How to Select the Best Track Spike Shoes

By | January 20, 2013

How to Select the Best Track Spike Shoes

So … you have decided to try your skill at some track and field activities!  Good for you!  Do you know what equipment you will need to accomplish your goal?  How about the specific foot-wear for your chosen sport?  You know, your shoes can make or break it for your success in this arena.  Since, there is no substitute for good foot wear, let’s talk about how to select the best track spike shoes for your chosen sport.

Types of Track Spikes

Perhaps the first thing you need to know is that all track spikes are not created equal.  There are three basic shoe track spike designs:

Some other characteristics of track spike designs include lengths that range from 3/16 inch (5 mm) to ½ inch (12 mm), with ¼ inch (6 mm) being the most popular.  They are generally constructed of metal or ceramic, though you might also find some made of plastic.  Some tracks actually limit the length of the shoe track spike or prohibit needle or pin spikes to prevent damage to the surface of the track and injury to the players.

Best Track Shoe Construction

The construction of your shoe is pretty important for comfort as well as performance.  The soles of track and field foot wear are designed with a ”taper”, or upward bend of the toe of the track shoe to allow for the protrusion of the track spikes. This taper encourages athletes to spend more time on their toes when running. This taper can be designed rigidly or more flexibly, depending on the sport it is being used in.

If you are a sprinter, for example, your shoe will have the greatest number of track spikes in the toe of the sole with very little support in the heel of the shoe because sprinters spend most of their running time on their toes.  The taper on a sprinter’s track shoe is the highest and most rigid to keep him or her on their toes.

For the distance and cross country runner, the track spikes will be fewer and the taper lower with more support given to mid shoe spikes for more comfort and durability for those longer distances.  For the cross country runner, the track shoes will be similar to those described for the distance runner, with more support mid-foot and a more durable sole for more cushioning on the off-track terrain that these runners will encounter.

Track Spike Shoes Differ For the Jumpers

For those individuals who favor the long jump, the shoe and track spike design are similar to that of the sprinter to enable them to get the top speed needed for their long jumping.  For the high jumper, on the other hand, the track shoe is flat bottomed with the track spikes located in the heel section.  This design gives the jumper maximum energy transfer through the whole foot.

Not All Track Spikes have Spikes

Some track and field activities don’t require spikes on the track shoes.  Activities like Shot Put, Discus and Hammer Throw have “track spikes” that are flat bottomed.

Pick your sport … then pick your best track spike shoes for your best performance.

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What Are the Best Track Spike Shoes?

By | November 10, 2012


Are you a track runner? Are you considering taking up one of the track sports? Do you have any idea what type of foot wear you will need? What are the best track spike shoes? Well, let’s talk a little bit about the different activities you might be considering and then compare the types of track spike and shoes that would likely benefit you.

Types of Track and Field Activities
What are some of the activities you might consider in the realm of track and field? Sprinting, distance running, cross country running, long or high jump, shot put, discus and hammer throw are a few that come to mind. All of these activities require specific shoe construction as well as track spikes design, size and placement.

Track Spike Designs
Let’s take a look at some of the designs of track spikes and the purposes for those designs. The most common length of the shoe spike is ¼ inch (6 mm) though they are available from 3/16 inch (5 mm) to ½ inch (12 mm) and are generally made of metal or ceramic. They come pretty much in three basic shapes:
– Pyramid – conical shape with a taper to a sharp point
– Needle (or pin) – thinner cone diameter with a sharp point
– The compression tier – this is a terraced cone shape with a flat end that compresses instead of penetrating the track. It uses the track reaction force to get energy back to the runner.

These shapes allow different interactions between the shoe spike and the track and field surface with which they come into contact to allow the wearer of the track shoe to obtain sufficient traction to propel them as needed for the activity in which they are participating.
Some tracks will limit the length of the track spikes or even prohibit needle spikes to prevent damage to the surface of the track or injury to other participants.

The Best Track Spike Shoes
If you’re interested in distance or cross country running, you’re going to want a shoe that is constructed with more support and durable soles with fewer track spikes than you would want if you were going to be sprinting, which would require more very stiff track spikes in the front of the sole to keep you on your toes while running. On the other hand, if you chose to long jump, you would want a track shoe similar to our sprinter mentioned above versus a high jumper who would want a flat bottomed track shoe with heel spikes to transfer more energy to the entire foot instead of just the toes.

