How To Pick The Perfect Track Spike

Spring is coming soon and it’s almost time for your very first track season. You may be asking- how do I pick the right pair of spikes that will help me speed to victory?

We asked staff member and former collegiate track and field distance runner Lindsey her keys to picking the best pair of spikes for you. 

1. Leave little wiggle room.

With running shoes, you typically want a thumbs-length between your big toe and the front of your shoe. However, with track spikes, it’s quite the opposite. It seems counterintuitive, but you want your toes at the very end of the spikes. This may mean you drop down a couple of sizes to find the right fit. 

Lindsey- “It was so weird to me when I got my first pair of spikes how the sizing worked. I wear a 9 or 9.5 in running shoes and my spike size was 7! You want these as snug to your foot as possible so you feel like your foot is contained well. You only wear them for a short amount of time so it’s not as essential to have that huge amount of wiggle room in there.”

2. Know your distance.

Did you know that there are different kinds of track spikes geared towards different events you compete in? For example, someone that runs a 100m dash is going to wear a completely different pair of spikes than someone that runs the 3200m. Spikes are divided into four different categories- sprints, mid-distance, distance, and cross country. A distance spike will have more cushion than a sprinting spike because of the time spent competing in it. Cross country spikes will have a more intense set of spikes to insert than track spikes because of a difference in terrain. 

Lindsey- “I knew members of my team that had two or more different pairs of spikes they would rotate depending on what events they were doing that meet. My personal tip from competing- if you compete in a wide variety of events, you want to wear the one that is the most comfortable for you. I ran both the 5k and 800m and wore distance spikes instead of mid-distance spikes because I liked the cushion more.”

For reference, sprinting spikes range from 50-400m events, mid-distance spikes range from 400m-1500m/1600m events, and distance spikes are for 1500m/1600m and further. 

3. Stretch well after wearing spikes!

Lindsey- “My last tip is to be sure you keep your time in spikes to the bare minimum. They are amazing and do add lots of speed and grip to your race, but they also can cause tight calves. This will also prevent wear and tear on them and help them last longer. I only wore my spikes when I was competing, never for a speed day workout. Be sure after you race in spikes, you stretch well and foam roll to help prevent soreness.”

Be sure you stop into your three friendly Sport Seasons stores or shop online at sport-seasons.com to find the best pair of track spikes for you! Our knowledgeable sales associates are here to answer any questions you may have about spikes, running shoes, and more!

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