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All About Track Spikes

Track and Field Running Spikes

Some of the flashiest running shoes out there are competition running spikes. While they might all look the same there are major differences between running spikes depending on how far you run or what kind of event you compete in.

Sprint Spikes


  • Used for: 100 meter, 200 meter, 400 meter
  • These spikes are the most rigid out of all track and field shoes. To allow a sprinter to get maximum grip on the track these shoes allow for 4 to 8 spike pins to be attached below the front of the shoe. In order to reduce the weight of the shoe manufacturers only put very minimal cushioning in the toe and completely eliminate the cushion in the heel. While they might not be the most comfortable shoe they are definitely the lightest and fastest.


Mid Distance Spikes

Mid Distance Spikes

  • Used for: 800 meter, 1500 meter, mile run
  • These spikes are designed with a little more comfort in mind. Typically used for longer distances, these spikes have added cushion in the heel while still having the space for spike pins to be attached below the front of the shoe. A mid distance spike is also an excellent multi-purpose spike.


Long Distance Spikes

Long Distance Spikes

  • Used for: 3,000 meter, 5,000 meter, 10,000 meter
  • These spikes are very similar to the mid distance spikes but to give the runner more comfort for these longer distances most cushion is added to the shoe. It is also a more flexible shoe to increase comfort while covering more ground than mid distance runners.


High Jump Spikes

High Jump

  • Used for: High Jump
  • Unlike runners, high jumpers typically use spike pins in the heel of their shoes to allow better traction during their approach and take off. Some of the more advanced high jump shoes are built to lean in the direction of the approach giving the jumper better support.


Spike Studs

Spike studs come in a variety of lengths but there are three styles of spike studs that are used for track and field shoes.



  • A sharp pointy spike typically, but not strictly, used by distance runners. These spikes are most effective on dirt, rubber and synthetic tracks and are not as effective on grass.



  • The cone shaped pyramid spike is extremely versatile and works well on several different surfaces (ie. dirt, grass and synthetic tracks.) Because pyramid spikes aren’t as sharp as pin spikes they are less likely to damage tracks and other runner's legs.

Christmas Tree


  • True to their name these spikes are shaped like a Christmas tree. Made of synthetic material that compresses against the track these spikes are designed to return power to the runner without tearing up rubberized surfaces. Some newer tracks don’t hold up very well against Christmas trees but when it comes to safety these soft spikes are not likely to poke you or any other runners on the track.


Now that you know all about track spikes, ready to get some?  Make Fitgeek your track and field store!  Fitgeek proudly serves schools in Cupertino, San Jose, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Palo Alto, Saratoga, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Fremont, Milpitas & More.

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