The best track spike shoes are the ones that provide the wearer with the traction, energy transfer, comfort and support for the track and field activity that he or she chooses to do. You will find some excellent shoes with just the right track spike design to fit your needs made by some pretty impressive shoe manufacturers like Adidas, Nike, New Balance, Puma, Reebok, Asics, Brooks, Saucony and Mizuno to name a few.

So… pick your sport and shop for the best track spikes shoes to help you shine!

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Is it better to wear gloves or mittens on a very cold day?

By | October 28, 2012

Running gloves or mittens?

Mittens and gloves provide good protection from cold weather. It is personal choice what do you want to wear.

Mittens keep all fingers together and as such more warmth is kept inside to keep your fingers warm.

Gloves on another hand have all fingers separate and reduce sweating.

My personal preference is gloves, but that’s because my hands start sweating and the sweat is absorbed better in the gloves.

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Track Spikes for Wide Feet

By | October 6, 2012

Track Spikes for Wide Feet

Unfortunately all track spikes are designed for a specific field sports targeting very limited market. Therefore, most track spike manufacturers make only standard shoe sizes disadvantaging  athletes with narrow or wide feet.

But, don’t get discouraged as I have done extensive research and discovered two types New Balance track spikes for wide feet athletes. New Balance has cross country spikes for wide feet as well as sprint spikes for wide feet. Go to the links bellow and click on the size down arrow. You will need to select your size with 2E next to it. 2E means wide shoes. bellow are the width sizes:

N or B- Narrow

M or D- Medium

W or 2E- Wide

XW or 3E- X- wide
New Balance Men’s M700XCS Competition Spike Track Shoe
New Balance Track Spikes
New Balance RX507CB Ceramic Cross Country Running Spike

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Sprint Spikes- What Are The Atributes of Good Sprint Spikes

By | September 30, 2012

Sprint Spikes

Sprint spikes are designed for the sprinter, these track spikes (just as their name implies), enables them to run very fast distances ranging from 100 meters to 400 meters.  These track shoes are also the same design needed for hurdlers and they enable the athlet to reach maximum speed very quickly for some events that may only have 10 to 50 second durations.  These track spikes are very light in weight , are low top in style and have little to no cushioning, especially none in the heel.  Sprinters tend to run on their toes so the shoe taper is constructed to keep the athlet …literally… on their toes. The track spikes are most ridgid as they need to be very agresive to develope maximum speed in short time intervals.

Sprint Spikes Brands

Nike

Nike makes variety f track spikes with different price tag.
Nike Mens Zoom Rival S 6 Track Spike

    • SyntheitcNike Mens Zoom Rival S 6 Track Spike
    • Mesh Upper – Giving your feet maximum breathability and helps to reduce overall weight
    • Synthetic leather – for good flexibility, durability and greater support
    • Forefoot strap – For enhanced lockdown to provide a secure fit.
    • Thin EVA wedge – For lightweight, low profile cushioning and comfort.
    • Agressiveand rigid Pebax® plate – Built for power and durability.

 

Nike Zoom Maxcat II Running Sprint Spikes
Nike Zoom Maxcat II Running Sprint Spikes

  • lightweight synthetic mesh upper to help keep your feel comfortable and at peak performance
  • Lightweight Phylon Midsole – helps to give lightweight cushioning where you need it the most.
  • TRACTION -Five-pin spike configuration and unique Pebax three-fingered plate increase traction without the extra weight.

Adidas

Adidas also produce superior sprint spkes for optimal performance:
Adidas Sprint Star 2 M Running Shoe
Adidas Sprint Star 2 M Running Shoe

  • Nylon and mesh
  • Manmade sole
  • nylon upper

 

Adidas Sprintstar 3 Track Cleat
Adidas Sprintstar 3 Track Cleat

  • Mesh
  • Manmade sole

 Puma

 

Puma Bolt Evospeed Sprint Ltd Track Shoe
Puma Bolt Evospeed Sprint Ltd Track Shoe

Puma Bolt Faas 007 Ltd Track Shoe
Puma Bolt Faas 007 Ltd Track Shoe

  • synthetic
  • Manmade sole

Brooks

 

Brooks PR Sprint Track Spike Shoe
Brooks PR Sprint Track Spike Shoe

  • Synthetic and mesh
  • Rubber sole
  • 6mm spike wrench
  • Air mesh upper with zipper shroud

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Cold Weather Running Gear

By | June 13, 2012

Running in cold weather can be very challenging especially if you don’t have appropriate cold weather running gear. Just three months ago I went to Europe in a beautiful mountainous town where the temperature was very  low.  I could not wait go for my early morning run and enjoy the clean fresh air. I didn’t have cold weather running gear and simply went out in my tracksuit. You can guess what happened.  As body still hadn’t adjusted to the local weather conditions only after one minute of running I was out of breath and I had chest pains. I decided to stop running and start walking instead. The next morning I was better prepared with cold weather running gear that will at least protect  my respiratory system from the cold air.

