighter construction materials and a smoother heel-to-toe transition means quicker turnover and faster times.

Colored in classic adidas colors, adidas DistanceStar “Ftwr White/Core Black” track spikes feature breathable mesh uppers that keep your feet cool and comfortable long after takeoff. These 6.1-oz (size 9) shoes also feature an ultra-lightweight TPU plate outsole and EVA midsole and see padded durability in their AdiWear heel pads.

The adidas DistanceStar is great for entry-level runners participating in 400m to 5,000m events.

Whether you’re a fan of Nike, adidas, New Balance, or any of our Under Armour track spikes, Hibbett | City Gear has the inside lane when it comes to equipping runners with gold-medal gear.

Browse our full cleats collection and selection of track spikes in-store or online, today.

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