Track Spikes

 Track Spikes for All Field Sports and Athletes- Explained

Track Spikes term refers to track spike shoes used for variety of athletic field sports as well as the actual shoe spike. Sometimes the term can be used to describe “cleats” or “studs” which are similar but used on football, baseball or bicycle shoes.

Track spikes are cylindrical protrusions that are fixed or screwed to the track or field shoes. They are designed to increase traction and minimise the possibility of slipping giving the athlete a track shoe with needed safety and maximum performance ability.

Dimensions- Track spikes dimension is 3/16 inch (5 mm) and 1/2 inch (12 mm) long, the most common being 1/4 inch (6 mm), however there is special exemptions where there are number of specialty lengths.

Shapes- Track spikes come in three most common shapes- needle, pyramid and compression tier. As the names explain, needle spikes have narrow base that continues in gradually narrowing body ending in a sharp point; pyramid spike have conical shape with wide base that ends in a pointy top. Needle spikes have grater track penetrating power than pyramid spikes.

Materials- Track shoe spikes are made of plastic, ceramic or metal, and the choice of material depends on athlete’s experience, sport type and track type.


Track Shoe Design

Track Shoeck Shoe

Track Spikes

Track Shoe design is closely related with the use of the shoe. In general all shoes have three to nine threaded spike holes called spike wells. The spikes are installed and removed using spike wrench. Their weigh is minimal and it is as light as 5 ounces or about 140 grams each. The shoes can be with laces or if they need to be aerodynamic, a covered zipper is used. Some shoes have partial foot support with heel not being supported or full support. All of them have the toe area pointing upwards called “taper” and it forces the athlete to run on his/her toes.

Shoe Types

Sprint running spike shoes require biggest traction dictated by the need to generate explosive energy to develop high speed in short period of time. To achieve this they have most rigid track spikes with grate track penetration power. Sprinters spent minimal time on the heel, so the shoes have very little heel support. To maximise shoe aerodynamics sprint shoes usually have covered zip instead of laces.

Feature to look for when buying: Light weight, high taper, covered zip, rigid spikes, good toe support.

Distance running spike shoes have more flexible plate than the sprint shoes because the runner spends long time utilising the entire foot. The track spikes are not as aggressive and have fewer spikes. Distance spikes should be fitted looser than the sprint track spikes.

Feature to look for when buying: Good support for the entire foot, mid taper, high comfort.

Middle distance running spike shoes are cross-breed between sprint and distance running shoes. They have semi- flexible plate allowing good high taper for springing and solid heel for soft landing. Middle distance running shoes have better comfort to provide best foot cushioning. This hybrid characteristic of middle distance running shoe makes them attractive for use to range of athletes including hurdlers.

Feature to look for when buying: Good support for the entire foot, mid taper, solid heel, high comfort.

Cross country spike shoes are very similar to the long distance running shoes except because they are used in harsh environment the soles are made of durable rubber. Also, they are designed to provide high foot support to avoid injuries. Cross country shoes have up to six track spikes.

Feature to look for when buying: Good support for the entire foot, mid taper, solid heel, high comfort.

Other sports use shoes are very similar to the running shoes. Due to the similar energy and speed demands, long jump track spike shoes are very similar to sprinting shoes. High jump shoes on another hand are similar to the sprint shoes but they also have heel to enable energy and weight distribution through the entire foot. Field shoes such are discus and hummer throw are referred as track spike shoes but their soles are made of rubber and don’t have spikes.

Track Spike Shoe Brands


Nike produces leading track spike shoes that provide very good foot comfort, aerodynamic design and durability. Their wide range is suitable for all budgets and the shoes start from about $50. Nike range starts from “Nike Rival D” for long distance run to “Nike Zoom Max Cat II” for sprint. Another very good long distance running shoe is “Nike Rival D IV”.


Adidas is the second brand that produces big variety of running shoes and is Nike’s direct competitor. They also have shoes for all budgets and performance requirements starting from “Adizero” for professionals, to “Cosmos” for athletes on budget.


Asics produces wide range of field shoes that fit more athletes with wide foot. Asics’ range of track spike is “ASICS Men’s Japan Lite-Ning 4 Running Shoe” for sprint, “ASICS Men’s Cyber Jump London Track Shoe” for pole vaulters and ASICS Men’s “Cyber High-Jump London” for high-jump.


Saucony makes all types of track spikes for all field sports for a fair price. Their range includes: ‘Endorphin Spike” for 400-1,500m run, “Shay XC2” Cross-Country Shoe and “Showdown” for sprint.


Puma has never been behind the big manufacturers of track spikes. They make field shoes at reasonable price affordable for all budgets. Here are some of Puma shoes: “Puma Complete Tfx Distance III Track Shoe” for distance runners, “Puma Complete Tfx Jump II Pro Track Shoe” for long- and triple-jumpers, as well as pole-vaulters, “PUMA Complete Haraka Cross-Country Shoe”.

One of the most important things when buying field shoes is to assess the type of shoe you need according to your sport requirements and budget. To do so please visit our page track spikes requirements or other web resource on “field shoes” to save yourself money and time and get the best shoe track spikes for the sport you love.