If you prefer to run outdoors instead indoors using your treadmill, I’d suggest you get good running gear  to protect yourself from the elements and be safe. Bellow I will list all available cold weather running gear but it will be entirely up to you to select what you buy pending on your budget and personal preference.

Head Protection–  We lose about 40% of our body heat through our head therefore it is very important to protect our head. You can use thermal cap, hat or a balaclava. They can be made from fleece or wool. Bandana covers your entire head and will give you additional neck  and face protection.

Neck Protection– On windy cold days it is important to protect your neck with gaiter or bandana. They are very handy as you can cover your entire face and breathe in warm air.

Hand protection- we lose large amount of heat from our hands and to keep them warm you can use gloves or mittens. On extremely cold days it is better to wear mittens as all fingers share there warmth.

Foot protection– For cold and wet weather I will recommend leather running shoes to keep your feet warm and dry. With the footwear cold weather running gear it is very important to not use cotton socks as the keep the moisture around the foot making it fell cold. Always use cocks made from wicking material like wool to wick away the moisture and keep your feet warm.

Insulating  cold weather running gearTo keep your body warm make sure you have few layers of cloths. Layers also allow free sweat movement especially if the first layers is made from wool or appropriate synthetic wicking material to wick away the sweat and keep the skin warm. If the weather is windy or raining wind and water proof cloths should be essential  part of your cold weather running gear to keep your body dry and minimise the wind chill effect to minimal levels.

After all it is entirely up to you to assess the local weather conditions and work out what cold weather running gear you need without overspending or risking to be under dressed. If it is difficult for you to do the assessment I am sure that your local sports gear shop will be more than happy to assist you in your selection.

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What Running Gear Do You Need for Optimal Performance?

By | June 3, 2012

So…it is running you’ve decided to do?  What a great exercise for your whole body!  If you have decided to run, then you’ll need to get your running gear together.  The other great thing about running is that you really don’t need much gear for it.  But, what running gear you will need will have to be carefully considered.

Running Shoes

This could be your most important consideration out of your running gear if you wish to be successful in your running events, not to mention safe in them.  If you chose the wrong shoes, you are likely to experience some pretty significant pain and potential injury as you train for that marathon event or cross country run.

Consider the Type of Running You Will Be Doing

The shoe that you will need will also be dependent upon where you will be running.  If you are planning to run along a paved outdoor route, you will not want the same type of shoe that you would wear to run cross country or on track surface.  Is your goal to be a sprinter? Or perhaps it is a cross country runner?  Or, maybe you would like to do jumping, hurdling or throwing events in track and field competition?  While all of these activities are great goals, they each require some pretty specific footwear running gear to provide the power you need to perform and the safety you need to prevent unnecessary injury.

Consider Your Clothing

Once you have selected the appropriate footwear, about the only other running gear you will require will be clothing.  Some thought must be given to the weather and to the temperatures in which you will be running.  T-shirts and running shorts will work for most warm weather runs but in the cooler temperatures, you will probably want to consider layering.  You might wish to wear a short sleeved shirt covered with a long sleeved shirt that could be removed and, perhaps tied around your waist when you get too warm.  For the colder temperatures, even adding a windbreaker, scarf and gloves might be the most prudent wearing apparel.

What about hat as part of the running gear? The temperature needs to be considered if you chose to wear a hat while you run.  There are designs that incorporate special lightweight materials that will allow the heat to escape through your head to keep you cooler while there are others that will keep your head warm when the temperature is lower outside.

It is very important to be comfortable while you train or run that marathon.  It can be pretty hard to tough out a cold run if you’re not dressed appropriately.

There are many types and styles of running gear clothes available that are designed to be lightweight and unrestrictive for your running comfort.  Many of the fabrics utilized in this type of clothing are designed to wick the moisture away from the body to keep you cooler. There are creams and lotions available to be used to prevent chafing as well.

Fashion and Style of Your Running Gear

While the type of shoe you need may not be the most fashionable, the great part about the huge variety of running clothes that are available today is that they look great, too!  Choose your running gear for comfort and safety first and the rest will all fall into place…hopefully FIRST PLACE!

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